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The week ahead in fly fishing: February 20, 2107

Posted in Uncategorized on February 19, 2017 by stflyfisher

An old saying (attributed to Mark Twain) – “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a minute.” – seemed to be right on the money as far as this past week’s weather goes. The week was relatively cold, with some overnight temps getting down into the teens, and the area received snow in measured doses from a coastal storm and lingering bands of lake effect snow, but much of the snow pack that built up during the week is gone, thanks to ridiculously warm weekend weather. It was a little too much of a shift for some who prefer shut-in weather while tending to stuffing fly boxes, while others took advantage of spring-like conditions to wet a line.

Fly shop talk: Warm days amidst winter weather, such as those experienced this weekend, always make me think of stoneflies. Following are some facts about these wonderful bugs, the early season versions of which are always happy to greet cold-weary anglers:

  • There are some 3,500 species of stoneflies worldwide, with new species still being discovered. Stoneflies are found everywhere except Antarctica.
  • All species of Plecoptera are intolerant of water pollution and their presence in a stream or still water is usually an indicator of good or excellent water quality.
  • Stoneflies usually spend 10 months to 2 years living and growing as larvae in the water. When ready, the larvae emerge from the water and transform into terrestrial adults. While there is some evidence to suggest that a few species in the West may emerge in open water, stoneflies largely owe their lesser status to a terrestrial emergence style. This keeps them safe from trout at a stage when most mayflies and caddisflies are highly vulnerable. With few exceptions, they emerge by crawling out of the water onto rocks, sticks, or other shoreline objects.
  • Adults are not strong fliers (clumsy is a better word!) and generally stay near the stream or lake they hatched from.
  • The male signals his desire to mate to the female by beating the ground with the tip of his abdomen. The pattern of beats is different for each species. If the female is receptive she replies with a series of taps on the ground with her abdomen. The pattern of taps is different in males and females, and between different species.
  • Mating usually happens on the ground or on vegetation. The female then flies over the water dipping her abdomen in to wash off the eggs, or she swims on the surface while laying eggs. Each female can lay hundreds of eggs.
  • The eggs have a gelatinous coating that swells up and absorbs moisture. This enables some eggs to survive in streams that dry up periodically.
  • Stonefly nymphs are adept “clinger/crawlers.” They have double claws on their tarsi which help them grip and clamber over fast-water rocks, and many of them have flattened bodies to make clinging even easier.

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

Great Lakes / Finger Lakes tributaries: The Douglaston Salmon Run has been reporting a series of so-so results until most recently. The weekend’s results have been much better, possibly due to the warmer weather. Anglers had good luck nymphing and in some cases, swinging flies. Whitaker’s is also reporting improved results throughout the river although nice weather has increased the fishing pressure. The upper section of river between Altmar and Pineville had the most fishing pressure, but anglers did land fish in this section. Anglers who fished the Lower Fly Zone reported having the most action on nymphs. Anglers who were willing to walk or fished on drift boats reported landing some fish in the mid section of the river. The anglers who fished the lower section of the river reported good results bottom bouncing or float fishing on egg sacs and beads. Those anglers who were fly fishing did well on stoneflies or egg patterns under an indicator.

Suggested Patterns:

  • Wiggle stone in blue, peacock, chart, pink. size 10
  • Rusher nymph in blue, purple, red, chart. size 10
  • Steelhead hammer in blue, purple, black, red. size 10
  • Black stonefly in size 10.
  • Flashback nymph size 8.
  • Steak-n-eggs in orange, pink, chart. size 10
  • Flash-a-bugger in olive/black. size 8
  • Sucker spawn in peach, cream, white, blue

Lakes: John Gaulke of Finger Lakes Angling Zone is optimistic about fishing now that warmer weather will extend into the coming week. He’s reporting that now’s the time for good landlocked salmon fishing!  Here’s John’s 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 low here and launching and retrieving boats could be a hassle for some. Expect good lake trout jigging as well as good casting for pickerel/pike.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Fly fishing events: Here’s a summary of upcoming events:

  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF will be holding its monthly chapter meeting on Thursday, February 23rd at 7 pm at the Endicott Public Library. An informal fly tying demonstration at 6:30 pm will precede the main meeting. The presentation topic is HUNT MONSTER BROWN TROUT in NEW ZEALAND. Frank Cole and his companion, Steve Pettit, will talk about their journey in 2011 to beautiful New Zealand to catch trophy Brown Trout. They trek the lower third of the South Island over several rivers and lakes with Simon, their demanding NZ guide, through “chubby rain”, cold and heat. Perhaps, the most beautiful place to fish for trout in the world, the scenery is stunning and the trout are amazing!
  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF held the first of a series of four fly tying classes  on Saturday, February 11. The class is focused 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 remaining three classes. While the class is closed to new participants, the public is welcome to come, observe, and learn more about fly tying, fly fishing, and the BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF. If interested, read more here. The next class will be held on Saturday, February 25 at 9 am in the basement meeting room of the Endicott Public Library.
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John Trainor’s fly tying tools of the trade were on display during February 11th’s fly tying class. The next class on February 25th will feature more guide flies. Picture courtesy of BCFF Chapter President, Nick DiNunzio.

