Salmon River Guide, Pulaski NY

Articles of the Salmon River Guide

Species Profile Brown Trout - By Ditchrat

German Brown Trout, German Trout, English Brown Trout, Von Behr Trout, Lochleven Trout, European Brown Trout, Truite, Breac, Gealag, Searun Trout, sewien or Brownie are just a few of the many names given to Salmo trutta. But by any other name Salmo trutta is still our beloved BT or Brown Trout.

Brown TroutBrown Trout are found in water through out the U.S. where 55 to 65 degrees F waters are normal. Although the optimum temperature range for Brown Trout is 50 to 60 degrees F, browns can tolerate water up to 70 degrees F. Brown Trout are typically found in cold to cool water streams, rivers and lakes from the smallest mountain brook to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. However in large still bodies of waters Brown Trout are typically found near shore and with-in tidal estuaries, and shy away from open water. Browns are a highly adaptable species and coupled with their wariness are often the only fish left in a put and take stream long after opening day has come and past. Many stocked Brown Trout will winter over and begin to spawn the following year, in all but the poorest quality waters.

Brown TroutLife history:
Brown Trout are typically fall spawners and will begin spawning runs as early as September on some major rivers. Once temperature reach the mid to high 40's browns will seek out gravel and begin spawning. Females will dig redds and deposit 4,000-12,000 eggs which one or more males will fertilize. Eggs will hatch the next spring and for the first few weeks the young will feed off the remaining egg sack.
As the young mature they will begin feeding on insects and small crustations. As their size grows so does the size of their food items, which now includes crayfish, mice birds, frogs and fish. Browns feed heavily at night and have been seen feeding on bats that have mishappenly fallen into the water.

Searun and Migratory Browns:
Although highly adaptable Brown Trout are also very opportunistic feeds. On many waters the Brown Trout's diet consists heavily of other smaller fishes and trout. Resident Brown Trout can and will quickly wipe out a population of smaller fish on many small bodies of water. Although genetics may account for Brown Trout to become migratory it is widely accepted that lack of sustainable food source is one possible reason for Brown Trout to migrate. One can see this occurrence in the Searun Trout streams of New England. New England Searun streams are often little more then sandy tidal stretches running through marshes. Often these creeks are devoid of structure and hold only a limited seasonal food source. In cases like these creeks Searuns will live and feed in the estuary portion of creek and only enter the creeks during spawning periods, these fish are termed anadromous as they live in salt water and spawn in fresh water. Much the same can be said of small streams and creeks located in the Great lakes. Often they are too short, too low in the summer or do not offer enough of a food source for the Brown Trout. Because of one or another of these reason Lake Ontario receives Brown Trout fingerling from the creeks and streams ever spring, where they live and feed until they are ready to spawn, fish like this are called potamodromous as they migrate within fresh water only. From an anglers prospective it has been noticed that the waters with the worst summer conditions will often have the best fall fishery, with the Oswego being a great example.

Brown Trout Identification:
Brown Trout are generally olive to brown in overall color and tone. Typically the back and upper 13 of the body are dark brown to a gray brown. Lake specimens typically have silver lower sides with river fish having yellow to yellow brown sides. Large dark spots over the body of the fish surrounded by a halo typifies the Brown Trout, however in lake fish these spots may be subdued. Brown Trout will have reddish-orange or yellow spots scattered on the sides. The bellies of these fish can range from almost pure white to a yellow. Male Brown trout making a spawning run will typically exhibit vivid colors and a well develop kipe. Fresh lake run Brown trout are often confused with on of their relatives the Atlantic Salmon.

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Salmonids of the Lake Ontario Basin - By Ditchrat

salmonoidsThis is the first and introduction to a series of brief biological articles designs to provide Pimp My River members and guests with a biogical background (relative to angling) of the Order Salmoniformes of the Lake Ontario basin. Simply put formes roughly means form or shape, as a result Salmoniformes means salmon shaped. The basic feature that groups the fish in this order together is the presence of a soft adipose fin, and small scales and includes smelt and salmonids (trout, char and salmon). Three native species of salmonids of interest to anglers are the Lake Trout, Brook Trout, both of which are actually char and Atlantic salmon. Over the past 200 hundred plus years state and private individuals have introduced other salmonid species into the Lake Ontario basin which have found favor with anglers young and old alike. Some of these include the Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Steelhead (rainbow trout variant), Pink, Coho, and Chinook Salmons.

Chinooks where first implanted into Lake Ontario in 1873, and until the late 1960's received only limited and sporadic stockings.salmon salmonIn the late 1960's the State began the stocking of Chinooks and Cohos as a method of reducing the numbers of another non native fish the alewife, whose population exploded due to the rich algal growth caused by pollution. The salmon population grew rapidly on the abundance of forage and within 10 years a sport fishery was established. salmonSalmon have since then established themselves in almost ever major and minor Lake Ontario tributary including the Salmon River, Oswego River, Black River, Oak Orchard Creek, Eighteen Mile Creek and many unnamed smaller tributaries, through stocking and natural reproduction. By East coast standards the salmon of Lake Ontario are giants averaging from 10-20lbs with the state record being a 47lb Chinook. Pink salmon are uncommon in Lake Ontario and were first found in the NY state in 1979. Pinks, also known as humpies, migrated into Lake Ontario nearly 25 years after the first 21,000 were stocked in Lake Superior. Pinks are now spread thinly through the Great lakes and are not found in fishable numbers in NY waters.

