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

Mar 29...

OOrchard flows are slowly retreating, down just a bit to slightly high with about 1 foot of viz.  Flows consist of a good head of turbine water.  Some anglers mite call it a pretty high flow, but by steelhead standards that’s the spring price you pay for fresh fish.  Right now fish could be anywhere in the river they wanted to be under cover of good flows and colored water.  Fishing pressure is pretty lite and with generally mild weather forecast ahead and dark water color (esp in upstream reservoir), water temps will be on the rise.  Look for 40’s F sooner then later.  Flows are likely to stay up at least thru this week and could go higher again with any significant precip.  Some guys try to wait for something lower and clearer and in the meantime miss the action underway right now.  Next chance of rain end of this week.  Guys report a few steelhead hook-ups thru the river all the way to the dam and under high and dirty flows something like a few hook-up chances is not doing too badly.  The other area smallest tribs are med and slightly stained going toward clear while the other area smaller tribs (mid sized) are slightly high and slightly stained.  Fish should be well spread out – maybe a few drop back browns and a few fresh run steelhead.  Reports from the smaller tribs are lite.  Shoreline conditions for now look pretty good for land lubber casting or small boat trollers with slightly stained and slightly chopped water.  Shoreline or in-shore water conditions can and do change daily or more frequently…  Charters and serious civilians will no doubt be getting out now and going forward.

Mar 27...

OOrchard flows are high and dirty.  Flows consist of lots or turbine water at what is def full bore.  Overflow levels have already come up and retreated.  Viz is one foot or less.  For now it looks like the major precip is behind us, forecast is for chance of showers this begin part of the week mostly south or east of here.  Next chance at significant precip end of the week.  Look for turbine flows to stay up and water color to be on the turn in a couple days.  Most ways you look at it, it seems like flows will be up and stained in the near future.  Water temps will continue to rise with generally mild weather forecast and steelhead will happily do their thing in the off color flows.  Thru the past weekend guys were into some fish before the dirty water color made it thru.  Hook-ups now will come with drifts that need to be low or slow or big or bright or stinky.  Other area smallest tribs like Marsh Creek size are in good shape with slightly high and slightly stained flows.  Other area smaller tribs have slightly high and dirty flows that are slowly on the retreat that should be offering up a decent fishing window this mid week or so and before anymore significant precip should raise flows back up and dirty.

weekend Mar 25...

Some more rain thru today, Sat, has all the trib flows back on the rise.  Plus there’s still snowmelt from warming temps.  Rain or showers are in the forecast thru the begin of next week.  OOrchard flows are high today, Sat, and still just stained.  Flows consist of what looks like full bore turbine water.  Guys are out under what is still fishable conditions and scoring a few hookups.  Water temps are slowly creeping up into the high 30’s F.  Flows are likely to continue to rise and could include overflow water as flows become dirtier.  The other area smaller tribs are high and blown and dirty.

Mar 24...

Looks like we are headed (for now) toward a bit of a typical spring warm-up.  Forecast ahead looks like warming weather thru the weekend with the chance for rain or showers.  There was some rain this morning.  Sat may be colder here compared to inland thanks to cool winds off the big Lake O.  Two cold nights and a day the past mid week has tempered runoff from previous snowfall and so the trib flows have stopped short of getting real high or blowing out.  With rain and warm temps in the near forecast ahead tho, flows are not likely to be much on the drop but could go higher and more off color.  After a bit of a Mar malaise it looks like guys are getting back out there and we’ll have intel on hook-up success as reports come back in.  There should be the chance for some fresh steelhead migrations.  By steelhead standards OOrchard flows are real nice at slightly high with a good head of turbine water at about 2 feet of viz.  Water color may get higher and more off color with any significant precip and/or upstream snowmelt.  The other area smaller tribs have slightly high – high and dirty flows that is moving out the most recent icing.  Water temps are chilly, no doubt in the low to mid 30’s F – look for water temps to be on the rise with any warm temps or sun or brown water.  Land lubber casters and small boat trollers should be able to get back out there after encouraging brown trout action from the previous winter warm-ups.  Lake charters and serious civilian trollers will no doubt be shaking things out thru this weekend too.  Check out our rods and reels and wading gear sale and you can find plenty of flies for drifting the tribs or spoons for casting now thru Apr.  Remember by May we’ll be shifting to Summer reduced operating hours.

Mar 22...

The up and down weather continues and makes for some challenging outlooks.  Right now, and thru last nite, and again tonite – its unseasonably cold.  But by the end of day yesterday the snowmelt finally overtook the runoff rate and so all the trib flows have come up and are going off color.  This short return to cold temps now will temper that runoff some tho.  With a return to above freezing temps tomorrow and forcasted precip thru the weekend flows could continue to rise and could get dirtier.  Today flows in the OOrchard are slightly high consisting of turbine water with slightly stained visibility.  Flows look like a good head of turbine water and are likely to go more off color.  The other area smaller tribs are high and dirty and should be moving out this late season ice that we found ourselves with thanks to the last snow and cold snap.  Kind of a reset now with high flows again that should encourage some fresh steelhead migrations.  We’ll have to wait and see what kind of action will perk up in the smaller tribs after whats already been some earlier spawning activity.  In the OOrchard there should be a redistribution of some of the existing spawning fish and some new fresh fish migrations.  Anglers may have to contend with higher and off stained flows this Spring for action thru Apr.  IMHO OOrchard steelhead fishing continues to hum along for fair to good action as compared to other reported action in the face of not a lot of fishing pressure.  Could be that some anglers are basing choices to fish based on general media info instead of getting out in the water and making a few drifts.

Mar 20...

No great rise yet in OOrchard flows, flows may have retreated some to mod and mostly clear.  Except for Wed of this week there is a general warming trend so hopefully with some snow melt higher and more stained flows will get rolling again.  Over-the-all lite fishing pressure with a few guys into scattered numbers of fish.  Still a good portion of the area smaller tribs river courses remain frozen except the uppermost fast water reaches.  Flows are low – mod and mostly clear.

spring tackle sale!

Thanks to challenging late winter/early spring weather we are left overstocked on some great trib tackle – rods and reels and combos and wading jacs/gear especially.  In most cases the sale prices are too low to advertise.  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 – 15% off and up to 20% off 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!

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

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!