  • The Fly Fishing Show is in town. For those who missed the Somerset NJ show, the final “reasonably local” opportunity to attend will be the Lancaster, PA show which will be held Saturday, March 4th through Sunday, March 5th. 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. Fly Fishing Show admission is $15 for one day and $25 for both days. Children under age 5 are free as are Scouts under 16 in uniform. Active military with an ID are $10. Hours are: Sat. – 9 am-5:30 pm; Sun. – 9 am-4:30 pm.

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  • The Eastern Waters Council of IFFF, parent organization of the BC Flyfishers and Twin Tiers Five Rivers chapter, is having a contest to bring in new members, called “Giving the Gift Of Membership”. The contest is to encourage current members to buy an IFFF membership as a gift to a fly fishing friend, fishing buddy, or family member. You will be entered in a raffle for a new Sage Rod and Reel. To enter the contest, call Kat Mulqueen (406-222-9369 X106) at IFFF headquarters, tell her you are from the BCFF chapter or TTFR chapter, Eastern Waters Council and that you want to participate in the Giving the Gift of Membership. You will need to provide the giftee name, address and email and pay for their membership. There is also a prize for the club that brings in the most new members. You will be helping your buddy, your Club and the IFFF, and you will be eligible to win an awesome new rod and reel! The contest ends May 1st.

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

 

A weak cold front is drifting in from the north, and looks to make Monday and Tuesday a little cooler. Sun will dominate on Monday, before clouds increase overnight Monday ahead of our next chance for precipitation Tuesday night. Temperatures rebound Wednesday and Thursday into the low- to mid-50s as high pressure returns and keeps our weather fairly quiet. Average high temperatures for this time of year are in the low-30s. Another low-pressure system looks to develop off the eastern Rocky Mountains and move northeastward toward us. This system puts the chance for rain showers back in the forecast and drop temperatures off the table for next Sunday, as we return to more seasonable temperatures.

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The week ahead in fly fishing: February 13, 2107

Posted in Fishing Conditions, Fishing Reports, Flies - Local Favorites, Trout Fishing, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , on February 12, 2017 by stflyfisher

February has proven to be an interesting month thus far with ups and downs in temperatures, snow, and rain. The good thing is that we’ve had a good amount of precipitation which is very much needed after a long summer drought. And while the weather might be a little sloppy, there’s a lot to do in terms of local activities to keep the blood pumping for spring fly fishing.

Fly shop talk: I’ve mentioned the book “Younger Next Year” in my blog before. For those who have not read it, it’s a fantastic read and one that could make a huge difference in your life on many fronts. The book stresses seven factors that can lead to a great life in “the third chapter” of life, including physical fitness and proper diet, but one of the most important of all of those is “connection” or social interaction. Studies have shown that remaining connected in the later years of life is important to longevity. And this came to mind as I sat at my “bench” and enjoyed the fellowship of anglers, young and old, while fly tying at the BC Flyfisher’s recent fly tying class. We are, after all, social animals. And while I do enjoy being out on a river on my own, rubbing elbows with other like-minded fly anglers can promote a deep sense of connection and also, of course, improve one as an angler. This is a great reason to join a local fly fishing organization and get out and stay connected.

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

Great Lakes / Finger Lakes tributaries: The Douglaston Salmon Run has been reporting “so – so” results most recently. Weather has certainly been a factor limiting the number of anglers but reports from the anglers who have fished have been mixed, but more on the “zero” side. Flows have recently increased to levels that will challenge wading anglers. Whitaker’s Sports Store and Motel is reporting some success for the upper end of the river for anglers bottom bouncing flies.

pineville-usgs

Lakes: John Gaulke of Finger Lakes Angling Zone is recommending that Finger Lakes anglers sign up to become a DEC Diary Keeper. The DEC is always looking for participants for Region 7 (Cayuga/Owasco/Otisco/Skaneateles) or for neighboring Region 8 (Seneca/Canandaigua/Keuka/Canadice/Hemlock).  It’s easy to participate and your information (length of trip, number of anglers fishing, fish caught et.al.) will help DEC with management decisions.  Even if you only fish a few days a season, your info can help.  Click here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9218.html  and scroll to the bottom for more info.

