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

weekend Jan 21...

There was no significant precip thru Fri nite or so far today Sat, at least here on the WNY Lake O Plain.  Flows in the OOrchard are back up one click none-the-less from end of the week to slightly high – high.  Water color is about the same at 1 foot or just less of viz.  Reports are of some steelhead hook-ups, mostly those smaller size fish.  There’s been more then one report of cohos in the OOrchard and other tribs and some still clinging to life Kings in the OOrchard.  All of that just points to how goofed up the run timing and weather patterns are.  The other area smaller tribs are retreating and are pretty much open to fish without significant icing.  Flows range from med to slightly high with stained to dirty water color.  Anglers are out on those waterways now enjoying the rare mid winter chance and we havent heard much for reports on hook-ups.  Should be fresh steelhead chances like on the OOrchard and some redistribution of brown trout.

Jan 20...

OOrchard flows are down a click to slightly high but are dirtier from mid week – as expected.  Water color is about a foot of viz or just less.  All and all the conditions are not unexpected for steelhead time and anglers are on the water finding the conditions fishable.  Temps are certainly agreeably mild and forecast same thru next week.  Looks like we can expect flows to stay up or go higher with rain in the forecast thru tonight.  With anymore significant precip flows are likely to go higher and dirtier, so guys out today or firstly tomorrow may be hitting the best available fishing window for now.  The other area smaller tribs for now are med – slightly high and dirty with a foot of viz or less.  Thanks to the above freezing temps the smaller tribs are clearing out some ice along with the dirty water.  As we have got these off and on higher OOrchard flows recently there have been fresh steelhead reported.  With good high and stained flows hanging on without significant cold now and thru Feb/Mar there should be good chances at hook-ups.

Jan 18...

Thanks to a good shot of rain thru yesterday and showers today all the trib flows are up.  Flows in the OOrchard are slightly high – high and stained with about 1 – 2 feet of viz.  Flows look like something close to full bore turbine water and no significant overflow water yet, hence the designation one click less then high.  Water color is easily fishable thru today but will likely get dirtier thru the end of the week as muddier water comes thru the reservoir.  The other area smaller tribs are high and dirty with less then a foot of viz.  With the warm forecast ahead and good head of water those smaller waterways should be free of ice, esp in the fast water areas.  Water color should hang in dirty to stained with no real significant cold forecast ahead to lock back up the turbid runoff.  About a week + ago on similar higher flows there was some fresh steelhead action, so we might expect at least the same expectation of a few fresh fish.  If milder temps and these good flows hang in thru end of Jan and Feb/Mar it would really coincide with the chance for some good stealhead fishing.  Drifts or swings will need to be down low and slow for the best chance at hook-ups in any cold and high and dirty flows.

Jan 16...

OOrchard flows did retreat some thru the past weekend, prob thanks to the cold weather.  Flows are low – mod with still a little color to the water at about 2 plus feet of viz.  Flows are likely to hang in at the low or mod level unless there is some significant precip.  Forecast is for warmer temps near 40’s F for all this week but there is no significant snow to melt for run off.  There is some rain in the forecast for tomorrow, Tue.  With dropping flows the action was reported to be a little tougher after pretty good reports thru the end of last week.  A nice big fresh steelhead here and there, although most hook-ups have been on those 3 – 5 pounders.  Downstream froggy water on the OOrchard is still open to fish and there shouldn’t be any icing there anytime soon.  Lower river and estuary areas are frozen over in the OOrchard but may open again with the future forecast.  Other area smaller tribs have low flows and are for the most part iced up.  With any significant precip and a rise in flows with warm temps of a few days or more those smaller waterways could open back up.  So far this winter the changeable weather is likewise leading to changeable OOrchard flows.  Hard to say if we are going to get anything like weeks or more of prolonged cold and snow that would pile up leading to a good old fashioned blow out upon melting…

weekend Jan 14...

See previous report, no major changes.  Still nice OOrchard flow with some color to the water and reports of steelhead and fresh fish hook-ups.  Seasonable cold weather thru the weekend and forecast warmer pretty much all next week.  Some warm days strung together could be enough to allow for some drifting chances in the area smaller tribs, where hopefully there’s a few fresh steelhead like we are seeing in the OOrchard.

Jan 13...

OOrchard flows are slightly high and stained with about 1 – 2 feet of viz.  Real nice conditions by steelhead standards and what could be low and clear and near frozen for say Jan.  Flows consist of turbine water that could, should or might be maintained for the weekend at or near med or slightly high thanks to the recent precip.  Forecast is for seasonably cold temps near 30 F for highs for the weekend and warmer the next week.  Fishing pressure is about typical with guys out taking advantage of  the fair weather and chance for a fresh steelhead or two.  A few anglers report fresh steelhead hook ups which is an encouraging sign that the higher flows may have drawn in a few fresh fish.  Other area smaller tribs have med or so flows with slightly stained water color where there is a fair amount of icing.  Anglers would have to be fairly industrious to find where open and productive water coincided for a few drifts.  Icing should only get worse thru the weekend’s cool forecast in those smaller tribs.

fly rod & reel sale!

Float fishing can be productive and is in style now.  Spin fishing is efficient and somewhat old school…  Fly fishing used to be stylish and is plenty efficient with good roots on the OOrchard!  We’d like to keep the line waver tradition going for all your trib trout and salmon needs so for a limited time we are offering SALE prices on great gear from Redington, Lamson, Bauer, GLoomis, St. Croix. Rio, Royal Wulff and Cortland.  Single hand and switch rods and reels and large arbor reels and flylines, etc…  Discounts of 10% on rod or reel purchases, and up to 20% on combos or select eligible purchases can receive $50 store credit for flies or any merchandise.  Call 585 682 4546 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

Small boat trollers with simple spreads at the Rivermouth & lower river intercept fish before they make it upstream! You can cast or float drift fish too. Wayne finds this King right outside the OOrchard 4th week of Sep 2016.

Early AM casting a glo spoon before the typical later arriving upstream drift crowd arrives yields another big, fresh, hard fighting King for the Licorice Man at the OOrchard Rivermouth!