Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Feelin' the Steel...

I landed this steelie in 5 minutes!!

Unfortunately, the weather hasn't been too kind lately, and the rivers in Oswego County have been paying the price with high water levels and flood watches. Luckily for me, the day I chose to go fishing with Tony Gulisano of and, it was in between storms and the Salmon River water level was perfect - and so was the fishing! (You may remember Tony from our ice fishing adventure a while back)

Tony's friend, Mike Vatter, joined us - and warned me that I needed to be ready because last time they went fishing it only took ten minutes to land a steelhead.

I broke that record - it only took me five!

We launched the drift boat in Altmar and had just put the rods in the water when a steelhead took hold! I didn't think it was possible to happen so quickly so I just stared at the rod while Tony and Mike were yelling for me to pick up the rod. Once it set in that I better do something, and fast, I grabbed the rod and fought the steelie. I even had time for a photo-op and I still kept it under five minutes!

I almost convinced myself I could go pro... except for the fact I still don't have a clue what bait to use and when. That's what is so great about going fishing with a guide! Tony informed me that I caught the steelhead using the "pull and plug" method, which is when you leave the bait in the water while drifting. I'm not sure what tackle was used, but I know it was pink! (I am aware that was a typical girl comment and I apologize). Tony also explained it was a "drop back steelhead" because it was all done spawning and heading back to Lake Ontario.

About a half hour later Mike landed a beautiful steelhead and that was the first time I heard "Feelin' the steel" and certainly not the last.

As a matter of fact I heard that phrase at least once every five minutes during the entirety of our trip. Some people LOVE their steelhead fishing, and I wouldn't have it any other way when it comes to a guide.

I ended up landing one more steelhead during our trip. The second one fought much harder and was worth every muscle I think I pulled.

I had such a fantastic time on my trip I can't wait to go again! I highly recommend a drift boat trip if you've never been on one. For all of you sportsmen and women who aren't die-hard enthusiasts, you don't even have to like fishing to enjoy a drift boat trip. I told Tony that if he ever has any space on his trips to give me a call because the river is so gorgeous I would go along just for the ride! And maybe I'll bring someone to serenade me and I could pretend I was in Venice, Italy! In fact, who needs Venice or any other place for vacation when you have access to all of the magnificent opportunities we have right here in Oswego County? Perhaps I've stumbled upon a new business idea...

Our Oswego County River Guides are listed here: If you're interested in a trip with Tony then you can contact him by calling (315) 885-8092 or by e-mail at

Below are some photos of my trip! And speaking of photos - we just launched a new fishing and hunting photo contest that ends May 27. There is still plenty of time to submit your photos to be published in the new Oswego County Fishing and Hunting Guide. For more information click here:

I'm actually fighting a steelhead right here and I make it look easy (it definitely isn't, my arms were sore the next day!)

I always have my camera on me!

Mike and I were using the floating technique.

These signs show anglers where the parking and access areas are along the Salmon River.

Tony G. picking out the perfect bait!

I wasn't joking... we launched right at that bridge and here Tony is with my first steelhead of the day!

Creative way to hold the middle rod!

Mike's turn to fight a steelhead

Photo op!

Mike's catch!

My second steelhead!