Consistency & Cohos on The Salmon River

On the second to last day of September, I drove north for a four-day fly fishing trip on the lower Salmon River at the Douglaston Salmon Run. The fishing reports coming out of the lower river the five days leading up to my trip were spectacular. The Kings and Cohos were consistently moving into the river. There weren’t large pods of fish, but rather hundreds of fish evenly spread out throughout the day, creating perfect fall salmon fishing conditions. I was excited to get back on the water. I arrived in Pulaski late Friday night and my head hit the pillow some time after midnight. When the alarm on my phone chimed in the dark telling me it was 5:00AM and time to get up, it took a lot of will power not to hit snooze. I gathered up my gear, packed my truck and headed to The Lakeside to grab breakfast before the sun rose. By the time I was paying my bill, the sky was full of light and I was anxious to wet a line. I drove to the Douglaston Salmon Run, picked up my day pass and got my 10’-8wt Scott Flex fly rod ready for battle. The water level out of the reservoir had recently been dropped to 350CFS so I erred on the side of lighter tippet and went with 2X fluorocarbon Trout Hunter to the fly.

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Sandy Creek & The Altmar King

On Friday evening I convinced Janelle to come to New York with me to find out what was happening with the mid-September salmon run. By 5:00AM Saturday we were halfway to Pulaski and I was debating driving past the Salmon River and heading further north to see if we might discover King salmon in Sandy Creek. The reports out of the lower Salmon River had been consistent for a couple of weeks. Each day pods of King and Coho salmon were seen moving into the Douglaston Salmon Run (“DSR”) from the estuary. With fishing guides buzzing about the DSR, I figured Janelle and would experience less fishing pressure on Sandy Creek. At 7:00AM we found ourselves scouting the parking lots in Ellisburg and Mannsville. There were cars in the lots, but all I saw were New York license plates and this is typically a good indication that only the locals are on the fish.

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First Time on The Oak Orchard River

When I get it in my head that I want to accomplish something, good luck trying to stop me. I’ve wanted to catch a western New York giant lake-run brown trout on a fly rod for a couple of months now. From all the reading I’ve been doing online, November has looked like the best month to make it happen. And the location that has looked the most promising is one of the Lake Ontario tributaries in Orleans County, New York. I’m talking Sandy Creek, Johnson Creek, Marsh Creek, and the famous Oak Orchard River. I’d never been to the “Oak” before and so on Friday I got up early and made the trek to Albion, New York. Instead of going straight to the river, I decided to stop at a local tackle shop to talk and try and get any intel I could on what was happening and what I could do to increase my chances of landing a giant brown. I arrived at Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge (Orleans Outdoors) around 6:30am.

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