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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #16  
Old 11-29-2017, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

Fishing for Atlantic's is on my bucket list. Think I'll be able to make it up there before they're gone (and I'm too old to tie a shoelace)
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  #17  
Old 11-29-2017, 03:15 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

I erroneously posted on the other thread. Unless you plan on a long and expensive trip to the Maritimes, forget sea-run salmon. Landlocked salmon are a substatute that while way smaller, feed readily. I think the Atlantic salmon fishery in the Great Lakes which is being restored has some river running fish which take more readily than oceanic ones. Pacific salmon in the Great lakes which they lift or foul-hook in the spawning rivers, are not fishing and often referlred to as "combat fishing". Don't touch it. Steelhead, on the other hand, are true angling but that is off the subject. If you live in the northeast and have never fished for steelhead on L. Ontario's Eastern shore, you are making a big mistake.
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2017, 11:50 PM
Redando Redando is offline
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

I used to fish the steelhead in the Salmon River, Oswego River and all the tributaries of Lake O up through Rochester. Had a ton of fun doing it. Salmon, Monster Brown Trout and Steelhead.

With that being said the best trout fishing I ever experienced was in Milwaukee Harbor, Wisconsin in the shadow of the Sky Scrapers. Guys in suits walking by and were pulling teen sized brown trout and Steelhead. Incredible.


For overall WOW factor try the Olypmic Peninsula in Washington State. I stayed in a town called forks and fished the XXX Duc, Calawah and Hoh Rivers. Natural Steelhead straight from the Pacific Ocean. Mean as demons.....and giant. I saw a guy catch a 45 inch steelhead they called 27 lbs. One of the top ten coolest fish I've ever seen.
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  #19  
Old 11-30-2017, 02:21 AM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

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Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
I erroneously posted on the other thread. Unless you plan on a long and expensive trip to the Maritimes, forget sea-run salmon. Landlocked salmon are a substatute that while way smaller, feed readily. I think the Atlantic salmon fishery in the Great Lakes which is being restored has some river running fish which take more readily than oceanic ones. Pacific salmon in the Great lakes which they lift or foul-hook in the spawning rivers, are not fishing and often referlred to as "combat fishing". Don't touch it. Steelhead, on the other hand, are true angling but that is off the subject. If you live in the northeast and have never fished for steelhead on L. Ontario's Eastern shore, you are making a big mistake.
NY's Samon River IS combat fishing during salmon season...but I wouldn't say "don't touch it". Many anglers do "lift" or " line" the fish, but many fish ethically...and you CAN find fish away from the crowds. Like Atlantic salmon, chinook and coho salmon may require a lot of casts before you get a take, but it happens. There are 2 catch and release areas out there also...fly fishing only. Many salmon caught there legitimately and most are fairly respectful there.

I've caught many landlocked Atlantic salmon, but that's a whole different dynamic. They're stocked in several Adirondack lakes somewhat on a put-and-take basis. Lake Champlain does have fish that run up a few rivers and spawn. Most are caught in the lakes while trolling smelt pattern streamer flies. I had the pleasure of catching a small one in the Schroon River that must have come down from the lake (yes, a river outlet)...took a wooly bugger on the fly rod. The few I've gotten in Champlain and Lake George were incredible fighters. Most were only 18-21" but trolled on light monofilament tackle, jumped like crazy. Got a small one with a spoon when I sight-cast to a splash too.

They've tried to re-introduce Atlantics to the Ct. River, and to Maine's Saco River. I don't believe either effort was successful.
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2017, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

We have landlocks in a couple of north jersey lakes, but my understanding is they are fished like salmonmeister mentioned... not my thing.

I've done the Salmon river thing, flyfishing, and it was fun, but not an overall draw enough for me to go back.

I have a friend who fished the salmon for steelhead for many years, though he can't take walking on the rocks any longer, but I may use his knowledge to pick out a time and year to go (this year, it has been extremely comfortable temps up there to date)

But the draw of Atlantics is there... I'll have to see what it will actually cost to get on some "reasonably" fishable waters. A trip to the midwest or pacific coast for steelhead would be a decent 2nd choice, if the Atlantics are just too crazy expensive.
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  #21  
Old 11-30-2017, 02:17 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

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Originally Posted by RobS View Post
We have landlocks in a couple of north jersey lakes, but my understanding is they are fished like salmonmeister mentioned... not my thing.

