Monday, October 29, 2012

WNY tributary fishing is in full swing!

A colored up male Chinook salmon that took a brown bead head woolly bugger on the swing.

The fall fishing in WNY is in full swing with plenty of fish in all the area tributaries.

A 39 inch female Chinook getting ready for release.
Salmon are now at the end of their spawn and soon the big lake run brown trout will begin theirs. Most of the areas larger tributaries have had decent numbers of trout in and around all the salmon, while the smaller tribs have now seen good pushes of trout for the past two weeks. Most of these are brown trout, with a few steelhead and lake run rainbows mixed in. As the end of the fall approaches we will see more and more steelhead and rainbows push in before the cold of winter takes hold.

A big 28 inch male lake run brown trout - Taken on an egg pattern.
This gorgeous 22 inch male brown also took an egg pattern.
At this time there is a very good to excellent egg bite going on, and that will continue with the brown trout spawn coming into full swing in a week or two. As the spawn settles down by mid-November the fish will begin to switch over to nymphs and dead drifted/swung streamers. But with any high water period the egg bite will most likely be back on in high gear as eggs get dislodged from their reds.

The female brown trout will be the first to drop back of their reds and look to feed, often with great ferociousness as they look to quickly add back the weight they lost during the spawn. Here is the time to really put forth the effort in swinging big flies. It may not be a numbers game, but it will be a welcome change from dead drifting eggs for most of the fall. And depending on the day you could also get a late running Coho, steelhead or Atlantic while swinging.

Yet another large lake run brown taken guessed it! An egg pattern.
As the cold really starts to settle into WNY in late November and December, the fish will begin to drop back into pools and deep holes to ready themselves for the winter. It is at this time that we need to really start to think about slowing our presentation down to a crawl. Again dead drifting flies becomes an important and productive way to take fish. But with the right set up, it is still possible to take fish while swinging. A heavy sink tip with short leader in slower pools can be a very effective way to take fish. The only problem will be to control the speed of the swing. If it is too fast the fish won’t pick it up. You want to have it crawl along the bottom. The take can be very subtle. Sometimes it is just as simple as your line stopping in mid-drift.

I have only had a few opportunities to get out this fall so far, and the fishing has been excellent. I hope that November will be present me with a little more fishing time here and there....maybe I’ll get the chance at my first steelhead of the season?

Enjoy the fall and get out there and fish!