Winter Steelhead update.

Posted on January 13th, 2022

Dedicated steelheaders are continuing to take advantage of open-water tributaries and Harbour mouths to catch winter Steelhead. The Upper NY Lake Ontario tributaries are in good conditions and producing Steelhead & Brown Trout.

Winter Steelhead.
Most of the stocked Great Lakes steelhead are “winter-spawning” strain. That means that some will have already spawned, others will be ready to spawn and others pre-spawn.

We are getting reports for the Oak Orchard river that flows in the Oak are hanging on to slightly high and slightly stained with that good head of turbine water.  Water level fluctuations are now less frequent thanks to leaf fall being over and lately calmer winds.  Look for flows to slowly slide back toward med maybe by later weekend/next week if there’s no new significant precipitation and/or we might have some legit cold winter temps.  Lite to mod fishing pressure but plenty of water cover for fish to remain mostly unpressured.  Reports of what sounds like better steelhead action coming on with a few fresh fish in the mix.  Other area smaller tributaries in the med flow range with clearing water color of 1 – 2 ft of viz.  A brown trout reported here and there but most guys are into a couple steelhead.  Still going to have to cover some different spots for the hook ups but the weather is agreeable and flows are good so if you put in some time with good drifts or swings you should come away with some action.

Winter Steelhead.
This smaller Steelhead has already started to get it’s darker colors as it gets ready to stage for spawning.

Lake Ontario, ON anglers are also still doing well fishing the many eastern tributaries. Fresh salmon roe bags, single imitation plastic eggs and acrylic/glass beads are working well as well as small jigs and nymph flies all fished under a float.

Winter Steelhead.
Fishing the lower stretches of Lake Ontario tributaries in the winter can be a “sticky” (muddy shoreline), experience, but the results make it worth it!

If mild conditions continue there’s good news and bad news. Good news is that there will still be open water stretches to fish. Bad news is that many steelhead will be heading up-stream past the “all-year” open fishing stretches and out of reach of anglers.

Make sure to check the fishing videos on our Italo Labignan YouTube channel and if you have any questions just email them to me at Ask Italo throughout our www.canadian-sportfishing.com website.

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