Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hot Weather Trout Fishing

The last couple of days we have been plagued with some very hot weather. This hot weather has certainly had an effect on the trout fishing. Trout streams that do not have the protection from springs have been getting cooked these last couple of days. What all this hot weather does to trout fishing, outside the obvious hot water temperatures, is to cause all the bug and fish activity to be delayed until late evening or go nocturnal. As always it is all about the water temperature. The nighttime temperatures being a little cooler, will allow the water temperatures to drop back a few degrees, and in doing so, trigger a little bit of fish and bug activity. This may explain why in streams many trout will stop feeding on insects and start to feed on crustaceans and forage fish. This time the year, the population of crayfish and forage minnows are at a seasonal high. It does not take long for a trout to get all the food that it needs. It only takes two or three baby crayfish or a couple of minnows to fill up a 12 inch trout.

Often the best approach to trout fishing during hot weather is to shift your fishing efforts to early mornings. The vantages of this are the water temperatures are going to be as cool as it is going to get. Many times you can get a little bit of residual feeding behavior from nighttime bug activities. Often a few trout are still hunting around for one last baby crayfish to eat.

Monday, June 25, 2007

New Bugs For Oatka

The sulfur hatch is finally winding down. We will have sulfur spinners for another week or so.

What is next, for the Oatka there are still caddis hatching such as the chocolate caddis in a size 14 and a little black caddis size 18 and 20. Now it is time to start fishing with beetles, size 16 to 12 and ants, size 16 to 20. A cinnamon ant is a favorite for the Oatka Creek. Along with the ants and beetles, attractor flies are now becoming effective. I like to fish a red veriant or a silver veriant in size 16 or 14. To fish this fly is to work my way up stream and cover any likely fish holding spot. I'm not fishing to any particular trout that is rising, but hoping to pull a fish or two up.

Spring Brook-- there is still has good sulfur hatch along Spring Brook at various times of the day. I suspect we have another week or so and this hatch will be winding down. B.W.O is a light but steady afternoon hatch. I'm having the best results with B.W.O nymphs and emergers. The daytime fishing now consist of fishing pink scuds and midges.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We Need Rain!!

Tuesday 6/19/07 nights thunderstorms were a help but not much for our trout streams. What we really need is some consistent wet weather lasting several days, to bring our streams back up and then keep them there. All of our streams and creeks are as low as you would see in a dry August. Even Spring brook, which is very resilient, is at a historic low. Right now the Genesee river is so low and warm that we are losing fish.

Oatka is so low we need to take great care while we fish this creek. The water temperature is, cool enough but, the main concern is oxygen. During dry spells like the one we are locked in to right now. Oatka has dropped down to a point where most of the water flow is spring fed water. The trouble with spring water is there is no oxygen in it when the water comes out from the ground. Add to this the water flow is so low that it seeps down through the riffs instead of falling over, no agitation no oxygen. Low oxygen conditions are especially tough on the larger trout. When you catch a trout, release it in some fast water if it is available.

Enough of this depressing stuff -- spring brook is still fishing as well as you would expect. During the day it is a mix of midges, B.W.O and sulfurs. During the evenings there is an excellent sulfur spinner fall. The same goes for Oatka, except at Oatka there are a few Caddis hatching in the evenings, before the sulfur spinner fall

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Spinners Keep Coming

About the photographs -- One photograph is a nice Springbrook Brown trout caught on a size 20 blue wing olive. The other will give you an idea just how heavy the spinner falls for Springbrook are.

Sulfur Spinner returns continue on both Oatka and Springbrook. Water flow on Oatka trail has become so low that conditions are getting critical. I have moved my fishing back to the park section of Oatka. The spinner returns in this portion of Oatka are starting to wind down. Lighter spinner falls mean there are fewer bugs to compete with our flies. This has made fishing the evening spinner fall more productive. There is a light caddis hatch that is coming off prior to the spinner return. This caddis is a small black caddis, something like a size 18 or 20. You may still find a few chocolate caddis size 14.

Springbrook is having mid afternoon blue wing olive hatches. These olives are a size 18. This Hatch has been a little tough on me I have not yet been able to figure out a consistent pattern. Sometimes the fish want emergers then they want nymphs and then a dune. The challenge I've been having is the fish seem to change their mind every 20 minutes. However, we are still managing to catch a few fish during this olive hatch. Lately fishing the spinner returns on Springbrook, have been as good as you can expect. When I am fishing the spinner returns I gently start out with the male spinner and then once the main body of bugs starts to fall, I shift over to the female spinner.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Can't See My Fly

It is tough to see a size 16 sulfur spinner lying flush in the surface film at last light. When you cannot see your fly it is very hard to properly fish it. You never know if it is drifting correctly or if the fly has been pulled under, or that rise you just saw is actually a trout taking your fly. This is one of the many reasons why some fishermen only see a spinner fall in the rear view mirror.

A trick that I learned several years ago, while fishing in the Catskills with some friends, is to not worry about seeing the spinner. Instead tie, on a larger fly that you can easily see and then fish the spinner as a dropper fly. This way, when you're indicator fly is not performing properly you'll know that your spinner is not fishing properly. When you see a rise near your indicator fly or your fly just plain disappears, set the hook.

Here's how I set this dropper rige up; for the indicator fly I like to use a white wolf size 12 or 14 depending on the situation. The white wolf is tied on to the leader with 4-X or 5-X tippet. This heavier tippet will ensure that the larger fly will turn over easily and this will help to prevent the smaller dropper fly from tangling. As for the dropper fly, I tie this fly to the bend of the hook of the larger indicator fly with about a 12’’ to 18’’ of 6-X tippet. When you are fishing with a pair of flies like this it is twice as easy to get tangled. What I have done is to pre-rige my flies a head of time and then store them separately in a fly box with large compartments so that they will not tangle. Once tangled I just cut the pair flies off and retie, the heavier tip and larger fly makes it easier to tie in a new set in low light.

