Wednesday, March 30, 2011



The cold weather has been a big factor lately. The cold continues to keep the fishing on the slow side. Ones the air temperatures goes, up the water temperatures will follow, the fishing will turn back on. All of the streams and river are now running at a medium level for fishing, as of now everything is at a good fishable level. The way the weather forecast is looking, the warm weather that we need is on the way.

The Oak Orchard River is in the same condition as the shrouding creeks. Fish scattered throughout the system, waiting for water temperatures to warm up. Despite all the fish that are hanging around right now. The fishing has been tough during this recent cold snap. The reason for the slow fishing is related to the recent cold water. This cold weather has caused water temperatures to drop sharply and put the fish off. As I always say this time of the year, fishing conditions can and do change quickly. I am expecting the conditions to change quickly. As for flies this is the time to carry a big selection. When you are fishing in cold water temperatures, that is below 40 degrees. Stay in the pools and fish with egg patterns. Once water temperatures warm up, above 40 degrees this is when steelhead starts to become very active. At this point you can find steelhead scattered out on the gravel beds spawning. Also this is the temperature when swinging flies start to become very effective. Time to brake out all of your cool steelhead head flies that you have been waiting to fish.

The Salmon River has been in the same situation, suffering from the cold. The recent cold snap has put a stop to the sown malt and run off. The water flow has dropped back down to 750 CFS. This is a good flow for us fly guys. We can cove the pools efficiently and easily and still get the boat around. Because the steelheads spawn, on the Salmon River generally runs three to four weeks behind the Oak Orchard River. We still need to stay with winter steelhead fishing techniques. Because of the recent water fluctuations the river bottom has been stirred up slightly. This is nothing new, but what this means to us is that for flies, egg patterns will be as important as stone fly nymphs.

Note;
I have days available for early April, this is fishing Oak Orchard River and Sandy Creek. The advantage to fishing the Oak in early April it is the peak of the steelhead run for the Oak. Also water temperatures are at ideal levels. We are able to take advantage of these conditions and do some Steelhead sight fishing. I also have days available for early May we will be fishing for drop back steelhead on the Salmon River. This is some of the best steelhead fishing with a swinging fly for the year. If you ever wanted to try your hand with a spey rod, this is the time to do it. I can be contacted through my cell phone at 585-233-0436 or through the fly shop at 585-352-4775

Thursday, March 24, 2011




We had a nice taste of spring for a few days before reality came crashing back. The water temperatures for the Western tributaries, earlier this week manage to warm up in to the magic 40 plus degree range. However this spike in water temperature was only temporary. One cold snowy day is all it takes to drop the water temperature back in to the mid 30 degree range. Steelhead fishing in the month of March can be challenging. Along with fluctuating water temperatures water flows have also been fluctuating slightly. This has not been as big of a problem as the water temperatures. The fluctuating water flows, help to keep the fish on the move. We will have to go back to winter fishing techniques for the next few days, while this cold front works its way through. Once the weather stars to warm back up, water temperatures will quickly improve this time. We do not have the ice to clear out of our streams and creeks. The Oak Orchard rivers reservoir is now free of ice. This means water temperatures will react quickly once spring weather comes back around.
Until the snow and cold returned we were having a good time fishing for spring Brown trout and early steelhead. We were finding consistent fishing in Oak Orchard and all of the shrouding smaller creeks and streams. These fish are still there, all they have done is moved into deeper water to wait out this cold weather. For now we need to take a step back and go back to winter fishing techniques. This is methodically fishing the deeper pools with egg patterns and nymphs under indicators. This so-called step back is nothing new for this time of the year.
The cold snap has also help to stabilize the water flows on the Salmon River. For now water flows are at 1500 CFS. This is not that bad of a flow of this time of the year. If it stays cold for over a week or so I suspect water flows could be further reduced.

Note;
I have days available for early April, this is fishing Oak Orchard River and Sandy Creek. The advantage to fishing the Oak in early April it is the peak of the steelhead run for the Oak. Also water temperatures are at ideal levels. We are able to take advantage of these conditions and do some Steelhead sight fishing. I can be contacted through my cell phone at 585-233-0436 or through the fly shop at 585-352-4775

