There’s lots of good fishing for salmon, steelhead and brown trout ahead! Stay at the shop Licorice Lodge in the heart of the OOrchard fishing action! OR new lodging available at our well appointed private ground floor Garage Lodge located just 5 miles east on Route 18, convienent to Sandy Creek. Call ASAP for reservations!
The Oak Orchard Pen Rearing Association received approx 15,000 steelhead placed in net pens in the OOrchard Apr 2017. Approx 106,000 King salmon where placed in the net pens for hopeful imprinting on the OOrchard. These numbers represent just some of the total number of salmonids stocked here in Orleans County annually. Many thanks to local stakeholders for their efforts of securing, feeding and monitoring the fish. More tributary anglers are invited to help with feeding the fish and cleaning the pens. Contact us for how and where to help out in 2017. Be sure you contact NYSDEC with comments on the cormorant situation and the impacts on the young stocked salmonids.
The Sportsmen Archer’s Club Fly Fishing Only Catch and Release Contest will be held Oct 18, 19, 20 – 2017. Everyone always enjoys the great hospitality and comradorie of the Archer’s Club and will experience some good fishing. Their cooperation with out of the area fishermen is truly above board and greatly appreciated by all. Please contact us or see the Club for registration. This quote from the Archers Club – Fall fishing, parking and breakfast/lunch will start the first week of Oct and run thru Veterans Day. After that fishermen can park at the top of the hill and walk down.” All non club members are reminded to act as courteous and responsible guests on the private bankside lands of the Archer’s Club so that we may all enjoy the fishing access there now and in the future.
We encourage all users to follow the site rules for access and fishing on the Brookfield Power Company lands. We cannot speak for the power company or interpret their site rules. We have a map posted outside the shop door highlighting the PFD zone just downstream of the dam and on the overflow channel on the OOrchard. We can also forward you a copy of the Brookfield Power Company brochure highlighting that area if you provide us your email. For specific questions about the Waterport dam site rules you can email Inquiries@Brookfieldrenewable.com. We continue to lobby for better water access on the far side or west side of the Waterport dam hydro pool and we encourage you to do the same with Brookfield, NYSDEC and/or Orleans County Tourism.
Orleans Outdoor has changed it’s name to Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge. Check out our new sign and logo in current fish pics below. Watch for other changes soon like our new website. If you’re reading this you should be at our new fishing conditions page. We hope to go live with more upgrades this winter/spring! We look forward to another nearly 20 years as WNY’s longest running speciality trout and salmon tributary fly, spin and float shop!
Its all about water flows… Water flows are the single biggest factor in encouraging upstream movements of fish during the fall, winter and spring trib seasons. Here’s our OOrchard flows rating which we generally use to describe other area smaller trib flows too. We are generally most confident in our OOrchard interpretations, less so in the other area smaller tribs. Remember use caution in interpreting upstream OOrchard USGS gauging stations that can mean little or nothing for flows downstream of the Waterport hydro considering both turbine channel and overflow levels.
Real low, low, mod, mod – med, med, slightly high, slightly high – high, high, real high, blown. Intrepid anglers are capable of catching fish on the OOrchard in all of these flows , save for maybe blown AND dirty. Remember the turbine channel can only get so high, which is still actually fishable, unless its high AND dirty.
Flows in the Oak are high with about 2 feet of viz. Canal water is def passing thru and water color may get dirtier. Flows consist of a good head of turbine water. We are not certain if this is 24/7 feed that will last over a select time period or if this is short term 2nd time drainage water? Given the rate of flow and cold-ish forecast ahead, my guess is that this is drainage water. This is sort of unprecedented Dec flows, so not entirely sure how the fishing action will go. Good flows in the fall, winter, and spring time frame are never a bad thing tho, so look for the chance for some fresh fish migrations including steelhead and the last of the brown trout. There is the chance for Atlantics and cohos and the Kings will prob be flushed out. There’s about 6 inches of snow on the ground from an area wide storm and LESnows are forecast off/on with colder temps thru the rest of the week. The cold and snow and other area smaller smaller trib low flows will make for some icing and slushing. With the good flows in the Oak there will be no significant upstream icing at least for now. Fishing pressure is lite with just a few guys out on the Oak.
