Check out the previous fish pics below,
and the Archived Fishing Tips.
On the first shot of Feb 2016 high water, Mike finds a good OOrchard steelhead with a slow and deep drift.
Do you need any more evidence that high and stained late winter OOrchard flows brings in some chrome?! Feb 2016.
The Licorice Man comes off the DL for a brief fly drifting stint and finds willing OOrchard biters like this pretty med chunker, one of a few others hooked but not landed in high and stained flows begin Mar 2016.
This fly angler hit the backside of higher water from a shot of rain that produced the only real rise in flows so far this fall and found this willing taker from a small area trib. Begin part of Oct 2015.
Small boat trolling with simple flat line rods (or casting) can yield nice Kings at the OOrchard River mouth and lower river in Sep and Oct (2015).
The Licorice Man connects on a big hard fighter while casting the OOrchard River mouth 3rd week Sep 2015.
Almost silver Kings from the OOrchard River mouth. Would you rather catch 3 of these freshies or 10 old moldies upstream later?!?! mid Sep 2015.
Taking advantage of slow to rise flows earlier in Mar 2015, Mike finds a fresh OOrchard steelhead in the lower river slow water area thats staging up or just beginning upstream migration.
Likewise slow out of hibernation, Ron finds a nice steelhead further upstream in the OOrchard later Mar 2015 after higher flows have brought some fish upstream.
Nice bonus Atlantic salmon OOrchard River Fall 2014.
How about this bruiser brown trout!? Great fall brown trout action OORchard River fall 2014.
Even during the Dec 2014 OORchard River low and clear flows some big steelhead have been caught.
Despite low flows, there is some good brown trout action that can be had in the smaller non OOrchard tribs by anglers doing a little leg work. Thanks for the catch and release mid Oct 2014.
Good to strong numbers of these trophy browns this fall mid Oct 2014 in the OOrchard. Lots of anglers? Pretty much. Lots of fish? Pretty much...
Young Ryan follows the "run" upstream moving from rivermouth caster to upstream OOrchard fly drifter. Some real good OOrchard end of Oct 2014 brown trout action.
Even first timers with simple small boat trolling set-ups around the OORchard rivermouth or lower river areas can score some big Kings. Rookie angler Wayne is happy with this good fighter. 3rd week Sept 2014
Veteran rivermouth caster young Shawn Jr. hooked this nice King working the OOrchard rivermouth in the low light periods with spoons from the most knowledgeable trib and shoreline resource around. 3rd week Sept 2014
When trib steelhead action wanes theres still big trout chances. The Licorice man does some pre-fall 2014 brown trout surveying at the OOrchard rivermouth! Results indicate good returns, evidenced by this silver 8 pounder for end Apr 2014!
There is a man behind the net, nice fish too! OOrchard high flows gives up more hard fighting silver last week Mar 2014.
The Licorice Man finds high water, hard fighting chrome glory in the OOrchard River 3rd week Mar 2014!
High and slightly stained flows in late winter mean fresh steelhead migrations in the OOrchard River end Feb 2014! Cold - what cold?!
No since hibernating when there's big chrome steelhead to be caught on the backside of high flows in the OOrchard River end of Feb 2014!
"Early in the run" often yields some big male browns first to arrive on the scene. 2nd week Oct 2013 OOrchard.
One of the most reliabe ways for salmon hookups in the tribs is dead drifting skein below a float in slow water staging arreas. 1st week Oct 2013 OOrchard.
"I can't believe the big trout in the OOrchard!" Hey Bob, nice fish, but they get bigger! mid Mar 2013
OOrchard high and stained water gives up a nice chrome female for the Licorice Man. first part Mar 2013
Pic doesn't do much justice to this thick 32+ inch OOrchard buck with deep purple double stripe and ornery look about him! last part Mar 2013
Begin of Apr 2013 dealt low flows to anglers on the OOrchard, but long and light float techniques were just the ticket for this big steelhead!
Sevi is anxious to get into some upstream drifting action, but not about to pass up some fresh fish action at the Oak Orchard River mouth to begin the season. 2nd week Sep 2013.
A brace of salmon for the Licorice Man at the Oak Orchard River mouth includes one fresh female and big male that were part of 7 hookups in a couple mornings action. 3rd week Sep 2013.
Persistence and a slow drift produced this nice female steelhead in the OOrchard cold flows end of Feb 2013.
First week of March 2013 in the OOrchard high and stained flows gives up a small but pretty fresh chromer for the Licorice Man.
OOrchard end Oct 2012 brown trout.
OOrchard fall 2012 bonus coho salmon.
OOrchard fall 2012 chunky rainbow.
The reward for persistence, Grant catches and releases a nice OOrchard Atlantic end Oct 2012.
Gary says some of the best fishing on the OOrchard and that he can remember for another nice brown Fall 2012.
Detoured from a typical "run" up the Niagara, this OOrchard Lake trout just must have followed the big party upstream start Nov 2012.
A nice photo of a nice King shows the reward for Oak Orchard River mouth fishing for this end part of Sept 2012. Note the fish is relatively fresh and a definite fun fighting catch on med-light spin tackle.
A nice big fresh female King caught in the afternoon at the Oak Orchard River mouth the first full week of Sept 2012 that kicks off the trib season's casting and small boat trolling action. Now's the time for hard stiking big salmon action!
The Licorice Man gets some casts in before things get too busy with this nice big King from the Oak Orchard River mouth the second week of Sept 2012. That's a BIG net and 3 more hard striking fish were landed that same day.
With low flows and a few lingering steelhead in the Oak Orchard, anglers can extend big trout action at the rivermouth & shoreline for browns or this bonus 11 lb Atlantic that was definitely worth a few casts mid Apr 2012!
