Archive for finger lakes

The week ahead in fly fishing: July 25

Posted in Carp, Fishing Conditions, Fishing Reports, Flies - Local Favorites, Smallmouth Bass Fishing, Trout Fishing, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , on July 24, 2016 by stflyfisher

This is the first “week ahead” fly fishing report on Southern Tier Fly Fisher. As explained in a previous post, my weekly reports and other fly fishing articles will reside here until I have a new improved site in place.

It’s hot out there, and I should start my report by saying these are tough times for trout, particularly for the resident fish that inhabit local creeks. A recent stop at an access on the West Branch of Owego Creek was enough to remind me that this is not the time to stress coldwater species. My recommendation is to focus on warmwater stuff – brownlining as I sometimes refer to it. Take time to explore the many great warmwater fisheries we have and leave the high octane guys alone for a while.

Summer heat is here although we’ve had a string of cool nights to check the oppressive daytime temps. In our neck of the woods, watering corn fields is pretty much unheard of but I recently observed it in action for some newly sprouted corn. That says something. Some areas are harder hit than others – lawns are a good barometer.

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

Catskill Rivers: The West Branch Angler reports that after several days with very warm air temps it was nice to wake up today to a river with some more cold water running through it. The West Branch at Hale Eddy is flowing a nice 822 this morning, a great little cold water bump that will help keep more downriver sections cooler during this heat wave. The increased release is always a good thing, giving the slower moving sections of water a bit more texture throughout the river. The Sulphurs are still coming off consistently starting in the early afternoon hours up around Deposit. Even though it doesn’t look like much cloud cover over the next few days you will likely see a few BWO’s in the 18-22 range as well as some 14-16 Cahills. The Isonychia are still around in small numbers. Terrestrials are always safe bets this time of year so don’t forget the ants and beetles. Nymphing on the upper West has been pretty tough due to the algae in the water but the extra flow should help clear it out a bit. Downriver, say on the lower half of the West, the algae isn’t nearly as bad and nymphing is much easier.

Local streams and creeks: The creeks and small streams in our area are incredibly low, clear, and on the warm side right now. It’s best to leave these waters alone as long as the heat and dry conditions prevail. If you do fish, fish early or late and try to land and release fish quickly.

Lakes: John Gaulke of Finger Lakes Angling Zone reports that Lake Trout action is top-notch on Cayuga and Owasco Lakes. Cayuga will likely provide some excellent fishing over the next 6 weeks at the very least. Cayuga Lake is usually good for all day action in August. Here’s John’s lake-by-lake report:

  • Owasco Lake:  Lake trout action is top notch. Angling Zone friend/client Rick nabbed an 11lb brown here late last week.  It was a 28″er! Bass fishing is decent. There’s no shortage of bait on this lake.
  • Cayuga Lake:  Fishing here ranges from very good to excellent for lake trout. There are good numbers of sizeable lakers throughout the lake.
  • Seneca Lake:  Lake trout fishing should be fair to good. Plenty of weeds are floating around. Angling Zone Friend/Client Andrew nailed a giant brown here recently.
  • Skaneateles Lake:  Smallmouth bass fishing should be good to excellent. Lake trout action should be fair to good.
  • Otisco Lake:  Tiger musky fishing had been good with some very large fish around. Bass fishing should be good.

Ponds: Ponds are definitely dropping and warming. Bass and sunfish are very active and willing partners to fly fishermen under these conditions, but low light early or late is best. Topwater is a good choice and don’t forget the damselfly, grasshopper, cricket, and beetle patterns. Poppers will work well along weedlines and lilly pads.

Warmwater rivers: All of the warmwater rivers are running clear, low and warm. Water temps are in the 75 – 80 degree range and wading is very easy with the low flows. Reports have been mixed. Smallmouth bass can be found hunting around the weeds and structure during the mornings and evenings. You’ll also find them hanging in the tailouts of pools chasing bait, sometimes in very skinny water, but mainly when the light is low. During the day, the bass will be deep and in the riffles and runs. Hellgrammite and crayfish imitations fished like a nymph will work well. Channel catfish and fallfish will also be found in the mix. And carp are now pretty active all day long in the weedy pools and tailouts. They can be caught with buggy-looking nymphs and crayfish imitations. Sight-fishing can be especially effective to mudding fish. The white fly hatch is due to start any time now. I’ve seen a few white flies coming off towards evening but nothing of significance yet. Once the hatch gets going, be prepared for terrific topwater flyfishing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Susquehanna River, shown here, is flowing low and clear. Flows recently dropped below 1,000 CFS, making for great wet wading on these hot summer days.

Fly fishing events: Area fly fishing clubs and chapters take the months of July and August off so there is nothing to report here. However, one noteworthy announcement is the following press release concerning the work that Gary Romanic, VP of the BC Flyfishers has done to secure a large donation to reach out to veterans in our area and offer fly fishing opportunities and instruction:

Binghamton, NY – Broome County Executive Debbie Preston, Broome County Legislators, and Director of Veteran Services Brian Vojtisek joined the Broome County Veterans Fly Fishing Program to discuss details of a recent donation to help the program. Broome County recently gave $10,000 to the program to help offset costs for travel to fly fishing destinations to facilitate fly fishing instruction.

