Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Bit of a Challenge

Even though there has been a record run of steelhead for the Salmon River. This does not guarantee that you will have easy fishing. Steelheads are going to be steelhead and river conditions do fluctuate. This past week was no exception. Fluctuating water flows and hot weather, has made fishing a challenge. Starting with the water conditions, water flows have fluctuated from a low of 750 CFS back up to 1800 CFS and now back to 1100 CFS. This is a surprise, as I thought the snow runoff was over and the river flows were going to continue to drop. Water temperatures have finally stabilized in the low to mid 50 degree range. There still a lot of steelheads, still hanging around the gravel. With these water temperatures, the spawning activity is winding down. We are still catching fish gravel with black and silver woolly buggers, Mr. rubber legs, and during the mid part of the day we are having really good success fishing stone fly nymphs. The drop back fishing has definitely picking up. We are now finding drop back steelhead all through the river system. As always, drop back steelhead fishing is a coverage game. The more river you fish through the more bites you will have. Because of the recent high water we are using very aggressive sink tips and flies tied on aluminum and brass tubes.

The in land trout streams continue to fish very good. The Hendrickson hatch for Oatka is now starting to wind down. There will still be a few small hatches of Hendrickson's that carry on for another week or two. During the evenings there is also a Hendrickson's spinner falls for a next two weeks. For daytime fishing activity, there is going to be a consistent hatch of blue wing olive this is a size 16, in addition there will also be that small sporadic hatches of Hendrickson’s, you may also find a blue wing olive hatching on spring Creek try fishing this fly in size 16 and 18.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I know it has been a while, but I have been busy fishing. The steelhead fishing continues to be outstanding, despite the changing conditions. When conditions change, it often changes fast and considerable. Within 24 hours water flows dropped from 1800 CFS to 750 CFS. As a result water temperature also took a flyer, water temperatures jumped almost 5 degrees this is a big jump for the Salmon River. The warm spell has finished melting all the snow along the upper reservoir. We are now going to be dependent on rainfall and the water temperatures will quickly rise in to the low 50 s. I give the spawning activity about one more week and the spawning will wind down. As always with changing conditions so is a change in opportunities. The warming water temperatures are going to help fire up the drop back steelhead. With the reduced water flows it will be easier to get the flies down with sinking lines. Spey rods and swinging fly in the pools will soon become the top producing technique. I have not been finding too many drop back steelhead in the lower river yet. With the receding water flows and rising water temperature this will quickly change. For now most of these fish have been in the fly fishing zones, on down river to Pineville. Productive flies have been the Rader bugger, Mr. Rubber legs, stone fly nymph. There has been some afternoon nymph drifts. When this happens you can hardly keep a stone fly nymph in the water.

The in land trout streams, water flows and water temperatures for Oatka Creek have been ideal. As a result Oatka Creek has been having an excellent Hendrickson hatch over the past week. Even though it has been cold this last week, the bugs have been hatching. With this warm spell, there has been spinner falls during the evenings. If you cannot make the afternoon Hendrickson hatch, you can always catch a spammer fall during the evening. It is getting close to the time for the second hatch of the season. This Hatch is a may fly size 16 blue wing olive, these are the largest olives of the season. But olive hatch can be just as big of a deal for catching fish as the Hendrickson hatch.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Salmon River Browns

A interesting note -- there has been such an unusually large run of Brown trout on the Salmon River last fall, that we are still catching a few Browns this spring. These fish are eating machines now, if a Brown trout is anywhere near where you are fishing, you will most likely catch it.

So far the water conditions continue to be consistent. Water releases have remained a steady 1800 CFS, water temperatures have been fluctuating between 39 to 42 degrees. Conditions have remained as steady as they can be for the Salmon River. Due to the water temperature fluctuations, the afternoons have been fishing considerably better than the morning's. Warm the water temperature up a couple degrees and the steelhead go on the bite. It is spawning time for the steelhead on the Salmon River. Everyday I am seeing the numbers of spawning steelhead increase on the gravel beds all through the upper river. The largest concentrations of spawning are in the fly fishing sections, however I am spotting a lot of fish all through the rest of the River, when I am running the drift boat. Fishing from the drift boat has been quite effective this past week. We have been able to find a lot of fish that has not seen much fishing pressure.
I have not seen too many drop back steelhead yet. This is because we have been spending most of our fishing time around the gravel beds. Give the steelhead another week of spawning and about five more degrees water temperature, the drop back fishing will turn on. Productive flies, this is where things have been a little unpredictable. Some days we have had are best success with egg patterns and other days swinging woolly buggers. It has been taking a little bit of experimenting to find out what fly patterns are going to work out for any particular day.

