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Family fly fishing fun

  • By
  • December 15, 2016

Family fishing fun in upstate NY. Are you fishing for fun family outdoor vacations?

The Salmon River and Tailwater Lodge

Nurturing a love for the outdoors

 

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Children don’t need fancy gear or expensive equipment to experience fly fishing. A rod, reel, bathing suit and a few flies are all Kento Matsui needed to fish in the Salmon River. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

Plan one summer outdoor family getaway.  

What are your plans for summer vacation?

As the distance between New Year’s Day and the last day of school narrows, time passes in the blink of an eye, or so it seems. Early spring is the ideal time to begin planning family and pet-friendly excursions.

“We’re going where?”

What’s the best way to choose an outdoor-oriented vacation that’s suitable for every family member?

 

That’s simple. The “where shall we go on vacation?” conversation can begin with a brief mealtime discussion. Ask your kids and partner for suggestions. My first choice is typically fly fishing, but I know that’s not tops on my kids’ list of priorities, so incorporate hiking, a kayak or canoe trip, and swimming with fishing.

Nurture your love for the outdoors

Planning vacations that suit everyone’s needs is a challenge. When I arrange family trips, I look for destinations that offer opportunities to connect with nature. Teaching children to respect and ultimately preserve our natural resources requires time, diligence and patience. If we don’t encourage them to venture outdoors, how will they ever find that peace and oneness they can derive from a long hike, summer picnic, or time in the water?

Two years ago, while I was on an overnight fly fishing girlfriend getaway with my friend, Rosangela, I discovered the lush forests of the Upstate New York region, specifically Altmar and Pulaski. It was one of those adventures that can be difficult to describe to someone who doesn’t have a calling to fish or a fondness for the outdoors. One option is to set aside two or more days. The Tailwater Lodge, an upscale Orvis endorsed fishing resort in Altmar, NY, caters to year-round family activities. Their rooms are spacious and family-friendly and the on-site restaurant is particularly convenient and a hit with my kids.

If you’re not a fan of crowds, the best time for families to visit the Tailwater Lodge is from spring until summer’s end. Anglers flock in droves to the Salmon River from the fall through early spring in pursuit of the famed salmon and steelhead, respectively.

Not only will you find meticulously clean, first-class accommodations. The staff caters to its guests’ needs by offering a variety of services to make your visit more enjoyable. Forget about spending those precious hours worrying about what the kids will eat for breakfast or lunch. A complimentary full breakfast is included with each reservation and available each morning bright and early. With advanced notice and an additional charge, the staff will also prepare a picnic lunch for you to bring along on your adventure so you can get out on the water early.

I’m not suggesting this type of vacation is suitable for young children. My sons, for example, are older and are comfortable in the water. They’ve also had swimming lessons. Still, we kept a watchful eye on them and reminded them of the dangers of strong currents and slippery rocks. Water levels can rise quickly, depending on weather conditions and the amount of water released from upstream dams. Consult with the Tailwater Lodge concierge for updates and the best spots to fish.

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Not yet bored with fishing, Yoshi Matsui casts into the Salmon River with his Orvis rod and reel. I bought the combo not knowing if he would ever agree to fish. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui

When the kids need a break, the water’s edge and the paths leading from the parking lots to the river can also serve as your outdoor science classroom. During our last trip, we observed a snake (from a safe distance) as it slithered along the shoreline and made its way into the water. Also, be sure to take note of the breathtaking scenery and a variety of indigenous waterfowl and other birds gliding across the sky. Stop for a moment to look for soaring Eagles and nests.

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Always practice safe wading and supervise your children. Water can rise quickly and without warning and some ledges can be steep. Ask about water levels and releases from upstream dams before leaving the lodge.

Be sure to wear a sturdy pair of closed-toe shoes and knee-high socks (or waders) to protect your feet and legs from the insidious poison ivy that grows freely throughout the forests. You might catch a fish (catch and release) but you definitely do not want to bring home blistering and oozing sores from the poison ivy that lines the trails.