“As you know, veterans hold a very special place in my heart and I’m willing to help them out in any way that I can,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.  “Fly fishing is a wonderful activity and I’m on board with anything we can do to help our local veterans live the best possible life they can after sacrificing a part of their life for this Country.”

The mission of the Binghamton Veteran Fly Fishers is to lift the morale and support the welfare of Broome County veterans. “We want to thank the County Executive and Brian Vojtisek in the Veterans Services Office for this wonderful donation,” says Gary Romanic, vice president of the Broome County Veterans Fly Fishing program.  “This money will go a long way in not only getting the veterans to prime fly fishing areas, but also to provide instruction to those who have never fished before.”

“When we were approached for a donation last year, we were delighted to help,” says Director of Veteran Services Brian Vojtisek.  “This program fits into our mission of helping veterans financially, and in adjusting to a return to civilian life.”This is a one-time donation.

The week ahead weather: The weather for the week ahead will be mainly summer sizzle with the usual thunderstorm potential on Monday and Friday and if you can believe it, showers on Sunday at the end of the week. Highs will range in the upper 80’s to low 90’s with lows in the low 60’s. There will be relief at the end of the week with highs dropping to the high 70’s / low 80’s. Tuesday and Wednesday will have bright sun. And speaking of sun, this is the time of year to be extra vigilant with regards to sun protection. Cover up with protective clothing or lather up with sun screen. And don’t forget a hat and sunglasses. The eyes can suffer on bright days and a good pair of polarized sunglasses will definitely help in spotting fish.

 

 

 

 

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Spoons and Pie

Posted in Gear, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , on March 11, 2011 by stflyfisher

My loyal readership will likely remember this blog’s not-so-distant discovery of a titan of enterprise, a skunkworks of technological wonderment, and a darling of Wall Street not too far from the Southern Tier. Lest you have forgotten, click here for a diatribe on the Sutton Spoon Company of Naples, NY.

Sutton's corporate headquarters - conveniently located next to the chinese restaurant where corporate takeovers are regularly planned...

You can thank STFF staff member, master swimmer and long-ago side stroke champion Kelly, born and bred near the place, for turning my attention to this world-class lure-maker. Kelly is still a regular visitor to the sprawling metropolis of Naples and soon after the Christmas holidays, returned with new tales of that oh-so-special place on the south end of Canandaigua Lake. Indeed, I felt much like Thomas Jefferson must have felt at the return of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

First came the pictures from Kelly’s winter expedition:

Christmas in full splendor - one stop shopping for the entire family...

Kelly had to literally press through throngs of people, all waiting to see what Sutton had in their display window under their towering Christmas tree, just to get these rare pictures. But the boots, trucker-style hats complete with Sutton logo, Carhart clothing, wool socks, leather work gloves, ice fishing tip-ups, and WD-40 all paled in comparison to the tray of gleaming spoons of every Sutton shape and size…

Sutton's crown jewels, shimmering like so many diamonds...

And then came the goods. I’m not talking about beaver pelts or Yukon gold – I’m talking a whole, beautifully boxed, thickly filled, grape pie. Yep, grape pie made with the best grapes this side of the Napa Valley – concord grapes – a native american variety – and, no less the same grape that makes the famed Manischewitz Wine…

Grape pie capitol of the world...

The pie came from Monica’s – another one of those Naples, NY trademarks that apparently has quite a following; hell, they’re even on Facebook. Monica’s has been filling pies since way back in 1983 and one bite of just the crust will surely make you a believer in their product. The grape filling is heavenly, just tart enough to put a jump in your step and not leave you puckered up like a spawning sucker. And in addition to the fact that your pie will be neatly boxed, count on a bumper sticker or two to accompany your pie – perfect to slap on the side of your Hyde drift boat.

Spoons and pie are undoubtedly what Naples, NY is all about. I’ve yet to hear from the corporate execs at The Sutton Company regarding my new fly spoon product line…

How could that not attract a laker or two...

It could be “The Board” is still strategizing, pouring over marketing reports, and hiring extra accountants to handle the influx of greenbacks that is surely to follow such a product announcement. Or, maybe they’re a little reticent – you know – the whole “straying from our core business” thing you hear so much of these days from the talking heads of CNBC. If that’s the case, I now know just how to sweeten the deal…

Corporate persuader?

Tight lines…

Happy Holidays!

Posted in Fishing Conditions, Writing with tags , , on December 24, 2009 by stflyfisher

The holidays are upon us, and the fishing in our neck of the woods is slowing down.  The party boats out of Barnegat Light have called it quits for stripers.  The Doris Mae will soon be making deep winter 60 – 80 mile wreck trips for deep water, great-eating fish such as cod, sea bass, blackfish, hake, and haddock.  The tribs still hold some fish, but the pace will not be what it was a month or two ago.  For those still interested in wetting, or icing a line, remember the tribs are closed to fishing as of the end of the year.

That said, there’s still fly fishing to be had in the finger lakes themselves, a frontier of sorts for this fly fisherman.  From what I’ve read, brown trout, landlocked salmon, pike and lake trout are all possibilities for the finger lakes fly fisherman.