Here’s the lake – by – lake report from John:

  • 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 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.
  • 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.

Fly fishing events: Here’s a summary of upcoming events:

  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF will be holding its monthly chapter meeting on Thursday, February 22nd at 7 pm at the Endicott Public Library. An informal fly tying demonstration at 6:30 pm will precede the main meeting. The presentation topic is HUNT MONSTER BROWN TROUT in NEW ZEALAND. Frank Cole and his companion, Steve Pettit, will talk about their journey in 2011 to beautiful New Zealand to catch trophy Brown Trout. They trek the lower third of the South Island over several rivers and lakes with Simon, their demanding NZ guide, through “chubby rain”, cold and heat. Perhaps, the most beautiful place to fish for trout in the world, the scenery is stunning and the trout are amazing!
  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF held the first of a series of four fly tying classes  on Saturday, February 11. 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 remaining three classes. While the class is closed to new participants, the public is welcome to come, observe, and learn more about fly tying, fly fishing, and the BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF. If interested, read more here. The next class will be held on Saturday, February 25 at 9 am in the basement meeting room of the Endicott Public Library.
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John Trainor’s “Frenchie” nymph can be seen in his vise in this picture taken at the first of four “guide fly” fly tying classes held this past Saturday, February 11th.

  • The Fly Fishing Show is in town. For those who missed the Somerset NJ show, the final “reasonably local” opportunity to attend will be the Lancaster, PA show which will be held Saturday, March 4th through Sunday, March 5th. 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. Fly Fishing Show admission is $15 for one day and $25 for both days. Children under age 5 are free as are Scouts under 16 in uniform. Active military with an ID are $10. Hours are: Sat. – 9 am-5:30 pm; Sun. – 9 am-4:30 pm.

lancaster-ffs-web-banner-2017

  • The Eastern Waters Council of IFFF, parent organization of the BC Flyfishers and Twin Tiers Five Rivers chapter, is having a contest to bring in new members, called “Giving the Gift Of Membership”. The contest is to encourage current members to buy an IFFF membership as a gift to a fly fishing friend, fishing buddy, or family member. You will be entered in a raffle for a new Sage Rod and Reel. To enter the contest, call Kat Mulqueen (406-222-9369 X106) at IFFF headquarters, tell her you are from the BCFF chapter or TTFR chapter, Eastern Waters Council and that you want to participate in the Giving the Gift of Membership. You will need to provide the giftee name, address and email and pay for their membership. There is also a prize for the club that brings in the most new members. You will be helping your buddy, your Club and the IFFF, and you will be eligible to win an awesome new rod and reel! The contest ends May 1st.

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

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect from 7am Sunday to 1pm Monday for our area for a wintry mix that will begin early Sunday morning, then rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow will continue through Sunday night, with snow continuing Monday.

Look for a wintry mix of sleet and snow on Sunday with 1-4″ of sleet and snow possible during the day in Broome and Tioga counties, while 3-7″ of sleet and snow may fall during the day in Chenango, Otsego, and Delaware counties. On Sunday night this wintry mix will be transitioning to all snow with a total snowfall of 2-6″ possible for Broome and Tioga counties and 6-10″ with isolated areas of 12″ possible for Chenango, Otsego, and Delaware counties come lunch time Monday.

 

Our next storm system looks to affect the Southern Tier on Wednesday, with the chance for some snow showers. We’ll then keep a slight chance of showers in the forecast each day as we wrap up the work week.

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Looking ahead to 2017…

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on February 8, 2017 by stflyfisher

“Hope
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
― Alfred Tennyson

Anglers are a hopeful bunch, and perhaps the hope curve is highest this time of the year, when angling is still months away for us in the Southern Tier. Snow, ice, and arctic air might contain us, but within us our imaginations run like roaring rivers about what might be in 2017. We are hopeful in the pause of winter. We look back on the year, re-live the great moments on the water and learn from the not-so-great and then turn our gaze forward. We turn to tying flies, building rods, cleaning equipment, spooling lines, patching waders, and studding boots. And we dream and plan…

I set goals in most areas of my life, including fly fishing. I think the act of goal-setting is important in becoming a better angler. Goals stir us to action and hopefully, force us out of our comfort zone. It’s rare when I achieve everything I set out to do; in fact, if I hit 70 – 80% of my targets, I consider it a very good year, indeed.

