Fly-fishing guide Ted Lewis of Nahant, Massachusetts guided me
for my first visits to the Salmon River in Pulaski, New York. Before
the Salmon River, Ted guided me several times on the Deerfield
and Westfield Rivers in Massachusetts.
Sometime during this period Ted became a licensed guide in New
York State so he could provide guiding services on the Salmon River.
Then probably beginning in 1998 or 1999 Ted lured me to the Salmon
River. I got hooked!
The Salmon River, having a lot to offer, is listed by the Atlantic
Salmon Federation as the Westernmost Atlantic Salmon River. My
assumption was that the installation of locks for deep water shipping
ended the original runs of Atlantic salmon, but some natives claim
the cause was Great Lakes pollution and the Salmon river fish never
entered the St. Lawrence River towards the Labrador Sea. Once again
there are a few Atlantic salmon running the river, but now without
question Lake Ontario is their “ocean”.
Some 20 or 25 years ago the State of New York put in a State
fish hatchery on the Salmon River at Altmar, NY and introduced
Coho and Chinook salmon from the West Coast. The salmon enter sometime
in September followed by the Steelhead in October. The salmon spawn
and die and are all gone by mid-November. Their flesh and eggs
become food for steelhead.
In spite of being an Eastern freestone stream, the Salmon River
has an amazingly abundant food supply. The eggs and carcasses of
the salmon are combined with an incredible array of insect life.
A common sight when there is snow on the ground is watching stone
flies crawling on the streamside snow-banks. So, if one is a fisherman
who likes to turn over rocks to discover what fish might eat, he’ll
get hooked by this river as I did.