Wouldn't mind tying into a few of these this winter...

I’ll be delving into fly fishing the finger lakes in upcoming posts, and possibly put what I’ve learned into practice.

Also coming up around New Years is a post on goals for 2010.  I’m hoping that a softly burning fire in the fireplace, a good beer by my side, and pen and empty paper will all inspire me to conjure up some lofty fly fishing aspirations for 2010.  Stay tuned, and tight lines…

Happy Holidays!

Spoonfed on Sutton Spoons

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , on December 13, 2009 by stflyfisher

Up in the western Finger Lakes country lies Canandaigua Lake, a 15.5 mile long jewel and one of the eleven famed glacial lakes that look like fingers reaching southward on a map of New York state.  The lake’s name is derived from the Iroquios, “Kanandarque”, which means “chosen spot”, and a chosen spot it is.  At the south end of the lake is the town of Naples, former home to none other than our very own STFF staff member Kelly, the hero in an earlier post that detailed the account of how he singlehandedly negotiated the Class I rapids of the Susquehanna River, while yours truly slayed smallmouth bass at every likely riffle and pool (https://stflyfisher.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/kellys-excellent-canoe-adventure/).

Canandaigua Lake - home to grapes and trout...

While chatting the other day at work, Kelly revealed to me that besides being famous for its grape pies, Naples, NY, is also the clandestine global corporate headquarters for The Sutton Company.  I’d never heard of the company and revealing this to my boastful comrade, I’d soon learn, was a big mistake…

Currently listed on New York Stock Exchange, ticker "SUTN"...

What followed was a diatribe on the virtues of spoons that has never been heard by human ears.  Sutton, apparently, is a household name in Naples, but more so is a brand known ’round the world.

The place Sutton built, in downtown Naples...

And so this blogger decided to follow-up on the claims, and found, lo and behold, that sutton spoons are quite well-known.  Just google the name, and be ready for over 1,000,000 hits, ranging from a multitude of fishing forums and guide reports to a post suggesting sutton spoons make a great wedding gift…

In copper, how nice...

Most of the fishing forum posts hailed the fish-catching abilities of this simple lure, but one in particular gave some insight into the high technology utilized by the company in selling its mighty brand:

Sutton Spoons are made in a small shop in Naples, NY. Naples is about 50 miles southeast of Rochester on the south end of Canandaigua Lake. I doubt very much if they have a website as the last time I was there, the computer served as a paperweight. They are a super spoon and come in many different shapes and sizes. I find them in some of the smaller Mom and Pop stores in the Roch. area. Good luck.

Indeed, the Sutton company seems to pride itself on a number of counter-intuitive marketing principles that STFF staffer Kelly verified on a recent visit to their ivory corporate towers. For one, they do not have a website, apparently relying solely on brand loyalty, word-of-mouth, and the advertising made by other on-line retailers.  And two, they don’t exactly bend over backwards in the customer service department.  Kelly was kind enough to purchase a spoon for me, but in so doing, felt as if he was in line for soup in the famous Seinfeld “soup-nazi” episode.  Seeing a boatload of varieties of spoons on display, he asked to purchase one and made the mistake of asking, if this was, in fact, a sutton spoon.  The reply was borderline indignant, and Kelly took his purchase and quickly exited the store…

That's it - no more spoons for you!!!

There are a wide range of spoon types and sizes for a variety of trolling, casting, and jigging applications, most of them referred to by a number…

And you thought spoons were simple...

The old-timers who trolled the finger lakes for trout used a copper line on a large hand-held spool the size of a pie plate and referred to the technique as “pulling copper”.  The spoon would be run off the copper line with a leader and the idea was to troll slowly, letting the lure flutter off the bottom like a wounded sawbelly (alewife).  Modern down-rigger trolling systems and rod  set-ups have all but replaced “pulling copper”, but some fishermen apparently still use it, as seen in this video on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-4q8Pqi53I).

Lest the readership think I’ve totally reverted back to my bygone years of spinfishery, I hereby publish an idea that could bring the sutton spoon to the fly fishing masses, and catapult The Sutton Company into higher realms of global corporate domination. It seems that some redneck fly fishermen down Louisiana way have been fishing the shallow saltwater estuaries and backwaters with a whole different fly.  The fly (pronounced flaah), often called a spoon fly or wobbler, is a concoction of mylar and epoxy, but at least some variations have a feather tail for balance.

Looosiana flaah - dagummit....

Imagine a different version of this fly, designed for deep trolling, Maine-style, off a full sink line.  Such a fly would more than likely need to be weighted but also have a light enough body to flutter sufficiently much like the sutton spoon at the end of copper wire.  This one would need to be metallic in color – copper, silver, or gold – and very much unlike the southern versions that incorporate all types of shrimp and tidal baitfish colors – hues of pink, purple, and chartreuse.

The colors and finishes of the sutton spoon fly...

And as for names?  How about “canandaigua spoon candy”, “keuka killer”, or “finger lake fly spoon”?  Is anyone at The Sutton Company listening?  Any fly tyers looking for a challenge???

Tight lines…