Around this time of year local anglers customarily migrate up to Pulaski, New York to fish for really big fish. The draw is New York state’s annual salmon/steelhead run that occurs in early fall when king and Coho salmon and steelhead trout upwards of 30 pounds and more migrate from Lake Ontario into the Salmon River at Pulaski, New York, and other offshoot tributaries, to spawn.
And some of the fish in the run are already spawning according to Mike from Mike’s Bait & Tackle in Nazareth. Said Mike, “Several of my customer’s report fishing is phenomenal and the best the run has been in a long time.”
The draw to catch big fish in a small river or stream is a treat unlike anything available here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Some anglers, however, opt to fish the lake by boat where the fish begin their journey into the rivers and streams.
According to my friend Tom Marchetto of Easton, who makes the yearly trip to Pulaski and who has recently returned, had this to report.
“This year's recent Salmon River trip with my three buddies had a really decent week no matter what area of the River we covered. There were fish from top to bottom but we had the most luck fishing the Staircase (lower end). The water flow for the week was fairly steady at about 400cfs. That’s more than enough flow to keep fresh fish in the river.
The preferred bait was a mix of imitation eggs (plastic) and various flies made by one of our very own. We were in search of Coho salmon and had agreed to catch and release the King salmon although two large Kings did come home with us for friends who wanted some for smoking. When it comes to
eating what you catch, we all agree Coho is far better. Most of our Coho were caught at the Staircase (nine of them) and plenty of Kings to tire us out during the day which were released if landed. Overall we brought home 12 Coho and two Kings. Most all the fish seemed to be larger than usual with the Kings around 25lbs and the Coho around 20lbs. The weather during that week was unusually warm for October with daytime temperatures in the low 70's. We agreed we had another successful year and look forward to next year's trip.”
Chris from Chris’ Bait & Tackle in Mertztown echoes this report saying his reports indicate fishing is good most days but some days it’s off. Water flow last week, where his buddies fished, was 300 cfs and another buddy fished the mouth of the inlet from boat and had 86 hook-ups on eggs and sponges. He added that he understands fish are still staging in the lake so fishing may continue to be good for a period.
The Oswego County Fishing Hotline also reported salmon spawning in the shallow gravel areas but fishing remains fairly good at Pineville.
Willie from Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon said some of his customers traveled to Pulaski and said it was the best fishing they had there in 25 years. But the run was tapering down where they fished. On the other hand, Willie said he had excellent catch reports from Oswego, Genesee and Niagara rivers in New York State.
For those who don’t want to make the lengthy trip to Pulaski, Willie reminds anglers that parts of the Little Lehigh were stocked with trout as was the Bushkill and Brodhead creeks. So trout anglers get a last shot at some local fishing action under somewhat low water conditions.
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.