Big water, big fish, big fight for the Licorice Man who comes out of semi-retirement to find this 34 inch male steelhead in the Oak Orchard 2nd week of Feb 2012.
On the lowering and clearing flows of the Oak Orchard anglers can find action like this female steelhead showing some evidence of spawning thanks to the mild winter weather for mid and end part of Feb 2012.
Mid March 2012 means already spring conditions and spawning steelhead with still some staged fish to target in the lowering and clearing Oak Orchard flows.
Dan helped his young nephew into this quality coho on the Oak Orchard River right before dark for the end of Oct 2011. Beside Kings, there's been quality mixed bag catches of trout and salmon this fall.
Tim was a happy angler already experiencing good brown trout fishing in the Oak Orchard and then he landed this great 36 inch Atlantic salmon for the 3rd week Oct 2011.
Wes is a student of "you have to get out there and fish." He and his pals fished hard with greater success on some days versus others. This beautiful brown trout illustrates some big fish arrive early for the end part of Oct 2011.
This end of Aug 2011 salmon from the Oak Orchard River mouth might have been the first casting caught fish of the season. Nice way to start!
This avid troller decided to try casting and was rewarded with some good action for the start of Sept 2011. Len said "what great fun on the lighter rods!"
A good drop back steelhead from the Oak Orchard 2nd week of Apr 2011. This big fish would have been one of those really big fish a few weeks ago and was worth getting a drift thru a few suckers!
Deep, patient drifting after late winter, high water flows yields some reasonably fresh female steelhead in the Oak Orchard end of Feb 2011.
With flows just slightly high and good viz of 1 - 2 feet, now some sleek chromers are being caught in the Oak Orchard end of Feb 2011.
More nice chrome intercepted on the fly rod in the stained Oak Orchard flows end of Feb 2011. Come try drifting for your own hard charging, fresh fighter!
A mid sized chunky female primed for upcoming spawning finds the Licorice Man's fly drifting in the high, off color Oak Orchard flows end of Feb 2011.
This King looks big because it is! Approx 39+ pounds of angry spoon slamming, drag burning fish hooked at the Oak Orchard River mouth early morning begin of Sept 2010. Come for the biggest and freshest biting Kings of the season NOW!
Mixed in with salmon migrations or just on a rivermouth "scouting" trip, trout like this pretty steelhead can be intercepted. Caught and released early Sept 2010 Oak Orchard River mouth.
Josh enjoys fly fishing and found this early season, begin of Oct 2010, brown trout in the Oak Orchard. The fish is a nice harbinger of better trout fishing to come this later part of Oct and Nov.
Solitary angler Dan made the trek up north to find this big green King waiting for his estaz bug. October 2010 has meant some large and fresh Kings in a biting mood.
The trib season of big fish continues with this special Atlantic salmon. 34 inches and others are being caught nearly each day for Oct 2010. Who is more surprised - the fish or angler Tom!?
A chunky "high & tight" female steelhead finds the Licorice Man's fly drifting in the high water melt-off of late Jan/early Feb 2010 Oak Orchard flows.
Mid winter 2010 high water action on the Oak Orchard means some nice big, hard fighting male steelhead for patient fly, float or spin drifters.
Fishing high spring water with different tactics like drifting with a heavy noodle rod got the Licorice Man into this 31 inch fresh chromer in the Oak Orchard end of Mar 2010.
Browns like this good fighter are drawn to warming shoreline waters of the big lake. Spoon casters can get hard strikes into May right from the beach or rivermouth areas. No boat required! Begin Apr 2010.
This neat Atlantic hasn't been the only one caught in the Oak Orchard for the fall 2009 season. A nice bonus to the brown trout and steelhead action.
  The Oak Orchard area smaller tribs also offer good chances for big, fresh migrating browns this fall 2009.
This nice steelhead/rainbow rounds out the mixed bag action in the Oak Orchard for fall 2009. Nearly as many steelhead have been encountered as browns so that should mean better action yet this winter and spring.
Good water flows has meant fairly consistent action in the Oak Orchard for Oct and Nov 2009. Here's an "average" brown with plenty of bigger fish hooked up.
Sept 01, 2009 brings a hard battling big King to the net for the Licorice Man at the Oak Orchard River mouth. Come fishing now for your big, fresh salmon!
They're getting bigger and since we haven't seen you around fishing the Licorice Man is forced to catch them all! Sept 09, 2009.
Big, fresh female steelhead are the reward for fly fishing in high off-colored Oak Orchard flows. End Feb 2009.
The Licorice Man joins in on the high water fly fishing fun with this nice male steelhead. End Feb 2009.
With generally low water flows in the area smaller tribs, the Oak Orchard flows and brown trout fishing have been good thanks to the Erie Canal water feed. Begin Nov 2008.
The Archer's Club and pres J. Paige hosted a great fly fishing event where all who participated had fun and enjoyed warm hospitality. End Oct 2008.
Lots of mean, green, big Kings in the Oak Orchard! Upstream fast water gravel sections pretty well packed with fish. October 2008
If you came out to fish the low - mod flows of the Oak Orchard this fall you were rewarded with lots of hook-ups on strong Kings. October 2008.
Retired NFL linebacker and veteran early season salmon chaser Steve bests this tackle busting 30 pounder! Oak Orchard River mouth early Sept 2008.
Former jockey and lucky angler Ron lands this scrappy 15 pound King! More big fish at the Oak Orchard River early Sept 2008.

