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Posted By Rod Teehan, October 30, 2017
 Back in the 1980s when Lake Ontario was all the rage, we at The Fisherman had several Big O charter captains and guides providing us with weekly information for the Inland Report. One of these gentlemen was a fellow who guided on the Salmon River. I believe his name was Frank Heeland, but I could be wrong. That was thirty years ago, and my memory might be faulty. Anyway, Frank owned a home on the Salmon River estuary. Docked in his back yard which bordered the river were a couple of aluminum boats. Almost every week Frank would offer to let me use one of the boats whenever I wanted. He also offered to let me stay overnight at his home so I wouldn’t have to travel back and forth from Westfield, Massachusetts to Pulaski, New York in one day. He even extended the invite to anyone I’d like to bring along to share the driving and the long ride. In fact, it was Frank who suggested Chris Noftall as my companion. He knew Chris and I often fished together and that Chris was a veteran Lake Ontario/Salmon River/Oswego River angler and popular outdoor writer who had written numerous articles about trout and salmon fishing in the Northeast for this magazine and others. Well, Chris and I finally made it to Frank’s on a cold, overcast day in November, 1988. In one of Frank’s boats we fished the estuary just before it becomes the Salmon River proper. A bit farther upstream Frank and two clients fished out of the other boat. Chris and I were using Luhr-Jensen Hot Shots in various metallic colors, casting downstream and retrieving upstream on medium spinning outfits. After making countless down-current casts without a hit, I began pitching my blue Hot Shot upstream. That’s when the fish struck. After I set the hook, the steelie tore off on a screaming downstream run punctuated with several end-swapping leaps. All in all the long battle went mostly my way. I only had to hold on and apply pressure as the trout tired itself out by running and jumping repeatedly. Eventually I had the steelie near boatside. Chris stood ready with a long-handled net. Then that which all anglers dread happened. Just when the steelhead appeared beaten, it bolted in another drag-burning run up under a blowdown— a large branch still wearing most of its autumn hued leaves—and hung me up. (Continued next week.)
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