I’ve never met an angler that doesn’t have a particular time or place in history they’d love to fish if given the chance. Perhaps you’d like to flycast on the Blackfoot circa 1940, or maybe chase stripers on Cape Cod in the days when 40 pounders were thick as thieves. Me? I’d love to visit the New England coast back when all the rivers were rife with wild Atlantic Salmon. Despite efforts to bring salmon runs back, I don’t think we’ll ever see the same fishery that existed pre-industrial revolution. But that doesn’t mean all the wild Atlantics are gone. In fact, kayak angler and blogger Pierre Champion scored one in the Bronx, of all places, just a few days ago. The story goes like this:
According to the account on Champion’s site IFishNewYork, he was casting a white grub around some submerged structure near City Island in the Bronx from his kayak when he felt a bump. On the next cast, he got a solid take, but he knew right away the fish didn’t have the fight of a striper or bluefish. At first he thought he was tussling with a weakfish. Once the fish was landed, he wasn’t sure if he’d caught a salmon or a steelhead. So off went the photos to Connecticut DEC.
Turns out that not only is this an Atlantic salmon, but the DEC folks believe it is a wild fish that likely dropped back into Long Island Sound after spawning in the Connecticut River. Considering how few wild salmon still spawn in that river, the chance of an angler’s lure getting in front of one in the salt is pretty low, making this chance encounter even more astounding.