A report from Jin for mikescatchreport.com
DAY 1: December 19, 2007
Snow, cold, and Christmas shopping kept most fishermen away from Pulaski. Even the Lower Fly Zone had only two anglers last night.

Greg Liu and I fished the Douglaston Salmon Run with two other fly fishermen and their guide. We had the 2.5 mile stretch of water to ourselves. There was about a foot of snow on the ground and ice ledges lined the river, making it tricky to get in and out of the water. We had to dodge chunks of floating ice and I almost got taken out by a two-foot chunk that hit my leg.

The river was flowing at about 335 cubic feet per second and ice covered the Meadow Pool and everything below. We worked the Rock Pool but I couldn't buy a strike so we crossed the river and worked couple other sections without a bite. We continued down to the Spring Hole and finally I landed my first steelie. It was a small guy around 8 pounds. Not much of a fight but it was a bright Chromer.

We spotted Bob and Rob fishing the Jos Pool above us and they were landing a ton of fish. They motioned us to join them so we spent couple hours there and I hooked two steelies. One broke me off. The second fish broke the tip of the rod. Hmmm....this rod breaking is starting to become too common.

We walked up to fish the flats but didn't get any more bites today.

DAY 2: December 20, 2007
It snowed another inch last night. Air temperature dipped into the mid 20s overnight but warmed up to a balmy low 30s by morning. Water temp was 33 degrees. Once again, we had the entire river pretty much to ourselves.

We started fishing the lower end of the Salmon River where we had some success the previous day. Fishing was slow. Lots of drifts through pools and slots before finally landing my first steelhead late morning. It was a 5 pounder that was still bright but starting to change color. I hooked another fish in the same spot but the take was so subtle that I thought I had hooked floating ice. A chunk of ice on a fly feels a lot like a medium sized steelhead---for the first 10 seconds or so.

We moved up river and started to cover more spots. I spooked one steelhead that was sitting next to the ice that had formed on the edge of the river. We followed him for a bit but gave up when he tucked under the ice.
Finally around mid morning, we hooked and landed a fat steelhead. A couple of casts later I hooked another fish, much brighter than the first one, in the same spot.

The fish charged me, spun around, and took off, throwing my fly. It took me awhile to figure out what happened. He was couple feet away from my legs when he turned. The Steelhead are unpredictable and that's why we spend hours in the freezing cold trying to catch them.

We spent the entire day breaking ice off the guides. The fly line started to freeze up later in the day as air temperature fell below freezing. Try throwing any amount of line when the fly line is frozen AND the guides are iced up. It was challenging.

With all the snow on the ground, it was pretty easy to tell what sections of the river had been fished. We walked upstream to some virgin water and worked a riffle with couple casts. It didn't take long before we hooked another decent sized steelhead. He had a little spunk but we kept him out of the fast water and managed to land him after a brief fight.

This is the second time I used my spey rod. I'm a convert. You can throw bigger flies, mend line easily, and work more water.

DIRECTIONS: The Salmon River is located just off I-81 at the exit to Pulaski, NY, which is about 30 minutes outside of Syracuse.

EQUIPMENT: Jin used an 8 weight rod 11 feet long with a special weight-forward steelhead/salmon line. Heavy leaders tapering down to 8 or 10 pound fluorocarbon tippet with large indicators and lead shot. If you forgot to pack anything or experience an equipment malfunction there's always Whitakers fly shop.