Still no LESnow accumulations here, chance for snow showers Sat nite and Sun with seasonable cool temps of highs around 30’s. No significant impact forecast here for the east coast storm. Chance for colder temps about mid week next week and off/on LESnows. Flows in the Oak are low – mod and mostly clear. Hydro managers had said there would be some Erie Canal water feed thru some part of Dec, but I’m not sure we’ve seen it yet. The Canal is re-filled again right now, but it could be we won’t see any 24/7 feed until it actually drains again toward the mid or end part of the month. Stay tuned… Otherwise lite to reasonable fishing pressure on the Oak for a mix of browns and steelhead. A few cohos have been reported and there are still lingering Kings. Most hook-ups are likely concentrated in the deeper holes upstream or in the downstream slow water. Other area smaller tribs have low and clear flows with scattered numbers of fish in some cases slowly dropping back to find cover. Good Genny action is reported and that’s a good sign and indication of better steelhead numbers and fishing action all around and what may yet happen for the winter/spring “runs.” With any future cold and snowy weather hanging in look for smaller waterways to have some icing conditions.
Latest precip of a couple days ago was not enough to effect flows much. For now flows in the Oak are low – mod and mostly clear. Flows could come up and get off color if and when we see that late season Canal water feed. The other area smaller tribs are low and mostly clear. All the waterways are wide open to fish without any icing conditions. Fishing pressure for this mid week period has been pretty lite. No LESnow accumulations here so far, forecast chance for some LESnow here on the WNY big Lake O plain Fri. Generally colder more seasonal temps forecast thru the upcoming weekend and next week and chance for off/on LESnows. The few guys out on the Oak are into some browns and some steelhead. The action may be most consistent in the lowering flows at the dam, couple good holes and in the downstream froggy water. Anglers report in the other smaller tribs some legwork will net some action on a few fish for a day or so effort.
Generally mild temps and weather and dry conditions thru the past weekend. So far for this week there was some rain last night and this morning with still warm temps. Forecast is for colder temps and chance for LESnow thru the rest of the week. Heaviest bands are forecast south and west of here with the chance of movement toward the north here on Wed. Flows in the Oak are mod – med and mostly clear. The latest precip may cause flows to bump up just slightly and get a little more off color. Otherwise it looks like we are “in-between” Canal water feed – or after the first draining. We’re told by hydro managers that the Canal is to be filled again with 24/7 supplemental feed commencing again before a second draining toward the end part of Dec. When we are made aware of any Dec Canal water feed for the Oak we will let you know. Fishing pressure by late Nov/early Dec standards has been up thanks to still pretty good action for browns and steelhead and the agreeable weather. I wouldn’t doubt for the rest of the week with some weather coming in that the pressure would go down some. If and when 24/7 Canal water feed commences again for the Oak, flows may go higher and get a little more off color. The other area smaller tribs will prob bump up to med – slightly high and little bit off color thanks to the latest precip. Everything is wide open to fish without any icing conditions yet.
The shop is on Winter hours now, open everyday at 600AM til 500PM weekdays, til 600PM Fri and Sat, and til 100PM Sun. Flows in the Oak are down a little bit from high to just slightly high. Viz is about 2 feet. It’s unclear about how long flows will stay up from the continued slower draining of the Erie Canal – best guess would be at least thru some part of next week. Forecast is for generally clear and warm weather thru next week, just a chance of showers thru this weekend. Without significant precip behind the drainage water, flows could retreat some more to medium ish. Thru yesterday, Fri, most all anglers reported at least a few hook-ups in the Oak on browns or steelhead. Some guys are still targeting the last of the Kings. All the fish are def spread out some and greater concentrations may yet be closer to the dam as they have been more or less this entire fall. A warm front yesterday, Fri, may have made the bite tougher. Pressure is down some from a few weeks ago, yet there are a few more guys around then a typical end of Nov time frame. The other area smaller tribs right now have medium flows and just slightly stained water color going toward clear. Reports are kinda quiet from those smaller waterways. We’ll be updating this post next on or about Dec 04.
Flows in the Oak are still ranging from slightly high to high with viz of about 1 – 2 ft. Water color may hang in at that nice stain with some of the last of the kinda turbid Canal water now pushing thru. Fishing pressure def fell off some thru the past mid week but could pick back up slightly with warm temps forecast thru the weekend. There is the chance for showers tomorrow but no significant precip is expected here on the WNY big Lake O Plain. Fishing pressure is relative… It’s not going to approach anything like what it was 1 plus month or so ago. The other area smaller tribs have real nice slightly stained and medium ish flows with no icing and lots of upstream water that could hold some fish. Hearing again of pretty good action to west tribs and spread out action to the east. Oak Orchard action still good for guys able to get a drift or swing down and slow. Hook ups include fresh steelhead, spawning browns and semi green or moldy salmon.