All in all, 2016 was a decent year. A few factors and events influenced my results both negatively and positively. Because of the extreme drought, for example, I was much less of a trout fisherman this year and much more of a river rat, so that had an impact on some of my goals. The purchase of investment property in Florida also added a dimension to my fly fishing that was not in the plans back in January, 2016.

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So it is with planning and goals. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, architect of the D-Day Invasion, once said that plans are useless but planning is necessary. My take on his quote goes along the lines of another version of it – that no plan ever survives “first contact with the enemy.” The crux and irony of planning is that one needs to do it to preclude failure but since so many factors change the course of events and impact plans, one must not be rigid to a plan and should only use it as a guideline. One must be committed to the goal or objective, but remain fluid with respect to the plan to achieve it.

So looking forward, I hope to set goals that help me achieve a higher level of effectiveness as a fly fisherman but not keep me from pursuing opportunities as they arise…

Here’s how I did in 2016:

  1. Learn more about nymph fishing – I read a little of Joe Humphreys and George Daniel’s works but as mentioned previously, a lack of trout fishing kept me from doing much in this area. Call this 10% complete.
  2. Learn to fly fish for musky. Per my 2016 plan, I purchased a new musky fly rod – a beautiful Scott Tidal “MP” 9′ 10 weight, and a Lamson Liquid Reel Pack to go with it (1 reel with two additional spare spools). I still need to purchase fly lines and then tie flies, study, and lastly, intentionally fish for these apex predators. Call this 20% complete.
  3. Saltwater flyfish in Destin, FL. – As mentioned in my Looking Back on 2016 post, I was able to wet a line a few times in Destin and had some fly fishing success as a newbie. 100% COMPLETE.
  4. Continue fly tying – learn to tie 5 more patterns. Thanks to last year’s BCFF Fly Tying Class, this is 100% COMPLETE.
  5. Donate a box of my flies to the TU banquet. The Al Hazzard TU banquet, a ritual of Spring was not held in 2016. Initially, it was rescheduled to late 2016, but it never actually happened. I’ll remove this goal for 2017 unless I see the event scheduled.
  6. Float-fish the Susquehanna (4X) – I did only one float of the Susquehanna this year, mainly because Mollie, my prized all weather fly fishing vehicle, was given away early in 2016, her rusted frame not able to pass another NY state inspection. I did not see a way to transport my small kayak to the river, as my wife’s SUV did not have a roof rack, but come fall, my interior design wife – the ultimate packer – showed how I could fit my kayak inside our SUV. So 1X could have been 4X after all. Call this 25% complete.
  7. Make perfect fly casting practice a habit. 100% COMPLETE.
  8. Fish with friends, including at least 3 trips with new friends. I fished with 11 different friends in 2017. 100% COMPLETE.
  9. Fly fish and/or attend fly fishing events 100 times this year. I also accomplished my goal of fishing / attending fly fishing events 100 times. This was a stretch goal but well worth it. 100% COMPLETE.
  10. Learn to tie 3 new fishing knots. 0% COMPLETE.
  11. Fish the Salmon River – Spring, Fall, Winter. I fished for steelhead in the spring and got out once for the fall Salmon run. 66% COMPLETE.
  12. Night fish for trout. 0% COMPLETE.
  13. Fish marginal waters. 0% COMPLETE.
  14. Build my own fly rod. As profiled here in early 2016, I built my first fly rod courtesy of the BC Flyfishers and expert rod maker, Joe Swam. 100% COMPLETE.

Putting a final measure on my results, I’d say I was a little over 50% effective in achieving my 2016 goals.

As most who have read previous “looking ahead” posts know, my process for goal setting starts with a look back and recounting of the year past, usually in December. Once that is done, I begin to plan for the year ahead in early January, mull my draft goals over through the rest of January and early February, and post them – a formal commitment – before my birthday in early March. This year I’m ahead of schedule…

My fly fishing goals for 2017:

  1. Learn more about nymph fishing – study Joe Humphreys’ “Trout Tactics”
  2. Learn to fly fish for muskie.
    1. Purchase line and leader
    2. Tie flies
    3. Study muskie fly fishing
    4. Fish for them
  3. Saltwater flyfish in Destin, FL.
    1. Fish the bay for redfish & trout.
    2. Fish the inlet / surf.
  4. Continue fly tying – learn to tie 5 more patterns.
  5. Float-fish the local warmwater rivers (4X)
  6. Fly fish, practice casting, or attend fly fishing events 125 times this year.
  7. Learn to build leaders. for a
    1. Buy kit
    2. Buy micrometer
    3. Fish my leaders
  8. Night fish for trout.
  9. Fish marginal waters.
  10. Build more fly rods / advance my rod building skills:
    1. Fly rod for my brother-in-law for his 60th birthday
    2. “River Rat” prototype.
    3. “Bay Rat” prototype.
  11. Search for the ideal river boat.

