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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.