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.


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 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.

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