This angler found the end of Mar begin of Apr 2008 high water in the Oak Orchard just the ticket for good steelhead action and little other angling pressure.
The Oak Orchard area has many tribs all within striking distance allowing anglers to find good fishable conditions during spring 2008 high flows.
A late winter fresh and tight female steelhead caught on the high and stained flows of the Oak Orchard. February 2008.
A big male steelhead that has likely been killing time in the lower river moves up on the late winter Oak Orchard high water and intercepts the Licorice Man. February 2008
Now in Sept is the time to score on the fresh arriving Kings at the Oak Orchard rivermouth & lower river. Sept 5, 2007
Tom scores a King on a KO Woobler and ultralight casting gear at the Oak Orchard rivermouth. Sept 3, 2007
Angler reward for fishing the Oak Orchard high water end of March 2007. Big spawning male steelhead
Spring steelhead success means fishing high water or the often short windows of retreating flows like on Johnson Creek begin of April 2007.
Recent Pic High water in the Oak Orchard was no deterrent to this happy young angler. He caught this nice brown during the Archer's Club fly fish tourney. Oct 2006
Recent Pic Fall fishing means more then just salmon or brown trout hookups. Lots of rainbows/steelhead migrate to join the salmon party too. Oct 2006

Recent Pic

Typical King salmon from Oak Orchard River mouth caught Aug 28, 2006 on casting gear.

