Steelheading on the Salmon River, NY

 The recent cold spell we got in Baltimore County in mid November had me digging out the Winter layers; hat, gloves and baclava. The fishing has been great on the Gunpowder, and as always many calls and shop visitors are curious whether the fishing is worth braving the cold through Winter? If temps in the mid thirties and a light snowfall doesn’t seem too inviting, consider this video post from the Salmon River, NY shot in late February 08.

My friend Matt and I fished for a week in temps ranging from the high teens to the mid twenties at the daily high, which was IF the sun broke through the clouds. We had to deal with daily snowfalls, wind, frozen waders and the loss of feeling in toes and fingers for extended periods of time. Ice on the guides was a reason to take constant breaks and brew some coffee riverside to warm up. Extremities freezing wasn’t the only problem, as I hooked a good steelhead only to realize my reel was frozen solid. The fish wanted line, but the reel wouldn’t give, so I gave a heavy handed, hard tug on the line. Imagine my horror when the fly line snapped, and the fish was no longer attached to the reel, but to a mere foot of slack held in a mitten clad hand. We landed that fish on 4x tippet, and it fought hard, just minus the blistering runs. If you ask me, as long as the water is still flowing, it’s never too cold to fish.