Fishing Season: Fall

Salmon River - NY

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Whitakers's Tip of the Week

Over the last couple of days we've had some wintry conditions. The temperature at night has been dropping into the mid 20's and the temperature during the day has been struggling to reach above freezing. The upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville continues to get the most fishing pressure on a daily basis. Depending on the day anglers have been getting into some steelhead in the Lower Fly Fishing Area with egg patterns and nymphs producing the best results. In the lower end of the river, also depending on the day, anglers have been getting into mix of smaller and larger size steelhead. Covering lots of water and having high water experience continues to be the key to having some success. Anglers who are fly fishing have had success indicator fishing with egg patterns and nymphs or swinging streamers. If your not comfortable with the higher water conditions, some of the smaller local tributaries can provide another option.

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 11/30/21

Winter weather conditions with lake effect snow possible, check the water conditions before making the trip.

Techniques & Tips as of 11/30/21

Indicator fishing with egg patterns, dead drifting with nymphs, swinging streamers with sinking leaders.

Current Conditions as of 11/30/21

Winter weather conditions with lake effect snow possible, check the water conditions before making the trip.

Local Species Available Fall

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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):
Steelhead Hammer cgart, orange, pink 8
Steelhead Stone purple, orange, red 8
Steelie Omelet cerise, peach, chart 10
Steak N Eggs pink, chart 10
beadhead woolly bugger white, black, olive 6
Bunny leeches black, purple 6
Rusher's Steelhead Nymph blue, pink, purple 10
Egg Fly blue, white, cream, oregon cheese 8
Estaz eggs pink, blue, chart, orange 10
rubber legged stones black, brown, golden 6

Steelhead Hammer

Catch the attention of steelhead with these vibrant steelhead mayfly nymphs.

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:

First thing in the morning

Best Stretch:

Lower and upper end of the river.

Best Access:

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