Fishing Season: Spring

Salmon River - NY

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Whitakers's Tip of the Week

At this point the majority of steelhead have completed the spawning process and returned to the lake. The best chance for finding any last remaining steelhead would be in the lower end of the river. With the water temperature near 60 degrees, the smallmouth bass action has also picked up in the lower end of the river.

Directions open in app

Map of Salmon River

Water Flow Data

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Tailwater Lodge
Zero Limit Adventures

5-Day Outlook as of 5/20/24

Well above average temperatures for this time of year.

Techniques & Tips as of 5/20/24

Swinging streamers with sinking leaders.

Local Species Available Spring

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    Smallmouth Bass

Whitakers's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Bead Head Flash Bugger black, olive, brown, 6
Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer black, olive, brown 6
Conehead Rubber Bugger black, olive, white 6
Hot Cone Woolly Bugger olive 6
Zonker black, olive, purple 6
rubber legged stone black, brown, olive 6
Cone Head Muddler Minnow black, olive, brown, white 6
Chuck and Duck Sculpin olive 4
Egg sucking leech black 4
Fish Skull buggers black, white 6

Bead Head Flash Bugger

Grizzly hackle makes this one of the best flies to fish with.

Whitakers's Recommended Gear

Description: About Salmon River

The Salmon River is without a doubt, the most famous salmon and steelhead river in the entire northeast. The salmon river is hydro electrically controlled and the water levels can vary based on rainfall, snow melt or drought. There is 13 miles of public access and 2 miles of privately controlled access where anglers can purchase a daily access pass. Labor Day weekend signals the start of salmon season with a scheduled water release. With the increase in water level the salmon begin their annual migration. Most of the true spawning areas/gravel bars are upstream of the Pineville bridge and that's where the bulk of these fish end up. Chinooks and Coho are fall spawners and they die after spawning. By November they are pretty much gone. Steelhead are spring spawners, but the first of the winter run fish show up with the salmon. November and December see more steelhead entering the river system. These fish will overwinter in the river and provide us with a winter fishery. January and February are reserved for serious fisherman. Lots of snow...dress warm...sleep in a bit longer and carry hand warmers. Spring comes eventually, in March or April. The spawning process begins and can provide plenty of action as the water temperature rises along with the arrival of mild weather. Once these fish have completed spawning, it's like a slow down stream migration as they feed all the way back to Lake Ontario.

Nearest Airport:

Syracuse International Airport (SYR)


Caddis, Stoneflies

Best Time to Fish:

Early morning or later in the day.

Best Stretch:

Lower end of the river.

Best Access:

DEC Public fishing access lots off NYS RT13, RT2A, RT52.