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Jim Miller 10-01-2003 01:40 PM

Salmon River 9/30 report
Just got back from a day trip to the Salmon River.
We ended up fishing the fly zones. Arrived at the cemetery pool at 6:15.. parked at the church and went down to the one there! Had the pool to ourselves till 7:00 or so.....fished there till noon.....never really got crowded....maybe 25-30 guys...4 of which were in our group. Lots of fish in the pool..many fresh also. I fished dark nymphs and had a dozen good hookups, with 3 kings landed. My buddies had multiple hookups also....but none landed. It was fun without any of the foolishness that happens there sometimes. ( a good, fun bunch of guys fishing the pool.) BTW when leaving I stood up on the hill and looked into the pool.....a lot of fish in the pool....and fish coming in all morning!). In the afternoon (2-4) we fished the upper fly zone. not many guys there at all. The upper pool was loaded with salmon....but they had lock hookups....2 foul hooked fish, but I'd like to be there when those fish turned on . Again ,standing high on the bank, with good lighting, we were able to count over forty salmon in the pool. (some were dark but many were relatively fresh). Also , my buddy crossed the river below the pool and spooked allot of salmon in the fast they are there in force!
The river seems to have fish throughout. The major run is just beginning and at least for Tuesday the crowds were not bad. The run and resultant crowds will build in the next weeks.
Overall a fun and pleasant day OTW. :D :D :D

Jim Miller 10-01-2003 02:14 PM

1 Attachment(s)
early morning on the upper Salmon

BigDave 10-01-2003 02:19 PM


Sounds like you had a good trip. I fished Monday and Tuesday as well. Monday was a nightmare - 35 guys at meadow run before 7 in the morning and a poor run on Monday. I had guys jogging past me through the cornfield at dawn to get position...this is on a weekday. Unbelievable. Met with Mark NY to fish later that afternoon and hit the lower fly zone which was packed with people. We drove around to every hole on the river and all were overloaded beyond belief. Good to see some new water and steelhead holding lies for later in the year - thanks Mark! Finally stopped in at the upper fly zone where we found relative solitude but only dark fish that were not receptive to a fly.

Yesterday was better. Much less crowded and we got prime position in the meadow first thing and hit the run of fresh fish. We each had lots of good hookups, and very few foul hooked fish. This was a lot of fun. Unfortunately the cannonball and running line guys were snagging and flossing them left and right although I did see a few other flyguys getting legit hookups. By lunchtime the crowds were back so I headed back home.

I'd have to say the crowds and general lack of sportsmanship have finally worn me down on the salmon run. There is a certain amount of etiquette that goes along with the sport which seems to be lost on this group. I won't be taking any more trips up there aside from steelhead trips later in the year. Watching the throng of "anglers" :rolleyes: huddled around bridges, snagging dark fish that have been pounded to hell for days finally did it to me.

It's just not what flyfishing is about to me. Not really fishing at all from what I can tell.....

Jim Miller 10-01-2003 03:04 PM

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I was also going to try to meet Mark NY at the DSR. But, We were late in getting to the river and thought the DSR would be sold out. I guess we just lucked out with the crowd up river. I too was amazed that the Cemetary pool was not crowded.....I guess everyone went to the DSR with the prospect of a fresh run of fish. No one was snagging, lining, lifting that I noticed. There were alot of fish in the pool....with not that many hookups. I guess if one were inclined to snag etc. ......that there would of been a lot more fish on (of sorts).
The same seemed true in the upper fly zone. We had the pool to ourselves at 3:00. Fishing fairly; we had no hookups and 2 foul hooked fish that were broken off immediately. As I mentioned, the bottom was paved with fish.....we could watch as a fly swung thru the pod.....and the fish would separate and shy away from the fly and weight. They were not interested at all! Oh well......but it's better to not foul hook them.
BTW: after Columbus day and once hunting season starts, the crowds will disappear.....especially if you are willing to walk a little to find some solitude. I find Tues & Wed. to be the least crowded as those days do not tag onto a long weekend trip.
Interesting Observation: I'm in the cemetary pool and this guy comes to the river with no waders on.....just casual clothes and sneakers. We got to talking and he rigs up and starts to fish. I asked him what he would do if he hooked a fish that left the pool...he said he just breaks off any fish that he needs to chase! All the fish I landed...I had to chase downstream....the ones I hooked fairly and ultimately lost were also lost downstream of the pool. I don't understand how some guys can have such a lazy attitude!
Good luck in future excursions!

BigDave 10-01-2003 03:33 PM


I think you are right about everyone flocking to the DSR yesterday. You got lucky!

We tried a similar experiment on the fish in the fly zone. We'd watch a fly being drifted through the fish and they would all get out of the way. Don't know if this is from the pounding they take on a daily basis or their general inclination to shy away from a fly when they get that far upriver (stale). Either way - no one is going to catch them legally when they are like are the crowds just fooling themselves about "catching" fish when they are in fact lining them? Seems kind of sketchy to me.

Last year a friend and I stood and watched 2 off-duty guides snag fish after fish and play them all the way in. Kinda says something about the legitimacy of the upriver salmon fishery.

That said, we had a very fun day yesterday AM with agressive fish (cohos mixed in). Have also stumbled across good numbers of fresh steelhead on occasion which make for unforgettable fishing days. I'll be back - just not for the salmon run.

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