The in land trout streams -- Oatka continues to have its afternoon Hendrickson Hatch. This Hatch has been coming off around mid afternoon over the past few days. It has not been warm enough for an evening spinner fall. However be prepared to see spinners any time the air temperature reaches 60 degrees. There has been several days of bugs hatching and very few spinner falls. It is possible to experience a spinner fall any time during the late afternoon, granted the temperature is above 60 and the winds are calm. Fishing spring Brook - keep an eye open for blue wing olives these are a size 18 may fly. The olive Hatch is not too consistent but it is there. Mostly the fishing on spring Brook will consist of midges and scuds for now.

NOTE: I have for the Salmon River May 6, 7, and 9, 10 open. May is the best month of the whole year for fishing with sink tips and a swinging fly to steelheads. If you have any questions feel free to call my cell. 585-233-0436 or call the shop at 585-352 4775.

Friday, April 17, 2009

On The Salmon River

Water flows remain high, judging by the amount of snow that remains in the woods at the headwaters of the Salmon River. The water flows will continue to stay on the high side. Right now the water release is at 1800 CFS, and I suspect this will stay at this level for some time to come. Water temperatures are slowly increasing, at this time the temperatures are fluctuating around 39 degrees. The way the weather forecast is looking the water temperatures will continue to improve. Hopefully by early next week we can see some warmer water temperatures in the upper river, hopefully in the lower 40 + degree range. Despite the cold water temperatures steelhead are congregating on the gravel beds and starting to spawn. As water temperatures continue to improve, so will the numbers of spawning steelhead. Because water temperatures are improving and the steelhead are starting their spawning cycle. The high water is actually helping to make to fishing easier. As water flows increase ideal spawning habitat decrease. The high water concentrates the fish, in the remaining productive spawning habitat. This reduces the amount river that needs to be covert to find the fish. Over of the past two weeks the fish hatchery on the Salmon River has been busy collecting eggs. The hatchery is at this time literally overflowing with steelhead. The word is this is one of the largest runs that the hatchery staff has seen an approximately 25 years. The hatchery staff has not yet finished collecting eggs and counting fish. It will be interesting to find out what the final tally is, for this years steelhead run. There is now a large group of spawned out steelhead starting to slowly work their way down river. With the high water flows and cold water temperatures, these fish are not dropping down river to quickly, providing us with plenty of fishing opportunities. Since I have just moved back up to the Salmon River, I have only fished for a few days. So far my hottest fly has been the black and silver size 6 woolly bugger also known and as the raider bugger. Other productive flies have been large black stone flies, egg sucking leach's, medium size intruder patterns.

The in land trout streams, Oatka Creek is having it’s Hendrickson's hatch, the hatches is just getting started. So the bugs may or may not be hatching on any given day. Give the hatch a little more time and it will become more consistent. For now expect to see a hatch on the water around mid to late afternoon. As the temperatures warm the Hendrickson's hatch will become a late morning early afternoon hatch. If the bugs are not visible on the surface, fish nymphs the heads of the pools. The nymphs are very active and the fish are keying in on the nymphs.

NOTE: I have for the Salmon River May 5, 6, 7, and 9, 10 open. May is the best month of the whole year for fishing with sink tips and a swinging fly to steelheads. If you have any questions feel free to call my cell. 585-233-0436 or call the shop at 585-352 4775.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Moving To The Salmon River

It looks like the steelhead run for the Oak Orchard River may be starting to wind down. Most years the run is burned out by water temperatures. But this year it looks like the run will spawn itself out. The water temperatures and water flows are still excellent. However the number of steelheads have dropped off this week. My suspicion is that there will be still be a few fresh female steelheads moving into the Oak over the next week. The fishing is now going to become a little less consistent, some days you will have to hunt for a fish or two. And other days the steelhead will seem to be everywhere. Obviously you will have to just go and fish the river and see what happens. At this point concentrate your fishing efforts and the heads of the pools and the fast water or just above the pools. We have been having our best success with swinging wooly buggers, in colors of black and silver, bunny flies in white and a little rainbow streamer has been taking its share of fish.

