The week ahead in fly fishing: January 16, 2017

We are now into our second week of the New Year. Last week was wet and relatively mild until the end of the week and into this weekend when cold and some snow came back. Rivers are high, swollen, and in some cases, shedding shelf ice. Fishing is still on the slow side as would be expected while we are in the teeth of winter. Some anglers continue to wet a line while others focus on fly tying, rod building, and fly fishing events.


Fly shop talk: According to some statistics I have read, by the second week of the new year, only 71% of people making New Year resolutions are still pursuing them. It’s sobering to think over 25% of goal-setters have not been able to follow-through on those heady New Years resolutions! Hopefully Southern Tier fly anglers are not part of that group. I set fly fishing goals, as well as goals in other areas of my life, and do my best to stick with them through the year. A big part of achieving goals, whatever they may be, is making them public, and thereby adding accountability. I post my fly fishing goals here every year and review how well I lived up to them and I sincerely believe that has helped me be a better angler.

Here’s the fly fishing report for the week ahead:

Great Lakes / Finger Lakes tributaries: The Douglaston Salmon Run is reporting a mix of fishing results, generally not great but better than OK.  Anglers who are covering lots of water are hooking up. Fishing egg patterns and swinging flies are bother producing. Water levels continue to drop and are scheduled to go to 750 cfs. Whitakers Sport’s Store and Motel reports that the upper end of the river is producing some action for anglers able to brave the cold. Anglers reported getting into a few steelhead in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville while bottom bouncing with nymphs or float fishing with egg sacs.


The flows on the Salmon River are dropping back to 750 cfs, a safe wading level, according to the Douglaston Salmon Run.

The Finger Lakes tribs are also producing browns, rainbows and landlocked salmon for those willing to fight the cold.

Suggested Patterns:

  • Sucker spawn in white, cream, peach, blue. size 8
  • Estaz eggs in chart, pink, white, blue. size 10
  • Glo-Bugs in pink, chart, orange. size 8
  • Steelie omelet in chart, peach. size 8
  • Steelhead stone in red, purple, orange. size 6
  • Steelhead bugger in size 6.
  • Black / purple egg sucking leech in size 6.

Lakes: John Gaulke of Finger Lakes Angling Zone is expecting very good fishing for salmon, brown trout and lake trout throughout the winter and into the spring. Here’s his lake-by-lake report:

  • Cayuga Lake:  Fishing has been productive for landlocked salmon and brown trout along with occasional rainbows and lakers.  Both fly-and gear fishing is working.   The water level is very low here and launching and retrieving boats could be a hassle for some.
  • Seneca Lake:  Fishing is currently fair to good for landlocked salmon.  Expect some brown trout in the mix.  Perch and pike fishing should be good.
  • Keuka Lake:  Lake trout fishing should still be good here.  Also expect good perch/bass/pickerel and fair salmon/trout fishing.
  • Owasco Lake:  Lake trout and northern pike fishing should be good here.
  • Skaneateles Lake:  Rainbow trout, landlocked salmon and yellow perch fishing should be good here along with some bonus lake trout and smallmouth bass.

Fly fishing events: Here’s a summary of what’s in store for the week:

  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF is auctioning their prized 100th Anniversary Cortland Fly Rod. Read more about this unique and valuable fly rod, here. The auction will be held at their next monthly chapter meeting, on Thursday, January 19th.
  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF is holding its next monthly chapter meeting on Thursday, January 19 at 7:00 pm, with a fly tying demo at 6:30 pm. The presentation topic isFishing for Silvers in (rainy) Cordova, Alaska” with speaker and chapter member, Dan Leonard. Come out to watch another one of Dan’s entertaining videos of his fishing trip to Cordova, Alaska for silvers (Coho Salmon).  This trip took place in September of 2008 with Mark Heath from Chenango Forks and old friend and guide, Ed Trainer from British Columbia.  In September, Cordova has the most precipitation of the year at an average of 22 inches with an average of 21 rain days of the month.  The public is invited and there is no charge for the presentation.
  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF is currently conducting a fly rod building class. The second class was held this past Saturday. While the class is closed to new registrants, the classes are open to the public to attend and watch. Here’s a link from last year’s very successful class. There is one session left – Saturday, January 21, 2017 @ 12:30 pm. The class is being held at the Endicott Public Library in the downstairs meeting room.
  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF will be holding its own fly tying class. The class will focus on tying guide flies – flies known for their simplicity and high effectiveness in fooling fish. Four experienced fly tyers will be leading the four classes. If interested, read more here and be sure to sign up soon as materials need to be ordered. The first class will be held on Saturday, February 11.

