Orleansoutdoor Fishing Conditions strives to provide its patrons w




  strives to provide its patrons with Click to see bigger pic reliable stream, weather and fishing conditions during the fall, winter and spring. We are happy to provide this information for anglers so that they can make informed decisions about fishing trips. Please be aware, however, that weather, fishing conditions and water flows can change in a moment's notice. Hydro power generation can and does alter water flows. Not all fishermen's expectations and skills are equal and if you wait for "perfect" conditions, you'll likely miss some good opportunities. No guarantee of success, natural conditions or safety is ever implied. Here's what we know right now...

Last updated: weekend Dec 20, 2014

Weather Forecast


Lodging dates are available for the 2014 - 2015 trib season. There's lots of good fishing for steelhead and brown trout ahead! Stay at the Licorice Lodge at the shop in the heart of the fishing action! Brand new additional lodging available for Fall 2015 located just 5 miles east on Route 18, convienent to Sandy Creek. Call after Jan 01, 2015 for reservations!

The Oak Orchard Pen Rearing Association received approx 30,000 steelhead placed in net pens and directly into the OOrchard Apr 15, 2014. Approx 115,000 King salmon where also 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 Bob Songin and other local stakeholders for their efforts of securing, feeding and monitoring the fish. More tributary anglers are invited in 2014 to help with feeding the fish and cleaning the pens. Contact us for how and where to help out.

The Sportsmen Archer's Club Fly Fishing Only Catch and Release Contest will be held Oct 15 - 17, 2014. Everyone is sure to enjoy the great hospitality and comradorie of the Archer's Club and experience some real 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.

Tributary Fly Fishing Class was held Sat, March 22, 2014. Join our great instructors NYSLOG Paul Jacob from Reel Action Fly Fishing and Capt. Jason Franz from Trout 'n' About and RonB aka the Licorice Man in 2015. An informative and fun filled day where we can help shorten the learning curve for you. Lunch is provided. Call or email for more info and pre-registration!

Be sure you follow-up with your comments on the Waterport dam situation via the contacts listed below, especially the first three. It's very important! For specific questions email the power company at the 4th contact listed. We can't speak for Brookfield!

Yes you can still fish all of the same water, there are just some new rules in place! There is significant misinformation out there about the new site rules put forth by Brookfield Power at the Waterport dam. Read the info below carefully, PFD's are required only on the Brookfield Power Company lands where water entry is permitted. Brookfield does not own the lands downstream anywhere near the end of the peninsula or near the Archer's Club! There are no new concerns or changes or otherwise on the rest of the river say on the Oak Orchard River Public Fishing Access Area or around the Archer's Club, etc...

Changeable and extreme weather patterns can make it difficult to predict salmonid "run" timing. Migration is a better term, fish don't start to "run" on Tue and end on Sat, it's often more drawn out over weeks or months dependent on weather and water flows.

If anglers see any spinning or erratic swimming or sunken steelhead here in the OOrchard or other tribs, please report it to us and we will forward this info to NYSDEC who is looking to gather info to see if there are any issues here like they have been seeing some on the Salmon River.

weekend Dec 20...
Flows are retreating some, now back to low and getting clearer in the OOrchard. The other area smaller tribs have low - mod flows with slightly stained water color. There could be some icing or slushing in the smaller waterways, especially after cold nights. The forecast ahead thru next week, tho, looks warmer and wetter, so flows may be on an up and down cylcle. Right now fishing pressure is real lite, anglers out mainly on the OOrchard are getting a few browns and a steelhead here and there in this "bonus" Dec and Jan timeframe.

Dec 19...
No major changes, see previous report. Flows should be back on the drop and clearing without any new significant precip or snowmelt. Fishing pressure is pretty light and by winter time standards the action is good, with guys generally getting a few or more hook-ups in a days effort. The weather is seasonable, high's in the 30's F forecast for the weekend.

Dec 18...
Flows in the OOrchard are mod and just slightly stained. Browns should be redistributed thru the waterway with the chance for a few fresh steelhead migrations. The other area smaller tribs have mod - med flows and stained water color. There's no significant icing and all the tribs should be wide open to fish. Flows will likely be back on the drop thru the end of this week and weekend. Temps are seasonable with highs forecast in the 30's F with no serious LESnows here on the Niagara Frontier. Fishing pressure remains lite with anglers and fish alike spread back out.

Dec 17...
The area got a little bit more rain then forecasted thru yesterday and coupled with the snowmelt flows are up to mod and slightly stained levels in the OOrchard. Flows are up to about where they were most of the previous fall. The other area smaller tribs have mod - med flows with slightly stained water color. The rate of runoff has been slow so it looks like most of it has gone to groundwater recharge. Fishing pressure is still relatively light and now guys can spread back out instead of looking for pooled up fish. So far today the action is slower for some, that's likely a function of fish getting spread out again and the time of the year. Expectations for this winter time frame shouldn't be as high as a month or two ago. It is after-all an in between fishing time, almost a "bonus period" after the height of the fall action and before typical late winter and spring steelhead. Take the reasonable weather and flows and reduced fishing pressure for now with the chance for a few hook-ups each day...

Dec 16...
Flows have so far come up from real low to low. Given the slow rate of thaw and what looks like not much runoff, OOrchard flows may not come up much more. There are some rain showers in the forecast today, and with any significant precip it's possible that flows could come up more to say mod with a little color to the water. The other area smaller tribs have low - mod flows and are open to fish without any significant icing. Action on the OOrchard is for mostly browns that are pooled up in the deeper spots like at the dam, a few pools downstream and in the downstream slower slack water.