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Yoshi Matsui is shown after casting his fly line into the Salmon River. 
Fishing licenses are required for persons 16 and older. Learn more about fees and regulations here at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

Salmon River

Family Fly Fishing Fun
Photo courtesy of New York State Department of Conservation

Above all, this post is intended to pique your interest in fishing and provide alternative family vacation ideas. While my second trip to the Tailwater Lodge was sponsored, I returned there with my family because I was so impressed with the accommodations and wanted my family to experience the lodge and the Salmon River.

The Salmon River community thanks you in advance for protecting and helping to preserve the region’s natural resources. Follow all rules and practice catch and release.

 

The Tailwater Lodge is located 52 Pulaski Street, Altmar NY 13302. For more information, follow this link.

Please note my trip to the Tailwater Lodge was comped, but my opinions are my own.


If you’d like to purchase Orvis products prior to your trip, follow this link: Orvis

I will receive a commission from Orvis at no cost to you if you choose to purchase an item using this link.

 

 

 

 

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Fishing

Salmon River fishing with Rosangela Freitas

  • By
  • December 20, 2015
fishing

Fly Girls’ Fishing Adventure

Why would anyone want to wade knee-deep in frigid water on a cold November day?

Salmon River Fishing with Rosangela Freitas 

As my friend and fellow Lackawanna Valley Trout Unlimited fishing buddy, Rosangela Freitas said, fly fishing is a year round sport. You can fly fish somewhere in the world throughout the year. It’s also an opportunity to reconnect with the outdoors. The world can seem a lot less stressful when you’re listening to the splash of the rifles and contemplating where a trout might be hiding.

In late November 2015, Rosangela and I traveled to Altmar in upstate New York to try our hands at steelhead fishing in the Salmon River. We enjoyed two eventful days of fly fishing. Anglers flock to the river, which stretches for 17 miles through Oswego County, New York, in pursuit of the coveted steelhead, an anadromous strain of rainbow trout that migrates from salt water to spawn in fresh water. Chinook salmon are king in the fall, but by October, the Steelhead also begin to enter the rivers and streams to feed on the salmon eggs from the spawning salmon.

Rosangela made the arrangements for our overnight stay at the Tailwater Lodge and also booked two half-day guided sessions with Mike DeRosa, owner of Zero Limit Adventures, Tailwater Orvis-endorsed river guide concierge, and head guide for corporate events at the Douglaston Salmon Run. Mike is a graduate of the Wulff School of Fly Fishing and Fly Casting Instructors Course and has fished extensively throughout the United States, parts of Canada and many other destinations throughout the world.

Mike has built his business on his love for the outdoors and an affinity for fly fishing. Read his website and you’ll find his pledge to do everything to the best of his ability to put you in front of fish and ensure you have the adventure of a lifetime.

That’s his motto and he delivers.

On our first day, Mike arrived at the Tailwater ready and eager to fish. He provided transportation to the Douglaston Salmon Run, a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of private, world-class catch and release sports fishing at the lower end of the Salmon River. His vehicle was well-stocked with top-notch fly fishing equipment, a variety of flies, snacks, and beverages, and with advanced notice, he’ll also provide lunch for his customers, which is something folks planning a trip to the Tailwater should keep in mind.

fishing
Rosangela Freitas practices two-handed casting during a November 2015 trip to Altmar, NY.

Despite a drop in temperature to around 30 degrees, Rosangela and I managed to remain in the cold water long enough for Mike to teach us the fundamentals of two-handed casting. Selecting flies the fish were taking was a priority for Mike and he changed them often. Silver and black Raider Buggers, a variety of smaller egg patterns and some stoneflies were among the flies he had on hand.

We began our second session mid-morning on Monday on a stretch in the Lower Fly Zone near the bridge in Altmar. We fished from the shore into swift moving water and saw steelhead and salmon drift by. Unfortunately, reeling in a steelhead was not in the cards for us during that trip, but the skills Mike taught set the stage for future adventures on the Salmon River.

To learn more about guide services available through the Tailwater Lodge, click here.

 

Pulaski 2015

 

 

 

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