Friday, May 30, 2008

Moving Along




There is a steady hatch of Sulfur coming of Spring brook. For now the hatch timing is in the afternoon. Depending on the day there may be a size 18 blue wing olive hatching along with the Sulfur. If there are no sulfurs or olives hatching try fishing a size 16 pheasant tail nymphs and the normal midges and scuds.
The water flow on Oatka Creek is flowing lower than normal for this time of the year. Until we get some rain, concentrate you’re fishing during the mid to late afternoons and on cloudy days. During low water flows trout become extremely spooky on bright sunny days. As for the bug hatches, everything is right on schedule despite the cool water. There is good sulfur hatches all up and down the creek now along with gray foxes and March Browns. If you're interested in a spinner return, keep in mind the spinners need the air temperature to be above 60 degrees. The way the weather forecast for this week end is looking, the temperatures should be warm enough for the spinners to return if it is not raining.
The southern tier has been receiving more rain than we have been getting a long the Oatka Creek system. As a result the water flow on the Genesee River is about as good as it gets for fishing. The Genesee River has been fishing on and off depending on water and air temperature. When the Genesee is on there is decent gray fox, March Brown and sulfur hatches during the day. Because of cool evening air temperatures there has not been many spinner returns during the evening.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Cool Weather




If the weather warms up this week, the trout streams will be back on line. The upper Genesee River and Oatka Creek were fishing very slow. Last week, water temperatures were as low as 48 degrees. In fact, last week the water temperature on the beaver kill never even got to 50 degrees. The bug activity on the Oatka has been on and off depending on both air and water temperatures. This week we can expect all the hatches will be going (Invariant, Gray Fox, March Brown) during the afternoon. In the evenings, we can now look for Sulfur hatch and spinner returns, weather and air temperatures permitting. It is time to start looking for Sulfur on Spring brook, they will be showing up any day. Along with the Sulfur, Blue wing olives continue hatch. The bug still is a size 18.

The Genesee river will be back fishing this week, with all of the following hatches; Gray Fox, March Brown and Sulfur. The upper Genesee River can have one of the best Gray Fox hatch I known of.
As long as we continue to have cooler than normal weather, concentrate your fishing efforts during the afternoons. For now Oatka Creeks' water flow is lower than normal for this time of year. Try fishing along the Oatka trail, the creek is a little narrower here and the water flows will be more concentrated. The last couple of weeks the southern tier has received more rainfall. The water flow on the Genesee River is about perfect for fishing. However if water temperatures have remained cold and you do not see much for bug activity, try nymph fishing.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cold Weather




The weather this week has definitely been unusually cold. This cool weather has put the trout fishing on hold. However not all is lost because Spring brook is spring fed thus weather fluctuations have very little impact. Spring brook has enjoyed a steady trickle of blue wing olives size 18. Look for the Sulfur hatch to be starting on Spring brook sometime next week. Besides the blue wing olives and sulfurs try fishing pink scud, pheasant tails and midges size 20 on down.

Oatka Creek has been fishing slow this past week obviously due to the cool weather. Nymph fishing has been producing more than its share of fish. Once the weather and water temperatures return to normal so will the hatches, and we will be back to some dry-fly fishing. Expect to see two separate sulfur hatches the first starting in the afternoon this fly being the Invariant size 14 then towards evening the Dorothea will hatch. Even though the Invariant is a larger fly I fish both of these hatches with a size 16. The upper portion of Oatka Creek along the trail is also having a March Brown hatch. This is a size 10 fly. You will not see in a lot of March Browns on the water at one time. This fly trickles off the water slowly throughout the day. If you enjoy covering a lot of water while you fish this is a great hatch to fish.

If you're interested in doing a little bass fishing try the Oak Orchard River. There has been a fairly decent number of small mouth bass hanging in the pools. Try fishing the three major pools sycamore pool, archer’s pool, & road hole. Productive flies? Use up all your leftover woolly buggers and bunny flies from steelhead fishing.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yellow Bugs




Here we go! We have all been waiting for this Hatch. Oatka Creek has Sulfurs which started to Hatch last Thursday. Over the next two weeks we will have some of the best fishing of the season on Oatka Creek. We can expect to find Caddis hatches and a Sulfur hatch known as the Invariant coming off sometime in the afternoons, and in the evenings a Dorothea hatch. The Caddis fly is a light Caddis size 14. The Invariant which we call a sulfur obviously is a may fly, also a size 14. Do not worry about tying up a batch of size 14 Sulfur to match this fly. This particular fly trickles off for most of the afternoon and I have found that a size 16 works just fine, the same goes for the Dorothea. This weeks' weather forecast is for rain showers and cooler temperatures until the end of the week. This weather will help to slow the hatches down a little. If the hatch activity seems slow, then try nymph fishing. Pheasant tails and hares ear's both in size 16 will be an ideal match for most of the insect activity. Keep in mind as much as we like to dry fly fish, Oatka Creek is more of a nymph fishermen's Creek.