Oatka Creek water flows continue to drop and the levels are now at an ideal fishing level. The state has recently stocked the portion of Oatka Creek that we refer to as the Trail, this section the Creek still is a ideal starting point. It is getting close to the time for the Hendrickson Hatch. The trail section of Oatka Creek, is generally where you find the first of the hatch. This past week has been relatively cool, this has most likely held off the hatch for a few days. If this coming week warms up a little bit more the hatch should start. If there are no bugs on the water try fishing size 12 and 14 hare ears nymphs. Right now the Hendrickson nymphs are active in the fast water. During the warmest part of the day both bugs and fish will be active here.

This week is moving week for me. I am now moving to the Salmon River to continue fishing for steelhead. The fishing is normally about two weeks behind the Oak Orchard River. Now it is the Salmon River's turn. The Salmon River has been receiving excellent runs of steelhead from mid-October until now. There is most likely a near record run of steelhead in the Salmon River right now. All these fish are waiting for water temperatures to warm up enough to start spawning. I am definitely expecting a great spring of steelhead fishing on the Salmon River this year. I still have a few excellent days available if you would like to experienced the fishing this spring.

This spring's Oak Orchard Rivers run of steelhead is one of the best that I have seen in over 10 years both in water conditions and the numbers of fish. This spring steelhead run started approximately 2 weeks ahead of schedule. The fist week of April is normally the best week of steelhead fishing on the Oak. This year the fishing peak the second week of march. Every spring is different and this spring is no exception. Warmer than normal March temperatures allowed water temperatures at the Oak to warm up into the low 40s. Weather conditions persisted and the water temperatures held. This caused a nice drawn-out long run of steelhead fishing. It is good to see the good old days of steelhead fishing back on Oak Orchard River once again. Hopefully this will be a trend that continues on into the future. Here are a few photographs from last spring.

NOTE: I have April 19 for the Salmon River is still open. April is spawning time and there louts of steelheads in the upper river waiting to spawning. I also have May 5, 6, 7, and 9, 10 open. May is the best month of the whole year for fishing with sink tips and a swinging fly to steelheads. If you have any questions feel free to call my cell. 585-233-0436 or call the shop at 585-352 4775.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oak Orchard

The cold snowy whether we had last couple of days has definitely done its job. Water temperatures in the Oak Orchard River have cooled down from a high of 47 degrees to now a low of 42 degrees. The extra rainfall that we received earlier this week was finally enough to raise the water flow and then keep it up. Water clarity originally held up way better than I had figured. I had expected the water clarity to become total mud with just a few inches of visibility. However the water visibility held up better than I expected, there is approximately 18 inches of visibility. This is good enough for sight fishing, granted you know what you are looking for. The sudden drop in water temperature has slowed down the fish activity. This is only a temporarily slow down, as soon as the sun gets on the water and air temperatures warm up the water, the fish activity will quickly follow. With the increase in water flow we are still seeing fresh steelhead showing up on a daily basis. Judging by the conditions we have right now my suspicions is that the steelhead fishing for Oak Orchard River will continue to be good into next week. Not much has changed for flies, woolly buggers and streamers are still producing a lout of fish in the fast water. Large nymphs and egg patterns are still producing more than their share of fish in the pools.
The Salmon River at Pulaski NY had a big push of high water over the weekend. Water releases were flowing in excess of 4600 CFS. The water flow has settled down considerably from the weekend and is now flowing at approximately 2300 CFS at the Pineville water gauge. Despite the cold snow melt runoff the steelhead fishing on the Salmon River continues to be extremely good for this time of the year. Most of the fish are being caught with egg patterns and stone fly nymphs fished on the bottom. Large concentration of fish are in the upper portions of the river, however fresh steelhead continue to be caught in the D. S. R. water temperatures on the salmon River should start to warm up in a couple more weeks when the bulk snow runoff works its way through the system.
Those of you who are thinking of doing some in land trout fishing, Oatka Creek should be at an ideal fishing level by the weekend. The state has recently stocked the portion of Oatka Creek that we refer to as the Trail, this section the Creek would make an ideal starting point. Fishing in the section of Oatka Creek referred to as the park, consider fishing hare ears nymphs in size 14 and Brown wood buggers in size 10. As for Springbrook, here you just may find a little bit of dry fly fishing. The hatch is a size 20 Mage, you can also try fishing scuds.

