Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Landlocked Salmon Fishing - October 2012

John with fish on
There is a river I had been meaning to fish for a few years now and I finally pulled the trigger a couple of weekends ago. Spurred on by my friend John, we met at the river on a cold Friday morning. The landlocked Atlantic salmon run in the fall and John mentioned this was a good time to hook into a larger fish.

John was a great host and guide and gave me the lay of the land. He really knows the river inside and out and put me on some good water. Eventually, John had to meet his family for lunch, so I was on my own. Shortly thereafter it started snowing! 

These fish were spirited fighters

I fished a highly-trafficed spot which looked like classic salmon water. I wasn't confident about my choice in flies, so I reeled it up. I saw a salmon chase down my fly but she didn't take.  I thought, "What do I do now?" I put on an orange Mortensen Sunray Variant, put the rod under my arm, and stripped the fly in as fast as I could with both hands. That did the trick...the salmon absolutely NAILED the fly and was off to the races. John and I met up again that evening and he landed a nice salmon in some under-fished water. 

Did I mention it was cold? We were up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning. It was a frigid 28ºF. It took a little while for things to heat up, but we were into a couple of fish before we knew it. I got a nice 7 lb. hookbill on a #2 Ally's shrimp. Unfortunately, he was not very photogenic! John got a nice bright fish later that morning. It was fresh out of the lake and very silvery. 

Fresh from the lake! 

It was so cold, my car battery died that night and I had to have AAA come bring me a new one. It was just a minor inconvenience, I suppose. At least it happened after the fishing day was over, so I didn't miss anything. 

I was on my own Sunday morning. I went to a "sure bet" spot, but didn't hook a salmon. However, I did catch one of the lake's scarce run of small steelhead. This little guy was a spirited fighter, but was no match for my Sage Z-Axis 6wt. switch rod. 

Micro steelhead

I make a quick decision to head to another popular pool, hopefully before the crowds arrived. I got a nice salmon in the tail of the pool. I decided to head for home early. I've been burning the candle at both ends lately...working late and fishing early, trying to make the most of the fall. This was a great way to kick off fall salmon fishing for me. Thanks, John!!

Ally's Shrimp does it again

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