My latest adventure – “how & where to” guide for Salmon Fishing in upstate NY

The year was 1983 & I was 8 years old. My father decided he was taking me to Pulaski, NY to go Salmon Fishing. Twenty eight years later, we haven’t missed a year. If you’re looking for a manly man’s fishing trip that’s not too far off, this is a great place to start.

WARNING:

  1. These fish are strong! I DO NOT recommend this for a beginner’s trip.
  2. River currents can be strong, the water deep & rocks slippery. Don’t be a “bruto” – Spanish word for a moron who doesn’t use common sense.
  3. Plan your trip in advance. Salmon season is short (mid/late September through October) & it can be challenging to find lodging.
  4. Purchase your gear in advance. Equipment can be is expensive once you’re there. See the bottom of the page for links to stores (Click here to see what I use).
  5. See #2 again & take me seriously. For all you “brutos” out there, you’ve been warned & you will get hurt if you’re careless.

Now for the fun…….

We left King of Prussia at 4 AM (they had to convince me) & 2 pit stops later we’re eating breakfast at Mapleview Family Restaurant in Parish, NY. It’s a long trip so it’s good to know a few good restaurants along the way. If you’re hungry try the “Big Rig” or “Breakfast Blizzard”. (Click here for direction to all stops). Don’t forget to enjoy the foliage on the way up!

With renewed energy we went to see where it all begins at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery. It’s educational & suited for all ages. So don’t be a heathen, take a minute & learn something. Your wife will be proud. Best of all, you’ll see a ton of king salmon (Chinook) & silver salmon (Coho). After seeing all those fish, we were fired up & ready to go!

A few miles off we started fishing at the Orwell Brook. The Orwell is a small stream with deep pools & little to no crowds. Now keep in mind much of the surrounding land is private & you may need to pay to cross their land. Once there, we found the salmon! I decided I was going to play cameraman & angler at the same time. Sorry for the bumpy video but it gives you a good idea of how these fish fight.


After catching our limit (3 per day), we loaded up our fish & made a quick stop at Fat Nancy’s Tackle & Fly Shop (side note, dragging 60 to 70 lbs worth of fish for ½ to 1 mile uphill is NOT easy. Bring your inhaler cupcake). If you forget anything these guys have it all, but expect to pay a premium. Here you can find a guide, lodging, equipment, etc. In case you’re wondering, Fat Nancy is a fish not an obese older woman who owns a tackle shop. Sorry to disappoint you.

 

By 5 pm we’re beat so we head off to check into our cabin at Catfish Creek Campground. If you get a cabin, it’s great. The trailers, not so much BUT, they are cheaper. I prefer to spend a few bucks more for the cabin. We chose CCC because it’s close to a number of fishing holes, the owners are friendly & the salmon/steelhead fishing is outside your doorstep.

 

 

The next few days we drove between fishing holes, caught a ton of fish, shared fish stories & created memories that will last a lifetime. Salmon fishing is the guy’s guy ultimate bonding trip. I have to say thanks to my dad for making the decision 28 years ago to take me fishing.

One thing is for sure, if you go, you won’t regret it. Take your kid too. He’ll love you for it. I know I did. Feel free to shoot me an email for additional tips on where to go & what to do while you’re there.

 

What I use: Links for equipment:

Orvis Chest Waders – Light weight, breathable, comfortable. If you plan on using your waders hard, spend the few extra bucks. If not get a pair from Cabela’s bargain bin.
Cabela’s Ultralight 2 Lug Wading Boots – I walk (sometimes even run chasing fish) with these which is hard to do with heavy boots. Make sure you use the metal studs as the rocks are VERY slippery. You can also just buy corkers (spiked shoe that attaches to boot). Don’t go with just rubber boots unless you like to swim in cold water.
Shimano Stradic CI4 fishing reel – Super light weight which makes it easier on an old injury to my shoulder
PrecisionPak Vulcan Fannypak – I like a fanny pack because it’s small & you have everything you need around your waist. You can also pick one up at Walmart.
Rapala Stainless Steel Fishing Pliers – These are a must. You can cut line, remove hooks, clamp down split shots, etc with these. I clip mine to my belt & have a cord tied to one end in case I drop them. Regular pliers will work too but I use mine for several kinds of fishing.
Costa Del Mar Polarized Fishing Glasses – I like my Costa’s which are lifetime guarantee. If you’re just starting get some a cheap $20 pair. Serious fishermen will drop about $150 to $200 on these.
Utility box – Buy 1 small one for your gear. You’ll only need hooks/flies, split shots (weights) & plastic eggs or sponges.
Crazy eggs or wally wogs – get a few packs as you will lose quite a few
Owner hooks – these hooks are sharp! The sharper the hook, the less fish you’ll lose.
Tin split shots – again buy a few bags of these as you will lose them & they’re cheap.
Salmon fishing rod – personal preference here – I like a 8’6″ to 9″ medium action rod.

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