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.
Thanks to the return of cold and snow – flows in the Oak are back down to just turbine water at something like slightly high and stained. Overflow levels are diminished. Flows are likely to continue to drop back toward med thru the week with about 1 – 2 feet of viz. Forecast is for continued cold weather and then a warm up toward the weekend and next week. The area has a new 1/2 foot or so of snow on the ground. Flows in the Oak are open to fish, just some bank ice and snow to deal with. Fishing pressure is pretty lite, most guys at the dam report some fresh steelhead hook ups. There’s plenty of stained water to hide steelhead anywhere they want to be more or less in the rivercourse right now and the higher and dirtier flows now toward Jan and Feb are often when some big chromers show up. The other area smaller tribs have retreating flows and are mostly iced back up.
Sorry reports have been spotty, have been under the weather a bit – coming back up to speed about now…
Couple days worth of warm up thru the end of week coupled with rain last night and today has pretty much got all the trib flows rolling high and blown. We’ve lost most of the area open flatland snow pack. The smaller area trib flows are blown and dirty, running wide open or still icy in spots. Downstream areas may not open up completely thanks to the forecasted return of cold and snow thru later tonight and the weekend. Chance for a new half a foot or so of snow accumulations thru Sat. Flows in the Oak were high and not yet muddy thru yesterday, today flows are reported blown and dirty consisting of turbine and overflow water. A few guys scratched off some fish today on the cusp of the rising flows. Look for high and blown flows for about the weekend and then retreating slightly with the forecasted return of cold temps and snow. Cold temps returning and hanging in could clear the water color and may reveal some fresh steelhead migrations. We’ll have to wait and see how the cold weather ahead hangs in and what it does to the trib flows. Smaller waterways are likely to ice and slush back in with flows in the Oak staying relatively open.
Flows are so far hanging in at low and clear, not reduced yet to real low. There’s open water to fish, esp at the dam and the fast water areas going downstream. Bank ice is encroaching in spots and could get worse with the colder end of week and begin of weekend forecast, esp if flows were to go any lower. Most action is at the dam for a few steelhead and browns by a handful of guys. Off and on LES is forecast thru the weekend, no real heavy accumulations expected right here. Warming up to seasonably cold temps is the forecast for next week. Next update on or about end of next week. Six week winter fly tying class starting end of Jan. We supply all tools and materials for 3 flies a nite. Call or email for details and registration.
For now winter is hitting pretty hard with cold temps, wind and snow. The Niagara Frontier here on the big Lake O Plain has maybe 1 -2 ft of windblown snow. There are some crazy greater accumulations SW and E of here. Forecast is for continued cold and colder thru the end of the week. Flows in the Oak are low and clear and likely going to real low and clear sometime soon- or what is called leakage thru the Waterport hydro. Leakage flows with the kind of temps we are having now would make most all the water frozen in. For now with the cold and off/on snow – bank ice is encroaching in all but the fastest mid river areas. The few guys out are getting a few hook ups at the dam where the greatest amount of productive open water is. The downstream slow water is frozen and the other area smaller tribs are frozen and pretty well locked up.
See previous… Not much new to report. A few more guys out for the weekend on the Oak. A combo of LES and civilian snow is expected thru tonight. Cold temps forecast at least thru next week.
Welcome to winter… It was a good stretch of fall and early winter fishing. Now some real winter weather with cold and snow has settled in. Forecast is for something like a at least a couple weeks of this serious cold. There’s about a foot of snow on the ground and high temps are in the teens. There’s LES forecast off and on, with the crazy accumulations still southwest and east of here. There’s a handful of guys out on the Oak, a few browns, steelhead and cohos have been hooked. Low and clear flows prob won’t make for much fresh fish action. The waterway is open to fish in the fast water areas, some bank ice is encroaching and the downstream slow water is iced up. The other area smaller tribs are mostly iced and snowed in. If it’s gonna be winter – it may as well snow for good water flows later on. The upcoming steelhead fishing should be pretty good following the pattern of generally improving salmonid action and the past fall’s good fish numbers.
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!