So here’s to achieving fly fishing goals in 2017! In the words of Saint Gerome (340 – 420), father of the Latin church: “Good, better, best, never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”

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The week ahead in fly fishing: February 6, 2107

Posted in Uncategorized on February 5, 2017 by stflyfisher

February opened with colder temps and some more of the white stuff hitting the ground. The weather has definitely turned more winter-like and local waterways are running at nice levels with ice forming on the smaller waters. On a recent hike I took through Jones Park, the tiny brook that bares no name that slips and slides through a heavily forested glen was shouldered with snow and many of its pools had significant ice cover – all good for the native brook trout that call that little trickle home.

jones-brook

Fly shop talk: The great scientist Louis Pasteur once said, “Chance favors the prepared mind”. I’m a huge proponent of preparation in fly fishing and there’s no better time to get ready for fishing than these cold snowy days of winter. Fly lines should be cleaned and stored in large open coils, reels should be cleaned and oiled, and rods should be cleaned and treated to a nice coating of wax on the blank. Wading gear should be checked – everything from waders to wading staff, belt, and boots. Don’t forget to replace frayed laces and missing studs. Lastly, a good fireside activity besides fly tying is to organize your boxes, leaders, and other fly fishing accessories.

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

Great Lakes / Finger Lakes tributaries: The Douglaston Salmon Run continues to report a mix of fishing results. Flows have recently dropped, which is a good thing for anglers, but heavy snow has no doubt also had an impact on fishing access. Roads are reportedly clear as is parking access for most DEC parking lots. The area received over 2 feet of lake effect snow as of Friday.

 

salmon-river-020517

Lakes: John Gaulke of Finger Lakes Angling Zone is recommending that Finger Lakes anglers sign up to become a DEC Diary Keeper. The DEC is always looking for participants for Region 7 (Cayuga/Owasco/Otisco/Skaneateles) or Region 8 (Seneca/Canandaigua/Keuka/Canadice/Hemlock).  It’s easy to participate and your information (length of trip, number of anglers fishing, fish caught et.al.) will help DEC with management decisions.  Even if you only fish a few days a season, your info can help.  Click here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9218.html  and scroll to the bottom for more info.

Here’s the lake – by – lake report from John:

  • 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 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.
  • 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.

Fly fishing events: Here’s a summary of upcoming events:

  • The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF will be holding its monthly chapter meeting on Thursday, February 22nd at 7 pm at the Endicott Public Library. An informal fly tying demonstration at 6:30 pm will precede the main meeting. The presentation topic is HUNT MONSTER BROWN TROUT in NEW ZEALAND. Frank Cole and his companion, Steve Pettit, will talk about their journey in 2011 to beautiful New Zealand to catch trophy Brown Trout. They trek the lower third of the South Island over several rivers and lakes with Simon, their demanding NZ guide, through “chubby rain”, cold and heat. Perhaps, the most beautiful place to fish for trout in the world, the scenery is stunning and the trout are amazing!
  • 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 still in town. For those who missed the Somerset NJ show, the final “reasonably local” opportunity to attend will be the Lancaster, PA show which will be held Saturday, March 4th through Sunday, March 5th. 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. Fly Fishing Show admission is $15 for one day and $25 for both days. Children under age 5 are free as are Scouts under 16 in uniform. Active military with an ID are $10. Hours are: Sat. – 9 am-5:30 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:

A low-pressure system will pass to our north Sunday, bringing with it the chance for some snow showers. The highest chance of snow appears to be north and east of Binghamton, with the lesser chance off to the south and west. The snow will continue through the evening hours with total accumulations up to 1 inch with some locally higher amounts possible. Our weather pattern quiets down on Monday as high pressure passes to our south. West-northwest winds may bring a few flurries off the lake, but minimal accumulations are expected if any snow showers occur. Tuesday brings the next weather-maker to the Southern Tier, and is the focal point of the next seven days. A strong low-pressure system looks to organize off the Rocky Mountains and push northeast. Precipitation appears to start as snow/freezing rain/sleet in the morning on Tuesday, before transitioning to all rain as temperatures warm through the day Tuesday. Temperatures well above average are expected Tuesday as this strong system drags warm air up from the Deep South. Snow then becomes more likely overnight Tuesday and Wednesday as colder air wraps around the system as it moves northeast. Winds look to pick up Wednesday and Thursday, with Wednesday night being the transition period as much colder air moves right back into the Twin Tiers.

