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Landlocked Salmon Primer

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  • Landlocked Salmon Primer

    There's been plenty of talk in the other thread about landlocks so I thought I would throw up some pictures from my short trips in the last couple weeks and some history/tactics.

    DEC stocks landlocks in a number of interior ADK lakes, they are listed in the stocking list and also in the 'places to fish' county breakdown for Region 5. They are listed below 'splake' so it's likely Glen didn't read past that point to see where the good LLS lakes are. These interior lakes are almost exclusively put, grow, and take lakes so I don't feel too much guilt about talking about this fishery. DEC also stocks 24-30 inch breeder salmon into select interior lakes during november for a purely put and take fishery. Most of these fish are snatched up by icefisherman but they can provide some exciting sport if you can find them before ice-on. There are some self sustaining populations in a couple lakes where they were introduced and I've seen some wild fish in streams that feed larger lakes but these are few and far between.

    Personally, I like going after these fish in the fall. They come in close to shore for extended periods of time and enter just about any lake feeder stream with adequate flow. With NY's new year round stream fishing regulations, runs of these fish are now in play for catch and release fishing. NOTE: If you do this kind of fishing you will inevitably run into spawning fish. They are easy to spot and can be avoided even though it is not illegal to fish for them. If they are moving to spawn or have finished and are dropping back, they can be targeted with streamers and are quite aggresive toward them. I sense that this fishery is underutilized because you're not likely to run into trophy fish like you'd find in lake ontario or finger lake tribs. Most fish will run from 15-20 inches and depending on the lake system you could find consistent mid 20's up to around 30 inches. They fight hard regardless of their size and the solitude of the Adirondacks in late fall is usually preferable to the great lakes circus. I've seen them run into streams from late August all the way until the first week of January. In the last decade, fish have been incrementally later in their trip to the shallows presumably due to temperature. The fish I caught in the last couple weeks have been a mixture of spawned out fish and pre-spawn fish staging off tributaries. The large female below was staged in a deep hole just off the mouth of a trib and was released quickly after a photo on the net. Another cool way to fish these fish is to anchor up in a boat and cast flies to them post spawn, I have had some spectacular number days doing this. I usually fish a floating line with varying length leader for depth. Best flies include clousers, wooly buggers, picket pins, traditional streamers, mickey finns, and hares ears. I think any trout fly would probably work but something with orange color seems to be a key. Landlocks also love to exit lakes and can also be found in their outlets often far down stream of where they've been stocked. I've personally caught fish that have travelled 10-15 water miles from their stocked lake. I've heard of others that have travelled even longer distances.

    So hopefully this might give some people the itch to fish for these worthwhile gamefish this fall (plus bonus brook trout). I'll keep going until the lakes get pretty iced up and then transition to steelhead.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Excellent primer, CW!!! I need to finish off my home projects and get out there!!!
    Oscar Wilde:Work is the curse of the drinking class

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    • #3
      This was really well written and helpful, thank you!
      --------------------------------------------------------------
      And lungs are poisoned and shoulders bowed,
      In the smothering reek of mill and mine;
      And death stalks in on the struggling crowd?
      But he shuns the shadow of the oak and pine?
      ― George W. Sears Nessmuk, Woodcraft and Camping

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      • #4
        tl/dr
        “Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. They smelled of moss in your hand. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
        ― Cormac McCarthy

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Glen View Post
          tl/dr
          Ok, for the reading impaired: landlocks are cool, splake are not. Also, vtflyfish still can’t catch a landlock.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Creekwader View Post
            Ok, for the reading impaired: landlocks are cool, splake are not. Also, vtflyfish still can’t catch a landlock.
            Landlockeds are indeed cool. And to my utter dismay and chagrin I haven't yet caught one.
            Oscar Wilde:Work is the curse of the drinking class

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            • #7
              Originally posted by vtflyfish View Post
              Landlockeds are indeed cool. And to my utter dismay and chagrin I haven't yet caught one.
              They don’t really home in on worms.
              “Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. They smelled of moss in your hand. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
              ― Cormac McCarthy

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              • #8
                Bright sun didn't help the fishing but found a couple that wanted to play this morning. Skim ice is forming on some of the shallower ponds so this fishing is nearing an end. I'd say a couple more weeks tops if this next cold snap holds.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Remember the good old days when Landlocks were stocked in 13th Lake??

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                  • #10
                    Yes, but my brother and I never caught one. Caught just brookies and some really nice rainbows. Trolled by Peaked Mtn stream inlet and the cliffs many times to no avail.
                    "Get your mind off trout,if you can.I know they`ve got you.I can see it. Every fraternity of sufferers knows its brothers.Trout hook men;men don`t hook trout.Better try and throw the hook while you can.By the time you`re a grown man there probably won`t be a pure trout healthy enough to fiddle with"... Quote from Emerson in the book "The Earth Is Enough"by Harry Middleton

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                    • #11
                      Years ago. Vic Sasse was the ranger, lived in a log house right down the road. Nice guy, he kept a close watch on the lake. Vic opened a muzzle loading shop in his house. Probably long retired by now.
                      The size for keepers was 21 inches, no bait.
                      I caught quite a few. The most interesting was a 24 incher that I caught on a streamer, hooked in the tail. Boy, did he pull! I released him.
                      I also caught some nice Brookies, but no rainbows.

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                      • #12
                        Vic is still around. Getting on in years but still runs a fly shop out of his garage.
                        Oscar Wilde:Work is the curse of the drinking class

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                        • #13
                          Is there a difference between a landlock and a wild salmon?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lowjack12 View Post
                            Is there a difference between a landlock and a wild salmon?
                            Landlock refers to landlocked Atlantic salmon which were native to lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, interior Maine and parts of Canada. Due to a variety of man made reasons, the native salmon in Ontario and Champlain went extinct. Currently the fish stocked there and also our interior Adirondack lakes are from Sebago Lake in Maine. So they technically are a wild strain fish but they spend part of their life in a hatchery (the Adirondack hatchery in saranac inn). I’ve seen a few truly wild stream born fish over the years around the adk but not many and not enough to maintain a population. A few years ago dec switched from east grand lake strain fish to sebago strain because the former were outlet spawners while the sebago preferred inlets but honestly I haven’t seen any difference in behavior of these strains.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by vtflyfish View Post
                              Vic is still around. Getting on in years but still runs a fly shop out of his garage.
                              Happy to hear that!

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