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 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 Sat Oct 21...

Unseasonable warm temps in the 70’s forecast for the weekend.  Not even really a significant cool down at nite expected for Sat and Sun.  Next week a forecasted cool down and chance of precip something like mid week.  After the strong salmon start weeks ago now it seems like a “trickle run” over a longer period with a tendency of many fish that still want to go well upstream nearer the dam.  Some fish are spawning but it doesn’t appear that most or all fish are spawning yet and there are only a few old moldies.  Reports are that there are still guys trolling as deep as 60 FOW out in the big Lake O and getting salmon.  Those are fish that aren’t migrating until end of Oct or Nov prob.  Brown trout action has slowed some, likewise again, after that initial push of fish some weeks ago – and some of them may have been creeled –  good case for catch and release for later in the season action…  Brown trout and steelhead and coho and Atlantic action (some of which have all been hooked already) should pick up again thru the end of Oct with cooler weather and/or precip.  For now in the still real nice Oak slightly high and slightly stained flows most consistent action is upstream nearer the dam with on and off action lower down say around the Archers.  There are good numbers of browns reported at the dam as they follow the salmon egg wagons there.   Yesterday when hydro power operations caused flows to go down in the Oak it revealed plenty of fish around, so you know they are still hiding there somewhere when flows go back up and stained!  Reports of off and on Oak fishing pressure, with usually greater concentrations of guys nearer the dam.  Other area smaller tribs dropping down and clearing with Johnson Creek hanging on to some color and pretty good action for salmon and browns.  Tribs to the east may require a hike or being there when fish move thru a certain spot for some action.

Oct 19...

Flows in the Oak are down slightly to med – slightly high with about 2 -3 feet of viz.  Still real nice flows by fall standards and plenty of water cover to hide fish or migrations.  Legit hook-ups require getting drifts or swings down and reading the water for the fish that aren’t always visible.  Plenty o salmon still upstream at and near the dam and so browns will be following those egg wagons.  Some folks report not a lot of browns but they aren’t always obvious because of the higher water – and its only mid Oct anyway.  Like last report there were guys at the end of the day Wed that said they had real good action on the Oak.  Best brown tout fishing is typically an end of Oct thru Nov and some part of Dec thing.  Like it or not as the salmon get not much respect you gotta get thru some King fishing before there’s reasonably consistent brown trout action.  Fishing pressure is on and off, hard to predict, some days better then others.  Water adjacent to the Archer’s Club for this end of the week has their tourney going on, but anglers can still find less harried water there say at the end of the day when guys are done and in the clubhouse and the fish begin to move again.  Downstream frog water drifts are tough maybe because the egg bite is off some but guys are still having some action.  Farther downstream boat guys and even pier head landlubbers still report salmon hook-ups so we know that salmon in prob smaller pods are moving thru going upstream.  With the way warm weather has hung in, salmon will prob be moving thru well into Nov.  Small area trib action is good, esp for salmon.  To the west there’s strong numbers reported at Johnson Creek in now lowering and clearing flows.  To the east we know that fish are well spread out upstream thru multiple branches as a result of higher flows a couple weeks ago.  Weather is a peach and warm and clear and bluebird forecast more or less thru the begin part of next week before the next significant cool down.  Water temps remain well above typical for this time of the year.

Oct 17...

Thru yesterday early in the day reports for the Oak was tougher fishing, and then later in the day the reports were of better action.  Some anglers hang in only a little while longer then the dawn bite in a single spot, while guys hanging in thru something like a days effort and that hit some different water upstream or down usually report the better action.  The bite turns on and off thru the day and often fish are back on the move later in the day.  The water flow and color (slightly high/slightly stained) is ideal for legit drifting action and there is def enough water cover to hide some fish or their migrations.  Downstream frog water drifts are likewise not as concentrated and so fish are spread out thanks to the still slightly high big Lake O levels.  If not for a decent upstream flow, those frog water drifts would be even froggier.  We finally got a couple days and nites worth of cool weather and that should finally get the water temps down and put more salmon on the gravel.  More salmon should be dropping back from the dam and new migrations may not be so inclined to kamikazee it to the dam.  Some fish are beginning to show signs of wear but we may only be somewhere half way thru the “run.”  Forecast is for warming back up temps and dry rite thru the upcoming weekend.  Smaller area trib action is good too, dropping and clearing flows that may be lower and clearer by the end of week.  Fishing pressure is somewhat spread out now thru all the waterways, lessening some so far thru the mid week for the Oak.  Plenty o folks still at the dam!

weekend Oct 14 Sat...

