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 2016. 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 19, 20, 21 – 2016. 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 – “The access to the Archer’s Club to fish 2016 spring fishing – park at the top of hill and walk down to fish. Fall fishing, parking and breakfast/lunch will start the first week of Oct and run thru Veterans Day. After that fishermaen 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 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.

Fishing Updates

weekend Feb 25...

Some rain thru Sat morning should be bring all the trib flows up some.  Slightly cooler temps for the weekend after the unseasonable warm past week.  Over the all tho there’s no great cold weather forecast ahead and the conditions should be pretty good by steelhead standards.  Look for OOrchard flows to go to something like slightly high – high and stained with the other area smaller tribs high and dirty.  Fri and today, Sat, had some anglers reporting a decent amount of hook-ups on good fresh fish.  With the flows and forecast ahead there should be the chance for more fresh steelhead migrations and good hook up chances.  The rainy weather today, Sat, seems to have kept a few guys off the water.

Feb 24...

OOrchard flows are med – slightly high, hanging in or barely dropping back from mid week.  Water color is getting clearer, slightly stained at about 3 feet of viz.  Conditions are real nice and fishable, flows are typically dirtier at the height they are now.  Water temps are into the 40’s F for now and there are a few steelhead spawning.  Water temps are likely to retreat some with a return to colder weather.  A few fish have managed to weasle up the overflow channel.  There is no ice cover on Lake Alice.  Temps here today are cool thanks to a cold E wind off the Lake, but just a little ways inland it would be much warmer.  There was a little bit of rain this morning that didn’t affect things much with a forecasted cool down for the weekend and chance for thunderstorms Sat.  Today we heard of some good fresh female steelhead hooked up.  The bite is off and on and anglers are typically covering a few spots up and down the river course for multiple bites.  Good drifts and swings are still the order of the day on the OOrchard.  Fishing pressure seems about med, with some guys spread from the dam to the froggy water.  The other area smaller tribs have med flows and slightly stained water color and are wide open to fish.  To the east are some brown trout and a few steelhead hook-ups.  To the west is a little unknown with just spotty reports, but there should be some steelhead moving upstream.  Small boat trollers have been out on the Big Lake O taking advantage of this weeks weather for mostly brown trout hook-ups and land lubber spoon casters can be in on that action too.

Feb 22...

OOrchard flows are hanging in at slightly high – high with occasional fluctuations thanks to hydropower operations.  A few steelhead have managed to get up the overflow channel as a result.  Water color is getting clearer for now with 2 – 3 feet of viz.  Fishing pressure is down from earlier in the week, despite the real agreeable temps.  Temps are forecast unseasonably warm thru the week with cooler and wetter weather forecast for the upcoming weekend.  There was barely some rain showers here on the immediate Lakeplain last night.  Anglers are usually having to put a little time in with some good drifts or swings for any action, a few steelhead hook-ups in something like a day are about average on both older and fresher fish.  Water temps are way warmer then typical, well into the 40’s F and the ice cover on Lake Alice is going away.  The other area smaller tribs are wide open at something like med  – slightly high flows and slightly stained water color.  Guys are into a few fresh steelhead and some browns.  No doubt the weather will revert back to more seasonable, we’ll have to see what that does for water conditions and therefore fish migrations thru Mar.

Feb 20...

Flows in the OOrchard are up another notch to slightly high – high consisting of all turbine water.  Viz is approx 2 feet, slightly stained, but could go a little dirtier as the warm-up holds on.  By steelhead standards the water conditions are real nice and could draw in some fresh fish migrations.  Weather is forecast unseasonably warm all week, today is cool right here on the Lakeplain from E winds, but no doubt its warmer inland.  There is the chance for rain or showers late Tue.  With the big change in the weather or from higher flows or from steelhead being steelhead it sounded like the ending weekend action was slower.  Some guys fishing the cusp of rising and getting dirtier flows on the other area smaller tribs did ok for a few browns and steelhead.  Those other area smaller tribs have something like med- slightly high and stained flows while smallest and local and small watershed tribs like say Marsh Creek are barely up at all.  Fishing pressure is down some from the weekend free fishing days but there’s no doubt a few more guys out and about given the agreeable weather.

weekend Feb 18...

The thaw is upon us rapidly today, Sat, with temps into the high 50’s F and some gusty winds.  Forecast is clear and unseasonable warm well thru next week.  Flows in the OOrchard are slightly high and slightly stained for now and should be at least maintained or could go higher and dirtier from upstream runoff.  There really isn’t all that much recharge right here on the immediate Lakeplain.  Without a lot of local runoff, the other area smaller tribs are coming up some and getting a little off color but its unlikely there will be blow out or unfishable conditions.  Most of the waterways are open without significant icing and whatever is left for icing should be going away pretty quick.  Guys are out this weekend on the free fishing license days and there are reports of some good sized and fresh fish hooked up.  With this kind of week’s worth of warm-up there is the good possibility that there will be some spawning activity sooner rather then later.  Small boat trollers and land lubber casters on the big Lake O could find some brown trout action now that would be more typical of later Mar or Apr.

Feb 17...

OOrchard flows are slightly high and slightly stained.  A slight warm-up this past mid week raised the flows just a bit but no real change in water color from 2 – 3 feet of viz thanks to colder temps yesterday and so far today.  There’s unseasonable warm temps and no serious precip forecast this weekend and thru next week.  That will likely get rid of the remaining little bit of snow here on the immediate Lake O plain and the few inches or so just a little south.  Look for OOrchard flows to remain up or go higher and get a little dirtier, likely there shouldn’t be any blow out or overflow water event.  By steelhead standards the conditions are almost gentlemanly like, instead of the more typical high and dirty and cold and gnarly late winter flows.  So far thru this week there’s only been a few guys on the waterway each day.  Guys that we talk to are into some steelhead, a little more consistent nearer the dam, with some hook-ups downstream too.  These kind of water conditions that don’t include a big blowout event lead me to believe steelhead migrations will proceed just like what’s been the fall time MO for browns and steelhead – a drawn out trickle kind of a “run.”  The other area smaller tribs have something like med flows and stained water color – icy in spots or running slushy.  If the forecast is accurate, look for rising flows and mostly open waterways by next week – with the chance for fresh steelhead and new Lake run browns anytime.  I’d have to say that a serious return to cold weather would be needed to freeze those waterways back up at this point in the later winter.

fly rod & reel sale!

Float fishing can be productive and is in style now.  Spin fishing is efficient and somewhat old school…  Fly fishing used to be stylish and is plenty efficient with good roots on the OOrchard!  We’d like to keep the line waver tradition going for all your trib trout and salmon needs so for a limited time we are offering SALE prices on great gear from Redington, Lamson, Bauer, GLoomis, St. Croix. Rio, Royal Wulff and Cortland.  Single hand and switch rods and reels and large arbor reels and flylines, etc…  Discounts of 10% on rod or reel purchases, and up to 20% on combos or select eligible purchases can receive $50 store credit for flies or any merchandise.  Call 585 682 4546 to check out what we have available.  Great opportunity on an upgrade!

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!
Licorice Man

Latest Catch Photos

Small boat trollers with simple spreads at the Rivermouth & lower river intercept fish before they make it upstream! You can cast or float drift fish too. Wayne finds this King right outside the OOrchard 4th week of Sep 2016.

Early AM casting a glo spoon before the typical later arriving upstream drift crowd arrives yields another big, fresh, hard fighting King for the Licorice Man at the OOrchard Rivermouth!