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 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.

Fishing Updates

Thu Feb 22...

Flows are slowly back on the retreat for now.  Nights are cool – cold so the dirty runoff is tightened up some.  Flows in the Oak are somewhere between high and blown.  There is still some overflow water, but that is diminishing and should be down to sluice gate flows in a day or so without anymore significant precip.  Look for turbine flows to continue to crank at presumed full bore for a bit.  Water color has started to mend so instead of real muddy its just muddy.  Appox half foot of viz.  Remember turbine flows can only max out so high and its the overflow water that makes for higher combined flows downstream.  There are a few guys at the dam today with unknown success.  Look for some fish to have likely migrated up the overflow channel and the flow there now is fishable.  Other area smallest tribs are in nice shape at slightly high and slightly stained flows with a couple guys keen enough to seek those spate tribs out for fresh fish chances right now.  The other area smaller tribs (or mid sized) have high and dirty flows with one foot or less of viz.  Forecast is for seasonable temps today and then little warmer thru the weekend with chance of showers tomorrow and better chance of measurable rain again for the weekend.  No impacts here on the big Lake O WNY Lakeplain from the wintery mix storm – it’s all south of here!

Tue Feb 20...

Flows go up, flows go down, flows go back up…  Thanks to rain yesterday and today with unseasonable warm temps all the trib flows are high and dirty and headed shortly prob to blown and dirty.  Thanks to last weeks ending with couple days of cold temps, flows had actually retreated quicker then anticipated and offered a decent fishable window thru the past weekend on falling and clearing flows.  There was some on and off steelhead action and guys had hook-ups on the smaller tribs too.  For now the forecast is for warm temps thru the mid week and another chance for precip Wed.  After this week all the trib courses’ ice should be moved out and prob the ice cover on Lake Alice aka Waterport Pond too.  Look for rising trib water temps now at least in the short term and if any seasonal cool weather doesn’t return.  Rite now flows in the Oak are nearly blown and stained with prob foot or so of viz.  There’s lots of turbine and overflow water and overflow levels may increase and water color will get dirtier.  There are still guys on the waterway today with unknown success.  The other area smaller tribs are blown and dirty.  Look for those smaller waterways to be on the mend toward some state of reasonable fishable by the end of the week.  Dirty and high water color is likely to hang in for a bit on the Oak with no great cool down in sight and lots of upstream supply.  Some steelhead should be well distributed on the backside of some of the highest flows we’ve had in a while.

weekend Sat Feb 17...

Some changeable conditions for sure…  But there should be good opportunity for late winter and spring steelhead action ahead.  After a couple of days of the past week warm up, now its cooled back down some so all the trib flows are prob holding about steady, stalled from going full bore blown out.  Flows in the Oak are high and dirty, about a foot or so of viz.  Flows consist of what looks like full bore turbine water.  Overflow levels came up briefly, but have since retreated for now.  Lots of upstream supply, so don’t look for any big reduction in flows anytime soon.  The other area smaller tribs likewise have high and dirty flows with ice jamming in spots.  For the most part those waterways are opening up and clearing out of the winter time debris.  Most of the snow has melted ,but there’s still snow in piles and in the woods – which means more future runoff.  The forecast next week is unseasonable warm with chance of precip, so all the flows are likely to be headed back higher and dirtier to possibly blown right out.  For now guys are on the Oak, most consistent action is at the dam prob because under high water that spot offers best chances at good drifts.  Farther downstream with less overflow water for now, guys may be able to get some fair drifts or swings.  Any presentation – fly, spin or float will have to be fairly slow and down deep since water temps are still in the low 30’s.  Fresh steelhead are hopefully on the march right now and some hook-ups by guys previously on the cusp of the rising flows seem to indicate as much.

Thu Feb 15...

Thanks to warm temps yesterday and today with snow melt, all the trib flows are on the rise.  Forecast is for above freezing temps thru tonight and some of tomorrow with the chance for rain or showers tonite.  Weekend is forecast seasonal around 30 F and then another warm up next week.  For now flows in the Oak are slightly high with still mostly clear water color of 3 feet of viz.  Flows consist of just turbine water.  Flows are likely to stay up and get dirtier or go higher by turbine flows and/or overflow – esp by next week if the forecast is realized.  Guys are on the Oak today with good fishable conditions with reports of hook-ups on the cusp of the rising flows.  A prolonged good head of  high water could make for some fresh steelhead migrations, the calender is about ideal.  The other area smaller tribs are high and dirty and likely headed to blown and dirty – if not soon, then by next week if the forecast is realized.  Most of the winter ice and debris should be moving out, there could be some ice jams and backed up flows in spots.

Tue Feb 13...

Flows in the Oak are hanging in at mod and clear thru the begin part of this week.  Flows could go a little lower thanks to a couple of cold days, but then warm temps in the 40’s or near 50 F are forecast for the mid part of the week.  Chance of rain showers too.  We’ll have to wait and see if the warm-up is enough to get any runoff rolling and resultant rise in flows.  For now the other area smaller tribs are low and clear and mostly iced in.  The forecasted warmup thru the mid week may not be enough to completely open up those smaller waterways.  Fishing pressure has been lite on the Oak, a handful of guys at the dam and usually a car or two downstream.  Hook-ups are on a few holding steelhead and smaller browns.  With any luck soon we can hope for a good rise or push of water in the Oak that could bring in some fresh steelhead.

weekend sat Feb 10...

Pretty lite fishing pressure thru the end of the past week on the Oak.  Something like a handful of guys at the dam and maybe one or two cars downstream.  Flows still on a slow drop and clear.  Downstream froggy water is closing in some for now with downstream and bank ice.  Flows are about mod with 3 – 4 feet of mostly clear viz.  There snow again Fri nite thru Sat morning and more is forecast Sat nite possibly going over to freezing rain Sun.  By Sun we may have something like a foot of snow.  Temps around 30 – 32 F for the weekend and then chance of warm-up mid part next week, which could mean some melting.  Smaller tribs have low and clear flows with some slush from the snow.  Most spots are iced over, but there could be some open water here and there.  Hook-ups that we know of are on a few steelhead and some smaller holdover browns.  Looking forward to the next break in the weather with the chance for melt off and higher flows that could draw in some fresh steelhead.

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!
Licorice Man

Latest Catch Photos

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!