Recent Pic

Good pier action at the Oak Orchard River mouth continues right through mid and end Sept 2006. Green and fresh - hard battling King.

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The first tug of the trib season from an angry, fresh King. No trolling needed here!

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Target the high water for fresh steelhead in the Oak Orchard River. Mid March 2006.

Recent Pic

Slightly stained and med to high flows on the heels of higher water will mean steelhead hookups in the Oak Orchard. Mid march 2006.

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A recipe for winter steelhead success - mild weather, open streamcourses, receeding and clearing water flows. January 2006

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This small chromer wonders, "this guy thinks I'm a bass. Can't believe I made it this far up this trib before I saw my first glo bug, where is everybody?" January 2006

Recent Pic

Fall 2005 has brought one of the biggest and drawn out salmon runs that the Oak Orchard has seen in years. Lots of hookups on big, tackle busting, green and fresh fish.

Recent Pic

This Oak Orchard brown trout is big and real pretty. Lots of good fishing should prevail late into the fall 2005 season through Nov and Dec.

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Early morning, Sep 13, 2005 a big salmon comes reluctantly & angrily to the net at the Oak Orchard rivermouth at Point Breeze.

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Another slightly smaller salmon hooked by casting a spoon at the Oak Orchard rivermouth practically in the wake of a passing troller. Sept 13, 2005

Persistence can pay off on the Oak Orchard, with this girthy female caught on March 13, 2005 in the cold, high flows.

Anglers who fish the high, stained flows are often rewarded with chrome from the Oak Orchard. End of March 2005

Some anglers braved Jan 05 cold temps and fished a spate of higher water and were rewarded with cold steel from the Oak Orchard.

Early Nov 2004 yielded this beautiful brown trout on the Oak Orchard. Want to catch the biggest brown of your life? Then fall in Oct, Nov, Dec is the time to do it.

This anglers second experience on the Oak Orchard gave up this Atlantic salmon. He was also lucky enough to hook browns, steelhead, King salmon and lake trout. Nov 2004.

Some big male browns have already entered the Oak Orchard on the previous spate of hurricane high water. Mid Sept, 2004.

An ornery male King like this 25 #er will hit hard, fight strong and burn some drag. Oak Orchard river mouth at Point Breeze Sept 15, 2004.

Surely not the biggest salmon around, but a start anyway to the 2004 & 2005 trib season, caught at the Point Breeze breakwalls area on Aug 31, 2004 by casting a spoon. The bigger fish are coming soon...

Twelve pounds of hard hitting brown trout caught right from the Lake Ontario shoreline. Good numbers of 10 plus pounders have been hooked. (end April 2004)

Bonus smallmouth from the beach. Through March and April this angler caught as many fish like this nice smallmouth as big brown trout. (begin May 2004)

Early March, high and stained flows after previous blown water conditions equals 33 inches of big fish chrome in the Oak Orchard. March 2004.

Here's a smaller male ready for the party who's shadowing the big hens. Higher flows brought this fish out of hiding from the lower river course. March 2004.

Some of the best early winter steelheading in the Oak Orchard in years. High and colored flows have drawn fish in like this beauty right through Dec 2003.

Higher and dirtier flows shouldn't discourage the avid steelheader. These are the ideal conditions that the Oak Orchard hasn't seen during this time of year in many years. Dec 2003.

A beautiful brown from the Oak Orchard early Nov 2003. Fish like this in good numbers have been present this whole fall season.

Fall fishing on the Oak Orchard means mixed bag angling. Too bad all those steelhead keep biting Fall 2003 when anglers are trying to catch brown trout!

So far for this first part of Oct 2003 the salmon action has been strong and consistent. Many fish and most all in great shape and willing biters.

Brown trout action already for early Oct 2003 has been good. Looks like it will only get better. Many fish much bigger then this "average" fish already hooked.

Daybreak on Sep 03, 2003 yielded this fresh King by casting a spoon at the Oak Orchard rivermouth. Twenty + pounds of big fish fight!

