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 Nov 22, 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!

These dates are available at the shop Licorice Lodge...

Nov 27 - 2 rooms. Nov 30 - 3 rooms.

Dec 1, 2, 3 - 2 rooms. Dec 4, 5 - 1 room. Dec 7 - 2 rooms. Dec 8, 9 - 3 rooms. Dec 10, 11, 12, 13 - 1 room. Dec 14 forward - 3 rooms.

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.

When you call, leave a message, that is the only way we can help you by calling you back! Or drop an email.

weekend Nov 22...
Flows in the OOrchard are up to med levels and slightly stained with the start of the spate of Erie Canal winter time drainage water. Flows consist of turbine water and are the best flows we have had all fall season. Lots of room for fish and fishermen to spread out and some fresh fish migrations. Flows should flush out some of the zombie salmon and redistribute browns and steelhead thru the waterway. Look for still some fresh migrations upstream. Flows are likely to stay up at med or slightly high approx thru the end part of next week. There is a forecasted warm-up and chance of showers thru this weekend and begin part of next week with seasonal cool temps after that. The LESnow storm south of here is over and any flooding melt-off from that should be well south of the area. Any snowmelt from a few inches of accummulations in the southern part of the OOrchard watershed should roll right along with the Canal drainage without a significant rise in flows. So far we've heard no reports of any significant rise in flows in the other area smaller tribs. Thru today, Sat, on the first bit of higher flows, brown trout and steelhead action is good for anglers able to get their drift down and slow. There's a mix of fresh and spawning browns and some darker steelhead... so far.

Nov 21...
Flows are up some in the OOrchard to low - mod and clear. The slight rise in flows could be the start of the release of the winter time drainage of the Erie Canal. There is no significant snowfall here on the Niagara Frontier and the heavy LESnows south of here south of Buffalo are pretty much over and the area is digging out. Look for a re-opening of the Thruway shortly, most likely starting from points east at Rochester and then going west toward Buffalo and the state line. There is a forecasted warm-up over the weekend with the chance for some precip. There is some snow accummulated in the southern most parts of the OOrchard watershed, so flows could be on the rise, especially coupled with the Canal drainage. Blowout conditions are not likely, instead, flows are likely to be on the retreat when Canal drainage water is done passing thru. Fishing action for browns and steelhead should be picking up on any rise in flows in the OOrchard. There could still be some fresh migrating fish given the over-all later timing of this fall's "runs." Fishing pressure has been lite thru the travel difficulties south of here but could perk back up thru the upcoming weekend, but will still likely be easily manageable. Other area smaller tribs without any Canal drainage water being passed thru will stay generally low, but just the warm-up should perk back up the fishing action in the lower reaches of those waterways.

Nov 20...
The area got just a skiff of snow last night, still no significant LESnow here on the Niagara Frontier. The Lake Erie LESnow band south of here has set up again today but then there is warm weather in the 40's or 50 F forecast for the weekend. The closest that any significant snows got to the south of here were Oakfield, so that could mean some water for the southernmost part of the OOrchard watershed when it melts. For now flows are still low and clear in the OOrchard, which is pretty much lower then they've been all fall. We anticipate a rise in flows soon when the Erie Canal winter drainage slug of water hits the waterway at the Waterport dam. Fishing pressure is fairly light with tougher action for browns and steelhead thanks to the low and clear and cold water flows. Instead of upstream movements on higher water, some fish may have dropped back to deeper and slower and froggier water. The other area smaller waterways have low and clear flows and there may be some icing or slushing. There are scattered numbers of browns and steelhead, with most fish in downstream reaches were there might be a little more water cover.

Nov 19...
PM update... Flows in the OOrchard are down to low and clear. It is unclear why flows are down unless its just temporary due to some hydropwer operations. Flows will likely go back up and we will have a look around tomorrow to check.

AM update... Still no LESnow here on the WNY Niagara Frontier. There is no snow on the ground here in Orleans County.