Tim Barrett, BCFF board member and guide, will be one of four fly tyers featured in this year’s BCFF Fly Tying Class. The class will focus on how to tie guide flies.

  • The Fly Fishing Show is coming to town! Everything a fly-fisher might want – from rods and reels to vacations in Alaska or Argentina – will be on display in 300 exhibitor booths as the annual Fly Fishing Show™ kicks off the 2017 season Jan. 27-29 at the Garden State Exhibit Center. Parking is free.The facility, 50 Atrium Drive, Somerset, will play host to the three day show. Exhibitor booths will include non-stop casting demonstrations, seminars, fly-tying, a Women’s Fly Fishing Showcase, Fly Fishing Film Festival, book signings and the newest fly fishing tackle and gear. A creel full of Fly Fishing Show door prizes with a retail value of more than $60,000 will be up for grabs. Prizes include fishing trips, tackle and clothing. The Grand Prize – chosen from all seven Fly Fishing Shows is a $7,325 week-long trip to Rio Maria, Bolivia, for freshwater dorado. Additionally, there will be regional show door prizes.Fly Fishing Show admission is $18 for one day, $28 for two days and $38 for three days. Children under age 5 are free as are Scouts under 16 in uniform. Active military with an ID are $10. Film Festival admission is $15 or $10 with paid admission to the show. Hours are: Fri. – 9 am-6 pm; Sat. – 8:30 am-6 pm; Sun. – 9 am-4:30 pm.
  • On February 6, the Twin Tiers Five Rivers chapter of IFFF will be hosting their popular Social Night at 1157 North, an Italian restaurant located in Elmira, NY. This quaint restaurant has been in this Elmira residential area for more than 60 years. Spouses, family members or fishing buddies are encouraged to enjoy the evening with chapter members. The speaker for the evening will be Linda Wales, President of A Hope for Lyme Inc. Linda, a Lyme disease survivor, will be talking about the disease and the impact it has had on her and others she knows. Lyme disease is caused by tick bites and can result in severe health issues. The disease often causes a variety of complications including pains in the muscles and joints, severe fatigue and cognitive issues. Ticks that carry Lyme disease and other serious pathogens are present in our area, so it’s important to be aware of the risk. The social night will start at 6:00 pm with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar followed by dinner at 7:00 pm. Linda’s presentation will be after dinner. The cost for this event is $25 per person and will include a choice of one of three entrée selections  – Chicken Parmesan, Eggplant Parmesan, or  Carne Grande. All meals include a tossed salad, coffee, tea, and dessert. See the chapter’s website for more information and note that reservations must be made and payment received no later than Monday, January 30th.

The week ahead weather: WBNG’s week-ahead weather forecast is as follows:

According to WBNG’s Nathaniel Hopper, high pressure sliding across the area will keep our weather quiet for the next few days with high temperatures slightly above average in the low- to mid-30s. The low-pressure system that’s causing some icy conditions in the central plains will roll toward us in the coming days, which brings a chance for a wintry mix and some rain back into our forecast Tuesday and Wednesday. Some freezing rain is possible with this next batch of mixed precipitation. Temperatures then warm in to the 40s by the middle of the week and stay there through the end of the work week. High pressure moves in starting Wednesday and stays with us, keeping us mainly dry through the end of the week.The average high temperature for this time of year is 28 degrees and the average low is 16. With temperatures possibly reaching mid- to upper-40s next week, that would put us 15+ degrees above average.




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