There’s lots of good fishing for salmon, steelhead and brown trout ahead! Stay at the shop Licorice Lodge in the heart of the OOrchard fishing action! OR new lodging available at our well appointed private ground floor Garage Lodge located just 5 miles east on Route 18, convienent to Sandy Creek. Call ASAP for reservations!
The Oak Orchard Pen Rearing Association received approx 15,000 steelhead placed in net pens in the OOrchard Apr 2017. Approx 106,000 King salmon where placed in the net pens for hopeful imprinting on the OOrchard. These numbers represent just some of the total number of salmonids stocked here in Orleans County annually. Many thanks to local stakeholders for their efforts of securing, feeding and monitoring the fish. More tributary anglers are invited to help with feeding the fish and cleaning the pens. Contact us for how and where to help out in 2017. Be sure you contact NYSDEC with comments on the cormorant situation and the impacts on the young stocked salmonids.
The Sportsmen Archer’s Club Fly Fishing Only Catch and Release Contest will be held Oct 18, 19, 20 – 2017. Everyone always enjoys the great hospitality and comradorie of the Archer’s Club and will experience some good fishing. Their cooperation with out of the area fishermen is truly above board and greatly appreciated by all. Please contact us or see the Club for registration. This quote from the Archers Club – Fall fishing, parking and breakfast/lunch will start the first week of Oct and run thru Veterans Day. After that fishermen can park at the top of the hill and walk down.” All non club members are reminded to act as courteous and responsible guests on the private bankside lands of the Archer’s Club so that we may all enjoy the fishing access there now and in the future.
We encourage all users to follow the site rules for access and fishing on the Brookfield Power Company lands. We cannot speak for the power company or interpret their site rules. We have a map posted outside the shop door highlighting the PFD zone just downstream of the dam and on the overflow channel on the OOrchard. We can also forward you a copy of the Brookfield Power Company brochure highlighting that area if you provide us your email. For specific questions about the Waterport dam site rules you can email Inquiries@Brookfieldrenewable.com. We continue to lobby for better water access on the far side or west side of the Waterport dam hydro pool and we encourage you to do the same with Brookfield, NYSDEC and/or Orleans County Tourism.
Orleans Outdoor has changed it’s name to Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge. Check out our new sign and logo in current fish pics below. Watch for other changes soon like our new website. If you’re reading this you should be at our new fishing conditions page. We hope to go live with more upgrades this winter/spring! We look forward to another nearly 20 years as WNY’s longest running speciality trout and salmon tributary fly, spin and float shop!
Its all about water flows… Water flows are the single biggest factor in encouraging upstream movements of fish during the fall, winter and spring trib seasons. Here’s our OOrchard flows rating which we generally use to describe other area smaller trib flows too. We are generally most confident in our OOrchard interpretations, less so in the other area smaller tribs. Remember use caution in interpreting upstream OOrchard USGS gauging stations that can mean little or nothing for flows downstream of the Waterport hydro considering both turbine channel and overflow levels.
Real low, low, mod, mod – med, med, slightly high, slightly high – high, high, real high, blown. Intrepid anglers are capable of catching fish on the OOrchard in all of these flows , save for maybe blown AND dirty. Remember the turbine channel can only get so high, which is still actually fishable, unless its high AND dirty.
For the end of the cold water trib season for end of Apr and some part of May we have discounts up to 15% OFF for fly, spin, float rods or reels or waders or jackets or clothing. Some select rod and reel combos and other tackle have discounts up to 25% OFF. Give us a call or email us for availability to get in on some CLOSEOUT quality tackle. We will be soon on reduced operating shop hours for May and the warmer weather.