Friday, March 18, 2011




Keep in mind at this point conditions do change quickly. It is not unusual to express extreme changes in fishing conditions from one day to the next. This is typical early spring time steelhead fishing, routine. As I like to say nothing new here. I will try to keep everyone updated of changes as much as possible. As always we fish when we can and we adjust to the conditions. As a result of the recent fishing conditions, we have enjoyed some phenomenal spring Brown trout fishing. Early spring is always a challenging time to fish. Recognizing opportunities is where the challenges lie, in this case big Brown trout.
The rain that we had on last Wednesday had little effect on water flows. We will have to take a weight and see approach to the rain that is forecast for early next week. For now the water levels continue to fall in all of the river and creeks. All of the smaller creeks are in fishing condition or close to it. The up coming warmer weather temperatures is going having a big effect on the fishing. The smaller creeks, is where the warm weather is having the biggest impact. These smaller creeks on longer have sown and ice milting in and are able to warm up faster.
The Oak Orchard river water flows continue to slowly fall. For now the water flow are still on the high side, very cold and off-color for fishing, but the Oak is fishing. For now concentrate your efforts in the pools. As for flies stay with egg patterns in fluorescent colors, at this point you could even try slowly swing and woolly buggers in your favorite colors. The most important consideration is the ice on the reservoir. Ones the ice is off, water temperatures will be able worm up. Keep in mind the magic water temperature is 40 degrees. This is when the steelhead start to get going with spawning and the big pushes of fish show up. I am guessing that ice should clear off the reservoir sometime next week. As long as we do not get a lot of rainfall between now on them, Oak Orchard should be fishing at its best buy then.
Water flows on the Salmon River are starting to stabilize somewhat. As of now or flows are at 1200 CFS plus run off, however water releases will be increased for the weekend to 1500 CFS. I do not think this is the last of a high water. Because of extremely cold water temperatures I am going to be concentrating my fishing efforts around the Oak Orchard River and Sandy Creek for the next few weeks.

Note;
I will concentrate my fishing around Oak Orchard and Sandy Creek for steelhead, I will be fishing these waters until mid April. I have prime dates still opened for this month, March and early April. Mid-April I make my move to the Salmon River, where the spring steelhead cycle starts all over again. I fish steelhead on the salmon until mid May. I have a few days left for late April and several prime days for May still open. Feel free to give myself or the shop a call, and we will be happy to talk to you about what's going on and answer any of your question's, talked to Carl at the fly shop the number is 585-352-4775 my [JAY] cell 585-233-0436

Monday, March 14, 2011



The spring run off is under way. The Western tributaries have been out of there banks for almost a week, nothing new hear. The unsettled weather that typically comes with the month of March makes water flows a challenge. The water flows will come down soon, so keep tying, you will need the files soon.
As of now, this is how things are looking. You can forget about the Genesee River in till mid April if we are lucky. The Genesee River has a huge drainage and takes forever to come down to a fishable level. As for the Oak Orchard River water flows should start to come down by the end of the week. I am thinking that we may be able to start fishing the Oak Orchard sometime next week. For now water flows are too high to safely fish and way too muddy. The smaller streams and creeks should start to come in to fishable condition with in a couple of days. Keep in minded, water flows that may look a little high and muddy are actually fishable. Early spring fishing means we must adjust to the conditions, nothing new here.
The water flows on the Salmon River has recently crested at a level of 4200 CFS. Water flows are now starting to come down, at last check, flows were around 2500 CFS. I do not expect water flows to decrease less than 1000 CFS for some time. There is a lot of snow melt to come through the system. I have been known to fish through some very high water flows on the Salmon River. Colder water temperatures keep the fish buried at the bottom of the pools. In these locations, fish are sheltered from the pressure of the fast moving currents. To have any real success at fishing these high water flows you need to have water temperature above 40 degrees. We will have to monitor the conditions on the Salmon River and see when conditions become more favorable for fishing. Until then I'll be concentrating my efforts in the Western tributaries.

Note;
For now I am fishing oak orchard, Sandy Creek, and the Salmon River for steelhead and last chance Brown trout. I will also be occasionally playing with the trout of spring Creek. By late March I will concentrate my fishing around Oak Orchard and Sandy Creek for steelhead, I will be fishing these waters until mid April. I have prime dates still opened for this month, March and early April. Mid-April I make my move to the Salmon River, where the spring steelhead cycle starts all over again. I fish steelhead on the salmon until mid May. I have a few days left for late April and several prime days for May still open. Feel free to give myself or the shop a call, and we will be happy to talk to you about what's going on and answer any of your question's, talked to Carl at the fly
shop the number is 585-352-4775 my [JAY] cell 585-233-0436

Monday, March 7, 2011





An immediate update -- hope to have some photographs to go with this soon.

A flood watch is in effect for our area. This is not news, I am quite sure most of you are quite aware of this. All of our local creeks are at there banks and flown extremely fast, and Oak Orchard is out-of-control, a muddy mess. Be for we got this latest round of rain, we had about 6 inches of sown on the ground. When you add over a half-inch of rain on to saturated snow-covered ground, with the creeks and rivers are already flowing at capacity, things do get out-of-control.
The Salmon River watershed is in real trouble today 3/10/11 the power dam managers are going to do an emergency release through out the day. This is extremely rare and dangers they will be raising the water flows throughout the day. Normally this is done at night when nobody's on the river. For now, a.m. water flows are at 2400 CFS, by the end of the day water flows will be close to, if not at 6000 CFS.
As always keep in mind little bit of high water is not a bad thing, however this is getting a little out-of-control. On the good side this is the last of the ice and the rain will clean out most of the snow. Maybe we will start to see an improvement in water temperatures soon. For now stay away from the rivers and get to the fly tying bench. Fresh fish are on the way.