Another warm day but there is some cloud cover.  Chance of rain showers for end of the weekend.  Flows are real nice – still high and slightly stained in the Oak with retreating medium – ish stained flows in the other area smaller tribs.  A fair amount of angling pressure on the Oak concentrated some both low and high, at the dam.  Brown trout action is pretty good, in some cases as many or more brown trout hook-ups as salmon.  That we know of, the greatest concentration of salmon still seems to be at the dam or near the dam in the upstream reaches.  Downstream froggy water salmon action is slower, a few guys with specialized techniques having a good first lite bite.  Lower river and rivermouth action has slowed down apparently, concentrations of fish are prob less now with smaller pods of fish moving thru.  And who can say for sure with this warm weather hanging in how many salmon are yet to come in out of the Lake?  Look for those migrations to prob be smaller pods of fish spread out over some time.  The other area smaller tribs def have good action too.  To the west there’s reports of good numbers of fish in the uppermost reaches of Johnson Creek.  The the east now on the backside of higher flows there’s no doubt fish spread well upstream. And downstream intel says there’s been plenty of fish on the move in the dark.  Nice to see fish with some water cover to make it upstream past a sometimes fall low clear water gauntlet.

Oct 13...

Flows in the Oak are high and stained with about 2 feet of viz.  Great flows for fresh fish migrations and to draw the salmon out of the lake and upstream.  Good numbers of browns and some steelhead too seem to be responding to that good head of water.  Precip thru earlier this week should keep flows up and there is the chance for more rain or showers this Sun.  Weather is agreeable for anglers, not necessarily cooling the water temps down tho to put salmon on the gravel just yet.  At least there’s been gloom so the demon sun hasn’t made water temps hot and lethal lately.  If and when things cool down some more it’ll prob be a salmon spawning spectacular with a trout feast behind them.  Fishing pressure has picked up at times, but over the all I can recall more pressure on the Oak say when the other area smaller tribs have been low and clear.  Now those other tribs are up and stained and have plenty o fish themselves so guys are spread out some.  Yesterday guys reported multiple hook ups on browns and steelhead and salmon in the Oak and today and thru the weekend the other area smaller tribs should be on the mend retreating to med – slightly high and slightly stained with the chance for hookups up and down the rivercourses.  Rivermouth and lower river/estuary action can still be had too by casters and small boat anglers.

Oct 12...

Some rain thru last night, prob a little more then was originally forecast for the Lakeplain.  Retreating flows from the rain a few days ago will be stalled or bump back up slightly.  A seasonable cool day today and warmer for the weekend with next chance of precip Sun.  Flows in the Oak should remain high and stained consisting of just turbine water.  Most guys report good amount of fish movement and hook-ups.  Salmon are still steaming upstream and the numbers of browns and steelhead already hooked for what could be considered still somewhat early in the “runs” for them is real encouraging.  Good legit drifting or swinging or casting chances for mixed bag hook-ups on the Oak and other area smaller tribs rite now.

tackle sale!

We still have some 2016 and summer overstock trib tackle – gear like rods and reels and combos and wading jacs especially.  In most cases the sale prices are too low to advertise.  For Sept before we get too busy you can take advantage of some great deals.  Check out the new Kype float rods – a high end, high tech production rod that’s better then a custom rod.  Kype’s “Dropback Steelhead Sale” means 15% off reg price.  For the rest of our gear including fly rods/reels, float rods/reels, spin rods/reels and wading jacs/gear – the discounts are 10 – 20% off with more discounts available on combos.  Select purchases can receive $50 store credit for flies or merchandise.  Great names like Redington, Lamson, Okuma, Daiwa, Bauer, Raven, Sheffield, GLoomis, St. Croix and Frogg Toggs, etc…  How about a switch rod set-up to keep the line waver tradition going?!  Call 585 682 4546 or email to check out what we have available.  Great opportunity on an upgrade!

Lodging Availability

Some dates still available at the shop or new lodge for salmon and brown trout and steelhead action!

Licorice Lodge at the shop …

Oct 12 – 13, 1 room.  Oct 28, 2 rooms.  Oct 29, 1 room.  Oct 30 – Nov 1, 2 rooms.  Nov 5, 1 room.  Nov 11, 2 rooms.   Nov 19, 1 room.  Nov 20,  2 rooms.  Nov 21 – 22, 3 rooms.  Nov 23, 2 rooms.  Nov 24, 2 rooms.  Nov 25, 2 rooms.  Nov 26 – forward, open.

New Garage Lodge…

Nov 1 and 2 open.  Nov 5 open.  Nov 12 – 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!
Licorice Man

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!