Dec 15...
Despite the previous real low flows on the OOrchard, anglers did OK early in the weekend and a little slower on Sun. Fish have been pooled up in pods in select deeper water, so when guys found one, they usually found a small gang of fish, mainly browns. Temps are forecast around 40 for the begin part of the week so most all of the recent snowpack should melt. Flows are already back up to low from real low and could go higher to mod - med and a little off color. That will be a nice recipe to spread fish back out and get those post spawn browns a little less spooky then they have been. With higher and off color flows there may be a few steelhead around too. The other area smaller tribs should be on the rise slightly to mod - med and as far as we know there's no major icing so flows are wide open to fish. Fishing pressure remains real lite, so angler reports are few.

weekend Dec 13...
Flows in the OOrchard are real low and clear. See previous report. The other area smaller tribs have low and clear flows. The forecast is for slightly milder weather for the weekend with highs near 40 F and chance for some snowmelt, it will likely take a hard and fast thaw to get some snowmelt rolling for any significant change in water flows. Float anglers fishing long and light or fly anglers on the retreive should have the most success with the conditions we have now with the chance for a few hook-ups on post spawn browns or possibly a steelhead or two.

Dec 12...
Flows in the OOrchard have retreated to real low and clear. Flows consist mainly of leakage thru the Waterport hydro. The area has on the ground 8 - 10 inches of snow that could mean higher flows with some snowmelt. The forecast aheads looks warmer but not likely warm enough to affect a big change in flows in the near term. The other area smaller tribs have low and clear flows and there could be some icing or slushing in those waterways. Fish will be pooled up in the OOrchard in the few deeper spots like at the dam and the downstream slower slack water. Some fish have likely beat feet farther downstream. Anglers report fair flows at 18 Mile Creek at Burt dam with some hook-ups and dropping and clearing flows on the Genesee River.

See important contact info following...

Anglers fishing at the Waterport dam are reminded to follow all site rules and user requirements (site rules) and warnings, to not go beyond or wade past restricted areas and to obey all instructions from site or security personnel. Those few who might choose to not obey site rules could jeopordize the good and respectful actions of most anglers who enjoy access for fishing provided by Brookfield Renewable Power (power company) on their privately held lands. For anglers accessing Brookfield PFD required zones, PFDs can be purchased here for fall 2014 where we offer a few different styles that should not hinder your current fishing system set-up including belt models, suspenders and foam vests.

The power company has initiated the site rules and user requirements while fishing at the Waterport dam on their privately held lands. The site rules are an alternative to not being allowed access for fishing on thier privately held lands.

We have encouraged users to obey the developing site rules from the beginning (see above) and recommend continued following site rules. The power company has put forth the site rules for the public safety. An incident this past fall 2013 where two users fell in the water while fishing immediately against the powerhouse building, and other factors, are likely responsible for the power company's new site rules. Some of the power company's private lands include the powerhouse area on the turbine channel, the overflow channel bankside areas extending downstream, and the turbine channel bankside areas extending downstream to where it meets the south boundary of the Oak Orchard River Public Fishing Access Area (approx 800 ft downstream from the old RR trestle.) The NYSDEC also owns lands of an approx 60 foot wide swath across the turbine and overflow channels that would approximate the footprint of the old RR trestle.

New site rules include but may not be limited to...

restricted wading areas on both sides of the turbine channel at the powerhouse,

exclusion for wading or water entry on the far side or west side of the turbine channel at the powerhouse,

exclusion from some area below the falls on the overflow channel,

a PFD required zone on the overflow channel,

a PFD required zone extending downstream on the turbine channel starting at the old RR trestle to the southern boundary of the Oak Orchard River Public Fishing Access Area (which is approx 800 ft or half way to the end of the peninsula).

Prior to the new site rules there has been a concentrated salmon fishing effort of many users at the Waterport dam in the fall time-frame over a period of many years. There has also been lawful trout and salmon fishing by fly, spin and float anglers during the fall, winter and spring over a period of many years at the Waterport dam and on all the rest of the power company's lands on the Oak Orchard River.

The new site rules may impact your fishing effort on the Oak Orchard River at the Waterport dam. Your fishing effort on non power company lands on the rest of the Oak Orchard River could also be impacted, for example, by displacing some fall time-frame salmon anglers to other parts of the river.

If you have any concerns or comments about the new site rules you should contact... For the first three contacts you could send one email and copy everyone or call.

Mike Waterhouse the Orleans County Sportfishing Coordinator at sportfishing@orleansny.com. 585 589 3103

Orleans County Tourism at tourism@orleansny.com.
585 589 3198

NYSDEC Region 8 at fwfish8@gw.dec.state.ny.us.
585 226 2466

Brookfield directly for specific questions about the new site rules at inquiries.newyork@brookfieldrenewable.com.

Your comments and concerns are important for the involved policy makers to insure continued great trout and salmon fishing opportunities for all anglers on the Oak Orchard River. Given the timeframe of recent developments near the end of the 2014 spring tributary fishing season, be sure you share this info with all your fishing friends thru whatever social media or forums appropriate.

Remember you 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 is the biggest factor for angler migrations and bringing more fishermen out and about. There have been some exceptional fish caught this 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, Lake Ontario and WNY 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. Recent economic conditions may make it more difficult for a fishing trip, but a trip here 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


Weather Forecast

Latest Catch Photos

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.



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