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Posted By Rod Teehan, November 13, 2017
 For issues 35 and 36 I wrote a story about my first-ever Salmon River steelhead. In that piece I mentioned a guide named Frank Heeland. That got me thinking about guides, specifically those like Frank who specialize in trout and salmon fishing in Lake Ontario tributaries such as the Salmon River and Oswego River. If you’re planning your first fishing trip to one of these tribs and do not have a companion who is already familiar with the kind of fishing you’ll be doing, I highly recommend hiring a guide. Having someone who’ll share skills and knowledges and provide step-by-step onsite instruction could very well be the difference between a successful trip and a failed one. Fortunately I had Chris Noftall as a fishing buddy. At that time back in the 1980s and 90s he was already a veteran Lake Ontario/ Salmon River/Oswego River angler, so we didn’t need a guide for most of our trips. Nevertheless, when we thought a guide would be helpful, we didn’t hesitate to secure his services. I remember a long time ago trying to convince a few fellow school teachers to book a guide. In preparing for their initial Salmon River experience they had spent a small fortune on food, gas, tackle, and non-resident fishing licenses but absolutely refused to come up with a few dollars more for a guide. They had expended a tidy sum for all the things they hoped would produce a successful trip but wouldn’t come up with a few more bucks for the very thing which would almost guarantee that outcome. Their trip was an abysmal failure. I don’t think they ever went back. You might have to go online and search for a guide, but I think in the end you’ll agree that finding and hiring one is worth the effort and expense. You might even think about a guide who’s also a drift-boat skipper. Drift-boaters are able to fish even when high water prevents wade or bank fishing.
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