I've done the Salmon river thing, flyfishing, and it was fun, but not an overall draw enough for me to go back.

I have a friend who fished the salmon for steelhead for many years, though he can't take walking on the rocks any longer, but I may use his knowledge to pick out a time and year to go (this year, it has been extremely comfortable temps up there to date)

But the draw of Atlantics is there... I'll have to see what it will actually cost to get on some "reasonably" fishable waters. A trip to the midwest or pacific coast for steelhead would be a decent 2nd choice, if the Atlantics are just too crazy expensive.
RobS...tried to send a pm, but it says you're outta space...
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  #22  
Old 11-30-2017, 04:43 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

Rob, don't even think of sea-run Atlantic salon. They had to drop the Penobscot because the funding was prohibitive. What is left in the Maritimes is so depleated it is not worthy of your attention.

The Penobscot river in Maine was decent and hosted about 5,000 returns per year but everybody east of Chicago was going there and you waited for three hours in a rotation for a one hour pass. The return of fish was less than a half percent drawn from a million fry that cost a dollar apiece. In the end it was all catch and release. We went there all through the moratorium plus the striper years when all sales had been banned. Maybe 12 years and had a nice kitchen apartment, even had dinner with Steven King in the restaurant. I caught as many salmon as anybody, one morning I released five salmon with a top fish of 16 pounds; but most days it was exciting to have a salmon rise, look at your fly, then sound. Mainers don't like "folks from away" but the river, the fishery, and the overall ambiance of Maine was worth the native abuse. Remind me to tell you about the flies and their delivery. (Its time for cocktails.)
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  #23  
Old 12-01-2017, 02:43 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

Frank mentioned the hundreds/thousands of casts before an Atlantic (or Pacific) salmon will take. There are scenarios/conditions that increase your chances of a hookup. Some of those would be:

Number of fish in a run/pool

Freshness of the fish...fish that are recently in from the ocean are more receptive to offerings than "stale'' fish upriver...which brings us to...

Placement in the river...lower river fish have just barely stopped feeding.

...and then, placement in a pool or run. Fish respond differently when they're in the heads or tails ("tail outs") of pools than when they're milling about mid-pool.

A friend of mine fishes an area in Newfoundland where he hooks about 10 Atlantics a day. Some rivers you may get one follow up...in a week. My friend spends a lot of money and time to make the long haul from Albany, guide, lodge, etc. He's also one of the better fly fisherman out there...which helps.

(A side note on John: He belongs to a small lodge on a small Adirondack lake and manages/maintains their fishery...mostly brookies...some browns. He's a retired physician working...mostly for gas/lodging compensation, full time, evaluating streams for Trout Unlimited. The East Branch Ausable River freezes to the bottom every winter, making it incompatible with natural reproduction. He re-engineered the stream so that a section flows all winter. Fish now reproduce there, and he found a way to do it that cost one-tenth what the Army Corps of Engineers was asking.)
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  #24  
Old 12-01-2017, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

well, I guess I'll have to settle for actually getting out for steelhead before I get too old. Atlantics will remain a vague dream.
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  #25  
Old 12-01-2017, 07:01 PM
Tin Boat Tin Boat is online now
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

The mystique and traditions of fly fishing for Atlantic salmon are legendary, the rivers are breathtakingly gorgeous, and the fish are strong and beautiful. Years ago I had the good fortune to fish them in Iceland (caught 5) and Scotland (skunked). Probably made ten thousand casts and spent ten thousand dollars. I’m glad to have had the experience, and I’m worried about the survival of the fishery and the fish. But I prefer stripers, blues, albies, bonito, permit, tarpon and bonefish, all of which offer special challenges of their own and are far more accessible.
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  #26  
Old 12-01-2017, 08:01 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

