Ron Bierstine reports. By most all accounts across WNY the salmon action is best on the Oak Orchard with good numbers of fish evidenced and more to come by any reasonable estimation. Overall the fishing pressure still very agreeable and the fish are not stale and are willing biters. At least partly responsible for the good fishing is the consistent water flow via Erie Canal water feed in the Oak Orchard compared to other tribs.
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WNY Niagara Frontier received some rain over the past weekend, not a big effect for the tribs and more thunderstorms with wind are expected today. Temps are forecasted to cool down with chance for more rain showers for this whole begin part of the week.
Salmon casters have been working the Oak Orchard river mouth at Point Breeze now for nearly a month with pretty good success. The action depends some on weather and Lake conditions of course. For the begin of the past weekend there was reported real good action with lots of hook-ups by the casting crowd and then maybe a bit of a lull in migration thru the end of the weekend. King salmon and a few coho and trout are being caught generally early or late in the day. Charter anglers are making some trolling passes in close, and they still continue to work the offshore waters which reveal more fish to come. Fish are proceeding upstream to the lower river staging holes or all the way to the Waterport dam. Some fish are seen porpoiseng around the river mouth and more and more fish on up thru the lower river to about the Bridges and even upstream to the downstream slack water around Park Ave. As those fish move up and fish from the dam drop back the fast water gravel sections will fill in with more fish.
There may not be a big concentration of salmon in any one spot, but rather they are scattered all the way from the river mouth to the Waterport dam. You may be lucky enough to find a good pod of fish staged somewhere, but that’s the challenge of fishing right!? There are reports of fish at the Waterport dam in pretty good numbers and fish are now seen boiling around the Bridges area and on upstream too. Cool nights are dropping river water temps down allowing for some salmon migrations each night.
The fish at the dam will begin to drop back looking for spawning gravel soon and begin to populate the rest of the fast water gravel areas. Also newly arriving fish on cooling water temps will not make it all the way to the dam but will find spawning areas below the dam. Some precipitation a few days ago and more forecasted with cooler temps should fire up both fish and fishermen for fall action! Any warming trends could stall migrations.
The first known fish hooked at the Oak Orchard river mouth occurred approx a month ago. The Licorice Man has been able to score some hookups on some nice wide body, angry, hook jawed males of about 25+ pounds each week since the start of Sept. The salmon action has been pretty good! Check out the new fish pictures below. A good push of fish upstream to gravel areas could occur on the next significant rain and cool down. The good action around the river mouth and Lower River continues and fish numbers are building fairly quickly at the dam. Everyday now thru Sept and Oct the salmon action will improve with the river mouth and lower river action shifting upstream toward the fast water gravel areas as fish begin to spawn. Casters or floats/skein can score hook-ups on fresh, hard striking and battling Kings in downstream slow water areas and then the drift action will improve upstream in the fast water gravel areas. Early, late, night time or overcast days are best for salmon action at the river mouth and Lower River.
River conditions are generally moderate flows with mostly clear visibility although there is slight color to the water with about 3 – 4 feet or so of visibility. Flows consist mostly of routine Erie Canal water feed and any more precipitation could increase flows. Weeds are not as bad as previous years and over the past week or so with cooling water temps the river has begun to expel some of those weeds. Westerly or southerly winds will hasten the discharge of those weeds out of the lower river areas. Easterly winds hold back the river flow.
If you would like to book a guided fishing trip on the Oak Orchard River, NY, or if you would like to visit Ron’s Tackle Store, you can visit him at, www.orleansoutoor.com .