Salmon river crowds - October [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Salmon river crowds - October

08-31-2003, 07:47 AM
Just how bad are the Salmon river crowds during the King salmon run? I'm tempted to go up there but don't want to get into a combat fishing situation.
I'd probably get a driftboat guide - does that give me at least a chance of getting away from the notorious crowds?

08-31-2003, 08:46 AM
There is lotsa water to cover and a driftboat&guide will be a big help in getting away from the masses. Also-try going midweek(if you can). The crowds can be intimidating, but there are places to get away from them.

Jim Miller
09-01-2003, 08:31 AM
after Columbus Day the crowds thin out a bit. Go midweek if possible. At that time you will be fishing to mostly "dark" salmon that are up river and starting to spawn. If you are willing to walk a can find some solitude....not Alaska....but not shoulder to shoulder. It is possible to catch alot of Salmon in a day. Some are "fresh" and many are tired. Also in October the steelies and browns will be in the river......munching on eggs. (much more fun!)

IMHO...I don't think you gain much with a driftboat during Salmon season....unlike the benifits for access in the Winter. Each hole will have anglers at Daybreak.....and arriving in a driftboat to fish their water will not gain you or the captain any "new friends."

Send me a PM when you are close to going and I'll give you the up to date Skinny.
In October....egg patterns and small dark nymphs.....bigger woolly buggers when they are spawning.
Good Luck

Also Early in the Run (SEPTEMBER)...Try the Douglaston SR.....$15 pp...but worth it. Once you are on the property.....walk away from the crowds and fish the pocket water and downstream pools and runs for fresh fish.:D :D

09-01-2003, 08:08 PM
The DSR now costs $20 a day.


09-03-2003, 06:53 PM
Well, Marco and I I just booked Dave Barber for October 8, 9 and 10. Told him our main goal is to avolid crowds as much as possible, and he seemed confident he could accomodate. We fish with Dave whenever we're up near Pulaski, and have had a great time in the past.

BTW, I'd much appreciate any hints on tackle and flies. I got all I know from Randy Jones' website and Kustich's book, and I would appreciate anything you folks can add. We've never fished for Salmon river kings before. What patterns should I be tying?

09-03-2003, 07:19 PM
I wish that reply were true for ALL Marco's :(

Jim Miller
09-03-2003, 07:38 PM
Dave Barber is a very well respected guide on the river! He will put you on fish. Fly patterns depend on what part of the river you are fishing.

Lower river : the fish are fresh and have not been harassed too much. Estaz patterns, estez buggers, bigger brighter patterns.

Upper River: the fish are more skittish. I use mostly trout flies: size 10-12 black stonefly, 12-14 caddis, Hares Ear 10-14. muted egg patterns, small olive & black wooly buggers. I usually use 8 lb flourocarbon upstream and 10-12 lb downstream. I'm sure Barber will show you some of his favorites.

If you are "chuckin and duckin" be aware of the new 4 foot leader rule. (no more than 4 foot of leader from fly to weight...then heavier "mono mainline" can go from weight to running fly line.
See if you can get Dave to bring you to areas where you can fish with a sinktip or floating line....just like trout nymphing.....minimize drag, mend and hug the bottom.
That is the most important thing...the fish are on the need to be in a zone from 6" to 1 foot off the bottom with your fly to have success....with a natural drift. Good Luck!

09-03-2003, 11:05 PM
What I remember most.(Bresides the fishing and my stop at Copperstown with my boys), was when we went into Pulaski and almost everybody was dressed in waders... people going in and out of the Super Markets, out of the drug Stores, walking from one place to another. Bridges packed with people fishing in town. Someone in plain clothing looked out of place. the Douglaston Run was less crowded and this was in October if I remember correctly.

Jim Miller
09-04-2003, 07:04 AM
Even a funnier sight when 4 guys in waders (with corkers on) get out of Mercedes to get coffee at 4 AM. He He :hehe: :hehe:
It's like going to the track in Saratoga....lot's of interesting sights!
:whoa: :whoa: :whoa:

16 lb steelie a few years ago in late October. (notice the hat.....Cowboys had a team then!)

09-04-2003, 09:28 AM

If you're going to fish with Dave he will probably supply the flies. If you are planning on fishing on your own you should start cranking them out now because you will loose a ton of them to the rocky bottom. IMHO if you're not losing 10 flies a day there you're not getting down deep enough.

Hopefully you will encounter some crappy weather and chrome while you're there. I had my best day on the river last October in a snowstorm - 2 cars in the DSR lot....but many, many bright steelhead to play with :devil:

09-05-2003, 07:11 PM
Dave does supply everything, but I much prefer to fish with my styuff unless it's clearly inappropriate. What should I be tying?

10-06-2003, 08:06 AM
Well, we're off. I was surprised Barber wants me to bring a use a 12 wt with a Penn 4. He says he'll provide Orvis 12 wts with Pate tarpon reels. I have no clue what kind of fishing we're heading for. Do you folks commonly use 12 wts up there for salmon???

Jim Miller
10-06-2003, 08:17 AM
9 to 10 foot ...8&9 wts. (for me anyway)
Good Luck! It looks like the major run has started.:D :D

10-11-2003, 06:26 AM
We had a good time.
On 10/8, I don't think we waited more than 15 mins for a king hookup all day. Lots of doubles, lots of fun, just a couple people in sight. A bunch of cohos in the mix, too. We lost track of the numbers by 10 a.m., and both learned a lot about fighting big fish on light tackle. My 12 wt was just the tool, but Marco was hanging on just fine with a 9 wt. I saw more backing on that 12 wt than probably ever before, and got some excellent coaching on sinktip techniques.

10/9 still lots of fish, but they came in bunches, with ~ 1hr quiet periods in between. I had one take me a good 500 yds downstream on a 12 wt and 12# tippet. Each of the people that saw us on 10/8 brought a horde of buddies, so things were getting a bit tight and rude by mid-day.

10/10 a zoo in the area by 9. We left and drifted down prospecting for steelhead. Got only one, but Marco scored a beautiful brown. We got great pics of Marco with his 34# king, 19# coho, and 7# brown. I got my first introduction to spey casting, and even managed to flub out a few casts somehow. Very addictive. Dave Barber is an excellent teacher. Diametrically different from the meatpit attitude on the river.

Dam release was 700 cfs, with the water down by Pulaski close to 1000 cfs.