Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Oak Orchard River was fishing good for me this past week. The river conditions have held up this week, reaming high and muddy. Despite the rain the water color did not deteriorate and water flows stayed level. The water temperature remand around the 40 degree mark. All of this made for some good fishing with little fishing pressure. This is why I always like high water flows and muddy conditions. It takes a little patience to find fish in these conditions, but ones you know the tricks it is not impossible. I found fish spread out all along the river from the dam on down river. Most of the fish are on the gravel spawning now, while a few are still holding in the pools. As this week progressed the weather cooled off and air temperatures dropped way below freezing. This caused a sharp temperature drop in water temperatures. The fishing has slowdown a little due to the water temperature drop. However I have been able to continue to scrape up a few fish. What do I always say about the fishing conditions this time of the year, conditions can change radically from one day to the next. This is no exception, one day cold water and slow fishing, and the next day warmer air temperatures and improving water temperatures. The fish are out doing there thing. Conditions change fast. For flies, we are having success fishing the fast water with size 4 black woolly buggers, egg sucking leach's, size 2 little rainbow streamers and in the pools egg patterns are still producing fish for now.
Salmon River – The water flow earlier this week was increased considerably. This water flow increase was actually beneficial in slowing down the steelhead spawning cycle. The increase water flow was not the actual reason for slowing down the spawning activity. It was all the cold water that came with it. The increase in water basically cooled the river down. For now the Salmon River is back on schedule, hopefully things will stay this way. Because of the increase in water flow and cooler water temperatures the fishing this past week has been considerably tougher for now.

Note; The following days for April have become available for the Oak Orchard River April 1,2,7,8,9, on the Salmon River April 21,25,30. I also have the following days available for early May on the Salmon River this will be swing flies for drop back steelhead. The days are May 1,2,5,8,9,10,11 If interested or have any questions feel free to call the fly shop at 585-352-4775 or my cell phone at 585-233-0436

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The warm spring weather and lack of snow cover in the tug hill; the tug is the head water for the Salmon River. The lack of the snow pack means minimal snow runoff and water temperatures have quickly increased the warm spring weather. What all this means is that over the past week, I have seen some of the warmest water temperatures for the month of March ever on the Salmon River. With the bright sunny weather we have had over the past week water temperatures rose to a high of 42 degrees, very warm for this time of year. Warm enough to trigger spawning activity. Fortunately at night water temperatures and fish activity cooled off. You do not want the spawning cycle to get too far ahead of schedule. We wait all year for prime time steelhead fishing, to not want it to be over too soon. This will also help explain why we have been experimenting a strong hatch of stone flies. Fortunately things have cooled off. Water flows have been increased to1600 CFS and we are having some cooled rainfall.
Oak Orchard River -- the water flow is flowing on the high side of fishable and rising, and water clarity is poor. However the bright side is, water temperature has been holding in the low 40 degree range. All this, means that in my little world the fishing conditions are absolutely perfect. High muddy water scares everyone away and leaves me the river to myself. Yet if you understand how the fish use the river and where to look, the fishing can be some of the best of the whole run. Rainfall that we have had over the last two days will cause water condition to deteriorate. However I do not think the Oak Orchard will become on fishable, even though the river may look so. Looks like we're off to a good start, hopefully water temperatures will not warm up to quickly and burn the run out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

As I have said be for, conditions do change fast. The rain and warm weather has caused water flow to increase in all of the river and streams. The fishing will be on ones, the water flows settle down. For the smaller streams, keep a watch, we may be able to fish any time. These smaller streams will warm up faster than the larger rivers. As a result we will find more aggressive fish hear. The Oak Orchard river will be warming up a little faster this spring, the ice is already off the reservoir. The muddy water will help with this, by acting as a giant solar collector. Give the oak about a week and the fishing should be turning on despite the high and muddy water. Water flows for the Oak Orchard will most likely remained higher than normal for some time to come. So keep in mind when wading, use your judgment, sometimes the water flow is faster than it appears. For flies, this is where things start to get fun. Besides the standard egg patterns, it is time to brake out the big bunny flies, streamers, big buggers and spey flies.
The Salmon River – water flows remain at 750 CFS for now, however as always conditions can and will change fast. I do not see water flows going much higher in the near future for now. The big event still remained all the stone flies that are hatching, especially when the sun lights up the river bottom. I do not know if it's because we've had ideal water flows for fishing this hatch, or the hatches are getting stronger every year, most likely a combination of both. But there has been a lot of stone flies coming off and steelheads are taking full of vantage of this. As lately the same techniques of dead drifting nymphs and egg patterns under a indicator has been producing fish along with swinging medium-size soft hackles. As long as these flows continue I suspect the Salmon River will be fishing way better than average.