Springbrook -- look for the sulfur hatch to start up in about another week. Until then with this gray weather there should be a steady flow of blue wing olives size 18 and midges.
The trout fish in this area is definitely getting well underway and right on schedule. We've got the bugs. It has been a good spring of steelhead fishing and I will be making a post talking about that. As of now I'm going to be fishing the local trout streams. I'll also be making regular trips to the upper Genesee River, the Wellsville area. If you have been thinking about tuning up your trout fishing skills, this is a good time to do it. You can contact me through the shop, or give me a call or e-mail.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Winding Down





This year’s steelhead run is finally starting to wind down. It looks like we may have about one more week of drop back steelhead fishing. Water flows are starting to drop down to normal mid spring levels. Water flows have dropped from 335 CFS to 285 CFS and will be flown at 185 by the end of the week. Water temperatures still remained in the mid 50 degree mark, however the drop in water flow is going to shake it a lot of fish out of the river. There is always a few stray fish left in the Salmon River when I finally go home. Past few days we have been fishing through a lot of water. Each pool we fish through, we are getting one or two fish after that it is time to move on. We are now spending most of our time fishing from mid river on down. There is still steelhead in the upper river, including the no kill zones. Most of the steelhead is worn out and battle scarred males, that haven't realized it is time to leave yet. If you work with these fish, you can once in awhile get one to bite. Productive flies, nothing new here the same stuff continues to produce.

The word on Oatka and spring Creek – Oatka, the Henriksen hatches all but done. There is still a Henriksen spinner returns in the evenings and mixed in with the Henriksen's are blue wing olive. Afternoon fishing activity will soon be picking back up. Look for light Caddis hatches to be starting soon, this hatch starters out as a mid afternoon hatch. The Caddis is a size 14, as the hatch progresses the fly size well drop down to a size 16. Fishing on spring Creek for now is mostly made up of midges, scuds and blue wing olive, the olive is a size 18. For those of you who are wondering when the sulfur hatch will be starting, my best guesses some time around the 25th

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hunting Drop Back Steelhead



Spawning steelheads on the gravel beds are becoming a rare find now. We are spending all of our time now hunting for drop back steelhead. A typical approach is to start at the head of the pool and swing flies all the way through to the tail of the pool. A very simple approach make one cast, step 30 inches the length of a steelhead, and then make an other cast and so in. When we fish to the end of the pool, we move on to the next. We will make a second pass through the pool only if, I see or we catch a fish. This is classic West Coast style steelhead fishing. We are using sink tip lines and sinking leaders to get the fly down and of course this is classic spey style fishing.
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Looking at the photographs you will most certainly note, most of the steelhead we are catching are now very skinny. Do not let these looks deceive you, these fish are hot. When steelheads start to drop back they also go on to feed. This feeding activity has two effects on the steelhead. The first effect is, the steelhead become extremely aggressive. Present the right fly in front of one of the steelheads they will almost certainly eat the fly. The trick here is to know what fly they want. My guesses most of the steelhead are feeding primarily on crayfish and minnows, and most certainly a few steelhead are attacking the juvenile steelhead that have been released into the River. The second reason these drop back steelhead are finally getting some food energy back into their system. They are no longer surviving on body reserves and of course water temperatures in the upper 50s, most certainly helps. We have been using a few flies for this type of fishing the first is a size 4 Brown Willy bugger and a tube fly, called Mickey fin this fly is tied approximately 4 inches long, we also have been getting a few fish still on small intruder style flies. I have also been working on a fly tied on a tube that will resemble all the young steelhead. When I find something that I like and works, I will be sure to show it off.

What is going on with Oatka and spring Creek? In a nutshell, good fishing. Obviously I have not been Oatka and spring Creek yet this spring. But I have been getting really good information from a few of my friends. I've been told that they're still has been a few Hendrickson’s hatching and of course a steady flow of smaller flies. The smaller flies are most certainly blue wing olives, these flies are a size 16. You will find olives on both Oatka and spring Creek. Most days this Hatch will trickle off sometime in the afternoon towards evening. When we have cloudy rainy days, go fishing on these days you can experience some of the best blue wing olive hatches. For some reason olives like to Hatch during wet weather. Those of you who only can fish dearing the evenings look for Hendrickson’s spinner returns. Keep in mind that these spinners will not return in less the air temperature is above 60 degrees. If we have a cold day or two once the temperature does become warm enough for the spinners to return, you can count on the spinner return to be heavy. Afternoon are your time to fish, keep a lookout for Caddis. Oatka Creek should start to have a Caddis Hatch soon. This fly starts out as a size 14 and it is a late afternoon hatch. I have in the past, had my best luck fishing with wet flies during this particular Caddis hatch. I have found a size 14 hairs ear wet fly as been as effective as anything.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Drop Back Steelhead







Sorry about being a little slow with my up dates, the fishing has kept me busy. The large numbers of spawning steelhead are now starting to drop off. Despite this there still is plenty of spawning steelhead in the upper river for now. My best guess is that we may be able to find a few spawning steelhead for another week or so.

The biggest change this week has been the water flows. Water flow has been at 1800 CFS until Friday, May 2 the flow now are at 750 CFS and have been this way for last few days the water flow is now going to 500 CFS. This sharp drop in water flow has shaken a few steelheads loose, and started these fish to drop back. For now most of the drop back steelhead are in the upper river, that is from Pineville on up through the no kill zones. Drop back steelheads get a bad rap, as quality fish. This has not been my experience. Once a steelhead finish spawning, they can lose up to 30% of their body weight. This may be why fishermen have consider, these fish to be weak fighting fish.
I find these fish to be hard fighting and more than willing to not just take a fly but often to attack it. Some of the most exciting runs I have ever seen have come from drop back steelhead. Productive flies; have been pretty much the same stuff, size 4 Brown woolly buggers have been the top producer. Along with intruder style patterns, are still taking their share of steelhead

The cool weather has slowed the fishing down on Oatka Creek. There are still a few Hendrickson hatching, but most of the flies that are hatching are now blue wing olives. Look for this Hatch around mid afternoon. You may also find a few olives hatching on spring Creek, the timing of this Hatch is approximately the same time around mid afternoon. When we have a evening with the air temperature above 60 degrees there will still be Hendrickson spinners returning for at least one more week.