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.
All the trib flows continue on a slow drop and clear. Flows in the Oak are about one notch less then med or between mod and med and mostly clear. Still pretty good flows by post Erie Canal feed and Dec standards really. Enough flows where fish can be in dif spots, although the clearer water color will make hook ups a little tougher. The other area smaller tribs have mod flows and mostly clear water color. No serious icing that we’ve heard of on any of the waterways. No major precip in the near forecast although temps are forecast warmer in the 40’s F thru the upcoming weekend. The little bit of snow we have and resultant melt off should maintain flows or bump them up only slightly. Fishing pressure esp on the Oak looks like its settling into the typical winter time mode with just a few cars in the parking areas so far this mid week period. Warmer temps and nice days and post deer season may bring a few more guys back out. Hook ups include browns and steelhead and some good looking cohos and still a few greenish Kings.
Some med cold weather hanging in (highs in the 30’s F) so the trib flows have been retreating. No serious icing – all the drifts are open although there may be some bank ice in slow water spots or early morning drifts could have some slush in the smaller waterways. Flows in the Oak are down some to about med with 3 ft of viz. The other area smaller tribs have mod to med flows with just slightly stained water color. Thru the end of the past week the action was reported pretty good – browns and steelhead and a few Kings and a few Atlantics all reported. So far thru the begin part of the weekend the hook ups are reported somewhat tougher. Of course with dropping and clearing and cold flows that kinda makes sense. By whats really more like winter time standards the action is still good and there are some guys getting multiple hook ups after putting in a day or so effort. Quality good browns and nice steelhead sometimes reported higher in the Oak watercourse nearer the dam and sometimes the action reported good in the downstream froggy water drifts. Generally clear weather forecast thru the weekend and into next week with the chance at a slight warm up in the long range forecast.
Some LES here with the snow band forecast to shift back south to the typical locations later thru today. Accumulations expected here of a few inches, greater amounts south and southwest of here. Chilly but not exceptional cold hanging in thru the weekend, highs in the 30’s F and colder at night. These temps and snow and gloom working to keep trib water temps in the 30’s F. Flows in the Oak are approx med to slightly high and slightly stained with 2+ ft of viz. The other area smaller tribs have med flows and slightly stained water color. Now on the backside of the higher flows of last weekend and earlier this week is actually a real nice Dec window before anything may ice back up. Long range forecast shows the chance at moderating temps thru next week and that could keep a nice push of water thru all the waterways. There’s med fishing pressure, still way less then a month ago and maybe just a little more then you might usually expect for Dec. Dif anglers report dif fishing success. Some days are a few more steelhead, some days a few more browns. Some new semi green Kings are still in the mix and we’ve heard of “jack” browns and some smaller Atlantics too. Whatever drifts or swings you’re doing the lighter, longer, slower presentations will prob be more successful with best chances with dead drifting.
Thanks to the past weekend rain all the trib flows did come up and go off color. True to this season’s MO so far flows stopped just short of blowing out or going completely unfishable – . Flows in the Oak are back to slightly high and slightly stained with about 2 ft of viz. Flows consist of a good head of turbine water. There are still almost daily water level fluctuations thanks to hydropower operations. With leaf fall mostly complete those water level fluctuations should become less frequent. The other area smaller tribs prob crested thru yesterday and with a good cold night last night should be on the retreat and clearing at something like med flows and stained water color thru this mid week period. Should be a good window to get back on those smaller waterways now and before any serious icing conditions may set back in. Look for a mix of mostly post spawn browns and a few steelhead. On the Oak the pressure perked back up thru the past weekend and begin part of this week prob because some guys were chased off the other waterways. Hook ups now require a little more time and careful swings or drifts then say a month ago but most guys are still having fair to good action on browns and steelhead. With the good nice flows prevailing there’s always the chance for fresh fish – late arriving browns or staging steelhead. Forecast for the mid week period is highs in the 30’s F and no serious LES expected here on the WNY big Lake O Plain. Better chance of LES south of here and then later this week.
Flows in the Oak perhaps down just a notch to something closer to med then slightly high. Little stain to the water at 2 + ft of viz. The other area smaller tribs have something like med flows. Tribs to the west look a little more stained then tribs to the east. Weather conditions for this begin part of the weekend not bad with warming temps into the 40’s F and closer to 50 F on Sunday. Forecast is for rain tonight and windy Sunday. With any significant precip look for all the flows to be on the rise and going off color. Fishing pressure about med on the Oak and then some guys spread well out on the other tribs. Not a lot of reports lately from the smaller waterways but thru the end of the past week most guys were getting a few hook ups each day after covering some different water. On the Oak its been on and off action and prob over-the-all a little slower. Hook ups are still on a mix of browns and steelhead and just lately even a few fresher salmon. Any warming up a degree or more of water temps and a rise in flows could perk up the action or draw some fresh steelhead upstream.
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!