Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The weather this past week has been considerably cooler, the colder temperatures is definitely needed. The steelhead spawn is well under way, for Western New York. My guess is that we are about a quarter of the way through this spring steelhead’s spawn cycle. However this is nothing but a wild guess. Weather and water temperatures will play a major role in how long this spawning cycle will last. For now the spring steelhead season is running about two weeks ahead of schedule. Once again the cool weather we’ve had this past week has definitely helped to slow things down.
For Western New York, Oak Orchard River and the surrounding rivers and creeks. Water flows have come down to a medium flow and water color has cleared up considerably from the past week. Water temperatures have drop off some with the cooler water temperatures spawning activity has slowed down some. We still have to cover a lot of water and fish smart to get our bites. There are no big concentrations of fish, but with a little effort we are having good days on the water. Productive flies, we’ve had the best luck with big Willy buggers, leech patterns and egg flies. Along with the flies keep in mind we are fishing with a lot of persistence.
Salmon River, and the surrounding the rivers and creeks; water flow on the Salmon River has come down considerably this past week. Water flows are now at 750 CFS release from the dam. This is a very convenient flow for fishing. Water temperatures are still on the cool side, ranging in the upper 30° mark.  With the reduced flows the fishing has picked up considerably. Also the fisheries department has started to spawn fish at the hatchery, This means there will be a few steelhead starting to drop back down the river. Keep in mind that with the cool water temperatures, Below 40°. What I referred to as, The River spawn has not taken off in its entirety. The spring fishing is just getting started on the Salmon River. The spring is also running about two weeks ahead of schedule here too. There is a lot a fish concentrated in the upper part of the Salmon River. For the most part these fish are still holding in their winter habitat, however keep in mind that at this stage the transition water between winter water and spawning water will start to hold a lot of fish. At this stage of the spring Water temperatures are going to vary considerably through the river. If you’re experiencing cold water temperatures in the upper river, Consider moving your fishing efforts to the mid river. Water temperatures in the mid River can be as much as 3° warmer by mid day. This increase in water temperature will change behavior of the fish considerable, one section of the river is not working, move. Here to persistence and covering water can be the difference between successful day and a lot of casting practice.
For productive flies; the obvious stoneflies nymphs in size 12 to 10, For the swing, small intruders around two and a half to 3 and half inches long is getting the job done. Keep in mind with high water flows try fishing intruders around 4 to 6 inches long. Sometimes you need to put a big target out for them.

A reminder, myself and our friend, Rick Smith still have prime dates for spring steelhead fishing, for both March and April.  Feel free to give me a call to discuss dates and fishing opportunities. Cell 585-233-0436

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