Take a trip to New York's Salmon River and fly fish for smallmouth bass. Spend a weekend at Selkirk Lighthouse, one of the few still open to the public for overnight stays. Get a feel for the hard work and devotion that the old light keepers exemplified. Canoe the Salmon River Estuary, spend some time on the beach, and finish the day watching the sunset at a lakeside restaurant.

ON THE RIVER. When we fished the Salmon River we used 9' x 6 wt. Thomas & Thomas SC Series rods. The SC series have a fast progressive action that worked well for casting the weighted flies we used.

For reels the Standard Model J. Ryall size 6 worked for us. This model is a good workhorse with a nice smooth drag. We chose the Rio Weight Forward 7 to slightly overload the rods, which helped deliver the larger flies.

Speaking of flies we were throwing Black Wooly Buggers and a variety of different colored Clouser Minnows in sizes 2 and 4. However the olive and white seemed to work best.

ON THE LAKE. When we were trolling on Lake Ontario we used the same size rods and flies but added some weight and did a little trolling to get our flies deep. It might not be traditional fly fishing but it worked and at least we had the fun of fighting the fish on a fly rod.

PRIME TIME: June 1st - October 15th
GETTING THERE: Interstate 81; 45 minute drive from Syracuse Int'l Airport
LODGING & DINING: fishing lodges, small motels/hotels, campgrounds, fast food chains, local restaurants
ACTIVITIES: camping, fishing, Hatchery Tour, golfing, antiquing, lighthouse tour
THINGS TO REMEMBER: cleats, wading staff, polarized glasses

Oswego County lies on the eastern edge of Lake Ontario. The closest large airport is Syracuse International, about 40 miles to the south. Interstate 81 brings you right into Pulaski, Oswego County's well-known salmon and steelhead fishery. From the end of May through mid October the weather cooperates with visitors wanting to enjoy the outdoors.

The County offers numerous fishing lodges and small motels. The well-known chain motels are also an option. For campers, New York State maintains a number of lake shore parks and campgrounds. There are also dozens of small privately-owned campgrounds scattered about.

For dining options try a local favorite, Rainbow Shores Restaurant. Rainbow Shores is located on the edge of Lake Ontario. The delicious food and sunset views make a great evening. We suggest skipping the fast food chains and looking for a privately owned diner or restaurant.

For things to do in Oswego County your itinerary should include a tour of the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar, NY. You will want to call ahead to make sure the fish are running and the Hatchery is in full swing. As a rule, the salmon run in the fall or steelhead in the spring is a very busy time.

In addition to the Hatchery tour, take a tour of the Selkirk Lighthouse in Port Ontario. Go antiquing. Hit one of the golf courses. Enjoy a picnic on the lakeshore. If you love winter activities there's no better place for groomed snowmobile trails and cross country skiing. Of course, your fly rod will come in handy at one of the most exciting fisheries in the country.

Don't forget to practice safe wading in the rivers. The rocks in the Salmon River are unusually slippery. So invest in cleats for the bottom of your boots and use a wading staff. Never wade deeper than mid-thigh. Polarized glasses are also a must to see through the water.

Oswego County Tourism

Oswego County is home to at least 10 World Record and 3 State Record catches. Anglers from all over the northeastern United States and Canada are making the trek to Oswego County for its famed trophy fishing. With year-round fishing opportunities and prize winning catches,  the waters and tributaries of eastern Great Lake Ontario are an irresistible lure for both veteran and novice anglers. Land your own trophy in Oswego County!

Tony's Salmon Country
7621 Rome Road
Pulaski, NY 13142
315-298-4104; contact Tony Gugino

Tony's offers a variety of lodging opportunities from small one person rooms to two bedroom suites in a spacious log cabin. Tony's also has a full-service tackle shop with everything you need to get outfitted for a successful fishing trip on Lake Ontario, the Salmon River, or any other area streams.

Lighthouse Marina
Home of the 1838 Selkirk Lighthouse
6 Lake Road
PO Box 228
Pulaski, NY 13142
315-298-6688 / 315-298-6699; contact Jim Walker

The Lighthouse Marina offers lodging in the restored 1839 Selkirk Lighthouse or cabins. They also have a full service marina for all your boating needs.

Rainbow Shores
Rainbow Shores Drive
Pulaski, NY 13142

Rainbow Shores is located at the end of a dead end road on a cliff overlooking Lake Ontario. It's the perfect place for a romantic dinner. Whether dining inside or on the garden deck it's an experience you will really enjoy.

High Adventure Sport fishing
158 Hagen Drive
Pulaski, NY 13142

Captain Troy Creasy runs a tight ship. Whether fishing aboard his 30 foot lake boat or his river drift boat, you can expect great service and a great fishing experience.

In addition to great fishing for trophy salmon, steelhead, brown trout, walleye, and bass, the eastern shore area of Lake Ontario is an outdoor enthusiasts dream come true.

Hiking and biking on hundreds of miles of trails along Lake Ontario and further east in the Tug Hill area are just an example. You can canoe or kayak the Salmon River and Lake shoreline. During the winter, outdoor activities switch to winter steelhead fishing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling, as Oswego County boasts the largest snowfall east of the Rocky Mountains!

A great way to see all the natural beauty is by air. The folks at "The Flight School" (315-598-4482) can set up an aerial tour for you.

A visit to the Salmon River Fish Hatchery is also very interesting. The hatchery is located on the upper end of the Salmon River in the little town of Altmar and is open to the public. For tour info call Fran Verdoliva at 315-298-5051.