Nice spring weather is hanging in with warmer temps thru the begin part of this week. Chance of showers tonight and rain or showers tomorrow. Flows in the Oak are hanging in at high with lots of upstream supply. Look for flows to stay up or possibly go higher with overflow water on any significant precip. Water color is slowly clearing for now with about 1 foot + of viz. For the last of the consistent steelhead action the conditions are what they are in the Oak. If and when by the time flows will be significantly lower and clearer look for warmer temps and post spawn or drop backs moving downstream and not so many fresh fish moving upstream. Water temps with the near forecast will be moving thru the 50’s F. For now fishing pressure remains real lite with just a handful of guys on the waterway and not a lot of reports back so far this week. Thru the past weekend guys who got a drift or swing down and slow had some hook ups. Even a couple of hook ups of hard fighting fish in warmer water temps is worth the effort. The other area smaller tribs for now have med flows and just slightly stained water color. Look for scattered steelhead and drop backs and the chance for some lake run browns or rainbows. Any future significant precip could raise flows up in those smaller waterways too.
Spring may be here! The forecast looks like we’ve broken out to milder temps and warming thru the weekend and next week to 50 – 60 F. No precip forecast until maybe mid next week and for now all the tribs are on the retreat from last week’s precip. On the backside of these most recent higher flows now and prob over the next 2 weeks or so will be the last best chances at spring time Oak Orchard steelhead glory. Look for quickly warming water temps and the last fresh fish migrations and spawning activity. Guys are back out on the Oak today finding high flows with about one foot of viz or less. Flows consist of diminished overflow water and lots of turbine water. Fish may still be anywhere in the river thanks to the high and previous cold flows, but look for greater concentrations of fish somewhat downstream away from the dam, esp in the days ahead. Warming temps mean aggressive fish, some spirited jacks and maybe some smallmouth. Fish a little higher in the water column to avoid the rubber lip suckers! Near shore big Lake O land lubber casting and small boat trolling is back on track depending upon daily winds and waves and there should be some hungry, willing biting browns. The other area smaller tribs have med to slightly high flows and stained water color. Over the all the fishing pressure for Apr has been lite and chances are even ahead that there will be no great crowds as anglers might be chasing inland trout. I for one will take all the last of the big trout chances I can get before things warm up…
Flows in the Oak are high, blown and dirty with less then a foot of viz consisting of lots of turbine and some overflow water. Flows are probably about cresting today and look for overflow levels to prob diminish thru the end of this week. The forecast ahead looks dry and slowly warming to normal spring kind of temps. Flows in the other area smallest tribs are slightly high and stained with a good fishable condition window now and thru the end of the week. The other area smaller tribs like east and west of the Oak are high and dirty and with flows continuing to retreat should offer up a reasonable fishable condition by about this weekend. Just prior to this latest high water there were reports of hook ups in the Oak and smaller tribs.
Thanks to sleet/ice melt off and significant rain thru yesterday, all the trib flows are blown high and dirty. Flows in the Oak consist of lots of turbine and overflow water. Thanks to trib run off and strong winds thru today the near shore big Lake O waters are dirty. Forecast is for cold temps today and slightly warmer temps in the 40’s for the rest of the week with chance of precip Thu. On the backside of these most recent higher flows there should still be some steelhead action since there’s been no great warm up just yet. There is the chance for some Apr fresh fish migrations, esp some spirited jack steelhead or even Lake run browns.
Even for a weekend the fishing pressure remains lite on the Oak. So far today, Sat, the med flow conditions are about perfect by steelhead standards – if not going a little clear now. The weather looks a little challenging, with a forecasted ice storm . For now the forecast is for accumulating ice or sleet with temps below freezing thru Sun morning and windy. On the tail end of the forecasted ice, there is the chance for significant rain on warming temps thru Mon. Any significant precip will quickly raise flows up high and dirty. Any power interruptions could cause Waterport hydro shut downs with resultant possible overflow water. Right here on the WNY big Lake O immediate lakeshore, sleet could be a good thing to minimize any ice accumulations. Ice accumulations may be worse just south of the area. Strong E or NE winds will have the big Lake O near shore waters blown up and dirty with small boat trollers and casters on hold for now. The small bright spot in the cold spring conditions is that there has been no big spike in water temps yet so fish are still hanging in the mid sized tribs like the Oak and some “typical” spring action like in the Niagara or lakeshore hasn’t even happened yet!
