Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter Like Fishing

The way the weather is looking for next week, we will be fishing in winter conditions. Hopefully the rivers and creeks will have enough water to maintain some good cold-weather fishing. When I am fishing during the cold weather, I will fish from about 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Most of the time the fish do not start to bit in till mid morning and then stop about mid afternoon.

As for what is going on now. The water is still cold at Sandy creek and the way things look, it is going to stay that way. The pools and pocket water is where we are now finding most of our fish. The water flow at Sandy Creek is getting low once again; as a result we are using strike indicators to more precisely control our drifts.

The Oak Orchard -- The canal water has stopped and now the Oak Orchard water flow is very low. Given the water conditions, the fishing is holding up fairly well and the fishing pressure has drop off sharply. There are still good numbers of brown trout and steelhead spread out from the dam on down river to the north wall. Because of low water these fish are a little spooky. We have been concentrating our fishing effort in the remaining fast water, and we are using light tippits and size 10 egg flies to catch these fish. In the lower fishable portion of the river, we are starting to have good success fishing white bunny streamers. The streamer fishing should be effective for the next few weeks, as more spawned out Brown trout drop down into the slow water. Once these Browns enter the slow water they will start to feed aggressively on creek chubs and shad. White streamers tied with rabbit strips have proven to be the most productive pattern.

Low water on the Oak Orchard is nothing new. I've seen low water like this in the past. Some years even with the low water the Oak can fill up with late run Brown trout.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cold Weather - Cold Water

Recently we have been catching a mixed bag of both Rainbow trout and Brown trout. Sandy Creek generally has a strong run of Rainbow trout in mid to late November.
The cold weather we have been experiencing this week has slowed down the spawning activity of the Brown trout. The cold water has sent the Browns in to the holes and pockets. Once the water warms up a little the Browns will get back to spawning. From now on the water temperatures are going to be on the cold side. Sandy creek is a long shallow creek that will cool and warm quickly. With these cold conditions Sandy creek will fish best in the afternoon. On cold days I like to fish Oak Orchard in the mornings and then move to Sandy for the afternoon.

It looks like we have received all of the canal water we're going to for the year, the canal system is now drained. Fortunately we are having enough wet weather and a water flows on Sandy are still remaining decent. Hopefully we will continue to get some steady rainfall and keep the water flow at a fishable level. As for the muddy look to the creek: remember the off color water is cover to the fish.

On normal years the Brown trout will be winding down with there spawning by now. This year the low water has delayed this for weeks. The Brown trout spawn has only been going on for about two weeks now. The streamer fishing that normally is on by now, is just starting. We are still taking most of our Browns with egg flies.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Water - We Got It

When conditions change it always seems to change fast. With the canal water release and 2 inches of rainfall we had the other day. Sandy Creek has come up to an excellent flow for both fishing and fish migration. Hopefully all the Brown trout and rainbows that have been sitting in the lower river will now migrate quickly up river. We need to have the Brown trout work there way several miles up river so we can have good winter fishing. Hopefully there's still time for this to happen before winter weather sets in and the creek ices up for the winter.

Because we have only recently received good water flows for Sandy Creek, most of the good fishing is located at the lower end of the creek. If you intend to do a little hiking and fishing the upper portions of Sandy Creek, keep in mind it is deer season. I suggest that you fish this section of the creek from midmorning to early afternoon. This is both a good time of the day to fish and will keep us out of the way of the deer hunters. With the cold weather we are having the last couple days, the morning fishing has been slow. However things have been picking up very nicely in the afternoon. There is still a lot of Brown trout spawning activity which is creating an excellent egg fly bite.

Oak Orchard River -- The fishing pressure is now starting to taper off, however there is still a lot of good fishing to be had. Late November early December has produced some of the best fishing that I've expressed on Oak Orchard. The way the weather patterns are starting to look, the Oak Orchard River should continue to have decent water flows. As long as we have these water flows the fishing is going to hold up just fine.

Genesee River -- The water flow for the Genesee River has come up sharply in recent days. It will take about five to seven days for flows to settle down if they do. Just before the River came up the steelhead fishing was incredibly hot. There is a lot of steelhead in the Genesee River to be caught once the water flows straightened out.

As for the flies, once again nothing has changed, for those of you who are new. Here is the rundown; for Brown trout and Steelhead, nuclear roe bugs in size 8 and 10 colors Oregon cheese and orange. For Salmon and swinging flies for Steelhead, black and brown woolly buggers size 6 and 4 and bunny streamers, size 6 and 4 in colors all white, white and pink, white and brown, Brown and black.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sandy Creek Rainbows

With the canal water release, and the time of the year we will be encountering more rainbow trout running in Sandy Creek. We need to take special care with these unique fish. Over the summer research has been done in Sandy Creek and young of the year rainbows have been discovered. As I have said - Sandy has it's own unique run of wild Rainbows, we now have proof of this being true. These fish must be protected. There are not many of this unique fish and it is not supported by a hatchery. We have to take it onto ourselves to protect these fish, or we will definitely lose them. This is going to be a very tough fall for Sandy's Rainbow's. Low water is going to make migration up River almost impossible for them. If these fish do not make it way up River, their young will not survive. It is a simple numbers game; more fish we allow to continue their up river migration, the more fish will live to spawn. Doing what we can to help these fish will maintain and improve the Rainbow fishing for seasons to come which is something we all want for ourselves. The next time you see someone with a rainbow on Sandy Creek, remind him to give fish a break. If we don't protect our own fisheries, then who is?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Hunt Continues

