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.
The warm (hot) weather continues with a forecast cool down mid to end of week. Something like 2 weeks of the hottest and driest and clearest weather of the summer has finally scattered the staging salmon. Out in the big Lake O where most of the salmon still are – the fish have even retreated back to deeper water off the rivermouth. At the rivermouth and lower river the action has slowed to a few fish here and there with not many fish revealing themselves as they typically do by boiling around. Its apparent tho that when the masses finally decided to scatter some again, that a fair amount boogied to the dam because there are pretty good numbers of fish there. Decent water flows likely encouraged that move upstream instead of lakeward. And with the weather the way it has been the only place a salmon can likely hang on for now in the River is the the relatively cooler and well oxygenated turbine flows. Over the all not a crush of people out yet, even at the dam. With any cooler and wetter weather migrations could be on relatively quickly and more anglers will be out. Hopefully we’ll see some typical downriver staging behavior as well as some fish beginning to set up around fast water gravel spawning areas.
The hot and dry and clear and sunny and bluebird and calm winds weather continues – even forecast thru next week. There is an expected change in the weather for more fall like after that. This stretch of weather with near record warmth is really the hottest and driest it’s been all summer. And it has def stalled salmon migrations that had kicked off as early as the end of Aug/begin of Sept. For now the Rivermouth casting opportunities have slowed down with a few hookups here and there. Trolling reports still indicate good to strong numbers of fish staged in the near shore waters and as the weather cools again with more importantly some wind and wave action to make for some stained water color, those fish will more then likely be on the move upstream. It could be a banner salmon season when the fish finally begin to make a push upstream and could happen rather quickly. For now the lower river staging has likewise slowed down, not a lot of fish are seen porpoising around say the Bridges area. We’d encourage any lower river tightline scientific snaggers interested in learning how to fool a salmon to bite to check with us about skein and plug and spoon presentations. Everybody knows salmon don’t bite – most esp when you don’t give them a chance to bite… Upstream at the dam there are a few fish that no doubt trickle in and guys are getting a few hookups there. Fish at the dam generally are jetting right thru the downstream fast water gravel areas. We are open everyday now and our typical fall hours will start next week with the possibility of a break here and there.
Some warm and clear and dry weather has settled in – there really hasn’t been a warm dry stretch like this all summer. There was some heavy precip to the south, but that didn’t reach the Lakeplain. Rivermouth action is off and on, oh dark thirty casts are still yielding a salmon or two. Most encouraging is that big Lake O trollers are marking good numbers of fish in the near shore waters like 60 – 80 FOW so that bodes well for future migrations. Those fish should be moving in on some cooling temps and wave action. There’s now a few more salmon staged up in the lower river too, some fish are porpoising each evening around the Bridges area. No great concentrations of fish holding in the fast water gravel sections that we know of, but there are fish at the dam that prob are jetting right thru.
The rivermouth salmon action seems to have got a little tougher thru the weekend, and some N and E winds with cold water might have scattered any near shore salmon. Guys are still encountering some steelhead and browns tho. After this upcoming week warm-up and a return to more prevailing westerly big Lake O winds hopefully we’ll be back into some action. Could be a bit of a lull for a bit…
Still a good start to the early season action with casters at the rivermouth generally getting some hook ups in the early AM or later PM. Continued cool temps for the season and some rain are probably part of the reason action has been pretty decent so far. When either small boat or charter trollers find semi stained water near the rivermouth they have done ok and sometimes have been able to hang in for hook ups well past the first light scenario. Reports are there are a fair number of fish already at the dam and some guys are getting hook ups there too. As far as downstream fast water action, fish are probably trucking right thru on their Kamikazee mission to get to the dam, so not a lot of fish can be expected to be holding in those fast water areas below the dam. Likewise I’m not seeing many Kings porpoising in the lower river and don’t think there are a lot of salmon staged say at the Bridges area yet. Fishing pressure is still generally light, but no doubt angler numbers will build just like the fish numbers! A forcasted hotter and dryer weather week ahead could slow down upstream salmon migrations.
Trib time is approaching! Unconfirmed reports of a trout or salmon hooked up at the rivermouths or some salmon porpoising. Of course there’s the news of a few fish in the Salmon River already, and this is nothing new for that cold waterway. I can tell you there’s more good news and signs about the upcoming trib action then whats sometimes been bad news over the past seasons. Charter trollers and civilians have generally been doing pretty good out in the big Lake O. Pretty good numbers of salmon and some up to 30 plus pounds. Steelhead numbers are def encouraging too. I’ve seen them myself this past summer, some decent catches that will hopefully equate to good numbers of fish in the Oak and tribs this fall, winter and spring. Maybe some of you have heard about the big Lake O flooding this past spring and so far summer… Well that lead to many trollers not even getting out this spring to target browns. Less overland migrations in coolers should mean more fish available this fall. And I have reliable intel that trollers have marked them on sonar but since King fishing has been good, the browns have been largely left alone. Also I’ve been fortunate to be part of a bi-national stakeholder panel put together in large part to discuss prey fish population concerns and resultant 2017 stocking reductions. I do believe the NYSDEC and OMNRF are on the right track with modest stocking reductions to safeguard prey fish populations and preserve excellent fishing. The 2017 stocking reductions will surely not effect this season’s fishing anyway and there’s been prior years stocking reductions with little to no observable change in fishing success. In some cases stocking reductions have lead to better fishing! The weather for now seems almost normal (as long as you’re not in TX) and with lots of precip since the spring. Hopefully the precip patterns will continue and lead to good trib water flows. Upstream Oak swamp headwaters are more brim full right now this time of the year then in recent memory. Its cooling down some now with cool nights which could lead to early Oak Orchard rivermouth casting and small boat action. Sometime here sooner then later for Sep there’s likely to be some fresh salmon action. We’re still on summer hours thru this begin part of Sep, but if you need anything – drop us an email or call.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to check out what we have available. Great opportunity on an upgrade!
Some dates still available at the shop or new lodge for salmon and brown trout and steelhead action!
Licorice Lodge at the shop …
Sept, open. Oct 1 – 9, 3 rooms. Oct 14, 2 rooms. Oct 28, 3 rooms. Oct 29 – Nov 2, 2 rooms. Nov 5, 1 room. Nov 11, 2 rooms. Nov 15, 1 room. Nov 16 – 18, 2 rooms. Nov 19 – forward, open.
New Garage Lodge…
Oct 1 – 11 open. 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!
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!