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Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon Amazing "Inland ocean" fisheries

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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-18-2006 07:51 AM
Shaq Everything Charlie and others said is right on, I use everything from rabbit streamers tied on q-tip tubes that are 5 inches long to #12 nymphs on the kings. Most of the time I am using a 14 foot 10wt and do just fine. In the lower river I like a stripped down akroyd on a #2 hook black in the front and chartruece in the back. or black and pink. Seem to be my best combos. Last year, we had a high water year and even peak season on a saturday I had pools all to my self. Nobody like to walk anymore.
05-16-2006 07:14 PM
jlsmithii i use a 9 wt and fish big comet patterns. i know other people who fish smaller nymph patterns and egg sac patterns. fly selection varies greatly.
enjoy yourself
05-16-2006 03:42 PM
BigDave I wouldn't target kings with anything less than a 9. Keep in mind many of them are going to be over 20#. If you let them get downstream of you in a heavy current it's usually "game over" no matter what rod # you use.

I have had the best luck with fish actually taking streamers on the swing all the way down in the Meadows at DSR. I think many of the people upstream are lining fish more than anything else (hook on the outside of the mouth).
05-16-2006 03:20 PM
Dble Haul Good information, guys.

By the sounds of the size of these fish, a nine or ten weight doesn't sound like too much. Am I in the right ballpark?
05-16-2006 01:20 PM
Jim Miller I've done well early in the season with a simple "Spanker" type fly. Flashabou tail & wraps of Estaz Grande around the hook shank. Not exotic or very pretty ....... but the agressive kings slam it. Chartruse, Orange, Red
05-16-2006 12:35 PM
Charlie Mark,

The type of fly used can vary incredibly for Kings in the Great Lakes. I have seen them caught on huge streamers and wet flies when there is not much pressure and the water was high and I have seen them caught on small micro egg patterns when the pressure was high and the water low. With that said, the green butt skunk is my favorite pattern for them.

05-16-2006 09:11 AM
Dble Haul Thanks everyone. You have confirmed what I have been told:

1. There can be crowds, and they can use less than honest means to catch fish.

2. You can avoid some crowds by getting to out of the way runs and pools.

3. You can avoid some crowds by fishing a bit earlier in the season.

What type of flies are you guys using? Something bigger than the standard steelhead flies?

05-15-2006 09:14 PM
jlsmithii i routinely fish the salmon run. yes there are plenty of less than sporting fishermen but you can still enjoy honest fishing for some large fish.
early in the season and fish the DSR. or go later in the fall and hit the steelhead.
likewise, off of the easy access holes will offer some solitude believe it or not.
hope you enjoy
05-15-2006 05:35 PM
Jim Miller Mark
fish in the first weeks of September. In the DSR and lower river. Not as many fish.....but not as many fishers.
05-15-2006 03:37 PM
Gregory DeFoe
Fall kings

I used to go up every year in the early part of OCT but gradually moved my dates further back to target steel and avoid the crowds, Way back when, I've been going about 20yrs, it was an absolute mob scene. When they banned snagging it got a little better now with the gas prices it will probably thin out even more. The DSR did not have one sold out day this past season, hope it's a sign of things to come. I may take a few days and go up early this year not sure yet. I'll keep you in mind if I do.
As Juro mentioned the fishery has a rather tainted reputation and rightly so. It is frustating to see some of the methods used but you can still have a good time and usually catch some fish fairly if you fish for them correctly.
05-15-2006 03:37 PM
juro I fished for them quite a lot our west but can't comment on the GL kings... I am sure someone will.

The problem I observed in Pulaski was that many are fishing for them using less than honorable means and it degrades the experience for those who aren't. I don't think I saw any fish hooked in the mouth when I was there during the fall king run but I just stopped at the big easy access pools.

A pod of kings will become very wary once they feel there are threats from the shore and it turns the bite off, which makes anglers get more devious, which turns the bite off even more, and the anglers get more itchy, a vicious cycle that leaves the honest angler out of the circle.

I used to fish in tidewater out west before the crowds had a shot at them and did much better; I would imagine the same applies here. I would pay the fee and fish Douglaston Salmon Run down low.

The fish I caught out west were ocean run kings up to 38 # and a real test for the tackle. They would turn on and off like a light switch in terms of grabbiness for flies on the swing. Best times were twilight, morning and eve. I did best where the fish were close to the mouth but stopped or slowed by some structure. It seemed they would get awful anxious and sometimes rip the rod out of the hands, other times a subtle dull weight turns out to be a fish.

One thing's for certain - they are BRUISERS.
05-15-2006 12:33 PM
Dble Haul
Fall King Salmon runs

So, does anyone here hit the fall king salmon runs? I heard mention of them for the Salmon River and other locales for Lake Ontario, and my interest is peaked.

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