Winter continues to stumble along and while the area dodged a big snowstorm, it’s still been snowy and cold. Anglers are either braving the cold chasing steelhead or spending their “angling time” working on equipment, preparing tackle, tying flies, and attending events. And as March creeps into view this month, events of all types will begin to emerge and capture anglers in advance of the onset of Spring.
The winter fly fishing report remains short this time of year:
- The Salmon River and other Great Lakes tribs remain open but marginally fishable due to ice, snow, and cold. Douglaston Salmon Run reports that anchor ice is present, making angling challenging and dangerous. Flows at the run are currently around 750 CFS. Water temps remain very cold at 32 – 33 degrees. Egg sacks and egg patterns have been producing but nymphs will become a better choice as time goes on. If fishing the Salmon River, wade carefully, bring extra clothing, layer up, wear studs, and always carry a good wading staff.
- Trout fishing is in winter mode with water temps down in the low to mid 30’s. Flows on the West Branch are currently around 400 CFS. Fishing will remain slow due to water temps just above freezing. This is the time of year when it pays to sleep in and focus on late, sunny afternoons when water temps will be up. The Lackawanna River in Scranton, PA has seen a slow-down in fishing with the onset of frigid cold. A&G Outfitters reports that fish are now being taken on nymphs and worm imitations. The smaller local creeks like Owego Creek and sections of Cayuta Creek are frozen in most places, making fishing very difficult.
Fly fishing events for February 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.
- BC Flyfishers will continue to hold fly tying classes through 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 all be held from 10 am to 1 pm at the Endicott Public Library. The cost for classes is $35 for adults and $20 for students ages 10 – 17. The schedule for classes is as follows: February 14 – Streamers, February 28 – Caddis, March 14 – Mayfly Dry Flies, March 21 – Other Dry Flies, and March 28 – Steelhead flies and Advanced Techniques. Contact any BCFF board member if interested or check the chapter’s calendar for more information.
- The BC Flyfishers will also be holding their monthly meeting on Thursday, February 26th at 6:30 pm. As usual, the meeting will be held at the Endicott Public Library in the downstairs meeting room. The meeting will start with a fly tying demo and book sale, followed by a guest speaker, to be announced.
- The Al Hazzard TU chapter will be holding their February meeting on Tuesday, February 17th at 7 pm at the Vestal Public Library, speaker to be announced.
The week ahead will be both very cold and snowy. Daytime highs will range from the mid-30’s to the mid-teens. Temps will then plunge on Tuesday to a high of 12 and a low of 2 degrees but then will slowly creep up to highs close to 40 on Sunday. For the hard core anglers, expect slow fishing, dress for severe cold, and be safe. Be aware of the presence of shelf and slush ice in rivers if fishing any of the tribs.