Christmas and the Holidays are here now. With the exception of the surrounding hills, most of our white is gone for the moment. The forecast of rain for the week ahead could bump the tribs up and make things interesting for those interested in landlocked salmon, browns, and lakers. But the rain, inconjunction with snowmelt could make for high water on the Salmon River. Now may be a good time to work on gear, tie flies, and relax with friends and family.
The early winter fly fishing report is as follows:
- The Douglaston Salmon Run has reported a little bit better fishing, but not so much for fly fishers. Flows have spiked above 1,000 CFS, which will limit wading for the forseeable future, especially since rain and snowmelt will be coming. The water remains very cold at 34 degrees. Nymphs will become a better choice as time goes on but egg patterns can still be good. One angler reports a very slow week last week – his lone steelhead was caught on a pink worm. If fishing the Salmon River, wade carefully, bring extra clothing, layer up, wear studs, and always carry a good wading staff.
- The Finger Lake tribs are back down after receiving a good shot of water last week. Both Salmon and Fall Creek are running around 200 CFS and clear. Fishing has been reported as slow for now, but the week’s rain might bring more fish in, so watch the USGS. Fishing at Milliken has been good for salmon and browns.
- Trout fishing is in winter mode with water temps down in the high to mid 30’s. Flows on the West Branch dropped below 400 CFS. Expect fishing to be slow and focus on late, sunny afternoons when water temps will be up. The smaller local creeks like Owego Creek and sections of Cayuta Creek are down and fairly clear. Best bets at this time of year are nymphs fished deep but remember that it pays to experiment a bit. A small egg pattern or worm imitation could also do the trick.
- Warmwater rivers are running too high for wading, but fishing from a boat is a possibility. The water is very cold, requiring a slow deep presentation.
End-of-the-year / early 2015 fly fishing events are as follows:
- The LACKAWANNA RIVER FLY TYERS CLUB meets every Thursday night at 7pm, October through March, at A&G Outfitters. Anyone is welcome to attend. They just ask everyone to contribute suggestions and ideas on patterns to tie. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bobbin)! And A&G notes beer is acceptable too!
- Tying Trout Flies at A&G Outfitters will be held on Thursdays in January & February @ 6pm – a total of 8 nights of tying trout flies. All tools and materials included. Cost for this class is $50/person. All ages welcome! Contact the fly shop for more information.
- Get ready for BC Flyfishers fly tying classes to be held by the chapter in January, February, and March. The classes will teach the skills needed in fly tying in a progression, from simple techniques to advanced. Several different instructors will conduct the classes for different types of flies.The classes will start on Saturday, January 24th at 10 am at the Endicott Public Library. Contact any BCFF board member if interested or seeking more information.
The week ahead will again be milder for the first official week of winter. Daytime highs will climb up to the low 50’s on Christmas Eve along with potential for a quarter inch of rain. Expect a gradual decline of temps through the weekend with a chance of 1″ to 3″ of snow on Sunday. Now is the time for anglers to look back on the year, count their blessings, and begin to plan for a new year of fly fishing. Happy Holidays!