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The week ahead in fly fishing: January 23, 2107

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22, 2017 by stflyfisher

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.

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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.

pineville-usgs-flow

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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Looking back on 2016…

Posted in Carp, Fishing Conditions, Fishing Reports, Rod Building, Saltwater, Smallmouth Bass Fishing, Trout Fishing, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , on January 17, 2017 by stflyfisher

“To be able to look back upon one’s life in satisfaction, is to live twice”

Kahlil Gibran

The book on 2016 is now officially closed and as most who peruse my blog know, I like to take a look back on each year fly fishing the Southern Tier before looking forward to the year ahead.

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The beautiful West Branch of the Delaware – a classic Upstate New York trout fishery that will hopefully continue to provide great fly fishing in 2017…

2016 was an interesting mix of fly fishing highs and lows for the Southern Tier and for me in particular. I’ll summarize those points with commentary in this post. Look for a “year ahead” post in the coming weeks as well as a review of my performance to last year’s fly fishing goals and a list of what I want to accomplish in 2017.

Weather / Climate Summary – The top story of the year is the drought that started slowly, but hung on through summer and early fall to the point where many small creeks and streams were dangerously low, if not outright dried-up. Owego Creek, for example, was dry in sections, something I’ve never seen in the 24 years I’ve lived in the Southern Tier. What’s often not so good for some fishing, however, can be good for others. The warmwater rivers of our area were low enough for good wading access as early as April and even the mighty Susquehanna was low by late June.

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A large fallfish nest lies exposed on the Susquehanna River. This might be expected in a dry year in August, but to see this in late June is a testament to the severity of the 2016 drought.

By July, one could wade across the Susquehanna in many places! River flows hit a low of 500 CFS in mid-September – making fishing from a boat difficult in some areas later in summer. Note the USGS chart below…

susquehanna-2016-trend

As can be seen in the next chart, temperatures were on the warm side in February and March, precipitating early snow-melt, but then tracked in a fairly tight range for the remainder of the year. Precipitation, or lack thereof, was the bigger issue. The chart below shows a growing deficit that widened significantly into the early fall.

2016-temp-precip

BC Flyfisher’s 1st fly rod building class – The BC Flyfishers chapter of IFFF kicked off 2016 with a rod building class taught by expert rod maker, Joe Swam. The class was outstanding – the group small enough to allow personalized teaching from Joe. It was so good I’m enrolled in the second annual rod building class as I write this. The best thing about the class was the knowledged gained on not only “how”, but “why” fly rods are built as they are. As an example, I never understood why the female end of each rod section is wrapped much like a guide. Now I know, thanks to the class, that the ferrule is very weak and the wrap serves to re-enforce the rod. Obviously too, rod building opens endless opportunity to build a rod that is totally your creation, and perfectly suited to your fly fishing needs. I’ll never buy another. Thanks, Joe!

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Rod wrapping with Hemingway.

Visit to Destin – I visited Destin, Florida, and my son Chris, on my way to a business trip destination at the end of January. I’d never been to the “Emerald Coast” of the panhandle of Florida. I brought my 9 weight saltwater fly fishing outfit with me but without much local guidance, I was unable to stir up a bite. Nonetheless, in talking with a few locals, I was immediately impressed with the fly fishing potential, especially when one older angler answered my query on the fishing by saying, ‘the fishing is not good, it is excellent, most excellent…’

April Steelhead – I made it out for steelhead on a very cold and wet, early April day. I once again was able to fish with friend Bob Card and guide Tony Gulisano. Tony is a great guide and is adept in angling for steelhead and salmon in all ways – spinning, centerpin, and fly fishing. Although I did raise one fish, I skunked out while Bob hooked into a number of steelhead and lost a few more. The only bad side to the trip were the repeated disappointing statements from Tony on what he was seeing as we drifted the river. The numbers of steelhead were low according to him – in some places he saw only a few fish where he’d normally see 20, 30, or more. Tony’s observations are based on years guiding the river. What he saw in early 2016 more or less predicted less than a great run of steelhead in the fall.

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Bob Card with a nice spring steelhead…

Owego Creek – I was able to get out on the “lower” Owego Creek with Rick Searles. Owego Creek is homewater to Rick – he knows it well and has caught some true trophy browns from the Owego. Rick showed me some areas to fish but was pretty up front about expectations. The lower Owego Creek is not loaded with trout but when one does find them they can be very high quality fish, including some big holdovers and wild browns as well. While I did not do so well the couple of times I fished it, I’m a believer in this small creek’s potential. Rick and I fished it in the spring but as mentioned above, by June the creek was extremely low. I stayed away from ALL creeks for the remainder of the year. I figured wild and holdover browns had enough to contend with from Mother Nature.

