By Chris Shaffer | 10/19/2011
Floating down Western New York’s Niagara River, with the bow positioned on the US/Canada border and the smell of cured skein embedded in Ted Kessler’s boat, it didn’t take long for the veteran guide to decide what he’d be using to catch king salmon on this cool fall day.

“We are going to be using some of our darker eggs today. These salmon have been going after the darker colored eggs lately,” Kessler told me.

Kessler has a skein of cured eggs sitting on white paper towels on the floor, but I couldn’t find the dark ones.

“You aren’t talking about those, are you?” I asked him. “Those are the lightest colored dark eggs I’ve ever seen. Those aren’t dark. They look orange to me.”

To anglers in Western NY, these eggs are considered dark.

Kessler, a Pautzke pro staffer, chuckled.

“Come on. Light?” he said. “Those are the darkest eggs I’ve used in a long time. The guides around here laugh at me because my eggs are so dark!”

Like most river salmon guides, Kessler is an egg junkie. He takes pride in his eggs and shows them off the same way a child would his favorite birthday present.

“You really don’t think those are dark?” he asked me.

Coming from the West Coast, Kessler’s orange eggs looked pale to me. In fact, they were almost dry; the opposite I’m used to seeing when I fish