Christmas and the Holidays are just around the corner. And while the coutryside has a white coat, that may be gone this week as warmer weather and rain hit the area. The rain and snowmelt could once again bump the tribs up and make things interesting for those interested in landlocked salmon, browns, and lakers. Local fly fishing chapters are set up to hold their final meetings of 2014 this month. For anglers fishing for deals, this is a good time to stop at a local fly shop or browse online.
The early winter fly fishing report is as follows:
- The Douglaston Salmon Run has reported a mix of fishing conditions. After a period of relatively high water, flows are down below 700 CFS, much more wadeable and fishable. The water remains very cold at 35 degrees. Nymphs will become a better choice as time goes on but egg patterns can still be good. 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 could be decent for salmon, browns, and hungry lake trout. Fishing at Milliken has been good for salmon and browns.
- Trout fishing remains a possibility. Flows on the West Branch dropped below 400 CFS and the water temp has increased slightly to 38 degrees. Expect fishing to be slow and focus on sunny late afternoons when water temps will be up. The smaller local creeks like Owego Creek and sections of Cayuta Creek are down and clearing. Best bets at this time of year are nymphs fished deep but remember that it pays to experiment a bit. A small egg pattern could also do the trick.
- Warmwater rivers are dropping but will remain cold and too high for wading.
December 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.
- And speaking of fly tying classes, get ready for fly tying classes held by the BC Flyfishers IFFF 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.
- BC Flyfishers will hold their monthly chapter meeting on Thursday, December 18th. As usual, there will be a fly tying demo at 6:30 pm, followed by chapter announcements and a guest speaker, John Shaner at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the George F. Johnson Public Library (Downstairs), 1001 Park Street, Endicott. Shaner’s presentation will be “Soft Hackle Wet Flies for Trout”. John will discuss Spider (Soft Hackle) Wet Flies and as the pre-meeting tyer, will demonstrate tying some of his favorites. Soft hackle wets are an old and highly effective fly used extensively throughout Europe but not so much here in America. During the presentation John will discuss the materials and techniques for tying and presenting these simple but effective flies. John has many years of guiding experience, especially in Colorado and the West. As a retired guide, John became a representative for many well know fly fishing companies (Orvis, Cortland, Hardy, to name a few). John has fished many chalk streams of England where soft hackles prevail and will share his knowledge about these underutilized fly patterns. Come see John demonstrate tying and learn how we can all benefit from using soft hackle wet flies.
- Al Hazzard TU will be holding their monthly chapter meeting on Tuesday, December 16th at 7 pm. The speaker for this meeting will be Joe Fox of Dette Trout Flies.
The week ahead will be milder, in general. Daytime highs will climb up to 40 degrees by Wednesday, but then expect a decline of temps through the weekend. There is a decent chance of showers on Tuesday and Wednesday.