Rainbow TroutRainbow Trout and the migratory strain we call as a whole steelhead were introduced into Lake Ontario in the late an 1800's and existed only as small localized runs until the 1960's. NY state DEC currently three types of Rainbow trout, all of which are native to the pacific or western portions of the U.S. Domestic rainbows which general reside in the lake or year long in streams and rivers, as well as two strains of migratory rainbows, Chambers creek and the Skamania strain. Steelhead are typically 6-10lbs with 20lbrs not uncommon.

fishLake trout, actually a char, were nearly extinct in Lake Ontario because of an introduced species the Sea lamprey which gained access through the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1835.In the 1970's NY state DEC put in place a major effort to reduce the Sea Lamprey in the Lake. Today with the reintroduction of the Lake trout a healthy self supporting population adds to the fishery of the lake. While not often found in the rivers, Lake Trout are a possibility and a welcome addition.

Atlantic SalmonHistorically Atlantic Salmon were the most abundant salmon in the lake and were found in all the major rivers. Lake Ontario's Atlantics once reportedly grew to 100 lbs According to NY State DEC, saying about Atlantic "They were so abundant that spearing them was easy and netting could result in catches of more than 100 fish per boat on a good night". Unfortunately due to over fishing, habitat destruction and damming report such as this are a thing of the past as atlantics became extinct by the late 1800's . Today Atlantics are stocked in only in limited numbers, and are currently having low returns to the rivers.

Brown TroutBrown Trout exulted for their wariness were introduced from Germany in the 1800's and have adapted to both a river and lake existence. First introduced into NY waters by the NY Fish Commission, now part of DEC, as eggs from Germany fish and reared in the Caledonia fish Hatchery. Browns quickly out compete the native brook trout and establish self sustaining populations. From Canada to PA and east to include Sea run populations on Long Island. Brown trout whether lake or stream dwelling develop a taste for other trout and will often empty a body of water of all small trout. Brown trout often migrate from the lake where shore angles can have opportunities at catch record sized fish such as the 33 lb state record.

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Which Fly Rods - by Fishy Fingers

Many people want a simple recommendations on fly rods........so here is a not so simple guide to prospective buyers.

Does a $1,000 fly rod out perform a $100 fly rod?
Yeah, if you can cast it!

Almost all modern fly rods are respectable casters with the proper line. Every rod has a "grain window" it is designed to perform in. Grains are a standard weight measure, unlike "line ratings". All 8wts. are not created equal. There are rods that cast well with 10-60ft. of line out of the top guide. These rods are versatile tools that do everything "well". They have a big "grain window". These are "utility" rods that perform admirably in a variety of situations.

MOST big $$ rods are designed to perform in a narrow "grain window" (go pick up an old Sage RPL smart ass know it all, and you'll agree quickly!). MOST $$ rods are designed to perform OUTRAGOUSLY well in a specific situation.

The following is a guide to help you in the rod picking process.
1. Choose your "line weight".
2. Choose your length.
3. Choose your brand/model.
4. Fine tune with "grain weight".

The following recommendations are for steel only. I don't want to taint this post with filthy mud shark talk. (I'll share my feelings on that in Sept., Fly Guy"). LOL

1. If you want a single hander, a 7wt is hard to beat.........."but what about the 20 lbers? Won't an 8wt control them better"?
Yes, BUT, if your fishing a single hander chances are you're either bottom bouncing or nymphing with light line. A 7wt will protect your light tippet. PERIOD!!!!
If a spey rod is what you're after then an 8 or 9 is the ticket. Your targeting active fish with heavier tippets. The 8 or 9 will have the nuts to push that T-14 or QD 8 out.

2. The only draw backs to a longer rod are in transport and tight cover. They give the angler more sport, and the fish a more humane fight. Line control is easier and more precise. They enable you to "clear" more line before the forward cast. Longer fly rods are better. PERIOD.
For a single hander 10-11.5 ft is great. For Spey, 12+....even 15+

3. Brands/models. These are MY opinions only, but at least they are all from the same point of view, not 20 different people.

St Croix...Great "Utility" rods. ALL their rods are pretty close in action. The bigger money ones are only SLIGHTLY faster and have better hardware. The entry level "premier" rods are perhaps the best rod for the money at $99 to be found anywhere.

Sage...You better be a world class caster. Almost all of their rods transmit little "feel" to the caster. These rods are like Swiss clocks....and your timing better be that accurate too!

Winston...If you like to feel a rod load into the cork, this is your stick. They are not wimps though. My 7' 3wt will double haul a #6 woolybugger 60 ft. That is a mile for a true 3wt that will also load with a trico and 10ft of line out!

G Loomis...GL3's are one of the most friendly, versatile rods ever built! Hands Down.
GLX's...They cast on a level all they're own. AND they also blow up more then all other rods put together!

Loop...I only know their spey rods, but they are awesome for the price (@450-650 US). They handle a wide grain window and are well appointed. Moderate to fast depending on series. I prefer "Blues".

Thomas & Thomas...The holy grail (for me anyway).
Single handers: Horizon...Fastest most unruly rod ever built!
Vector...All the performance of the Sage RPLXI without the timing ulcers.
Speys...1308, My next purchase. Anyone a loan officer? Best rod I've ever used.

4...I hope some of my past fiascos and forays help you find that new rod you want. Before you do get that rod.....CALL THE MANUFACTURER, AND GET THE "RECOMENDED GRAIN WINDOW"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you prefer to "feel" the rod load, buy a line at the high end of the grain window. If you're a fast rod, timing guy, buy a line in the low end of the grain window.

Anybody who has opinions on Manufacturers/Models feel free to jump in. Here's your chance to compile a database for future reference.

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