Monday, December 31, 2007

A Good Day Of Fishing

We fished two rivers today, starting the day out on the Oak Orchard. The water flow is at what we call a medium flow. The water color is still way off but fishable. There are both steelhead and a few Brown trout spread throughout the pools in the entire river. We caught our steelhead with chartreuse estazsegg flies size 8, for the browns stay with streamer size 6 as always any color is good as long as it is white.

The second river we fished was Sandy Creek. Here too the water color is off but not as bad as the Oak. As for the water flow, Sandy was still flowing a little high. Despite the water conditions we did catch several Brown trout with white and pink bunny streamers size 6 and chartreuse estaz egg size 8.

The weather forecast for this week is for a cold front to come through. This cold snap will slow down any remaining runoff. This cold weather will give the rivers a chance to clear up. I suspect a cold weather will only affect us and not to fishing.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Shaping Up

I get out to day to see how the streams are shaping up. Starting with the Oak Orchard River; the Oak is just on the muddy side of fishing. Give the Oak a few more days and the dirty water will not be a good excuse for not catching fish. Over the years I have found, if I can see my feet in two feet of water, then the water is clear enough to fish. During the winter the fish need to look at the fly a little longer. When the water temperature is above 40 the muddy water is not as big of an issue.

Even though the water at the Oak was on the muddy side, we did manage to catch a few fish. The Brown trout came to streamers and the steelhead on egg fly.

Over the weekend we did receive enough rain to blow the ice out of the smaller area streams. If you are thinking of fishing these streams, be careful the backs are covered with ice.

The Genesee River: forget it this river is blown out and it is going to stay that way for some time to come.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Just what We Needed

Looks like we get a Christmas gift for the Oak Orchard River. The heavy rainfall that we received the past two days will definitely bring the Oak Orchard River back up to normal water flow. This sharp increase in water flow will freshen up the fish and once the water clears up we will be back winter fishing. The increase water flow, is drawing in fresh steelhead and encourage foraging Browns that remained in the river to move back up river.
The heavy rainfall may have been good for the Oak Orchard River. But the Genesee River was just starting to come down to a fishable level, you can forget about this River for a while. I suspect the Genesee will be flowing at near flood levels for about a week.
Water fluctuations like the one we are expressing now are good for winter fishing. We need these fluctuations to wake up and move the fish. When we have long periods of study water flows, the winter fishing will become tough. Steelheads that are, sitting in pools for extended periods of time, a week or more will become very inactive. Fluctuations of high water wakes these fish up and moves, the fish into new pools where they become active once again.

One last note; I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Winter Steelhead Fishing Tips

There is no doubt that by now we are winter fishing. Just because it is cold and snowing out does not mean it is time to put away the fly fishing gear. Winter time can provide us with some wonderful opportunities; we just need to know how to take advantage of it. Here are a few tips to help cope with the unique challenges of winter fishing.

Dress warm
This may sound obvious but many fishermen forget how quickly the cold water can suck the heat out of you. Leave your breathable waders at home, boot foot neoprene waders are the only way to go.

Winter proof your gear
The cold weather has a tendency to cause you reels to gum up. Clean the grease out of your reels. Also it's a good idea to consider changing your fly lines. The older style Courtland 444 lines handle the cold water far better than the newer style fly lines.

Fish banker’s hours 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
I have talked about this many times before. Over the years I have discovered that the best time to be fishing daring the winter is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no reason to start fishing early in the day, all you will do is freeze up.

Stay in the pools
During the winter the fish are not as interested in migrating up stream as much as waiting out the winter. All of your fish will be concentrated in the sheltered water of the pools. This is where we will obviously concentrate our fishing efforts.

Break the pool down into smaller bites
Breaking the pool down and using the high stick style of presentation will have two vantages for you. The first you can more precisely fish the pool, the second of vantage is you are not constantly polling wet fly line in to your rod guides. Any little trick you can use to keep from constantly icing up is a big help.

