Wednesday, August 6, 2008


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.

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