Salmon River in Upstate New York, is a beautiful place to fish. In fall huge numbers of Salmon enter the river from lake Ontario to spawn and then die and complete their life cycle. I made a two day trip to the river. Early September its mostly Coho Salmon. Mid September to mid October is Chinook or King Salmon season. End of October till February is Steelhead and brown trout season. These fish are huge by any standards here, the King Salmon average 20 pounds and some pushing 30 pounds. Steelhead average 10 pounds. I was totally under prepared in my tackle. I had my 8' St Croix Avid Surf rod which was a stiff rod with lot of backbone, but most people in the river were using a lighter rod with soft action. I didn't have a good reel either. I was using the Shimano Nexave 2500, and that had problems with the drag.
The first day was hard to fish, I didn't know the proper technique on drifting. On second day after observing how the locals fished and after talking to a lot of people I was hooking a lot of fish.
Hooking wasn't a problem then, landing was !! These fish were so strong, that I had my line break, leader broke, hooks bent etc. The bad drag on the reel wasn't helping. Overall I landed about 8 salmon, and may have hooked about 40. Here are some pictures from the trip.
On the crowded river, as soon as you hook the fish you yell "fish on" and when the fish goes upstream or downstream you follow the fish yelling "Coming Up" or "Coming Down" and run with the fish. As you pass people would reel in their lines so as to not to tangle you. Its quite a sight. To successfully land a fish you need a buddy with a landing net, otherwise you would lose most fish. I had some very helpful people net me the fish, but otherwise I was mostly trying to beach the fish and grab them by the tail.
It was a great experience, and I would do it again next year.
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