Oak Orchard flows are still humming along high at what looks like something close to full bore turbine water. Overflow levels are diminished and water color is stained at 1 -2 ft of viz. Looks like we are on the backside of bigger water from the past weekend’s precip. LESnow’s have not amounted to anything here on the WNY big Lake O Plain. Look for no significant change in Oak Orchard flows in the near future at least and until the “first” draining of the Erie Canal is completed for the winter season. Reg precip could pick up the slack in the interim before the Canal is refilled and 24/7 supplemental water feed is commenced for some part of Dec before the “second” winter time draining. This is the scenario hydro managers have told us will play out. The other area smaller tribs are def on the retreat from higher and dirtier weekend flows at something like slightly high and stained with about 1 foot of viz. We are hearing of scattered fish numbers well spread out to the east and the to the west reports have gone a little quiet. Float guys making deep, checked drifts have been into some chrome steelhead and we still see egg laden browns being caught on the Oak. Fishing pressure is still a little high, but there’s plenty o water to spread guys out and not spook the fish terrible. Given the chance for fresh big chrome more typical of Feb or Mar and still the chance for big browns I’d say the Oak Orchard action is pretty good.
Remember you still have to get out and fish… Come experience great fishing as it takes place instead of solely relying and waiting on internet reports. Anglers who find the best fishing often anticipate when the right conditions will come together. Internet bragging seems a lot less prevelant then it was a few years ago, and our reports tend to be even keeled – not reporting fish numbers great enough that they would be jumping in your waders – even if they were! Good water flows will be the biggest factor for trout and salmon migrations in the Oak Orchard River and in the area smaller tribs and pushing them upstream. Weather and the calendar is the biggest factor for angling pressure and bringing more fishermen out or keeping them indoors. There are always some exceptional fish caught in the trib season, just check out the pics below and in the archives. Come on out and get in on some trophy action this fall, winter and spring and add to the photo collection!
What does the Oak Orchard River, the Lakeshore and other WNY tribs offer? The chance to fish from your own two feet for trout and salmon you measure in pounds, not inches, for 7 – 9 months depending upon weather and water conditions. A trip to the Oak Orchard River and WNY to fish for World Class trout and salmon is still easily the best bargain in trophy fishing. The working man’s big trout and salmon trip is still here, and it’s not even a contest compared to the other exotic, far off angling destinations. We believe our web reports are the straightest poop by far about Oak Orchard and most WNY conditions. We are living and experiencing all the fishing action directly or thru trusted reports of other die hard anglers as it happens. So how do you know if trophy trout and salmon will be catchable upon your travels to the Oak Orchard and WNY area? All the best web info, bulletin boards, angler skill and top notch equipment cannot replace getting out there and actually fishing! The nuances of fish migrations is an inexact science and we cannot predict the future. Fish as soon as reasonable conditions allow instead of waiting for supposed better conditions that may or may not materialize. Be one of the lucky few that experiences good fishing as it takes place instead of hearing that famous quote, “you should have been here yesterday!”
Tight lines and smooth drags!
Latest Catch Photos
Even lucky, old and not pretty casters like the Licorice Man can get in on the early hard striking and fighting fresh King action at the Oak Orchard rivermouth! IMO one nice silver fish is worth a whole bunch old upstream darkies. Early Sep 2017.
Erica finds it hard to hold up nearly 20 lbs of fresh King caught at the Oak Orchard rivermouth! Early silver fish like this are a good sign for the upcoming trib action. No trolling gear required, you can get in on this action casting or drifting! Early Sep 2017.
Steelhead glory to the swung fly in the OOrchard for end Jan 2016/begin Feb 2017. Will you be there when a chromer moves upstream? Don’t wait for Apr and ask if the steelhead are in yet!
Good steelhead action for fresh fish up and down the OOrchard River on retreating and clearing flows for begin of Mar 2017. Savvy trib anglers anticipate good hook-up chances on the backside of high flows when reasonable weather and water conditions coincide!
A nice steelhead after changeable winter weather and a rise in OOrchard flows mid – late Feb 2017. Stained water color means prime chances for good fly drifts and willing biters!