Pre-freeze-up Steelhead in Upper NY.

Posted on December 16th, 2009

I had planned to take advantage of the above-zero air temperatures yesterday to either fish the Bay of Quinte for trolling, trophy walleye, or to fish the Upper NY tributaries.  As it turned out, the person I was suppose to take walleye fishing could not make it, so I chose to head to Upper NY to fish migratory steelhead and browns with my friends John Waind and Bob McGewon.  John &  Bob were equipped with their fly rods and I chose to use my 13′ Rapala Magnum drift-rod with my Young & Sons Center Pin reel.  Our first stop was a tributary about 15 min. from Rochester, NY, but it was mostly frozen-over and whatever water was open was very stained and had lot’s of debris flowing down so we decided to check out the Oak Orchard.  When we arrived there were only two other vehicles there.  Water conditions were again turbid, but at least visibility was about 8″, so we decided to fish it.  Strong winds really dropped the air temperature and it felt more like -5C, than above zero.  My next fish was  a smaller chrome female rainbow.  We fished about 1/2 hr before I hooked the first fish which turned out to be a nice pre-spawn female rainbow that hit a spawn-sack and Jensen egg rig.  I fished for another 1/2 hour or so with no action and I decided to tie on a 1/32 oz. white marabou Voodoo Fly-jig that was tied for me by the owner, Tom Andres.  Within a few casts my float shot under and I was fighting a really strong rainbow.  It turned-out to be a chunky pre-spawn female in the 10-12 lb. range.  I kept the Voodoo fl-jig on and continued to catch two nice spawned-out female brown trout.  John and Bob also switched to white marabou flies.  Bob missed a fish and John landed a nice male brown.  We all decided to call it a day around 1pm and went for a hot lunch.  I’m hoping to fish Upper NY again this weekend to test a prototype Rapala 13′ Great Lakes baitcasting steelhead rod/baitcasting reel.

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