The week ahead in fly fishing: January 23, 2107

With January in its third week, anglers can take comfort that spring is another week closer. Our week’s weather sure seemed to tease, with most snow gone, generally wet conditions, and warmer than normal temps. Creeks and streams are swollen with that wonderful snow melt color but rivers are high and turbid. Save the higher water, fishing conditions were pretty good for January. The coming week welcomes in The Fly Fishing Show, along with a myriad of local fly fishing events. It’s a good time to get out and participate. Not only will one most likely learn and connect with other anglers, but I find these events help to stimulate the imagination before setting one’s 2017 fly fishing goals.


Expert rod maker, Joe Swam, demonstrates how wrapping thread can change color depending on the way it is coated at Saturday’s BC Flyfishers rod building class.

Fly shop talk: One of many life lessons handed down to me by my parents was to always keep my mouth shut on three specific topics: 1) religion, 2) money, and 3) politics. I’ll state here that my compliance to that rule is not always the best and is certainly something to improve on in 2017, but the extreme divisiveness of our country these days reminds me how fishing tends to pull people together regardless of their views or even their socio-economic standing in society. I’ve met wonderful people out on the local rivers as well as while fishing side-by-side on party boats. I’ve made new friends with people I’d often otherwise might have judged from afar. One can learn from diversity – differences can instruct and inform. Perhaps fishing is just a good icebreaker and common ground, but I rarely see the divide I see on the news when people have a rod in their hands.

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

Great Lakes / Finger Lakes tributaries: As in past weeks, the Douglaston Salmon Run is reporting a mix of fishing results. Flows remain on the higher side, partially due to snow melt.


Persistence remains the key to success. Anglers who are covering lots of water are hooking up. Fishing egg patterns and swinging flies are bother producing. Whitakers Sport’s Store and Motel also reports mixed results from anglers with some groups having success while others not so much. Results depended on location and experience level. Some steelhead are being caught in the Lower Fly Zone with nymphs producing the best results. The lower end of the river is also producing. Despite the runoff from the melting snow and recent rain, the water clarity remains good.

The Finger Lakes tribs and lake shore are also producing browns, rainbows and landlocked salmon. Recent higher flows will often bring fresh fish in and get the fishing going.

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 and brown trout.  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 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. Some very skilled and 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.
  • 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:

Sunday’s temperatures look to stay well above average in the upper-40s and low-50s. However, a slight chance of some spotty showers is with us on Sunday, before chances of rain increase Monday morning. A coastal low-pressure system will move into West Virginia, causing precipitation to begin in the Southern Tier. Precipitation looks to begin Monday morning with a wave of rain, sleet, or some freezing rain and then continues through the afternoon with a wintry mix of rain, sleet, or freezing rain, before easing up Monday night. Tuesday looks to bring the chance for a wintry mix back, adding snow into the mixture as the middle levels of the atmosphere now fall below freezing. After everything is said and done Tuesday evening, total liquid accumulations look to be between 0.50 and 1.5 inches, with locally higher amounts. Of that, 0 to 0.30 inches could be freezing rain, with higher elevations being more likely to see closer to the 0.30″ mark. As snow is brought into the picture Tuesday, new snowfall accumulations between 0 and 3 inches are possible, with some areas seeing more than 3 inches in the eastern Catskills. Look for daytime highs and lows to drop through the rest of the week under cloudy skies. Precipitation will drop off and there’s some chance of partial sun towards the weekend.







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