Ron Bierstine reports: Oak Orchard turbine flows are so far hanging in at slightly better fishable levels compared to other smaller waterways. Water color has been mostly clear with 3+ feet of visibility, but now turning back a little more stained. The rain and cool temps earlier this week perked flows up only slightly. Now seasonal Erie Canal water feed will be commencing with the Canal being filled for the summer season, so flows may increase slightly and go a little off color. There has been an unseasonable warm-up thru weekend. A slight blip back to cooler temps today and the area received some thunderstorms last night. Some smallmouth bass have begun their spawning migration. Anglers can target these feisty fighters now before the season opener on a catch and release basis. Anglers can still get in on some late season action with a few steelhead hookups too. Anglers might intercept some drop back fish or be lucky enough to come across a few fresh steelhead. River mouth and shoreline casting action is underway with spoon casters taking advantage of slowly warming in-shore waters. The action is mostly for hungry brown trout with a few cohos or steelhead in the mix. Persistent east or north winds can make for slower action.
The last of the steelhead action in the Oak Orchard should continue on any mod – med or greater flows coupled with cool weather thru April. This weekend’s hot weather may just about cap off the last decent steelhead action in the Oak Orchard and smaller tributaries. Any remaining fish seem to be in the middle reaches of the river near fast water gravel areas or dropping back into temporary holding lies in the downstream, slower, slack water. Look for mod turbine flows thru the weekend. Any more precipitation could bring flows higher and dirtier. Water temps have been around the low 50’s F and will begin to climb with warmer weather. Earlier higher water temps put plenty of fish on gravel with spawning already complete for most fish. Suckers are fairly numerous and smaller, fresh jack steelhead are also being caught.
If you would like to book a guided fishing trip, or if you would like to contact Ron, you can reach him at., www.orleansoutdoor.com