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: Mar 06, 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 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...

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 "Long Cold Winter Sale..." Savings up to 20% OFF on fly, spin, float rods and reels and wading jacs and waders. All mail orders for any shop gear receive free shipping and discounts too. Call for info and orders.*

Mar 06...
Flows in the OOrchard are low and clear, no pre-emptive rise in flows yet from our friends at the Waterport hydro. This end of week return to cold temps prob tightened back up the little bit of melt off we had earlier in the week. Forecast is for 30ish F for the weekend and 40ish F for next week. That should be enough trigger to raise flows up and get things rolling. And if temps drop back down at night below freezing the rise in flows might not turn into a full fledge blow out just yet. For now still just a handful of guys out, mostly at the dam but a few drifters downstream now too getting a steelhead or brown trout hook-up here and there. Downstream slower slack water and the other area smaller tribs are pretty well locked up. The frog water on the OOrchard is trying to carve out an open center channel but was set back with the latest return to cold temps.

Mar 04...
Thru yesterday the area received another inch or so of snow and some mixed precip. Temps bumped up just briefly over 32 F so there was not much chance for significant run off. Temps are forecast back to seasonably cold for the end of week and around 30 F for the upcoming weekend with the long range forecast calling for 40 ish F next week. So far we know of no major change in OOrchard flows but hydro managers could begin to bump flows up at any time. The waterway on its own accord is opening up more and more thanks to hydropower influence and lengthening daylight with open flows now downstream of the Archers Club. There's still some bank ice but the downstream slower slack water is beginning to carve out an open center channel. Any rise in flows will quickly work on getting rid of bankside and downstream ice. Most fishing pressure remains near the dam but anglers now should be able to swing or drift some downstream water as flows might increase and/or before flows may go high or blown with future warming weather. With the consistent significant snowpack thruout the Niagara Frontier it is not a question of will all trib flows go up, but rather when and how high will trib flows go when warmer temps bring runoff?

Mar 02...
Thru the past weekend the area received only about another inch of snow. Lots of snow on the ground for future flows when things warm up. Forecast is for seasonal cold temps start of ther week and milder in the low 30's F for mid week with the chance of mixed precip or rain. There is the chance this week for a change in some kind of higher flows up from the low flows we have had in the OOrchard. Weather conditions and run off or just future supply could cause hydro managers to begin to bump flows up. So far just a handful of guys out scoring a few rehab browns and a steelhead or two mainly at the dam. A change in flows that begins to open up all of the OOrchard could bring on some fresh fish action. The other area smaller tribs are well frozen in and will require a prolonged and significant warm-up to open up to fishable conditions. Anglers are advised to use caution when wading or navigating stream banks for changes in flow and possible ice moving downstream.

weekend Feb 28...
Bit of a warm-up this weekend with high's in the 20's F and chance for snow Sun and Mon. Forecast is for 3 - 6 inches here with heavier accummulations south of the area. Next week forecast is seasonally warmer with the chance for above freezing temps and/or rain mid week. Two or three days of warmer temps with precip could affect a change in OOrchard water levels. Something like a weeks worth of weather will be needed to begin to open up all the other area smaller waterways. See previous report for flow and fishing conditions. Steelhead should be lurking close by and any change in weather and flow conditions could bring on some action.

Feb 27...
No changes in flow conditions, cold weather continues resulting in low and clear flows in the OOrchard. There is some open skinny water with still a fair amount of bank ice. Downstream slower, slack water is frozen over. Fishing pressure is light, with a few guys mainly at the dam scoring a few rehab browns and a steelhead or two hook-ups. The other area smaller tribs are locked up frozen. Forecast is for slightly warmer temps in the 20's F for the weekend and chance of snow later in the weekend. Total accummulations now on the WNY Niagara Frontier mean lots of water upon future warmer weather.

Feb 25...
See previous report... Cold weather is forecast thru the week so look for no major changes in water conditions. Flows do seem to be holding now at low instead of real low so there is some open and fishabe water on the OOrchard other then right at the dam. Lengthening daylight with some run off going on underneath the snowpack seems to be driving the low flows. The flows downstream to about the Archer's Club are low and clear and skinny. There is significant bank ice and the further downstream slower slack water is frozen over. Flows are enough to possibly encourage a few fresh fish upstream given the approaching Mar timeframe, that is, if they wanted to migrate now. There's better chances at more fish on later and higher flows. Anglers are into a few rehab browns at the dam and a steelhead or two. Other area smaller tribs are locked up frozen.

Feb 23...
The area received a few more inches of snow thru the past weekend. Total accummulations now are around 3 feet. Lots of snow now means lots of water when the weather breaks and there is some melt-off. Look for good probability at high and stained future flows. Continued cold weather is forecast thru at least this week. Flows in the OOrchard are fluctuating some between real low and up to low. Lastly flows were low, which leaves some open water to fish other then right at the dam, although there will still be significant downstream icing. Slower slack water areas remain locked in frozen. The other area smaller tribs are locked in frozen. Anglers at the dam are into a few rehab browns and steelhead with the chance for a few fish downstream. Fresh steelhead are hopefully lurking close by and the low flows might just be enough to coax a fish or two upstream given that it is late Feb already. Look for more fish on future moderating weather and higher flows.

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

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.



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