April Visit to Destin – I managed to visit Destin, Florida again in April along with my wife. We flew down to see our son, Chris, but in the process, decided to see what real estate was like. One thing led to another and before long we were hooked on buying. I never pictured my later life as involving the “snowbird migration”, but suddenly the thought of living part of the year in a warm climate where the fishing is both good and different and then returning north for late spring through fall seemed to appeal to me. On top of that, Destin has a strong vacation rental market and buying a property would allow us to own an investment that we could use a bit, letting rental income defray at least some of the cost before retirement. We ended up buying a townhouse on a stocked lake just minutes from the beach and 5 minutes by golf cart to Cowahatchee Bay…

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Early Season Bronze – The pre-spawn smallmouth bass bite turned out to be excellent. With water levels at spring lows, it didn’t take long to break out my smallmouth gear and look for some early season bronze. I had some excellent fishing starting with the smaller warmwater rivers like the Tioughnioga, but eventually even the big Susquehanna dropped to levels that offered exceptional fly fishing. This early season bite is always there, of course, but only when winters are mild and the rivers are relatively tame does it open up for the wading fly angler. I fished the smaller rivers early on and found some “football” smallies and equally stout fallfish in the river braids and shallow eddies…

Later in the spring, the big Susquehanna also dropped to wadeable levels, and the fishing opened up there too. I did my best to get out when the getting was good, and scored some nice bass in the process. I even got a chance to break in my newly made fly rod, dubbed “The Golden Bear” because of its Vestal High School colors of green and gold…

 

Trout & Memorial Day – I didn’t fly fish for trout as much as I’ve done in past years. Blame the low warmwater river levels and my obsession with smallmouth bass and other warmwater river species. I did make it down to my favorite place on the West Branch of the Delaware River a few times, the most memorable and personally rewarding being Memorial Day. A former sailor, Dan, contacted me out of the blue. He had read my Memorial Day blog posts and told me he had worked for Bob Shippee, one of the 37 on board who had died when the Stark was attacked in 1987. The more I read of Bob Shippee and the more I corresponded with the man who first wrote me about him, the more I wanted to write a tribute to Shippee.

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Memorial Day brown – and evidence that Bob Shippe was listening…

Carp – I ran into a few carp this year and fished for them intentionally a few more times. My first encounter was while fishing for early season bass with “The Golden Bear” – a good test of any rod and one that made me smile all the more.

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Big river carp are a great way to test out a newly built fly rod…

I caught another dandy on the Tioughnioga with Singer’s Crayfish in a size 6 – a great little pattern that’s equally good on smallmouth. In this specific case, I sawa at least a dozen carp moving and feeding in a deep hole. A few drifts with my crayfish pattern and I was hit solidly. What a great fight these fish can put on! My other attempts resulted in a few missed hook-ups but these scouting trips proved fruitful in uncovering a number of areas to fish in 2017.

Father’s Day – I spent a very special Father’s Day with a long distance fly fishing friend, Joe Laney. Originally from the northwest, Joe currently lives and works in Manhattan with his wife and daughter, but has connections in the Southern Tier through his wife’s family. He happened to read some of my posts way back when and eventually we met up to fish our local waters. Since then, we usually get out when he’s up our way. Joe’s a very good fly angler. On this past Father’s Day we explored the Otselic River and enjoyed catching some nice smallmouth bass, fallfish, and even a few rock bass. It’s always a joy to fish new water, especially with a good friend…

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Joe releases a nice fallfish on the beautiful Otselic River…

Catfish – I’ve been running into Mr. Whiskers for a number of years, but it seems like my encounters have increased most recently, prompting me to fish intentionally for them while out hunting bass. Counter to general opinion, the channel catfish that populate our warmwater rivers will aggressively hit a fly, especially large buggy streamers and nymphs. Once hooked, hang on for a deep and dirty fight, even on an 8 weight rod. The state record was a 32 lb fish caught in Brant Lake, but I’d bet river cats are tougher, pound for pound, than their laker kin due to river conditioning. I caught a half dozen up to 32″ with just as many missed in 2016 and repeated an early fall pattern where they were feeding on large emerging mayflies! Go figure…

