The following is my fishing year in review. During fishing season I fish almost everyday its possible. There are many streams and rivers in the Poconos or nearby NY state that are in close drivong distance. Being self employed lets me manage my time so I can squeeze in some work while maximizing my fishing opportunities......
It s been a different sort of year for us. Last Jan I got my hip replaced and I was on crutches until opening day, April 15th!. The surgery slowed me down quite a bit over those months. But I got out of the hospital in 4 days the quickest patient that doctor ever had. Could have done it in 3 but.....I did a lot of reading over that period, tried to do some work but it was hard hopping arouund the shop on one foot ! By the time fishing season oppened I was raring to go ,albeit, a little slower than normal. Didn t want to be in the middle of nowhere, get hung up on some rocks twist my hip out and have to wait for someone to find me. So I stuck to the more frequently populated and easy to walk to areas for most of this fishing season. Here s a ncie Brown Trout I caught in the Lackawana River near Scranton,Pa. Notice I haven t learned how to properly display a fish for the photograph but at least there s a good shot of my pipe!
In a nut shell the fishing wasn t too good for trout this year.Anyone with line and a hook can catch fish until June and that was fun and easy. Got Maryann out flyfishing a handful of times and Glenn also. He can cast pretty well.
This is a pix of us in the mainstem of the upper Delaware River.
He s also learning to tie flies. But by mid June we were in the throes of a summer long drought. It just didn t rain all summer and coupled with last years drought and high heat we had major fish kills.
Sometime in there I discovered small mouth fishing in the the Susquehenna River up in Wilkes Barre about 30 minutes from my house. This is a pretty big river and for the first time in years, due to the low water, it was wadeable. So I went after small mouth for most of the summer. I took Glenn and MA on some trips and went up there every day and caught fish. I tried for trout every now and then but it was too depressing. Any fish you d catch would wind up dead due to excessive stress levels.
Sometime in the early fall I went up to the Salmon River with a new fishing friend Doug Kirby. I met Doug at a party thru my ex partner, Curt Rollar.. He loves to Salmon fish in upstate NY and got me interested in it. I did a web page for him:
Doug and me
The first trip up there, in early Sept., I just fished for small mouth and he looked for salmon and didn t see any. The Salmon River is a small river that runs thru Pulaski ,NY. and into Lake Ontario; it s about 3 hours from my house.
To be honest I was skeptical about catching salmon but he was pretty convincing.We went up again about a month later when the run was actually happening. This was quite a different story! We caught mainly Cohoes ( here s me with a nice Coho)
which I thought were pretty big and strong.Little did I know the kings were coming. Generally we d stay over one night and fish two days. It s quite exhausting, besides the long drive and the fast water, you need cleats just hold your place in the river; fighting salmon is brutal! They are so strong and stubborn and if they head downstream you have to chase them on the run, or swim as often is the case!. It s a ball tho and every fisherman should experience it.
II took Glenn up with Doug the third or fourth time I went. He actually guided Glenn, in payment for me doing his web site , so I could fish independently for two days. Well Doug put Glenn on to a lot of fish ! Glenn lives with his mom nad she was away on a trip so we played hookey and fished. He was so tired, when we got home, he missed another day of school.
I started going up by myself as Doug had work and couldn t go sometimes. By the last week in Oct the run in the Salmon river was done. The last time we went the water was very high and NOTHING was in he river. I happened to talk to a NY game warden and he mentioned that things in Oswego were heating up. That was about 30 miles down the lake. We figured nothing was happening here so we went to Oswego late in the afternoon.
The river runs right thru the city of Oswego and ends at a damm and a lock which supplies a power plant with water. All told maybe 2 mile s of river! We fished right near the power plant. You d throw out a long line with tons of weight on it. Wait until the current straightened it and pull. It was real deep and many times you got a hook up! There had to be jillions of fish in there to catch fish using this method. One day I had over 80 hookups and didn t land a fish. They just had too much room to run! Lots of ledges to cut line but it was fun!!! Doug did land a couple fishing in the shallows of the river where it was much easier but I liked fighting them in the deep water.
After that experience I was back and forth to Oswego until mid Dec. Most of the time I d just go up for the day by myself and come home that night. I WAS SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME AWAY FROM HOME and while Maryann said she didn t mind she was a also in the process of looking for a watch dog.
I think the last was thebest time I went up. I took Glenn out of school; his mother went away again......This time we fished near the falls in shallow pools and runs in front of the dam.. I think every salmon in the lake must have come in that day. The place was thick with them. Glen was hooking them one after another. The best ones we kept . These were King salmon and the avg one was 25-30 pounds. For some reason Glenn kept walking down the river and when ever he d land one. I d have to drag it a couple hundred yards back down the river, holding it by it s flopping tail as it tried to squirm away. It seemed by the time I got one linked up on the stringer he d have another. It was almost 60 degree s that day and even in Gortex wadders I was sweating and really working. By noon we had our limit, 6 fish after 2 hours! Earlier in the run I think I was averaging 1 fish in two days. So this was incredible, In fact I was so tired of hauling salmon my hand cramped up trying to get the last fish on the rope and he flopped away. I was too tired to go after him.
At that point I decided to get the fish cleaned and taken care of early, as I still had to take them from the river bank up a steep cliff to the car and then to the cleaning station. Leaving Glenn, I went into town, bought a bunch of garbage bags, and a disposable camera. After I got back we hauled the 5 fish up the cliff and got the slimmy flapping buggers into garbage bags. They were way too big for the cooler I had brought. The next step was down to the cleaning station and while they were being rendered into filets we had lunch. Afer packing the filets and ice into the cooler we probably had about 100 pounds of fish we went back for more fishng!
To get an idea as to the size of this guy use my foot as a reference for size !
We went back to the dam but into some deeper and wider water. Here we found the really big fish.It seemed we were in a contest as I d hook one and Glenn would say that s the biggest of the day and then he d get one bigger. It was truly nirvana. We had the whole river to ourselves not another fisherman in sight and we hooked and landed and released , fish after fish on a warm sunny day in December....
Glen hooked one that just wouldn t come in. I said to break it off as there s certainly more cooperative ones here. He refused and said he was going to get this one. Well he fought it for over 30 minutes. Every time it got close and I d try to net it , he d swim away. Finally it was so tired I was able to grab it s tail, but it was so heavy I couldn t lift it out of the water. A surge of energy sent him away again. The next time when he as close enough I had Glenn grab him by the tail and I got a net under his nose, couldn t get his whole head into the net! We hoisted him ashore. It must have weighed 40 pounds and was easily the biggest fish we caught that day. After we let him go I said I don t think we want to catch anything bigger and we decided to call it a day and head home.Glenn didn t make it to school the next day and I still have a form of tennis elbow from all the strain of fighting the fish.
The worst was actually ahead. Even tho the fish were fileted you still had to remove a center vein. Being a wimp, I depend on MA to do this sort of work. Well she wasn t real pleased at having all those filets to clean. They were so big they didn t fit in the sink so they dripped blood, slime and asst. gore all over the kitchen. She really want pleased!
I went out and bought a smoker and for the next 3 days continually smoked salmon. I ran out of apple and hickory as smoking agents and eventually resorted to using briar chips which worked just as well IMHO. By the time I was finished were were heartilly sick of smoked salmon as are most of our friends who we ve been unloading the smoked filets on. I still have about a dozen left....Next year I ll only bring home one fish every now and then!