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: Apr 28, 2015

Weather Forecast


Lodging dates are available for 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. All lodging reservations now accepted for 2015.

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 2015 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 21, 22, 23 - 2015. 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 on Sat, Apr 11, 2015. 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...

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.

*Ask about our April Sale... Savings to 25 % OFF or greater on fly, spin, float rods & reels and wading jacs and waders and boots and packs, etc. All mail orders for any shop gear receive free shipping and discounts too. Call for info and orders.*

Apr 28...
Flows are mod - med and just slightly stained in the OOrchard. The other area smaller tribs have low - mod and mostly clear flows. Steelhead fishing pressure is light with a few guys on the OOrchard who are into a few dropbacks, spawners or fresh jacks. Thru this week and milder and sunny weather trib water temps will be warming up. Suckers are fairly numerous and a few smallmouth bass are being caught. With warming flows and future Erie Canal water feed, more bass should be migrating. Big trout action from your own two feet this time of the spring can come from the rivermouth and larger tribs like the Niagara, Genny or Catt when those waterways have fishable flows. OOrchard pen reared steelhead and salmon are in place and volunteers are needed for care of those fish before release.

Apr 27...
Flows in the OOrchard are hanging in nicely at med and just slightly stained. Fishing pressure is light and there are still last lick chances for some dropbacks and spawners and a few fresh fish. Most fresh fish are likely to be smaller jacks. Downstream or rivermouth action could yield some browns or pike or perch or smallies. Weather is forecasted around 60 F with prevailing med westerly winds and mostly clear thru this week. There were rain showers today that didn't amount to much. Flows in the smaller waterways are low - mod and mostly clear. Flows in all the tribs will continue to drop and clear without any new precip. Sometime here for the begin part of May Erie Canal 24/7 water feed will commence again in the OOrchard and that keeps things stained for a while. Smal boat inshore trolling and land lubber casting is reported to be picking up some now with a few more fish hooked.

weeknd Apr 25...
Just getting back into the pulse of fishing and conditions today Sat after being away for a bit... Weather has turned cool if not cold again and this should help keep the last licks of steelhead trib action underway. Temps are forecasted cool right thru most of next week. Previously thru earlier last week it was warming up and there was precip. Heavier rains were south of the area. Yesterday, Fri, flows were down in the OOrchard but back up today, Sat, to something like mod - med levels and just slightly stained. Anglers are still into a few steelhead, seems like some spawners, dropbacks and a few fresh fish and little jacks. Suckers are numerous and there are a few smallmouth bass. Fishing pressure is real lite. The other area smaller tribs have low - mod and mostly clear flows. There should be some stragglers in those waterways and some Lake run browns. Over-the-all small boat trolling and land lubber casting has been hit or miss, no great easy action yet (that's typical sometimes) of spring time fishing. Previous cold weather may have not yet caught up to the calender for warming Lake waters and better action. Niagara River and bar action is good and the Genny is high and dirty and knarly.

weekend Apr 18...
Sat flows in the OOrchard are med and slightly stained with 2 - 3 feet of viz. Flows are down slightly from Fri and continuing to get clearer. Flows should hang around mod - med until there might be some future precip to raise flows back up. There is just the slight chance of showers this weekend and continued warm temps thru the begin part of next week and forecasted cooler with chance of precip thru the mid and end part of next week. Fishing pressure has picked up for this nice weather weekend with guys spotting fish or targeting spawning fish. Theres a mix of dropback, spawning and fresh fish with lots of suckers too. Water temps are warming thru the 50's F but there is a forecasted cool down next week which should slow things down some. The other area smaller tribs have mod and going toward clear flows now before there might be any new precip. Fish are scattered with some guys in select spots getting brown trout and steelhead hook-ups. This message will be updated next sometime thru the end part of next week.

Apr 17...
Flows in the OOrchard are med and slightly stained at about 2+ feet of viz. If you didn't care for the previous higher flows you'd have to like the conditions now... By the sounds of things and observation today, the action has been pretty good thru this week. Guys report hook-ups today. Looks like most guys are targeting spawning fish, but there should be fish holding in deeper areas adjacent to spawning spots too. Expect older fish moving downstream from around the dam to gravel spots as well as fresh fish going straight to gravel spots. There's a fair amount of suckers and a few smallmouth bass have been caught too. Water temps are into the 50's F and the weather is forecasted warm around 60 F with slight chance of showers thru the weekend. Flows consist of turbine water and diminished overflow water that should hang around the med level or slightly lower thru the weekend. The other area smaller tribs have mod and slightly stained flows going toward clear. Tribs to the west report there are spawning steelhead in the upstream reaches and tribs to the east report scattered numbers of steelhead and some browns. If there's no return to cooler weather and/or higher flows, whats left of steelhead and brown trout action will run its course quicker in those smaller waterways and then it will be stragglers, suckers and bass for this end part of Apr. Small boat trollers and land lubber casters are catching some fish, with reports that hook-ups are coming after a fair amount of casting or trolling.

Apr 14...
Looks like yesterdays retreating flows in the OOrchard were short lived, flows today are back up some to slightly high. There was some rain last night that should keep flows cranking or at least stall any quick retreat. Water color is about 1 foot of viz and clearing slowly. Flows consist of lots of turbine water and diminished overflow water. Look for flows to hang in between med - slightly high and stained at least thru this week and weekend given the mild forecast. Over-the-all fishing pressure remains light, its hard to understand why more anglers aren't out now on what looks like the best weather and flow conditions of this steelhead season so far, esp after the challenging winter weather. Over the past couple days anglers report hook-ups on a mix of fresh, spawning and drop back fish. Guys are still getting hook-ups at the dam and that means more fish to move back downstream and that things haven't progressed so far along that every fish is spawning. A few suckers are being caught but they are not super abundant. The other area smaller tribs have med and slightly stained flows that will perk up from last nights precip. Vegetation is greening up now so that changes the run-off formula with greater capture. Theres rehab and fresh run brown trout to be caught and scattered numbers of steelhead. This message will be updated next on or about the end of this week.

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

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.



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