Sunday, August 24, 2008

Early Start


A Chinook Salmon sitting at the tail of the fish ladder at the Salmon River hatchery.

The route 48 bridge at Pineville

The thunderstorms we have been enjoying the last two weeks have kept the water flowing. The Salmon River is definitely no exception; water flows have been 750 CFS and up all last week. Add this to unseasonably cool weather, favorable winds out on the Lake. There have been a few very early small runs of Chinook salmon. Normally we will not see any fish until the Labor Day weekend water release at the earliest. Who knows this may be a good indication of what is coming this fall. I will be heading back up to the Salmon River this coming Friday. My intentions are to get reacquainted with the river. Pools and runs in this River can, and do, change often. There is a scheduled water release for this weekend of 750 CFS, after the weekend starting on Monday the Salmon River will have a new minimum flow for the fall of 335 CFS. After fishing last fall this will seem like very high water, however 335 CFS is considered normal water flow for fall salmon season. Last Saturday I stopped at the Salmon River hatchery at Altmar, and took a peek at the bottom and of the fish ladder. I saw one Chinook salmon and six summer run steelhead sitting there. Judging from all the reports I've been receiving about the early runs of Chinook salmon, and my observations from the steelhead this summer. my fishing strategy is starting to look like this: Fishing the lower River in the Dougaston Salmon Run in the morning for Chinook salmon. Then after a mid-day break fishing the upper fly fishing zone for a summer run steelhead. Not a bad way to spend the day.

What's going on with the trout fishing? There is still a lout of tricos hatching on Oatka Creek. Not much has changed the same group of flies are still working just fine. Other rivers and creeks, such as the Genesee River are starting to come back into line with good consistent fishing. The nights are becoming a little longer and a little cooler this is cooling off the water temperatures slowly but surely. Once again the Genesee River will provide several hours of productive fish. Nothing new is happening with Spring Brook; the same stuff, scuds, mages, streamers. For Spring Brook this selection of flies will hold right through fall.
Note: I still have prime days available in September and early October. If you are interested in doing some Chinook and Coho salmon fishing, give myself or the fly shop a call. The number is 585-352-4775 or e-mail me at jay@jaypeckguides.com

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fishing for Early-Run Salmon





The month of September is my personal favorite time to fish for Chinook salmon. What I enjoy about fishing for salmon in September is that the salmon are silver & fresh from the lake. September salmon have just recently stopped feeding. What this means is that their predatory instinct is still working. This makes the salmon more prone to chasing flies presented on the swing. The big runs have not started yet. However there are always a few salmon poking around somewhere along the river. The best part of this is that the big crowds have not started to show up yet. This is a good time to fish for salmon and not have to deal with the potential fishing pressure.
On labor day weekend the minimum water flow on the salmon river goes from 185 CFS too 355 CFS. This increase in water flow will often trigger a run of salmon. The size of the run will vary from 20 fish to 2000 fish. There are several factors from river to lake conditions that will determine the size of the run. Regardless of the number fish that are available, I always find this to be a good time to get reacquainted with the river. For the fist two weeks the salmon runs are unpredictable. Most years there is at least a few small runs of salmon to make the fishing interesting. [This is why I do not like to make advance bookings for the first two weeks of September. I prefer to do this as a last minute thing. Call and talk to me and we will discuss what is happening on the River at the time.]
By mid September this is the time you want be at the Salmon River if you are interested in experiencing a run of Coho salmon. The timing of the Coho run is almost impossible to predict. The best I can say is that over the years, some time between mid to late September, Coho salmon will make their run. Coho salmon are a lot of fun to fish for. The biggest challenge is trying to time their runs. The Chinook salmon runs are starting to show up on a daily basis and there's salmon spread out through the entire river system. {Now is when I feel comfortable with making advanced planning. From September 15th on we can count on salmon spread out through out in the river} Morning will find us fishing the Douglaston Salmon Run for fresh run salmon. These salmon are just entering the river and have not been exposed to fishing pressure. The salmon are generally in the best mood for taking a fly. Most days, by noon the fishing has started to wind down. This is always a good time to take a break. Some days, for what ever reason, only known to the fish themselves we can experience a steady flow of fish that could last until mid afternoon. When this happens, obviously we will take full advantage. When salmon entering the rivers in September they are in a run and rest mode, thinking they have several hundred miles to go. Salmon prefer to run during lowlight periods. This means late afternoon will be prime time to fish. The technique that we use is to locate a pool full of resting salmon, fish the head of the pool and the run immediately upstream of this pool. As salmon start their evening run they start to get aggressive and take flies once again as they work their way up river. This fishing pattern will usually hold up in until the salmon start to spawn.