The rivers are acting like spring is on the way. If you do not like the conditions just wait a day and things will change. The water flows are bouncing up and down, almost daily, do to constant weather changes. For now plan on water flows to be high, cold and off color, for the next few weeks. This may not sound good, but keep in mind that steelhead's are a high water fish and the muddy water is cover to the fish. Do not look at the river’s conditions throw a trout fishermen eyes. The biggest challenge is the cold water. We need to slow down the drift. It is like the fish needs more time to think about eating the fly.
This is exactly what is going on with the oak orchard river. We are fishing the main pools slowly and systematically. We are also concentrating our efforts from mid morning to mid afternoon. Ideally we like to see the sunlight lighting up the water. As for flies, egg flies and bunny flies have been doing the bulk of the work. The same goes for the smaller creeks, with the constant swings in the conditions. The pest then we can do is go fishing and adjust to the conditions

Over the weekend we have had a weather front come through and dump a couple of inches of rain and about 6 inches of snow. This has brought the rivers and streams back to the top of their banks. Nothing new for this time of the year, give the smaller creeks a day or two and they will start to come back to fishing conditions. Depending on how much snow and rain hit the oak orchard rivers watershed, we should be back to fishing the oak by the end of the week. I will have a better feel for this by mid to late week.

The Salmon River is also expressing a increase in water flows. As of now the water release is 1250 CFS plus about 400 CFS of runoff. Not bed considering how much snow and rain is in the Salmon River watershed. For now water temperature are extremely cold, most of the water flow is made up of snow melt. I will be looking at the Salmon River to possibly drop back to 750 CFS later this week. For winter fishing water flows of 750 and less is ideal for us fly fishermen. Once the water temperature warms up to above 40 degrees, we are good to go with water flows up to 3600 CFS. As most of you know I like fishing high water.

For those of you who are itching to do some trout fishing, potentially some dry fly fishing now is the time. This is when spring Creek has it's first real hatch of the year. Midday especially on sunny days there is a size 20 midge hatch going on. When the Midges are really going the fish will feed through the entire hatch, these hatchets can last for several hours. The best part about fishing a size 20 midge hatch is that the trout cannot eat enough bugs.

Note;
For now I am fishing oak orchard, Sandy Creek, and the Salmon River for steelhead and last chance Brown trout. I will also be occasionally playing with the trout of spring Creek. By late March I will concentrate my fishing around Oak Orchard and Sandy Creek for steelhead, I will be fishing these waters until mid April. I have prime dates still opened for this month, March and early April. Mid-April I make my move to the Salmon River, where the spring steelhead cycle starts all over again. I fish steelhead on the salmon until mid May. I have a few days left for late April and several prime days for May still open. Feel free to give myself or the shop a call, and we will be happy to talk to you about what's going on and answer any of your question's, talked to Carl at the fly
shop the number is 585-352-4775 my [JAY] cell 585-233-0436

Wednesday, March 2, 2011




About the photographs; These photographs were taken along the banks of the salmon River. As you can tell it was a cold morning air temperature was 5 degrees, cold enough to freeze the steam from the River onto the tree.

This is starting to look like late winter, warm one day and melting snow, the next day freezing and snowing, perfect weather for making maple syrup. But we are more interested in steelhead fishing. With the weather alternating between freezing and thawing. The rivers and streams have not completely blown out. Water flows have been alternating between high and not so high. Due to the constant runoff from melting snow the water clarity has been on the muddy side. Also the snow melt is not helping the water temperatures. I suspect this is going to be standard water conditions for the foreseeable future.
The Oak Orchard River and all of the shrugging streams are opened and fishing. Water flows are as I said high and dirty, and super cold. The Oak Orchard has fish spread out through all of the major pools from the dam on down river. You will need to fish through the pools slowly, do to the cold water temperatures. The use of a strike indicator will also be a big aid in controlling your drift. Stay with egg patterns in size 8, and in fluorescent colors such as orange and chartreuse. You can try streamer fishing in the slower deeper water with white streamers for the Brown trout.
The water flow is finally increasing for the Salmon river. It has been approximately 12 weeks of water flows at 285 CFS. The water flow is being increased to 500 CFS. I suspect that a flow will be increased to 750 CFS or more over the next few days. This increase in water flow is going to cause a lout of changes to the fishing. First off the increased water flow is going to stir up the river bottom. As result a lot of stray eggs left over from the fall is going to be sent a drift, creating an egg bite. For a week or so size 10 and 8 egg patterns in Oregon cheese will be effective patterns. Also this is going to knock a lot of stone flies nymphs loose, washing them into the pools. The hotspots to fish will obviously be the heads of the pools. If one fly pattern is not working switch, keep rotating between egg patterns in stone fly nymphs in these location. The second major change will be the new fish moving in. High water always freshening up the fishing.