Fishing Season: Winter

Salmon River - NY

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Whitakers's Tip of the Week

We currently have drop backs scattered throughout the river from top to bottom. The best action has been mid to lower end of the river. The drop backs generally tend to hold in the faster water and are typically suspended in the water column. Covering lots of water has been the key to success. In the lower end of the river anglers have reported getting into mix of drop backs and smallmouth bass.

Directions open in app

Map of Salmon River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Tailwater Lodge
Zero Limit Adventures

5-Day Outlook as of 5/1/23

With the recent rain and more in the forecast, please check the water level before making the trip.

Techniques & Tips as of 5/1/23

Swinging streamers with sinking leaders.

Local Species Available Winter

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    Brown Trout

Whitakers's Recommended Fly Patterns

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

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer black, olive, brown, 6
Hot Cone Woolly Bugger black 6
Krystal Bugger black, olive, white 6
Conehead Rubber Bugger blue, black, chart, 6
zonkers black, olive, white 6
rubber legged stone black, brown, olive 8
Cone Head Muddler Minnow natural, olive, black 4
Chuck and Duck Sculpin olive 4
Golden stones gold 6
Fish Skull buggers black, white 6

Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer

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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:

Mid morning or early afternoon.

Best Stretch:

Lower end of the river.

Best Access:

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