I still have plenty of prime days available for September and early October if you are interested or have any questions, feel free to either send me an e-mail at jay@jaypeckguides.com or contact me at the fly shop and 585-352-4575.

What is going on now? Oatka Creek water flow is back down to 2.57 this is an excellent level for fishing the trico hatch. This hatch should continue for a few more weeks, well into September. Just remember with the water flow back down to where it is now the trout are going to be tough to approach. For flies, stay with the standard stuff trico spinners, red variants, ants and beetles.
For those of you who are starting to get a little twitchy for some big fish. There has been some reports of a few Chinook salmon in the Salmon River last week. The Salmon River had high water flows, around a 1000 CFS all last week. The wind pushed cold water to the east end of the Lake, this allowed the salmon to come close to the shoreline. As a result a few Chinook salmon entered the Salmon River. There is a few Chinook salmon in the fish ladder at the hatchery. Douglaston salmon run also reported a few Chinook salmon being caught.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

High water






All of our trout streams are running high for this time of the year. Oatka Creek where I've been doing most of my fishing has been flowing over the 3 foot mark. The watercolor this week has been very poor. Earlier this week we were fishing in water that had about 2 feet of visibility. Even though there was a very strong trico hatch the trout obviously were not feeding on the bugs. Between the high water and bad visibility there was no opportunity for dry fly fishing. However these conditions do provide a very unique opportunity for streamer fishing. As I've said in the past trout love to eat crayfish. There is also a second food source that becomes available to the trout daring high water flows. According to Carl This is a bug that is commonly called a oak leaf larva which is some sort of crane fly. These are large bugs that are strong swimmers and have a tendency to active on the water and become very available to the trout. When you take all this into account it becomes obvious why size 10 brown, black, dark olive woolly buggers are so effective. When fishing streamer's you need to cover a lot of water. Do not stay in one pool for long, there may only be one or two trout actively feeding. If the fish wants your streamer they will run it down and eat it. Just as important as covering a lot of water, is constantly altering the style and type of retrieved you are using. Try fishing a wet fly swing and mix in some short strips. You'll will also want to try stripping the fly straight a crossed the water. After awhile it will become obvious which style of retrieved the trout prefer on that particular day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Update -- Rapidly Changing Conditions



Fishing conditions have been changing rapidly over the last few days. The constant rainfall is causing the water flow in our trout streams to fluctuate widely. In the past couple of days the water flow of at Oatka Creek hit the 4.0 mark to high and muddy to fish. The last two days water flows have stayed above the 3.20 mark. Give you an idea how to compare all these numbers. When Oatka Creek is flowing at 3.20, this is the water flow where productive fishing can start. Below the 3 foot mark is considered good dry fly fishing. Water flow from 2.80 on down is where you get your most productive Trioc fishing. When Oatka Creek is flowing at the 4.0 and above the water is in the grass and muddy.
How do we go about fishing such changeable conditions? You do this by being prepared and recognizing opportunities. If the water conditions are ideal for fishing the Trico Hatch, than fish it. The water flows are too high and water color is severely stained, then fish streamers. The biggest opportunity right now is with streamer fishing. Brown and black woolly buggers in size 10 and 12 can be extremely deadly right now. This time of the year all our streams and creeks are full of young crayfish. During high water pulses like the type we are having now, the stream bottom will be stirred up. When this happens a lout of food for the trout is knocked loose. Most of the bugs have already hatched, as result there is not many nymphs washed in the max. However all these young crayfish are sent tumbling down stream. Just like bass, crayfish are a very important food source for trout. This is ware all those little brown and black woolly buggers come in handy. I have tried several different types of crayfish patterns and found that the simple woolly bugger is the best crayfish pattern going.
As of right now Sunday morning, Oatka Creek is flowing at 3.18 this means our best approach would be to fish streamers, and hunt for a monster Brown trout.