There's a slight repreive today for the points south and west of here that have been getting hit, and the whole area is forecast to get maybe a couple of inches of a general snow tonight and tomorrow before the LESnows fire up again south of here off Lake Erie thru Thu. By Fri and thru the weekend temps are forecast to rise back above freezing. There are still travel difficulties south of here and that seems to be keeping the fishing pressure here pretty lite. Travelers may have to go south and east of the LESnow to get here. The Erie Canal is closed for the season today and the flow in the OOrchard was reported up some yesterday to med and slightly stained. Flows could be up for the start of the winter time drainage of the Erie Canal. There are no reports yet of any changes in flows in any of the other area smaller tribs as a result of Canal winter time drainage water be passed thru. Over the all fishing pressure is down, with some anglers not traveling thru the LESnow areas south of here. The action for browns and steelhead is still good in the OOrchard. Typical for cold water angling the fish will turn on and off some thru the day, but good quality female browns are still being caught along with some steelhead. A few green salmon are even still reported. Anglers should be able to find a mix or new, spawning and a few dropback browns with bonus fall rainbows and some fresher steelhead. With flows up fish will be well spread thru the rivercourse or migrating closer to the dam.

Nov 18...
Temps have fallen into the 20's F with some wind but there is NO LESNOW HERE ON THE NIAGARA FRONTIER. Any snow we got yesterday melted before it turned cold last night, so there is nothing on the ground right now. There is significant LESnow south and west of here off Lake Erie with that snow band so far coming only as far north as approx Batavia. The forecast is for the LESnows to stay south of here with the chance for only 1 - 2 inches here. There could be travel difficulties in the LESnow areas. Temps are forecast highs in the high 20's F with a warm-up thru the weekend. Fishing pressure is minimal with those guys out on the OOrchard now still scoring some brown trout and steelhead hook-ups under mod flows. With the high winds and leaf fall look for some water level fluctuations thanks to hydropower operations. Water temps have no doubt shocked low some in the low and clear flows of the other area smaller tribs thanks to the cold temps, but the OOrchard will be affected less. Score one again for that OOrchard consistency... If and when we hear of Erie Canal winter time drainage info we will report.

Nov 17...
The area is getting a general snowfall today of 1 - 3 inches under seasonal temps. Over the next couple of days there is forecast some wind and colder temps and LESnows. Heaviest concentrations are forecast south of here off lake Erie with only the chance for minor amounts here on the Niagara Frontier. Good brown trout action on the OOrchard continues with fish spread out and some fish in gravel spawning areas. Good action is relative to the real good action of a couple or few weeks ago, but anglers getting good light line drifts in the lower and clearer flows are getting hook-ups on browns and steelhead. Salmon are all pretty moldy by now. Fish are no longer pushovers for a salmon egg dead drift, different flies and baits and smaller egg presentations are having best success. Mod and fluctuating flows are likely in the OOrchard until the end part of the week when the navigation season ends on the Erie Canal and winter time drainage SHOULD commence thereafter, although we have no new confirmation of that drainage or schedule yet. Higher and stained flows may last for a week or so after that. For now the other area smaller tribs have low and clear flows and scattered numbers of fish with greater concentrations in downstream areas where there is a little more water cover. Fishing pressure will likely continue to fall off thru this week with more big game seasons opening and holidays approaching and the hyped forecast which is not typically as bad as the weather channel makes it sound at least here on the WNY Niagara Frontier. "Second season" trout action should remain good as long as the mod or greater OOrchard water flows hang on.

weekend Nov 15...
See previous report, no new major changes. There have been some water level fluctuations in the OOrchard thanks to hydropower operations. Fishing pressure has lessened but may perk up some for the weekend. Most anglers are still getting multiple hook-ups, now guys are able to move up and down the rivercourse thanks to manageable fishing pressure to find active fish. Some fresher, green salmon are still reported and a few steelhead. There has been no significant LESnow here on the WNY Niagara Frontier and cold temps are expected thru next week.

Nov 13...
Fishing pressure has lessened thanks to cooler temps and hunting seasons and holidays approaching. We've come upon the "second" season now on the OOrchard with most fishing effort directed toward browns and steelhead. There are just a few tired or moldy salmon and the slight chance for a greener fish. Browns are spawning now thru the rivercourse with good numbers of smaller and medium sized females around. Guys are getting multiple hook-ups thru a days effort, with the action just off the real good pace of a week or two ago. Some fish are on the move at times, turning on and off thru the day with a few steelhead being encountered too. A few Atlantics and cohos are in the mix. Look for continued cool temps in the mid or high 30's F thru the weekend and just the chance for rain or snow showers. Any serious LESnows should be south of the area. Other area smaller tribs have low and clear flows where most fish and fishermen are consentrated in the downstream lower reaches of those waterways. The Erie Canal nav season is reported to be ending on Nov 19 so look for winter time drainage to commence on or about that date with something like a weeks worth of higher flows passed thru the OOrchard and possibly some of the other smaller tribs.

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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