I have the following days still open for this month, I will be fishing both the Salmon River and oak Orchard River depending on conditions and logistics. If you're interested or have any questions feel free to call the fly shop at 585-352-4775 or my cell phone at 585-233-0436

Friday, March 12, 2010

It is good to be finally back to fishing the local water. The warm spring weather we have been enjoying has put a big dent into melting off our snow cover. The snow melt has caused the water flow in Oak Orchard River to increase significantly, along with the increase in water flow water clarity also has deteriorated. Nothing new here, however just what we need to get the fishing back on track. Depending on how much rain we received over the next few days, will determine how quickly river conditions become fishable. Hopefully we will be fishing the Oak by late this coming week.
The smaller area streams are quickly opening up, once they do this will be where we will find our best fishing. Water temperatures normally warm up quicker and the smaller streams then they do in the larger rivers such as the Oak Orchard River. What is important to remember now is that river conditions can and will change almost daily. Just because you're favorite stream or river was not fishing today does not mean it will not turn on tomorrow, keep a close eye on your favorite river.
The Salmon River is ware the action is right now. Water flows are running at 750 CFS. This is a decent water flow for this time the year. Especially when you take into consideration there is not going to be any heavy snow melt runoff this year. The Salmon River watershed does not have a normal snow pack to melt off. On the plus side, this is the best steelhead fishing I have seen for the month of March. I'm finding good numbers of fish from the fly fishing zones all the way down river. With these water flows and warm sunny days the Salmon River is expensing a strong stone fly hatch. For those of you who know, steelhead love to eat stone flies. As a result we have had some of our best fishing from mid morning to mid afternoon when the sun is on the water. Even though stone flies are very active we are still having to use a large variety of fly patterns to get our bites. Along with the usual Caddis and Stone fly nymphs, egg patterns have been taking more than their share of fish. Water temperatures are still harboring in the low to mid 30s degree range, as result fishing under strike indicators has been the most productive technique. If the Salmon River is any indication of what we can expect for runs in the Western tributaries it is going to be a good spring.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Been off the water the past week, at least I should say the local water. I've spent the past week fishing for steelhead and South West Washington. What were the river conditions like? Water flows were dropping from a previous rain, it rained and the river flows went up, it stopped raining and the flows dropped. Typical steelhead fishing, you adjust to what is happening. When you go on a trip like this it is always more than just catching fish. I always wanted to see and fish the West Coast Steelhead rivers. This is where our great lakes steelhead originally came from. The rivers on the West Coast run for miles, it may tack weeks for the fish to get to the spawning water. Even it a steelhead covers 20 miles a day. The big challenge is finding the fish. The numbers of fish are down and the rivers are long.
The highlight of the trip was spending three days with Mike Kenny. For those of you how are not familiar with this name, Mike Kenny is one of the designers of the deer Creek spey rods from Temple fork outfitters, and the designer of the MKS one of rod lines from Bob Meisner. Mike Kenny is also one of the top spay casting instructors and steelhead fishermen in the country. I learned a lot with my time is spent with Mike.
He helped me out with my own casting and it was interesting to see how he approached a river and fished it. Mike has a very unique and efficient approach to presenting the fly and covering the water. I am eager to but what I learned from Mike to work here in our rivers.
I will be back in our local river this week, and will be back in top of the fishing. I do know the smaller creeks are starting to open up. A few of these creeks are getting a few fish.