FALL NEWS LETTER

It may be August but, beginning of the fall salmon run is only a few weeks away. As of writing this letter, the reports that are coming from the Lake are very positive. Salmon are showing up at their pointed locations right about on schedule. There have already been reports of Chinook salmon being caught that weighted in at over 30 pounds. It has definitely been a good growing season, on the like. The best news for us river fishermen is the reduced fishing pressure on the like. The fishing pressure this summer has been down at least 50%. If there ever was a positive note, on the high gas prices this would be it. On a typical day most charter boats fishing the lake will go through well over $100 worth of gas at today's prices. This is one of the reasons why I love fishing rivers. No boat that has a big gas tank that must be filled every day.
If the weather patterns we are enjoying right now continue consistent rainfall and seasonably cool weather, we will not have the water flow issues that we had to deal with last fall. Reports from the Salmon River area is that the reservoir is overflowing and all the rivers and creeks are at or above seasonable levels. River conditions at this point are looking very good. If weather conditions continued to go the where they are now, I suspect we will have at least a decent early run of Chinook salmon. This may well start as soon as the Labor Day weekend water release. The water release will start August 30 – 31. This water release is the start of the fall conservation water flow. This initial water release will trigger a of run of Chinook salmon. The issue is, this run of salmon could be anywhere from 20 to 2000 salmon. With good water flows and temperature like what we are having now, salmon will continue to trickle in well after the start of the initial water flows. As of now, these are the conditions we are seeing.
The biggest story of the last two seasons has, obviously been, the steelhead runs. Those of you who have fished with me in the past two seasons know exactly what I'm talking about. Judging from reports I am receiving from the lake fishermen, I see no reason why we will not have another good fall of steelhead fishing. So far, I have three separate confirmed reports of steelhead well over 20 pounds being caught out on the lake. The numbers on these fish are two at 22 pounds and one of these fish confirmed at 42 inches and a third fish weighing in at a massive 26 pounds. Obviously I have heard several rumors of many more fish in this class. The one steelhead limit is working, allowing a few of these fish to grow to true monsters. The boat fishermen on the west end of Lake Ontario have had excellent summer fishing for steelhead. With the reduced fishing pressure on the lake, I'm looking forward to a good fall with steelhead. Hopefully, we will cross paths with a few of these monsters, and just maybe we will get lucky and land one or two of them.
Brown trout are the most dependable fall fisheries we have and there is nothing earth shattering new here. All the reports I am receiving from the lake fishermen, tell me that we should have typical fall fishing for Browns. Those of you, who had fished for Browns last fall, are well aware of the low water conditions we had. So far, this year we have been receiving way above-average rainfall. Hopefully this weather pattern will hold right through November to keep our favorite Brown trout creek full of water. On a high water years we always have enjoyed excellent Brown trout fishing.
Interested in take advantage of the swells fishing with me please feel free to give myself or Carl at the fly shop a call the number is 585-352-4775 or e-mail me at jay@jaypeckguides.com in we can help you to cheer days organized.