The spinner falls on Oatka Creek have been very heavy. I have been fishing a male spinner at first. Once the main body of spinners falls, which is made up of primarily females I've been cutting off the male spinner that I have been fishing as a dropper fly. At this point there are so many bugs on the water, if you can get a trout to take your spinner it would be like winning the lottery. I've had more success fishing just a size 14 or 12 white wolf at this point.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sulfur Spinners

About the photographs -- One is obvious; a very nice Brown trout caught in the evening on Oatka Creek. If you enlarge the second photograph you will see the clouds of sulfur spinners I have been talking about.

The thunder storms we had the other day had little effect on our area streams. Every bit of rain we get helps. The Gray fox and March Brown hatch is starting to wind down. There is still a bug or two showing up here and there and the flies are still catching fish. The memory of the bugs still remains. I suspect we have at least two more good weeks of sulfur.

We have been having good fishing with caddis during the evenings on the Oatka. The Caddis flies are about a size 12 or 14 and are chocolate brown in color. Don't ask me which Caddis this is, I have no clue. I have nicknamed them chocolate Caddis. We have been having good success fishing a Caddis adult on the surface and a Caddis emerger fished as a dropper off the dry fly. The trout seem to like the dry fly fished with a slight skitter. This will imitate adult caddis on the surface, while also causing the caddis emerger that is fished on the dropper, to be pulled to the surface just like a natural Caddis fly emerging.

The sulfur spinner falls continue to be very heavy. We have decent fishing early in the sulfur spinner return. Once the main body of spinners start to fall there are so many flies on the water that our fly gets lost in the mass of bugs. We have been catching more fish on a White Wolf size 14 and 12 than we have with sulfur spinners.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Good Trout Fishing

Both Springbrook and Oatka creek have been fishing very well the last couple of days. This is not what I call stupid fishing. Once you to figure out what the fish want you may have some of the best fishing of the year. The water flow for Oatka is still low despite the rain we had earlier in the week. However, the cool temperatures have moved the timing of the hatches back to late afternoon.

I have been fishing Oatka Creek upstream along the trail, during the afternoons. This is where I have been finding gray fox and caddis hatches. Depending on which pool we stop, there is either a gray fox or a caddis hatch. The caddis that is hatching are either a light caddis size 16 or a dark brown caddis size 12. Fishing the gray fox is pretty straightforward. A gray fox dun drifted along current seams. Fishing the caddis hatch has been a little more technical. Some fish want emergers and others will take a dry fly, either scattered across to the surface or dead drift. The trail has been producing wonderful dry fly fishing and what makes it more fun for us, is that we have to figure out what the fish want at each pool.

I have been moving back to Springbrook to fish the evening sulfur hatch. Last few evenings we've had very good sulfur hatches and a few blue wing olives have been hatching along with the sulfurs. Plus, the fish have been feeding well during the sulfur spinner returns. Flies for Springbrook have been sulfur duns, emergers & spinners, pheasant tails and a sulfur nymph that I call a yellow-back. We have also taken a few fish with blue wing olive dun and olive emergers.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It Finally Rained

We finally got some rain. The southern tier received most of the rain, a little over an inch and a half. Around Rochester we received about half that. This rainfall has been a big help in bringing our trout streams back up to a decent level. The Genesee River from Wellsville on downstream is now a little on the high side and slightly off-color and in a day the water clarity will clear up. Oatka Creek has not come up as much as you would have thought. However water flows have improved a little. Oatka Creek may continue to slowly rise over the next few days as high water down stream works its way through.

With all the hot weather we had last week, the hatches on both Oatka and the Genesee were happening at night. Cool weather forecast for this week and with the increase in water flow will bring the water temperatures back down to more comfortable levels for the trout. The cooler water temperatures should also put the bug hatches back on a normal schedule. I suspect the fishing this week is going to be a marked improvement over what we have had the last couple of weeks.

Fish Oatka morning and late afternoons and the Genesee from mid-morning on. Continue to use the same fly patterns that I have suggested previously. For those of you who are new to my postings, the suggested flies are as follows: sulphur duns, sulphur spinners, gray fox, march browns, blue wing olives (both light and dark), Caddis and white wolfs. As for nymphs; hairs ears and pheasant tails.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Low Water Trout Fishing

We need rain badly! All of our streams are showing the effects from the dry weather. Because of the lack of rain all of the streams are now fishing like mid summer. The best times to fish right now are early morning and late afternoon. There is not much bug and fish activity in the middle of the day. Fortunately, so far the water temperatures in all or streams are holding up fairly well, despite a few hot days.

The last few evenings have been warm and this has triggered heavy Sulphur spinner falls. Evening fishing on the Oatka boils down to about a half an hour to an hour of very hectic bug and fish activity. You'll often see sulphur duns hatching and sulpur spinners returning at the same time. When this happens, it can be very challenging to decide what the fish want to eat at that moment. To make matters worse sometimes a particular trout can shift from feeding on dunns to spinners and back again.

As for what is hatching on the Springbrook, Oatka and the Genesee River; very little has changed other than the water flows continue to drop. Fish morning and evenings and continue to use the same fly patterns that I have suggested previously. For those of you who are new to my postings, the suggested flies are as follows: sulphur duns, sulpur spinners, gray fox, march Brown, blue wing olives and white wolfs. As for nymphs; hairs ears and pheasant tails.