Yes, Kib, I understand and agree with your post. I mean that you can jump through only so many hopes before you say screw it. For my wife and I, the trip is too daunting to travel to the Maritimes where it might be worthwhile. Also, the idea of casting to fish that are seeing your offer but let it glide by is tough for stripermen fly fishing. At the time when I did it on the Penobscot it was an exciting and novel kind of fishijg.
When my wife got her first Atlantic salmon, she asked, "how much can we get for this thing?" And I told her "for selling it, a jail sentence. for keeping it about the same." Then Joyce said, then what the phuck we doin this for"? "Sport", I reasoned..
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  #27  
Old 12-03-2017, 03:55 PM
Tin Boat Tin Boat is online now
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Daignault View Post
Yes, Kib, I understand and agree with your post. I mean that you can jump through only so many hopes before you say screw it. For my wife and I, the trip is too daunting to travel to the Maritimes where it might be worthwhile. Also, the idea of casting to fish that are seeing your offer but let it glide by is tough for stripermen fly fishing. At the time when I did it on the Penobscot it was an exciting and novel kind of fishijg.
When my wife got her first Atlantic salmon, she asked, "how much can we get for this thing?" And I told her "for selling it, a jail sentence. for keeping it about the same." Then Joyce said, then what the phuck we doin this for"? "Sport", I reasoned..
Tolstoy couldn't have said it better!
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  #28  
Old 12-03-2017, 05:39 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

Thanks, Kib.

I big part of the fun and frolic of Atlantis salmon fishing lies in the a belief, which is highly individualized, that certain fly patterns excel in drawing more interest from the salmon than others. It is something like the plug love that stripermen exhibit over certain plugs -- you know, yellow Rebels, blue Atoms, pikies. Some salmoneer gets a fish or two on a Bomber and looks down on other casters who fish the traditional wet-fly.
Consistent with fly fishing traditional issues is whether or not the keys to the castle are fly pattern or presentation. I breathe heavy on presentation, less on pattern but I play safe with both. I believe that the presentation -- riffling -- knocks the balls off of salmon and because I worship at both alters, it is done with a black bear/green butt fly because black, a thing I learned in the striper surf, has a strong siluette. which defies the notion that the fly fears anything. Salmon, being that they seem to think so much of themselves, are apparently pi**ed by the arrogance of a black fly. Phuck them, I always say; I fish and they choose. Next time here I will tell you about my life with riffling, why they call me Mister Smarty. Time for cocktails.
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  #29  
Old 12-03-2017, 11:48 PM
SALMONMEISTER SALMONMEISTER is offline
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

You may want to explain that "Bomber"... Striperman hear that word and think of a black or yellow shallow plug with 2 or 3 trebles!!!

Frank, what size/sizes of flies did you usually use?

You mentioned the Black Bear Green Butt...that one is popular for chinook and steelhead too. My buddy got 10 steelhead on that fly one day...in a smaller size. Initially I used hooks that were big...2. Now I tie salmon patterns on fours and sixes.
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  #30  
Old 12-04-2017, 03:14 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is online now
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Default Re: Fishing for Atlantic Salmon

The Bomber is a big dry fly, mine are two inches long, that is spun deer hair to spawle out under thread pressure. To get the deer hair to point outward from the large hook shank, you put the hallow deer hair under intense pressure; the more deer hair is attached, the better the Bomber will float. When you think you have added enough hair, a ball the size of a golf ball, you give the huge brown ball a haircut down to a cigar shape -- torpedo with a little black horns necklace. because deer hair floats so well, the creation will not sink. You throw it upstream so that it drifts down with the current giving it some occasional lifelike jiggles. The fly is controversial because some salmoneers believe that the fish will come up and look at it but never take. Not so. I have caught quite a few salmon on this wacky pattern. Inasmuch as it is highly visual in its use, when you see a salmon come up and look at it -- and he may come and look several times -- you must resist the urge to strike until you actually feel the take and pulls the Bomber down; oftentimes, the salmon's mouth is not closed and you end up pulling the fly away. Many anglers believe the Bomber to be a toy of the salmon. Seeing a salmon take a dry fly down, often after several salmon looks, is a real heart throbber. Your pants will never dry.

Its been years but I think my black bear/green butts were #8s. In order for my flies to riffle, I did not want them to be too big. Being a striper guy new to salmon, I accidently tied my fly to my leader the wrong way. My knot skills are kind of wanting and the fly would not go down the way it was supposed to. Rather, the fly rode the currents on top the wrong way and I was powerless to affix the black bear the right way. Instead the scruffy home tied beastly fly rode on the top leaving a vee in its wake. Inasmuch as I was known by some to be a writer of some importance, I just kept pretending that I knew what I was doing. Its a thing I have done in life practice many times. More on the riffle hitch tomorrow. Nearly time for cocktails.
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