Early fall action in the lower Oak Orchard can be underway nearly a month before any consistent upstream action. Why wait, fish now!

High water spring 2003. Note big steelhead, high water, no anglers in the upper Oak Orchard streamcourse. April 2003

Big trout action through Apr, May, Jun right from the Lake Ontario shore-line. This is a 12+ pound brown engorged with alewives. June 2003

Fall fishing on the Oak Orchard River means the chance to hook big, bruiser King salmon. Upstream gravel and river mouth hookups abound.

A giant steelhead caught at the Waterport dam in the winter. Nineteen and one quarter pounds, 35 inches, it was the happy angler's first steelhead ever landed.
Another Oak Orchard big steelie. Thirty seven inches and 19 pounds caught in February after receeding water levels. An epic battle with a happy ending.
Nice male brown trout from the Oak Orchard River hooked in the fall. "Average" WNY trib brown trout are bigger then many anglers will hook in a lifetime of inland trout fishing.
Here's proof that cast and retreive fly techniques work all winter long, even in cold water. A steelhead late for the fall party or early for the spring fling.
A very big brown trout from a trib to the east. Orleans Outdoor guides can put their clients on fish like this hawg brown.


Orleans Outdoor Archived Fishing Tips


As sporting anglers, we should never presume to know it all. There is always something new we can learn to make us better fishermen. Enjoy your favorite fishing method, but don't let envy or misinformation keep you from being open and accepting of others' legal sporting methods. With mounting public pressure against many outdoor pursuits, (yes, even fishing) it is of no benefit for sportsmen to rally against each other. 

Don't forget to consider your impact on someone else's fishing. Common sense stream etiquette can go a long way towards making everyone's day astream enjoyable. Always consider where you are wading in relation to someone fishing a particular hole or run. Give other anglers some room or politely ask if you can fish near by. Do yourself, your children and other anglers a favor by practicing catch and release. Catch your limit but limit your kill and we will all enjoy great fishing tomorrow and on the next trip.

Be a weather watcher!

This may be one of the most important traits of a successful tributary trout and salmon fisherman. The trout and salmon runs occur in the notoriously unpredictable Fall, Winter and Spring seasons. For anglers from out of the area, national weather maps should be watched carefully noting storms, wind direction, and fronts predicted for the fishing destination. Don't assume that the weather in your area will be the same along the western New York Lake Erie and Lake Ontario shorelines. Watch for warming trends and changing water levels. Rising water levels often bring migratory trout and salmon into the tributaries, so you should try to time your trips to coincide with favorable water conditions.

Tackle Tips 

Use good gear. For the most part, tributary trout and salmon fishing is extreme fishing. Often we use light lines, tiny flies, and go out in less than ideal weather conditions. When that 15-pound Steelhead erupts in a sizzling run, it is not the time to find out your bargain mono or tippet won't hold up. How about that reel? If it's a spin reel, is the drag micro-adjustable and smooth in below-freezing weather? If it's a fly reel, do you have an adjustable drag and enough fly line and backing tied together with good knots? An adjustable drag fly reel takes the guesswork out of attempting control of a hard charging 30-pound salmon. Don't skimp on terminal tackle. Use the best hooks you can afford. The shop carries the sharpest, strongest hooks down to sizes 12-14-16. Don't fool yourself with the notion that a cheap size 14 hook will hold that 12-pound Brown. It will bend and your trophy will be gone.

Foul Weather Clothing

How do some anglers manage to stay on the stream in even the harshest weather? They dress appropriately in perspiration wicking layers, neoprene waders, fleece gloves, and a windproof, water-proof shell jacket. Cotton long underwear has long since been eclipsed by more thermal-efficient fibers that will manage your perspiration under neoprene waders. Use fleece for your middle layers. A pull-up or zip-up 200-weight fleece shirt is a great choice for maximum insulation. Half-finger or flip mitt gloves with Windbloc® can keep you on the water when the temperature drops. For maximum comfort, consider the investment in a technical shell jacket. There are several quality windproof, waterproof and breathable Gortex-® like styles available. If you've never owned a shell jacket, you'll be amazed how well they work. You will also discover that you won't have to bulk up in ten shirts any more. 






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