Image used by permission from @cotyswinson
Lake Ontario And River Summary
The key word for this report is TRANSITION. The reports from anglers this previous weekend were very mixed. You either hard a really good day or it was a grind. Because the reports were so up
and down I spoke with a few old timers and some guides and their mutual assesment was that the river was in transition. As the fish are getting ready to drop back the fish will begin to change their lies and also feeding patterns. However, despite the mixed reports the fishing overall is getting better each week.
This Coming Weekend
This weekend is going to present a lot of challenges due to the forecasted blizzard. My recommendation is that you reconsider your trip. Most steelhead anglers are okay with snow, but the speed in which it will fall and the wind will make things very difficult. On Friday and Saturday, the parking lots upriver may not be plowed as the forecast shows very rapid snowfalls. The most difficult part will be the wind at 50-60 MPH, so getting good drifts are going to be pretty impossible. Additionally, the wind could cause trees to come down and make things dangerous.
Image used by permission from @cobblecreekoutfitters
Three Guide Tips For Steelhead Fishing In Spring and Drop Back Season from @cobblecreekoutfitters a guide on the Salmon River NY. Andrew give us three tips to be successful fishing in the spring and in drop back season.
1. Fluctuations in water levels do not equate to lockjaw.
In the spring, when there are snowmelt and rain, the water levels will fluctuate frequently. Anglers get very nervous when the water goes up because they usually have a harder time. High water does not cause the fish to stop feeding, but it causes the fish to move their feeding lane. Understanding these changes will make you a better angler during this coming season.
2. Water temps can equate to lockjaw.
If water levels do not cause lockjaw, what causes fish to stop feeding? The biggest culprit of feeding change is water temp because changes in water temp will cause the fish to try to regulate their internal temp via their metabolism. They manage their metabolism via their feeding. Watching and seeing if water temps are fluctuating will give you a better idea of how productive you will be.
3. There should be a method to your madness. Steelhead fishing can move you to madness. However, to be more productive, you need to have some methodology to fish efficiently. The best anglers on the river are thorough and efficient. They will cover a piece of water with precision and thoroughness. If there is no fish in that run, then they move on, but they do not just discriminately cast.
Douglaston Salmon Run
The DSR announced that they are closed for today and potentially be closed tomorrow as more snow is predicted. Please check their page to see if they will be open this weekend.
The fishing at the DSR echos the fishing of the rest of the river. The reports had some doing well, while others were not able to get into fish. The transition most likely explains the mixed reports. However, fishing has improved from December and January and will continue to get better.
One question that I get all the time is if the DSR is worth the price of admission? In other words, will you catch a fish if you pay the fee? That is difficult to answer because there are so many variables. Although I cannot say whether you will catch a fish, I can confidently state you will have a better experience.
Town and Pulaski
There were better reports for the Town than in previous months. Most of the reports from Town were very slow until about two weeks ago, so look to see more positive activity in Town as Drop Back season goes into full swing.
If you are going to fish this weekend, then the Town pool is probably going to be the most productive for you. Because it is in the village, the village will most likely keep up with the parking lots, and the buildings around can be a bit of a shield from the wind. The high walls in the Staircase and Long Bridge will be wind tunnels, so it should be pretty challenging to get a good drift. Ball Park has been very quiet, so we do not see much activity.
81 to Altmar
This past weekend was up and down for most anglers, but it was good to hear that fish continue to spread out. Reports came in from 81 to the Lower Fly Zone. As discussed, we are in transition, so one day, you will have an incredible day, and the next day you will get shut out. For this weekend, the parking lots may not be cleared as the forecast states that snow will come down fast. The one area that may be cleared will be Tailwaters, as they will need to have their lot cleared for their guests. Otherwise, most holes will be hard to access probably until Sunday. For most steelhead anglers, snow is not an issue, but what should cause most anglers a problem is going to be the wind. Right now, the wind is at 24 MPH, and it seems pretty strong, and if the predicted 50-60 MPH should make drifts difficult. Winds could also cause trees to go down, so be careful. Good luck out there and be safe.
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