Atlantic Salmon

by Fly Fisherman

Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) were once common from the Hudson River northward, but now are found in the United States only in a few streams in northeastern New England. In Canada they are now limited, for the most part, to the streams of the Maritime Provinces. They range from ten to twenty pounds on the average, with a good many fish between twenty and forty pounds.
Atlantic salmon come back from the sea to the same riven in which they were spawned. The salmon runs vary from May through August in different streams. The fish spawn in the gravelly shallows of headwater streams much as do the Steel-head. Atlantic salmon do not die after spawning as do Chinook and other Pacific salmon ( except the Steelhead, which is a sea run trout).
Atlantic salmon fry remain as parr (young salmon) in the river where they are hatched for one, two and sometimes three years before going down to the sea. The parr all carry bluish ban on their sides. Just before migrating to the ocean, the young salmon assume a coating of silvery scales. If they return to fresh water the first year they are called grilse. They weigh about three or four pounds then and put up a splendid fight on a light fly rod. If the young fish do not return to their home river the first year, they come back the second year as salmon. Of course, the grilse return in later years as salmon also.
Atlantic salmon are silvery when fresh run from the sea but become darker the longer they stay in fresh water.

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