Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 12/8


Guided Mark I. for a full day today getting underway at around 8:30 am.  We knocked off a little early, at 4 pm.  Action was a lot slower for us than what I experienced on Monday.  He spent nearly the entire day fly-fishing although we took an hour or so out for some pike casting with gear.  The first couple of hours were non-eventful and then in one area Mark had a couple consecutive hits but did not hook up.  We kept at it diligently but could not make anything happen.

We’d rather catch one or two on the fly than a bunch on gear if we can help it.  My least favorite way to catch landlocked Atlantic salmon (apart from trolling, which I don’t do) is vertically.  Catching salmon during the summer vertically jigging doesn’t give me any thrills.  They usually come up easily, since they don’t mind warmer water and you might get a jump out of one boatside, then I can usually net them.  If they’re big – like over 25″, they can be fun, but to me it’s all about the jumps and the hard hit, which the fly-fishing tackle really amplifies.  Casting gear can be fun, and I enjoy it at times (especially when I need to cover a lot of water quickly or the weather conditions are too cold or windy for fly-fishing) but is not on a par with fly-fishing in terms of fun and intensity.

Mark had one fish on with a pike spoon.  I didn’t see it, since I assumed he had a pike hooked and was going for the net.  He said it jumped, so I’m guessing it was a salmonid of some sort – probably a landlock.

Mark wanted to be off the water around 4 pm due to some commitments he had later, so we had to make a choice between pike or salmon.  He went with the salmon and we went back to where he’d had the earlier hits.  Lo and behold, within a cast or two after making his decision, his streamer got slammed by a good fish!  This fish jumped like a fish possessed – much more than any I landed on Monday.  After a great battle I netted the chunky 20″+ fish.  We kept it and it went 3 1/2lbs!  A great fish on the fly – especially given how slow our bite was!  Water temperature was around 45/46 degrees.

Mark with a 20.5" 3lb 8oz fly-caught Salmon

The fish Mark caught was perfectly clean.  These Seneca fish are very plump and heavy for their size when clean (i.e., they have no signs of lamprey attacks.)