We’ve dodged any major precip just recently with flows in the Oak dropping back to ideal med and slightly stained at about 2 feet of viz. Still nice cover for happy steelhead and now their lies are a little more defined and narrowed. Fishing pressure remains real lite with just a handful of vehicles in each access spot. Despite an earlier supposed warming forecast there’s still no great quick warm up or spike yet in water temps. Look for water temps in the 40’s F. The forecast now is for around 50 F today with only showers and chance for cooler and wetter weekend weather. A cold front boundary should be somewhere right here splitting WNY. Any more significant precip could quickly raise flows up and more off color. The few guys out are quietly still into fair steelhead action for a mix of spawning, drop back and new fish in the Oak. The other area smaller tribs are reported to have scattered numbers of fish in mod – med and just slightly stained flows.
Remember you still have to get out and fish… Come experience great fishing as it takes place instead of solely relying and waiting on internet reports. Anglers who find the best fishing often anticipate when the right conditions will come together. Internet bragging seems a lot less prevelant then it was a few years ago, and our reports tend to be even keeled – not reporting fish numbers great enough that they would be jumping in your waders – even if they were! Good water flows will be the biggest factor for trout and salmon migrations in the Oak Orchard River and in the area smaller tribs and pushing them upstream. Weather and the calendar is the biggest factor for angling pressure and bringing more fishermen out or keeping them indoors. There are always some exceptional fish caught in the trib season, just check out the pics below and in the archives. Come on out and get in on some trophy action this fall, winter and spring and add to the photo collection!
What does the Oak Orchard River, the Lakeshore and other WNY tribs offer? The chance to fish from your own two feet for trout and salmon you measure in pounds, not inches, for 7 – 9 months depending upon weather and water conditions. A trip to the Oak Orchard River and WNY to fish for World Class trout and salmon is still easily the best bargain in trophy fishing. The working man’s big trout and salmon trip is still here, and it’s not even a contest compared to the other exotic, far off angling destinations. We believe our web reports are the straightest poop by far about Oak Orchard and most WNY conditions. We are living and experiencing all the fishing action directly or thru trusted reports of other die hard anglers as it happens. So how do you know if trophy trout and salmon will be catchable upon your travels to the Oak Orchard and WNY area? All the best web info, bulletin boards, angler skill and top notch equipment cannot replace getting out there and actually fishing! The nuances of fish migrations is an inexact science and we cannot predict the future. Fish as soon as reasonable conditions allow instead of waiting for supposed better conditions that may or may not materialize. Be one of the lucky few that experiences good fishing as it takes place instead of hearing that famous quote, “you should have been here yesterday!”
Tight lines and smooth drags!
Latest Catch Photos
High and stained flows gives up some fresh Oak Orchard chrome for the Licorice Man. Fresh steelhead chances for late winter, early spring usually means high and stained and cold water challenging drifts. Waiting for supposed “better” conditions could mean missing out and finding even worse water conditions later on. Late Feb 2018.
Even lucky, old and not pretty casters like the Licorice Man can get in on the early hard striking and fighting fresh King action at the Oak Orchard rivermouth! IMO one nice silver fish is worth a whole bunch old upstream darkies. Early Sep 2017.
Erica finds it hard to hold up nearly 20 lbs of fresh King caught at the Oak Orchard rivermouth! Early silver fish like this are a good sign for the upcoming trib action. No trolling gear required, you can get in on this action casting or drifting! Early Sep 2017.
Steelhead glory to the swung fly in the OOrchard for end Jan 2016/begin Feb 2017. Will you be there when a chromer moves upstream? Don’t wait for Apr and ask if the steelhead are in yet!
Good steelhead action for fresh fish up and down the OOrchard River on retreating and clearing flows for begin of Mar 2017. Savvy trib anglers anticipate good hook-up chances on the backside of high flows when reasonable weather and water conditions coincide!
A nice steelhead after changeable winter weather and a rise in OOrchard flows mid – late Feb 2017. Stained water color means prime chances for good fly drifts and willing biters!