Personal Record: Shelter Valley Salmon

As you mayhave seen in my ?Fall Run? blog, my favorite season is the salmon run up theGanaraska River and Shelter Valley. This year?s run was exceptional to say theleast. A lot of fish were caught, and my Salmon Dreams had come true. I hadalways seen very large hens run the rivers, but it always seemed that they weresmarter, and never took the bait. It wasn?t uncommon for us to catch 15 lb.Males or even on occasion a big 30 + hen, but nothing ever exceeded the normal. 

 One day thispast fall I had decided to get my gear out and go out one last time before therun was over. I got my gear ready, called up my Buddy, and we were off to fishShelter valley, one of our semi-local hot spots. We got there just before sundown, which was good, because it was about a 15 minute walk into the spot, andthe light came in handy. I had set myself up with a 10?9 Shimano med-heavysalmon rod, with a Fluegger Spinning reel, running 10 lb. Suffix FluorocarbonLine.  Topped that off with a size 3Gamagatzu circle hook, 2 1/8th ounce split shots about 18 inches up,and baited it with a 5-8 egg Roe sack with floats, and I was ready to get atit. 

Right at themouth of the River where it meets Lake Ontario, there is a deep hole; about 6feet that the salmon like to sit in for a while after running the rapids to getinto the river. This gives them time to rest before making the journey upstream. As any fisherman would do, I through my line right smack in the middleof that hole, knowing very well that there are fish in there. It wasn?t longbefore I hooked into a fish. After about 2 hours and 6 fish, I decided to callit quits, especially since it had been a successful night. Just then I had atap on the line, and I thought, well one last one for the road. So I set thehook, and the fish didn?t move. I started reeling it in, and it came in withease, as it started getting closer, I noticed that it was a monster. Just thenthe fish turned away and darted up river. It was just givin er, and my reel wasjust screaming. I fought that fish for nearly an hour. Finally I was able tobring it in, tired out. I could barely lift the fish out of the water. 

Weighing inat a whopping 54 ilbs 9 ounces, I caught the biggest salmon I have ever seen. Pickingit up for some pictures, I almost broke into a sweat. I was ecstatic. Ireleased that monster back into the stream, hoping that one day her spawn willcome back, and give me the fight of my life, just like she did.

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