There’s lots of good fishing for salmon, steelhead and brown trout ahead! Stay at the shop lodge (Licorice Lodge) close to the Oak Orchard River fishing action! Or for the fall stay at our new well appointed private ground floor lodge (Garage Lodge) located just 6 miles east on Route 18. The new lodge is convenient to eastern tribs like Sandy Creek. Call 585 682 4546 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a reservation ASAP!
The Oak Orchard Pen Rearing Association receives steelhead and salmon from the NYSDEC placed in net pens in the Oak lower watercourse each spring. Approx 100,000+ King salmon and 10,000 – 15,000 steelhead are placed in the net pens for hopeful imprinting on the OOrchard. These numbers represent just some of the total number of salmonids (brown trout too!) stocked in Orleans County waters 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 each spring. Be sure you contact NYSDEC with comments on the predation from over-abundant cormorants and the impacts on the young stocked salmonids. The NYSDEC Region 8 office in Avon, NY would in-fact love to hear from more anglers showing concern for trib issues. Its ok and encouraged for out of the area anglers to verify their economic impact for the upstate NY tourism economies!
The Sportsmen Archer’s Club Fly Fishing Only Catch and Release Contest will be held Oct 17, 18, 19 – 2018. Everyone always enjoys the great hospitality and convenience of the Archer’s Club and will experience some good fishing. The Club’s 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. Parking on club property and breakfast/lunch for fall fishing usually starts the first week of Oct and runs thru Veterans Day. After that (winter and spring), fishermen can park at the top of the hill outside the gate 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 anglers and 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 an aerial map highlighting the PFD zone just downstream of the dam and on the overflow channel on the Oak. A PFD is not required to fish all of the Oak, only on the Brookfield Power Company areas below the dam (about 600 feet) where wading is permitted. We can also forward you a copy of the Brookfield Power Company brochure highlighting that area via email. For specific questions about the Waterport dam site rules you can email Inquiries@Brookfieldrenewable.com. We continue to lobby for water access on the far side or west side of the Waterport dam hydro pool and the rest of the Oak. We encourage you to do the same with Brookfield, NYSDEC and/or Orleans County Tourism.
We changed the name from Orleans Outdoor to Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge going on 3 years ago! We have a new logo that cleverly looks a lot like the old one! Watch for other changes soon like more content to this website. If you’re reading this you should be at the right spot on our new fishing conditions page. There’s probably still some old Orleans Outdoor content out there on the web and Goggle. We hope to go live with more fishoakorchard.com info soon! We look forward to another 20 years as WNY’s longest running trout and salmon speciality fly, spin and float trib 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. The Oak benefits from 24/7 spring, summer and fall supplemental flows from the Erie Canal. In our fishing conditions tabs below we use a simple system to describe the water flows on the Oak and oftentimes other area smaller trib flows too. We are generally most confident in our Oak interpretations, less so in the other area smaller tribs. Remember use caution in interpreting the upstream USGS gauging stations on the Oak that can mean little or nothing for flows downstream of the Waterport hydro – especially in considering both the turbine channel and overflow channel.
Real low, low, mod, mod to med, med, slightly high, slightly high to high, high, real high, blown. Intrepid anglers are capable of catching fish on the Oak in all of these flows, except for maybe blown AND dirty. Remember the turbine channel can only get so high due to how much flow can pass thru the hydro plant. That flow is still actually fishable – unless its high AND dirty. Blown flows typically come from the overflow channel.
Today still real nice by Jan standards med flows with viz of about 2 feet or more in the Oak. Not sure why and how the good flows are hanging in given the latest cold weather? More then likely they were lower mid week and have rebounded some end of week. Guess would be a retreat toward mod flows thru the weekend. Still no significant icing even on downstream frog water spots. Same generally lite fishing pressure of a few cars at each parking spot. The other area smaller tribs have low to mod and clear flows under mostly frozen conditions. Not a bad weather day today, 30 F – ish and light snow showers of maybe an inch or two so far. Later Sat and thru some part of Sun should bring the winter storm and forecast of a foot or so of snow with cold and wind and enhanced LES on the backside thru Mon. Points south and east are forecast to have greater impacts from the storm. If its going to be cold it may as well snow since that means good flows at some point later winter or spring for fresh steelhead migrations when it melts.
Still good flows at about med and slightly stained water color of about 2 ft of viz on the Oak. Not a lot of fishing pressure and the few guys on the water have reported some good fresh steelhead. Look for flows to continue to be on the drop toward mod and clear thanks to forecast cold weather hanging in. Chance of snow end of week and again from a forecast storm thru the weekend. No major icing yet on the Oak although soon we will likely at least see the downstream slow water begin to close in. The other area smaller tribs have something like mod flows likewise dropping toward low and clear where there will be some significant icing with the forecast and any snow. Next update on or about Fri Jan 18.
Some colder temps have settled in and not a lot of guys out on the Oak. Forecast is clear and cold pretty much thru begin part of next week. No impacts expected here from the weekend winter storm that’s south of here. Look for flows in the Oak to be on the drop and clear at about med with slightly stained water color of 2 ft of viz. Some of the downstream slower water should begin to ice in but with the good flows there should be little to no upstream fast water icing except for a little bank ice. Hook ups that we’ve heard of are on steelhead, some browns and still those late bonus Kings and Atlantics. The other area smaller tribs have mod to med flows and stained water color of about 1 – 2 ft of viz. Look for icing conditions there thanks to the cold temps and dropping flows.
Flows in the Oak are still slightly high and a little stained thanks to previous warm temps and a little rain. Worth repeating again that by Jan standards the flows are great and could draw in some fresh steelhead anytime. Viz is about 1 – 2 ft. Flows should hang in give or take in the short term say at least thru the weekend and going not much lower then med. Fishing pressure is real light and no serious icing conditions yet even on the downstream froggy water. Forecast thru the weekend is seasonable and looking clear thru begin part of next week. Latest snow accumulation was a little bit of LES of about 2 – 3 inches. The other area smaller tribs have med flows and dirty water color. Cold weather should be dropping and clearing the smaller waterways and some icing conditions will prob come on even as the fishable water conditions may improve.
Flows are back up a bit in the Oak to slightly high. Looks like the power company cranked up turbine flow instead of allowing a little bit of overflow water. Water color looks about as stained as it will get in the near term anyway at about 1 plus ft of viz. The flows are pretty outstanding by Jan standards and has the potential to draw in fresh steelhead anytime. The other area smaller tribs have med flows and dirty water color. Flows in the Oak might be expected to hang in at least around med and stained while the other area smaller tribs will likely drop and clear more toward just stained conditions. Fishing pressure seems some of the lightest yet of the season, typical of post holiday time I guess. On the Oak action is shifting toward more steelhead hookups, with occasional browns or wildcard salmon thrown in. Smaller tribs both east and west still fishing pretty good thanks to the good flows and no serious icing conditions yet. To the east browns predominate and to the west its a few more steelhead. Forecast is generally clear thru the weekend with agreeable temps by Jan standards and then chance for rain or showers begin of next week. Next update on or around Jan 10.
Shop lodge open all winter and spring for brown trout and steelhead action! Call 585 682 4546 for a reservation.
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
Mid week at dawn 1 for 2 with this nice fresh hen landed at the Oak rivermouth. No consistent cool down or big freshets yet so the action has been on and off. Some persistent casting in the low light or at night periods should provide chances for hard strikes and good fights. Look for better rivermouth and lower river action each day on cool or wet weather. Oak Orchard rivermouth King, second week Sep 2018.
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!