Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fishing the Rapids during the Run

Coho taken in the rapids at the bottom of the Long Bridge Hole in Pulaski, N.Y.

This week marks the time to get excited about Oswego County’s salmon runs.

Oh sure, a few precocious kings and cohoes have been teasing gung-ho, big-game anglers since the end of August; but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Thousands of kings and cohoes will rip through the rapids from now until late next month. So many, in fact, cousin Staash claims “they’ll raise the water level a couple notches.”

You can bet the fish are gon’na draw legions of anglers from all over the Northeast, too.
Inexperienced in the ways of salmon in the fast water, most of these guys will think like humans and surround the big, deep  holes,  thinking they’re  the best spots to catch the trophies swimming around in their imaginations.

The fish are sure to be there, and fishing the rapids is one of the surest ways to find them.
You see, out in the big pond salmon are accustomed to being the biggest kids on the block. They bring that attitude with them when they enter the river, aggressively striking anything that gets in their way. Their confidence quickly fades after tasting the sting of a hook, or encountering excited anglers chasing after them.

That sends most of them heading for cover in the deep pools…where they encounter more hooks and more fish. So what’s a salmon to do?

And into the rapids it goes.
An exciting way to catch one is to swing a streamer through the current. Good patterns are wooly buggers in trout colors (brown or chartreuse) and Mickey fins.

Good spots to try on the Salmon River include Pineville Pool, Long Hole, Trooper Hole, Ball Park Run and Staircase.
Don’t be aggressive. Simply cast the streamer across the river and let the current swing it back to your side…and hold on.

After all, any fly-fisher can tell you: The drug is the tug!

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