Note: I have April 19 20 for the Salmon River is still open. April is spawning time and there louts of steelheads in the upper river waiting to spawning. I also have May 5, 6, 7, and 9, 10 open. May is the best month of the whole year for fishing with sink tips and a swinging fly to steelheads. If you have any questions feel free to call my cell. 585-233-0436 or call the shop at 585-352 4775.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Muddy Water Conditions

We finally gut what we desperately needed, rain. The steelheads wear getting sun burn and line shy, from the low water. Friday throw Saturday we get over 1 1/2 inches of rain. All this rain has blown out all the smaller area streams. The Oak Orchard River water flow has increased by more than 2 feet as of Saturday the water clarity was a heavy stained. I suspect the water flow on the Oak will crest Sunday, by Monday the water flow should be fishable. Water clarity is going to be a other issue, we are going to be fishing and high muddy conditions through this coming week. In the past I have experiment some of our best fishing in muddy conditions. I have a saying that is fear no mud. Muddy water means cover to the steelhead. I have found that steelhead are often more aggressive in high off-color water. For now the water temperature is at 46 degrees, this is warm for this time of the year. The way things are looking, spring is running about 10 days ahead of normal. The cool weather is going to help cool off the water. This will go along ways to extending the steelhead run in the Oak Orchard River.

Fishing tip: fish can detect flies in extreme muddy water conditions. We need to just give the fish a little help. Start by concentrating your fishing efforts around the known productive areas. If a particular run or pool has been producing earlier, there is no reason why it will not produce now. Flies are a another consideration. Select fly patterns that will stand out against the muddy water. Try fishing larger flies in size 4 and 2. Fly color is also an important consideration, select colors that will also stand out in the muddy water conditions. Try colors in black, white and fluorescent chartreuse, orange and pink. Fish with confidence, if the fish were there before, there's no reason why they won't be there now.

Note I April 7 8 9 has opened up for the Oak Orchard. This is prime time, sight fishing or swinging a fly. April 16 17 19 20 for the Salmon River is still open. April is spawning time and there louts of steelheads in the upper river waiting to spawning. If you have any questions feel free to call. 585-352-4710 or call the shop at 585-352 4775.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The fishing on Oak Orchard River continues to hold up despite fluctuating water flows and clearing water. There has been a fair amount of rain all around the area, however the rain fall has missed most of the Oak Orchard River watershed. If the Oak does not get a good shot of rainfall soon water flows are going to drop and stay that way. Water temperatures have been hovering in the mid to upper 40 degrees remarked. Today the water temperature finally reached 46 degrees, fortunately the water temperatures have been remaining stable. The best fishing lately has been located in the fast water. This is where most of the active fish are and where the spawning has been taking place. Fishing the pools lately has become more challenging because of all the suckers. Fish the pools with egg patterns and nymphs and the suckers will eat you up. I'm talk about a sucker on almost every other cast. You will have to catch about 15 suckers before you would have a steelhead takes, fortunately most of the suckers are still in the pools.
The female steelhead continue to trickle in slowly, this is extending the fishing. Along as the water flows remain good, we should have a other two weeks of good steelhead fishing to go. Productive flies have been size 6 black and silver woolly buggers, little rainbow streamer's size 2, Montana nymphs size 8 and 6. When the fish become fussy try fishing with smaller nymphs and egg flies just beware of the suckers.

Note I April 7 8 9 has opened up for the Oak Orchard. This is prime time, sight fishing or swinging a fly. April 16 17 19 20 26 for the Salmon River is still open. April is spawning time and there louts of steelheads in the upper river waiting to spawning. If you have any questions feel free to call. 585-352-4710 or call the shop at 585-352 4775.