Thursday, March 25, 2010

WNY fly fishing roller coasters!

Western New York has a habit of offering two kinds of weather during the winter(at least it seems that way to me.) Cold and sunny or cold and snowy. The latter is accompanied by lots of clouds and very little sunlight, which is made worse due to the fact that the days are already short enough, and for some reason these kinds of days make up most of the winter! So when you are offered a glimpse of spring with beautiful sunny and warm weather you soak it all in. Of course the very next day you are brought back to reality with a healthy dose of doom and gloom. But it is what we have come to expect for WNY, and we make the most of it!
This is also a good way to describe the fishing conditions during the spring season. Once you get the nice beautiful warm weather, the snow pack starts to melt, creating a good amount of run-off. If you then get any rain in the mix, the water will become dirty and tough to fish. Then it becomes a waiting game until the water levels drop back to fishable conditions. And If you are diligent in checking the water levels in your local streams and tributaries, you have the opportunity to catch those in between stages of "to high to fish" and "near perfect" conditions. This is often made even more tough by the fact that you may often find yourself at work or other wise detained in some other task that inhibits your ability to get out to the stream. And then when you hear or read reports of great fishing and see the photos of all the wonderful fish being caught while you are otherwise detained.....well that just doesn't sit well! But if you do find yourself with one of those rare opportunities to get out during one of those "near perfect" times, it is well worth it and you should take full advantage of it!
Over the past few weeks my friends and I have been riding the WNY fly fishing roller coaster. And for what ever the reason, we seem to buy tickets for the same ride every year. And just like years past, it has been a fun but rough ride, and we have even found ourselves on the good end of some "near perfect" conditions. We have had the opportunity to get out and fish several inland trout streams with great success and a few favorite Lake Ontario tributaries with very little success. Lucas Carroll and Bob Burrows have joined me on several occasions and you can see their take on this whole spring fishing thing at their blogs and flickr pages.
Soon we will be in full spring mode with more days being warm and sunny than cloudy and rainy. We will find ourselves doing battle with chrome giants from the lake, and soon after that, our first major mayfly hatch of the season. And maybe, just maybe, we will have the opportunity to do both!

Monday, March 1, 2010

February, Spring Creek and the Midge!!

I know it's kind of a strange title, but I couldn't think of a better one, and it fits with what I am about to report!

February has been the month to fish a midge pattern at Spring Creek...Period! No other fly has produced as many trout as the midge. And more specifically the "#16 red worm." In fact, just last week the red worm has been responsible for putting close to 25 trout in my net in just about 2.5 hours of fishing. That's just ridiculous, and a hole lot of fun!

The fish haven't been huge, but when you can hardly keep your fly in the water without getting bit, who cares? Plenty of fish in the 10-12" inch range with a few that were 13" to 14" is about right. We also have been getting the occasional 5" fingerling thrown in for good measure.

But now that it's March, we need to look for the impending midge hatch! And it has been really starting off with a bang. Just this past weekend Lucas and his friend Andy fished Spring Creek and did very well. In fact a small midge dry fly was responsible for a few trout in the net for Luke. Check his blog and flickr page for more photos from his adventure!

This morning I saw hundreds of midges on the many rocks that line Spring Creek and I was very pleased to see that many fish had started to look up in the water column to feed. I saw plenty of fish bulging under the surface today and a few dorsal to tail rises. And I even saw a few fish taking adults right on top.....very exciting stuff!!! I was even more pleased when I was able to take a few trout fishing a #20 midge emerger. The trout I fooled, were working a section of creek that bordered a nice run, just on the opposite side of some submerged logs. It was here that I also hooked a rather large brown trout before I had to leave. And on the hook set, the fish came 2 feet out of the water and then came down in between two submerged logs. With another hard pull from the fish, he broke free, taking my fly and tippet with him. It was the biggest fish I had hooked at Spring creek this year, and all on the 2 weight!

So before the tributaries start to break free from the ice, I will try and make it out to Spring Creek for more trout. And I will be carrying a box full of midges with me.

On another note - I will be heading out to Utica, NY for the 2010 Central NY Fly Tying Symposium this weekend. You can check out all the details at and even get directions too. And maybe I'll see you there. If not........

......I'll see you on the stream!!