The Salmon River in Pulaski, NY has been producing quality fly fishing for Steelhead since the beginning of November. The fish that arrived early in November came into the Salmon River with one purpose in mind, feed on King Salmon eggs. Now that it is mid winter and the majority of the King Salmon eggs are out of the system, the Steelhead are settling into their trout-like feeding patterns of eating a variety of aquatic life such as caddis larva, little black stoneflies, bloodworms, and sculpins. Although the quantity of the eggs in the system has decreased, Steelhead will continue to feed on any remaining eggs that float by them. The best fly patterns for Steelhead on the Salmon River during mid winter are natural colored egg patterns sizes 8-12, and traditional nymph patterns such as a Hare's Ear sizes 10-12. The odd ball that produces on occasion is a pink Squirmy Worm is size 10.
Now that we are officially in the dead of winter, the large adult Steelhead will begin to enter the Salmon River river during high water spells to make their way towards spawning grounds. February, in particular, is known to be the month that the largest Steelhead of the year are caught. To catch these large Steelhead, the presentation of your flies needs to be perfect. The water temperature in the Salmon River often hovers in the low to mid 30's. This will slow the Steelhead's metabolism, causing a decrease in feeding activity. One must put their fly directly in the feeding lane of a Steelhead and make sure that the fly is traveling the same speed as the current. To ensure that your flies are moving the same speed as the current, one can use a thin diameter 12' leader with split shot and an indicator. By doing a series of upstream and downstream mends, you will eliminate the drag of your fly line and your indicator will move freely down the river without drag or resistance.
The best places to locate winter Steelhead on the Salmon River are in the deeper and slower runs. Steelhead will look for this water as they want to expend the least amount of energy possible while still being able to actively feed.
There are plenty of dates available for drift boat fly fishing trips on the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY in February and March. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call or send us an email!