Made my second trip to Salmon River yesterday. The first time up was in early September. The river was low, as it still is, but there were plenty of fish. Plenty of snaggers also! We were able to find an uncrowded pool where we could swing flies with our Spey Rods. There was an extremely long riffle below us and from our position we could watch three younger men though there were several people below them. They spent 8 hours unabashedly snagging every fish that tried to make it upstream.
Although I have fished Salmon River for over thirty years ago, I still don’t see the fascination with the whole snagging ethic. It takes no skill! Most of the fished hooked are broken off. It amazes me that men I know that proclaim to be fly fishermen, Spey rodders no less, partake in this activity. It shows a lack of respect for the resource. It also shows the State of New York’s ineptness in curtailing this practice. I have fished Michigan, home of the original snaggers, and did not see such activity. Maybe it still goes on but I did not see it. Sad, but it seems there is just too much money involved for this fishery to ever change.
Yesterday I fished a pay to fish area only to see the same such activity (much sutler), and lack of respect for other fishermen. The snaggers were all tossing weight, spooking the fish, and making extremely difficult to fish in a more sporting manner.