Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Am Back At It

Duck hunting in the Virginia salt marshes

A Virginia black duck.

A Chesapeake Bay Canvas Back

Sorry about being out of touch the lost two weeks, I have been duck hunting in Virginia and Maryland. Once I got back I was hit with computer trouble. We all know about the trouble computers can give us!

The duck hunting was good as always, some days we shot more ducks than other days. We saw a lot of ducks, and Luke [my chocolate lab] got a lot of work. It is always good to get together and do a little hunting with friends and family.

So what is up with the fishing? As you would expect sandy creek is a frozen Popsicle. The water flow on the Oak Orchard River has dropped down to a low and clear flow. This is typical for the Oak when the winter weather turns cloudy. There are still a few fish around, but the fishing is tough.

The big change is with the Genesee River. The cloud weather is giving the river a chance for the water flow to come down. As of now the Genesee River is still a little high to fish, but the river is dropping. The way it looks, give the river about a week and we may be able to fish. The Genesee River has not been fished in over a month. Once we can get on the river the fishing should be as good as it gets. A word of warning, there may be some shelf ice. The ice may not be strong enough to stand on.

Note: There is still room in our fly tying class. The classes are small and there are two instructors. The classes start, February 6 at7 pm, for more information call the shop at 585-352-4775.



Saturday, January 12, 2008

More Water


Made a run to the Salmon River and fished last Thursday and Friday. The warm weather over the past week and the rainfall Thursday night caused the Salmon River to rise. It started out at 500 CFS and by Thursday was flowing at 1800 CFS. By Friday morning we were trying to fish in water flows that were 2000 CFS plus runoff. The Pineville gauge was reading 2700 CFS!!! The only real bright spot in all this the water temperature was fluctuating between 34 to 36°. Still damn cold.

We have been experiencing the best winter steelhead fishing that we have seen in a decade on the Salmon River. Trying to hook a steelhead in 2700 CFS and 36° water can be a very tough challenge. However once the river drops down to about 750 CFS the fishing will return back to normal.

If your interest is swinging flies, concentrate your fishing efforts on the lower river. The steelhead will be fresher there and have experienced less fishing pressure. As a result they will be more likely to respond to a fly presented on a swing. Productive flies will be: white bunny flies and white/pink marble flies (you can also try these patterns in various color combinations of orange, chartreuse, black and brown). Keep the fly size no larger than about 3 inches.

From Pineville on up to the lower fly fishing only zone receives the majority of the fishing pressure. As a result the fish are not as likely to chase down a swinging fly. The best presentation here is to dead drift the flies along the river bottom. Productive flies in this part of the river are, stone flies, size 10 to 6, black and brown woolly buggers size 10 and 8, medium-sized nymphs size 10 and 12 and egg flies size 12 to 8. I have had my best success fishing these flies under an indicator and using 6 and 8 pound test tippets.

What's going on with Oak Orchard and Sandy Creek? Starting with Oak Orchard River, the wet weather the last few days has not had much of effect on the Oak. Not much here has changed. There are a few Browns and steelhead hanging around the damn and the turbine channel and a few more fish down river in the slow water. Stay with the old streamer standby when fishing in the slow deeper water. As for the rest of the river, light tippets and small flies in size 10 to 12 are the way to go.

Sandy Creek was affected with the last rainfall. The water flow at Sandy should settle out and be back to fishing early in the week as long as the weather doesn't get too cold and cause Sandy to ice up. There should continue to be a good mix of Rainbows, Browns and Steelhead. Productive flies: nothing here has really changed much. For those of you who are not familiar with the routine, here it is. We have been fishing the pools with a two part approach. The first pass through the pool is with streamers, a size 6 with a white wing and pink body has been working well for the Brown trout. The second pass is with egg flies fished under a strike indicator for the steelhead and rainbows.

Jeff is a great fly tyer, here is some of his work.



Tuesday, January 8, 2008

January Thaw






It has been nice the last few days to be able to fish and not clean the ice out of the guides. Obviously this is going to change in time. For now we can enjoy it while it last. The Oak Orchard River has been getting and lots of fishing pressure the last few days. As a result the fishing has become tough. Until we receive some high water to freshen up the fishing, it is going to stay that way. There are a few Browns and steelhead hanging around the dam and the turbine channel and a few more fish down river in the slow water. Stay with the old streamer standby when fishing in the slow deeper water. As for the rest of the river, light tippets and small flies in size 10 to 12 are the way to go.

The ice on Sandy Creek has cleared out, even though water flow is a little high and off-color Sandy is for now fishing fairly well. There is a good mix of Brown trout rainbow trout and steelhead scattered through out the creek. We have been fishing the pools with a two part approach. The first pass through the pool is with streamers, a size 6 with a white wing and pink body has been working well for the Brown trout. The second pass is with egg flies fished under a strike indicator for the steelhead and rainbows. I do not know how long the fishing on Sandy is going to hold up. As soon as the weather does change, Sandy will ice back up.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Changing Conditions





Right now only the Oak Orchard River is fishable. The Oak has benefited from the cold snap these past few days and the water has had time to clear some. There is still a strong stained color to the water. Water flow is at a good medium flow and with the water color the Oak is in excellent fishing condition. The weather that is predicted for this coming weekend and into early next week will bring the water flow back up. However I suspect we will have three or four good days of fishing before this happens. Suggest a fly patterns for the Oak Orchard River: egg patterns in size 8 and 10, colors orange, chartreuse, pink. You can also try nymphs such as black stone flies in size 8 and 6 also give here's ears a try in size 12 and 10. Do not forget white streamers in size 6 and 4, for the Brown trout.

Sandy Creek is for now one giant popsicle. The cold snap we have had last few days, has caused Sandy to freeze up. It is going to take a few days for all the ice to clear out. Hopefully the water flow and clarity will allow Sandy to be in reasonable fishing conditions. Only time will tell.