Category Archives: Fly Fishing Tips

Salmon River Kings Redux

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide, founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

I recently returned from my second annual trip in pursuit of King Salmon, at the Salmon River, in Pulaski, NY. During last year’s trip I hooked many, but landed only two Kings in three days of fishing. I became familiar with their rather intimidating size and power, but never achieved any sense of control over a hooked fish. It was simply a matter of hanging on and hoping for the best.

This year, as the date of our trip approached, we’d been very excited to hear reports of charter boats on Lake Ontario marking huge schools of salmon on their sonar units. This presaged a strong run of fish up the Salmon River. Although salmon had been trickling into the river for a few weeks, the main run had clearly not started yet. The water was too warm and the river too low.

We arrived on Sunday, September 16 to find unseasonably hot and humid weather conditions. On Monday and Tuesday our activities were limited to hiking and sweating and swatting mosquitoes. Some fish were in the river; we watched them roll and porpoise and occasionally leap out of the water. They were completely disinterested in our flies. Even the spin fishermen weren’t landing any, although there were some brief encounters which seemed more likely to have involved (hopefully) unintentional snagging than legitimate hook-ups. I began to despair of having any good fishing at all. more…

Water Visibility & Stream Trout Fishing – Part 5

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

The bottom line is that water visibility is an important factor dictating where and how aggressively fish will feed. Most of the time under high water visibility conditions, when you can see the bottom of the river clearly, it is unlikely you will catch a fish in that area. While under medium or low visibility conditions the same stretch can be a fish factory. This does not mean you should only fish deep holes. It means different areas of the river will be more productive than others depending on water visibility. Pay attention to different portions of the river and try to fish them when the water visibility is low or medium.

Remember, there is always an exception to every rule in fishing. If an area looks fishy and you can clearly see the bottom go ahead and take a cast or two. If nothing happens move quickly to another spot. Try to focus on shallower (less than two feet of water) fishy looking areas where you cannot see the bottom. Under those conditions it is medium or low water visibility. If you consistently do this, your fishing success rate will increase dramatically. more…

Water Visibility & Stream Trout Fishing – Part 4

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Woodbury MN

Low Water Visibility Leads to Shallower Holding Areas: In the summer when the water is very clear, the fish will hold in six to eight inches of water just before sun up, at sun down, or during the night. These are medium to low water visibility conditions. There is little or no light so the fish often move into very shallow water where they can feed easily.

Twenty years ago, I was fishing a run that just screamed “big fish!” I fished it all summer long during low light periods at sun up and sun down. No dice. Not a single fish came out of that run. One morning I got up early and arrived before the sun had risen. In fact, there wasn’t even a glow at the horizon. It was pitch dark. My heart was racing partly because it is uncomfortable to fish alone when it is dark and partly in anticipation of a nice fish.

I made a short cast to avoid accidentally hanging up on a tree or overhanging grass. I heard the #4 olive wooly bugger plop as it hit the water. Immediately the line came to a stop. Instinctively I set the hook and the fish ran upstream. I had never felt a fish that heavy before. It just went straight up the stream. A couple of seconds the leader snapped with a crack. I never saw the fish but the memory was well worth getting up early and the long walk through the dark to that run. more…