I have decided to stay on Sandy Creek and take my hits. I'd rather struggle for a few fish in peace than fish in a crowd and hope I can work into a good spot and catch a few fish. I have been finding a lot of Brown trout, Coho salmon and Rainbows in the estuary. The problem is that it is all private property and the access is extremely limited. The low water flow on sandy Creek has kept these fish in the estuary until recently. I have finally found a few fish that have started to venture up the creek. I am walking about 2 to 4 miles a day and we have been averaging about six to eight fish a day. Hopefully once the canal starts to be drained the Browns will quickly migrate up river, improving their numbers. Until then, at least we are fishing in peace.

The word on the Genesee River is that there are a lot of Salmon still coming in to the river. The Salmon's spawn activity is spread out all the way down the river to Seth Green Island. As for the Steelhead there are good numbers of fish up around the falls and the powerhouse pool. Because of all the Salmon spawning, fishing for Steelhead in or just below the powerhouse pool is an egg fly bite. Down river along Seth Green Island you may have a better chance of catching a Steelhead on a swinging fly. However you will have your best results fishing egg patterns down here to.

As for the flies, once again nothing has changed, for those of you who are new here is the rundown; for Brown trout and Steelhead, nuclear roe bugs in size 8 and 10 colors Oregon cheese and orange. For Salmon and swinging flies for Steelhead, black and brown woolly buggers size 6 and 4 and bunny streamers, size 6 and 4 in colors all white, white and pink, white and brown, Brown and black.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not Much Has Changed

Not much has changed in the last few days. Sandy Creek still needs water, looks like we will have to wait until next week for the canal to release water. We are finding precious few Brown trout sprout out through Sandy Creek, we are having to look hard to find a fish or two. Oak Orchard continues to fish just fine, despite the heavy fishing pressure. The last time I was there we saw plenty of female Browns showing up. The Brown trout spawning activity is picking up on the Oak. As for the Genesee River, things are flowing along just like we would expect it to do.

We are catching plenty of Brown trout, however we are having to do a lot to moving around. I hope things will change once the canal water comes through. As always some heavy rain will always help.

Productive fly patterns; not much has changed here either. Orange and Oregon cheese nuclear roe bugs & white bunny streamers. That is about all I have been using for fly patterns lately. If it's not broke, why fix it?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fall Brown Trout

I have been fishing both Sandy Creek and Oak Orchard River the past week. We have received a little bit of rain the last couple of days, however it is not enough to effect the water flows. Water flows at Sandy Creek are extremely low. The low water is keeping the Brown trout from running the Creek like they normally do. I have found precious few fish in the normal spots for this time of the year. When you are dealing with extreme low water conditions, you need to look at your rivers completely different. Fish are more sensitive to low water conditions than high water conditions.

Oak Orchard
The water flow for the Oak Orchard River is made up almost entirely with canal water release. This will guarantee a fishable flow of water for the next few weeks.
The Brown trout fishing has been spotty the last few days. The fishing pressure on Oak Orchard River has been extremely intense from Friday to Monday, and the remainder of the week is fairly reasonable for the season. There is still a few Chinook salmon trying to spawn and a few Steelheads are being caught daily. The Brown Trout fishing is concentrated in the deeper runs and pools, it is still early yet.

Genesee River
This is one river that is definitely benefiting from the dry weather. The Genesee River continues to have good fishing for Chinook salmon. Spawning Salmon are spread out from a powerhouse pool all the way down to Seth Green Island. The numbers of steelhead continue to improve almost daily. Because of all the spawning the steelhead are spread out amongst the spawning salmon feeding in the stray eggs.

Productive Flies
For the Brown trout we are using a wide variety of flies from egg flies (my favorite nuclear roe bugs in colors of Oregon cheese and orange), to streamers such as white bunny streamers and woolly buggers.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fish Tails

This will end my stay on the Salmon River in Pulaski, N.Y. It is now time to fish for Brown Trout. We had a good fall on the Salmon River, despite the low water. We experienced one of the best runs of Coho Salmon of all times, great fun. We caught plenty of Chinook salmon and at this time the Salmon River is having a good run of Steelhead.

I will now be fishing the western end of the lake for the rest of the fall. Once again we have the same low water as we did on the Salmon river, hopefully we will get some rain soon. Until then we can fish the Genesee River. During low water years like this one the Genesee River will fish at it’s best. The low water will slow the start of the Brown trout run at Sandy Creek. But once again, just like the salmon, the brown trout will run.

The water flow on the Oak is very good as the Oak receives canal water. As a result, the Oak Orchard is right on schedule with the Brown trout run. The Oak has been receiving good runs of Brown trout. There is also a few Steelhead that are being caught daily and there is still a lot of Chinook salmon around.

Hopefully we will get some more rain next week. The smaller creeks and rivers are still way low. The fishing in these waters is starting up slowly. It will take a lot of rain and some time to get the Brown trout fishing going As always, with tributary fishing conditions can and do change quickly.