Winter Windows (Salmon River Steelhead Report)

Last week, I pulled the plug on a Salmon River road trip, hoping the conditions would look better for the weekend after Christmas.  I must have not been the only one who asked Santa for good steelhead conditions, because by Friday, the water level was perfect, the air temperature was in the high 30s/low 40s, and there was no snow forecasted to make the drive difficult—so I made the run.

I’m glad I did.

The year-end steelhead bite was on fire. On Saturday, there were lots of anglers on the river, but plenty room to move around and find the fish. It ended up being one of my best numbers days for steelhead, topped off with one of my biggest steelhead. Word on the river was that Friday was even better—that’ll teach me to let my sick days expire.

Late December steelhead from the Lower Fly Zone on the Salmon River.
Late December steelhead and stylish headwear on the Lower Fly Zone of the Salmon River.

Word had definitely gotten out by Sunday, and there was a lot less breathing room on the river. Once you found a decent spot, you had better stay there otherwise another angler was ready to take your place. Fishermen who hadn’t slept through their alarms had a banner day, but those of us who hit the snooze button in their sleep still managed to catch enough fish to call it a good day.

Winter can be a slow time for fishermen in the Northeast, but keep a constant eye on the weather and fishing forecast. If a window opens that allows you hop on a cod boat, hunt for holdover stripers, road trip for trout or get on the ice, get out there and don’t let the winter slip by without wetting a line

4 on “Winter Windows (Salmon River Steelhead Report)

  1. Skip Montello

    Nice going Jimmy, I have caught my fair share of winter steelies in that very spot. Happy (fish catching) New Year.

  2. Dave Turner

    As you witnessed Jimmy, numbers don’t lie. The Salmon River in Pulaski NY is THE place to go for serious anglers looking for super-sized cold weather steelies!

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