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.
An area rain is forecast tomorrow, starting early with a possible mid day break and then heavier rains thru later Sat nite. Temps should be warm and then dropping thru Sat nite and Sun with a possible change over to LESnow. There’s a greater chance of snow south of the area. Look for the area smaller tribs to be quickly on the rise and getting dirty if the rain is realized as forecast around an inch. Conditions as they already are now at high flows in the Oak may not change significantly thru the better part of the weekend, but eventually flows may go higher with some overflow water and go off color. Fishing action has remained pretty good thru today with guys into browns and a few steelhead. Salmon are still lingering, for better or worse – a mix of zombies, wandering spawners and fresher greenish fish. Fresh fish should be redistributed again on the back side of any higher weekend or begin of next week flows.
Oak Orchard flows are still cranking at something like high levels with about 2 plus foot of viz. Looks like, or close to, full bore turbine water with occasional fluctuations thanks to hydropower operations. With wind and leaf fall look for nearly daily temp water level draw downs. Looks like a slight easing of fishing pressure now for this end of week period. Guys are into browns and steelhead with some reported hot steelhead and big egg laden female browns. Best action is on and off pretty much thru the fast water rivercourse with a tougher downstream frog water bite. Today there is some wind, still relatively mild temps and gloomy. Last nite’s precip did not amount to much her on the WNY Lake O plain. Clear day forecast tomorrow and then rain changing over to colder/windier weather for the weekend. Any significant LESnows should be mostly south of the area. The other area smaller tribs have mod – med and mostly clear flows. Fish are scattered to the east and the better west bite prob getting tougher with dropping and clearing flows. Salmon are still lingering in the Oak, some spawners and zombies and occasional fresher green fish.
Flows in the Oak are high with what looks like close to full bore turbine water. Overflow levels are low, except for when hydro managers flush debris water down that channel. Water color is nice with about 2 feet of slightly stained viz. Look for these or similar water levels to hang in thanks to upstream supplies from precip and the “first” draining of the Erie Canal. Managers have begun the process of draining the Canal, at a slightly slower then normal pace. This may leave this head of good water flow in the Oak for 1 – 2 weeks. With additional precip or runoff flows may go higher. Managers further inform us that following this “first” draining that the Canal will be refilled for a short time with resultant supplemental flows again thru some part of Dec and then a “second” draining. This drainage schedule is def different then a typical fall so look for the chance for fresh fish migrations anytime now thru Dec as flows may stay up. We have not been made aware of any drainage water now or planned later for any of the other area smaller tribs, for now as best as we can tell they are up or down dependent upon natural hydro patterns. For now flows are slowly dropping and clearing ranging from about mod – med and clear – slightly stained viz in the area smaller waterways. Weather has been overcast and gloomy and cool. Next chance of precip thru Wed night. Temps are seasonable – highs around 40F. There remains some angling pressure on the Oak with guys spread up and down the waterway. Yesterday was reported as a tougher day for hook-ups, today guys report some more brown trout and steelhead hook ups. For Kings some guys are still chasing spawning and zombie fish, while trout guys report unintentioned hook ups with fresh Kings. Over the all the action remains pretty good, most everyone fly, spin or pin who can get a drift down deep are getting hook ups. Big fish can be challenging to land in the higher flows, but they are def more willing biters then in low and clear flows.
A “vigorous” change in the weather the past day and couple nites with cold and wind. LESnow did not amount to much here on the WNY Niagara Frontier. Temps are moderating back up to seasonal but the cold snap def has brought flows down and cleaner. Smaller area tribs are med and slightly stained. Flows in the Oak remain something like high consisting of a good head of turbine water. Expect water level fluctuations due to hydropower operations on any given day for the fall, esp after windy conditions. Looking ahead, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a slight reduction in Oak flows after the cold snap – down to about like we were previous to about slightly high. Water color is clearing again from about 1 foot to 2 feet. The previous weather chased the crowds some, guys may be back out now for this weekend with OK weather forecast. When the front hit the action was off some, now I would say guys that are able to handle the highish flows are right back into some good action for browns and steelhead. Still a fair amount of mixed bag Kings – green and spawners and zombies. Johnson Creek continues to be a reported bright spot, with good numbers of hook ups reported. To the east tribs are off and on, my suspicion is fish are well spread out and upstream.
Guys report a good productive morning on the Oak – cohos and browns and steelhead hook ups. Flows came down temporarily thanks to hydro power operations and there were good numbers of fish revealed including fair numbers of salmon. Salmon are in various stages of green or spawning or moldy. Fishing pressure is manageable, guys spread out enough for drifting room. All that nice high water helps with that. Flows are slightly high – high, prob closer to the high side, but down some from a day or two ago thanks to diminished overflow water. Water color is about a foot plus of viz. Forecast is for turning sharply colder tonight, tomorrow and Fri nite. Chance of LERain and LESnow thru tomorrow morning. Cold temps are really going to help continue to drop and clear flows, esp the smaller tribs. Guys are spread back out now on the smaller waterways finding med – slightly high flows and slightly stained water color. Hook up success is unknown, guys may have to look further upstream in order to find fish or else intercept new migrations. Over the all good conditions in all the waterways for some fresh fish migrations with still gamey Kings hanging around. As the weather and water flows ahead may stay reasonable the fishing potential should stay good too. I don’t see the fishing pressure getting much worse, its likely to continue to drop off as it usually does toward turkey time and big game seasons, yet this year the good water and productive fishing is likely to last easily thru Dec.
A nice frosty night and cold weather forecast ahead should be tightening up runoff and putting flows quicker on the lowering and clearing. Guys should be able to spread back out to the smaller tribs and some off the Oak by today. Despite the higher and dirtier flows in the Oak most anglers still getting hook -ups on both browns and good number of steelhead too. As flows may drop and clear some thru this end of week that fishing action should get even more productive. Some angling pressure has been re-directed back to the Oak thanks to other tribs being in various stages of high and dirty, but that hasn’t put all that much pressure on the fish with hook-ups still having remained pretty good. Longer leads and down deep drifts mainly with egg pattern flies or egg hardware have been the most productive.
Some dates still available at the shop or new lodge for salmon and brown trout and steelhead action!
Licorice Lodge at the shop …
Nov 18, 1 room. Nov 21, 1 room. Nov 22, 3 rooms. Nov 23, 2 rooms. Nov 24 – 25, 1 room. Nov 26 – 27, 3 rooms. Nov 28 – 30, 1 room. Dec forward, open.
New Garage Lodge…
Nov 14 open. Nov 19 – 23 open.
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!