The Fall Float – I’ve made it out on my small and humble kayak every fall for the last few years and these solo floats always prove very productive. The Susquehanna was very low when I launched downstream this year, making for some even skinnier paddling in places. I fished mainly buggers and the bass were hot to play, including several very nice ones. I did not get a shot at musky or pike, but saw a “fingerling” musky – maybe 12″ long holding near some weeds in about a foot of water. That was most encouraging. Also in the mix was a very nice channel cat and countless fallfish, probably one of the most under-rated beginner “fly fisher fish”, but a species that always fights with bravado and readily and heartily takes a fly…

Blues – The fishing for bluefish was pretty damn good this year. That’s something I truly missed the last several years. Fishing seemed to change off Barnegat Light / Long Beach Island ever since Hurricane Sandy decimated the Jersey shore and that change to the fishing (along with regulation changes) took its toll on the party boats. Whereas two boats – Doris Mae and Miss Barnegat Light – ALWAYS ran for blues from spring through fall, day and night, fishing deteriorated so badly that these boats began to cut back on their trips. Sadly, Doris Mae eventually sold out. Theories abound on specifically why the fishing has changed for Barnegat Light – some indicate bottom changes due to the storm – others point to changes in seasonal currents. Whatever the cause, the trip (think fuel expense and time to fish) to reach blues from Barnegat Light did not make business sense. So after reading some glowing reports this past fall, I looked about 40 minutes north to the boats out of Belmar and I was not disappointed. I took a trip aboard The Golden Eagle with my cousin, Mark, and we had a great day. The only disappointment was that the fish mainly wanted bait in the chum slick. I prefer to jig for them, but it was so good to feel their brute power…

Destin – My wife and I returned to Destin in early November to spend a week at our place there. I finally got a chance to meet Ed Greene, a local fisherman and neighbor to our realtor. He was gracious enough to take me out to the expansive Cowahatchee Bay on his center console 23 foot fishing boat. We fished primarily for “trout” as they are referred to in the south. The bay holds a wide range of gamefish, including summer flounder, ladyfish, bluefish, redfish, trout, jacks, spanish mackerel, and even cobia and tarpon. Once I got a handle on the fishing, thanks to Ed’s sage advice, I ventured out on my own, wading the bayside shallows and tidal creeks. I fished a 9 foot 8 weight rod, an intermediate line, a 6 foot leader, and a number of streamers / shrimp patterns, but the best producer was a chartreuse and white clouser minnow. My efforts were rewarded with a number of small trout, a redfish, many lizardfish, and a summer flounder – a great intro to fly fishing, Emerald Coast style, and to think it was only a 5 minute ride in a golf cart to miles of bay fly fishing…

Ed also was kind enough to take me out wreck fishing offshore in a friend’s 27 foot center console boat. Our target species was red snapper. We first jigged up live bait in the East Pass inlet using light spinning gear and tiny sabiki rigs. This was fun stuff in itself. Proper technique could end up with 3, 4, or even 5 feisty baitfish on the multiple hook rigs. After we had a good supply of live bait, we cranked up and headed offshore to wrecks that Ed had in his GPS unit. We fished in water 50 to 90’+ and used pretty stout boat rods with 60lb mono. The rig was classic bluefish stuff – egg sinker (in this case 8 ounces!), swivel, leader, and snelled circle hook. I’d never fished a circle hook and it does take some getting used to. The idea is to just let the fish take the bait and simply tighten up to it without lifting the rod. The circle hook then rotates in the fish’s mouth, rolls, and hooks the fish in the corner of the mouth. I quickly got the hang of it, and in combination with the 3 other gulf-fishing veterans, it wasn’ long before we each had our 2 fish limit in the cooler. These were beautiful red snappers, hard fighting and even better tasting…

Salmon – Another first for me was a trip to fish the salmon run in the Salmon River. I made it up to the Upper Fly Zone – an area I had never fished before but one about which I’d heard good comments. I fished it with angler friend Bob Card on a rainy day. For those unacquainted, the Upper Fly Zone is beautiful water and well worth a full day or days of fishing. I hooked up as did Bob but we did not land one of thee black beasts, primarily due to our position on the river. If nothing else, it was a great recon trip. I’ll certainly be back up there again in 2017.

The Magic of 100 – I’ll finish up this post with a comment on achieving a goal I set at the start of 2016 to “fish and/or engage in fly fishing events and activities 100 times”. Look for a future post on this idea of “100”in the near future, but setting that goal was largely responsible for most of the 2016 memories that I’ve posted here.

And so, I’ll close out 2016 with a wish that 2017 is even better for Southern Tier long rodders…!

 

 

The week ahead in fly fishing: January 16, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on January 15, 2017 by stflyfisher

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.

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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.

pineville-usgs

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.
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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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