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 email@example.com 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.
The seasonable cool weather seems to have fired up the start of some pretty good brown trout action in the Oak. Mostly bigger males hooked up so far. I’ve seen pics of some good fish. Good steelhead numbers are a pleasant fall surprise so far and just about any given day there are reports of a few Atlantics caught. Kings are present in prob med numbers throughout, less then a few zombies so far. Most Kings still seem intent on boogying upstream instead of setting up on gravel so the heavier King numbers (and people) are at or nearer the dam. Downstream numbers of salmon don’t really show any massing or staging fish in the lower river now for this end part of Oct. Fish are no doubt still passing thru there and the rivermouth, but moving thru there quickly in small pods on their way upstream. The cool weather and falling water temps and any NW winds on the lake should push upstream the last of the Kings. Fly guys, pin guys and spin guys able to make legit lighter line drifts or swings are all hooking up on the med and mostly clear Oak flows . I’d guess we are only just approaching half way on the upstream Oak King “run.” Lots or good salmon fishing and then trout fishing prob ahead if reasonable weather and water flows prevail. The other area smaller tribs have low and clear flows and scattered numbers of upstream fish. Estuary action is reported pretty good. Cool if not colder weather is forecast for the weekend and chance of passing showers. No serious LESnow expected here on the WNY Lake O Plain, should be SW and SE of the area.
No serious precip or LESnow lately here on the WNY Lake Ontario plain. There’s been some colder temps and winds tho prob favoring moving more trout and salmon out of the Lake and into the tribs. The fishing picking up some prob reflects that. Best bet for flows and fish has been the Oak and so there’s a lot of fishing pressure there. Thru yesterday and today guys reported good brown trout action around the Archer’s Club and some downstream. Upstream at the dam and near the dam there are good numbers of salmon and reportidly some steelhead. In the last of the slow frog water drifters are still into some King action. Looks like that bite may last for a while as fish slowly pass thru or stage there briefly. Not too many reports from the Oak lower river or rivermouth with what looks like reduced fishing pressure there. The other area smaller tribs have low flows and scattered numbers of fish upstream and massing fish in the estuary waters. Forecast is for warmer temps Fri and then cooling down again for the weekend with chance of rain or showers.
The nice cool weather continues after some strong winds yesterday and forecast again later today. I don’t doubt these westerly strong winds are pushing salmon and browns into the Oak out of the Lake. There was a little bit of rain yesterday and there are more showers in the forecast tomorrow. Any chance at LESnow should be southwest or southeast of the area. Fishing pressure has been pretty sporty on the Oak with the most consistent water flow at med or just greater and clear. For this mid week period so far it may ease up some. Prob still more guys out that are targeting salmon, although more trout anglers are in the mix now too. There’s likely to be plenty o Kings around for a while yet. Guys report good numbers of fish massed in the last of the slow water areas and there are likely salmon still passing thru the lower river. Don’t look for many fish to linger downstream and it looks like most of the angling pressure there is easing up. In the Oak the Kings are spreading out now on different days. Most all the salmon are still in real good shape. No real zombie presence yet. Steelhead numbers are good to excellent, a real nice fall bonus so far. Browns are showing up more and more and most of the browns hooked up so far are some bigger males. Some have been in the teens. A few cohos and Atlantics are in the mix too. The other area smaller tribs have those low to mod flows but determined salmon are still making their way upstream for scattered numbers of fish. In the Oak expect daily water level fluctuations esp on windy days thanks to hydropower operations. Archer’s Club catch and release fly fishing contest scheduled for the end part of this week.
Cool weather is hanging in and there was more rain showers thru Fri night/Sat morning. Forecast is for continued seasonably cool or colder for the weekend and upcoming week. With the change over from previous unseasonably warm thru last week reports were not surprisingly that fish were on the move. Many of those fish are still on a kamikazee mission to get to the dam. The numbers of salmon are pretty good there and immediately downstream. Fishing pressure has picked up some for the weekend after being not that bad the previous week. Flows in the Oak are about med and mostly clear. On most days now for the fall time expect daily temporary water level fluctuations thanks to hydropower operations. The other area smaller tribs have mod flows barely maintained lately from recent precip. Despite lowish flows guys report fish on the move in the smaller tribs. With anymore more rain and plants in winter mode look for more run off. At the dam hookups are reported good on Kings and steelhead. Same for just downstream. Further down mid reaches was reported pretty good end of the past week and slower so far for the begin part of the weekend. Some good browns were hooked up. Last of the fast water/frog water drift guys report good action on and off for Kings and some cohos. Lower river staging spots like at the Bridges look like less guys are fishing with prob less fish seen boiling around there. Rivermouth guys just lately have been chased some thanks to strong winds. Likely still fish moving thru there and anglers should be back out there for the end of the weekend. Any movements of salmon now that we are approaching mid Oct will prob be quicker to upstream reaches with little staging and those fish like at the dam and not creeled may look to slide back downstream to gravel spots.
Shop lodge open Oct 21, – two rooms. Oct 22, 23 – one room. Oct 24 – two rooms. Oct 30, 31, Nov 1 – one room (hard to go wrong with end of Oct/begin of Nov timeframe)! Nov 12, 13 – one room. Nov 15 – one room (begin/mid Nov should be good for brown trout action)! Nov 19 forward mostly open (second season on the Oak, less crowds, good trout action)!
New lodge open Oct 19, 20. Oct 24 – open. Oct 30, 31, Nov 1 – open (excellent dates for mixed bag action)! Nov 6 – open. Nov 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 – open.
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!