My fall fishing schedule is looking like this;

Salmon River;
September, fishing for Chinook and Coho Salmon to approximately the 15 of October.
Steelhead, from the 15 of October to November.
Brown Trout and steelhead at Sandy Creek,
November in till ice up.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

FALL NEWS LETTER



It may be August but, beginning of the fall salmon run is only a few weeks away. As of writing this letter, the reports that are coming from the Lake are very positive. Salmon are showing up at their pointed locations right about on schedule. There have already been reports of Chinook salmon being caught that weighted in at over 30 pounds. It has definitely been a good growing season, on the like. The best news for us river fishermen is the reduced fishing pressure on the like. The fishing pressure this summer has been down at least 50%. If there ever was a positive note, on the high gas prices this would be it. On a typical day most charter boats fishing the lake will go through well over $100 worth of gas at today's prices. This is one of the reasons why I love fishing rivers. No boat that has a big gas tank that must be filled every day.
If the weather patterns we are enjoying right now continue consistent rainfall and seasonably cool weather, we will not have the water flow issues that we had to deal with last fall. Reports from the Salmon River area is that the reservoir is overflowing and all the rivers and creeks are at or above seasonable levels. River conditions at this point are looking very good. If weather conditions continued to go the where they are now, I suspect we will have at least a decent early run of Chinook salmon. This may well start as soon as the Labor Day weekend water release. The water release will start August 30 – 31. This water release is the start of the fall conservation water flow. This initial water release will trigger a of run of Chinook salmon. The issue is, this run of salmon could be anywhere from 20 to 2000 salmon. With good water flows and temperature like what we are having now, salmon will continue to trickle in well after the start of the initial water flows. As of now, these are the conditions we are seeing.
The biggest story of the last two seasons has, obviously been, the steelhead runs. Those of you who have fished with me in the past two seasons know exactly what I'm talking about. Judging from reports I am receiving from the lake fishermen, I see no reason why we will not have another good fall of steelhead fishing. So far, I have three separate confirmed reports of steelhead well over 20 pounds being caught out on the lake. The numbers on these fish are two at 22 pounds and one of these fish confirmed at 42 inches and a third fish weighing in at a massive 26 pounds. Obviously I have heard several rumors of many more fish in this class. The one steelhead limit is working, allowing a few of these fish to grow to true monsters. The boat fishermen on the west end of Lake Ontario have had excellent summer fishing for steelhead. With the reduced fishing pressure on the lake, I'm looking forward to a good fall with steelhead. Hopefully, we will cross paths with a few of these monsters, and just maybe we will get lucky and land one or two of them.
Brown trout are the most dependable fall fisheries we have and there is nothing earth shattering new here. All the reports I am receiving from the lake fishermen, tell me that we should have typical fall fishing for Browns. Those of you, who had fished for Browns last fall, are well aware of the low water conditions we had. So far, this year we have been receiving way above-average rainfall. Hopefully this weather pattern will hold right through November to keep our favorite Brown trout creek full of water. On a high water years we always have enjoyed excellent Brown trout fishing.

My fall fishing schedule is looking like this;

Salmon River;
September, fishing for Chinook and Coho Salmon to approximately the 15 of October.
Steelhead, from the 15 of October to November.
Brown Trout and steelhead at Sandy Creek,
November in till ice up.

What else is going on?
Last night rainstorms has brought Oatka Creek back up over 2.55 keeping the trout fishing red hot, for August conditions. I suspect this water flow will remain for a few days. The headwaters of Oatka Creek is right now extremely high for this time a year. The flies still continue to be heavy, Trico spinner falls are happening every morning. Some mornings the volume of bugs is so intense that it makes fishing very challenging. Not because of the fish being more fussy than normal, it is just the volume of bugs on the water. It is hard for the fish to spot our superiorly tied flies, when the fly is covered up with naturals. The best approach to deal with this is to zero in on a single fish and make short precise drifts. Other than this not much has changed, stay with the standard flies and light tippets. This is a rare summer to have this quality of fishing this late in the season. Get out and enjoy.