Slow down
You need to thoroughly fish out the pools before you consider moving on. The fish are cold and reacting very slowly. I believe at times they need to see the fly a few times before they decide to take it. It is winter and everything takes longer than normal.

Use a strike indicator
Winter fishing means fishing the pools, this is a perfect situation for a strike indicator. Using a strike indicator will help you to more precisely cover the water and detect the very soft strikes that are so typical during winter time.

I hope the cold does not discourage you from taking advantage the fishing that still exists. We are at this time running a winter time fishing special, if you are interested please feel free to call the shop. The number is 585-352-4775

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tough Fishing

Tough pickings on the Oak Orchard River these days. There is still plenty of fish, but with the low water. Most of these fish have been caught and released more than a few times, these fish know the gig. I suspect the fishing on the Oak Orchard is going to be tough until the water comes up. The way the weather is looking this may not be much longer.

There are a lot of spawned out brown trout feeding in the slow water. These fish will stay and feed as long as there is food. The streamer fishing will hold up for a few more weeks, weather permitting.

Productive flies -- because of the low water and cold temperatures we are using strike indicators and light tippets when fishing the pools. Now for the flies, we are using small egg patterns. Nuclear roe bugs size 10 and 12 colors pink and Oregon cheese have been the most productive. The same goes for small glow bugs size 10 and 12 colors pink, Oregon cheese, apricot if you like you can tie a small blood dot. For streamers I have been staying with the bunny streamers, any color is good as long as it is white.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cold Week

I didn't do much fishing this week. The cold weather has given me a chance to catch up with my fly tying. My fly boxes have taken a big beating this fall. It's going to be a big job replenishing all the flies that we went through. Here are the recipes for a couple of the flies I have been working on. For most of you these two fly patterns should be quite familiar, such as the nuclear roe bug.

*Nuclear Roe Bug*
Hook: Daiichi 1530
Size: 12 - 8
Thread: white waxed thread
Body: Oregon cheese dub
Wing: White glo-bug yarn

This is a streamer that I like to fish during the winter for Brown trout. This is an easy and fast fly to tie. Plus this streamer pattern does not require any fancy materials.

*Bunny Streamer*
Hook: Daiichi 2220
Size: 6 to 4
Thread: 6/0 red
Body: glow white chenille
Wing: rabbit strip
Collar: soft grizzly tackle
Note: You can tie this streamer in any color you desire. For winter fishing and Brown trout, I prefer white.

What is going on with the fishing? The Genesee River is still too high to fish and the way it looks it will be at least another week before we can even try. Sandy Creek: the cold weather has locked this creek up in ice. We will need a good thaw and a bunch of wet weather to clear the ice out so we can fish. Right now the only river that is fishing is the Oak Orchard. The water flow for the Oak is still low. Concentrate your fishing in the pools. For flies, stick with small egg patterns and nymphs.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


This cold snap has slammed the fishing into the ice box. Frozen fly lines, leaders and flies. Not to mention ice frozen onto the waders. The cold snap has also cooled the fishing down. We had to fish hard for the fish we did catch.

Oak Orchard River will remain fishable throughout most of the winter as long as the flow remains adequate. On this day we were obviously using winter fishing techniques. That is fishing with strike indicators, small flies and light tippits. Even though we did find a few fish in the riffs and runs, all the fish that were interested in biting were located in the pools.

Hopefully with all the weather that is predicted for this week, we will get enough rain and snow to bring the water flows up a little for the Oak Orchard. Until then there is still plenty of Brown trout and a few Steelheads hanging around to make the fishing interesting. However the low water is going to make the fishing technically tough.

Productive flies -- recently we have been using small egg patterns. Nuclear roe bugs size 10 and 12 colors pink and Oregon cheese have been the most productive. The same goes for small glow bugs size 10 and 12 colors pink, Oregon cheese, apricot if you like you can tie a small blood dot. For streamers I have been staying with the bunny streamers, any color is good as long as it is white.