|Ethan with the first fish of the day|
Fishing in the early part of the run can be a bit of a struggle. There are always a few fish around, but the majority of those are just blasting on through without stopping, leaving us fly anglers little opportunity to toss flies at resting fish.
|One of Jonathan's, caught on a black woolly bugger|
Last weekend I had a great day with the boys and my father in-law trying to do just that…..swinging flies for salmon.
And as the day played out, we realized that there were plenty of fish holding and others blasting on through or to stop for a bit, which allowed us many great opportunities. More than I have seen in years fishing this early.
One of the major keys to our success was our willingness to walk to find fish, and to frequently change locations to find new fish.
|Jonathan with a big fish on!|
We used more natural colored bead headed woolly buggers in brown, olive and black, in sizes #6 - #4, and swung them in front of holding salmon. We used a 9 foot tapered leader on a WFF line with an additional small bit of split shot on the leader above the fly to keep in the zone. Too much weight would keep the fly on the bottom and produce a greater chance of foul hooking fish, and too little weight would not allow the fly to stay in front of the fish. We could have tried using sink tips on a short leader with unweighted flies, but I didn’t bring the tips with me.
Each of us were able to bring at least one fish to the net, with a couple of us landing several.
|Jonathan's big Chinook salmon|
We did see several reds in each of the locations we went to, but only encountered one post spawn female salmon, and no active spawning was witnessed while we were there. Half of the other female salmon we caught had loose eggs, while the other half were still firm.
|Ethan resting a salmon before it's release|
|Jonathan helped guide his Grandpa to his first salmon on the fly|
|Even I get to land one|
|Ethan with the last fish of the day|
I suspect that by the end of the month, there should be a good number of salmon in all of the WNY tributaries with a good number of trout to follow.