Took a drive up to Pulaski last week to see what was going on at the Salmon River. My first time there although I have fished western ontario tribs in the past for steel/browns later in the fall.
Mission: fool some salmon on my 9wt and fish for chrome.
I had never fished here for Kings before so I was surprised to find out that they are less agressive than the other GL species I have encountered in the past. This may be from the low water conditions or the incredible crowds that lined the banks of nearly every hole in the river. We also were not fishing "fresh run" fish - they had been in the river for the better part of a week. To call these fish spooky would be a gross understatement.
I will from now on refer to this as the "Snaggin' River" as I was appalled by the number of "fishermen" who hailed from just about everywhere to line, lift or flat-out snag their trophy in the back. What surprised me the most was to find registered guides doing the same thing
. Then they would play the fish to exhaustion rather than just break it off and give it a chance to get upstream.
Thank god for the less crowded fly only sections where my friend and I were able to actually see the fish snap at our flies and legally hooked and released a couple of 20 pounders (which did fight like hell and tested our drags and 10 pound tippets - very exciting). These fish were both large males with big kypes and looked a little fresher than the rest of their doomed compadres.
Saw one steelhead total for 4 days of fishing
In the future, I'll stick with the more agressive browns and steel of the western tribs. Maybe these salmon behave differently when they are fresh out of the lake or the water is higher, but for me, this just wasn't flyfishing.