Tim Oliver, Steve Martin and his brother Pete Martin made the annual fall trip to Erie Pennsylvania area to fish the streams running out of Lake Erie. Water has been low all fall, but there were still a good number of fish being caught on Elk Creek, so this is where we focused our trip this year. Started out on Sunday November 9th fishing upper Elk Creek above Folly’s. Had a ¼ inch of rain the night before, so the fish were pretty active and feeding quite well in moving water. Fish were taking small egg patterns and flash back PT’s. Fishing was good throughout the day and everyone landed quite a few fish. On day two (11/10), started on lower Elk Creek just above the mouth and found very few fish. Did land one nice Steelhead and saw a few Browns taken around Uncle John’s Cabins. Moved back upstream late morning and fished below Folly’s. Found lots of fish, but fewer fish feeding. Did land a few nice fish below Folly’s, then moved up and fished the water right behind the fly shop at Folly’s. Ended the day with regular hook ups the last couple of hours. On day three (11/11) we headed up to Platz Road parking area (Sterrantania) and fished upstream and downstream from the parking area. Another fabulous day of sight casting to Steelhead in moving water. The fish were a bit more picky, but persistence paid off to a well placed PT or Juju midge.
After three days in PA I was developing a little tendonitis in my right elbow from tussling with so many Steelhead. My trip then took me the Cattaraugus River in New York where I met up with Jason Myers, a buddy from Buffalo. This is a big water with its headwaters on the Seneca Indian Nation. We went upstream and fished Zoar Valley above Gowanda. This river is in a picturesque deep valley with high walled cliffs surrounding the river. It is a great size for those wishing to fish it with a spey rod or pinning gear. Having said that, we fished it with our nymph rigs and had several hook ups. Did land one bright 8 lb Steelhead (see picture below) on a cold and windy day.
On Thursday, November 13th, we made our way over to Oak Orchard (flows into Lake Ontario) with hopes of landing a big Brown or two. Fishing started out fast and furious with 8 nice fish landed (a mix of Browns and Steelhead) in the first three hours (one Brown in the 8 lb class – see picture below), then they reduced the water and the fish just turned off. Nothing much happened for the next couple of hours so we broke for lunch. It was during lunch that the snow started and we called it a day. Met two nice guys from West Virginia who had been fishing Sandy Creek with good success. They landed sever double digit Browns and Steelhead on this latest trip on the Sandy. As always, another great trip back east and am already looking forward to next year.
Looks like a terrible time, Tim. I’ll be there next year for sure
Sorry for the lack of posts this past month. Busy with work and the lack of anything major to report is my excuse. I have been walking the banks of Horseshoe working the spawning browns. Nothing major to be seen. I picked up maybe a half dozen in the 3-4 lb range….not really exciting stuff but it was close to home and I’m actually getting a bit tired of trout. Ready to hit the bass scene …looking forward to it. I hit the X Diamond yesterday with Mike Faulkinbury and we picked up a few browns and rainbows each on hoppers…all small. The creek actually was iced over pretty good early on. All the slow water and ponds are solid. Went by Sunrise on the way home and it was solid as well….all except for a couple 30 yd patches full of coots. About 10-12 bald eagles were patiently waiting for the ice to close around them. Horseshoe was still open. Not sure of Big or Crescent….not really worried about them to be truthful. Time for BASS.
I’m trying to get a report up from Tim on our annual steelhead trip. I opted out this year….like a dummy. I’m having trouble getting pics up. I’ll keep working on it.
No…..I’m not calling them steelhead for their size but for the amount of casts it takes to catch one. We have our very own “fish of a 1,000 casts” here in AZ. Ron and I hit it today, fished for about 6 hours and landed probably nine between us. The lake temps were 50-52, virtually no algae and enough chop on the water that we can’t blame even that. Three of the fish went 2.5 lbs with one spewing eggs after Ron caught it. Fish are there….I see them on the finder but I can’t get them to eat.
This chromer fought really hard and you can tell they have been eating good. We landed fish on egg sucking simi’s and peacock ladies. Can’t remember the last time I caught a fish on a peacock lady but it is still as deadly as it ever was…at least today. While I was on the water I heard from Mike Lopez. He told me AZG&F were on Crescent and Carnero and both hold good fish. Also they have determined they will manage both fisheries for 25″ trout. That means aerators. AZG&F is getting with it and trying to grow some big fish…..hooorrrraaaayyyyy!
Brian and Travis came up for a couple days of fishing. We hit Pacheta, Reservation and Horseshoe while they were here. Fishing was so-so on all of them. We caught fish everywhere…just not what we were looking for. Although we caught 3 20″ fish at Pacheta…that was pretty much it for anything of size. Reservation and Pacheta both still have algae blooms, especially Rez. We need more cold nights to knock it down and get the fish moving. Yesterday at Horseshoe we had two storms collide over our heads and it dumped hail for an hour….and I mean dumped. You can’t tell from the pic but the water looks like they just threw fish pellets into the hatchery water. It was bad enough that we had to head for the timber. That hail was so big at times that it actually hurt even through two layers of hoods and a ball cap.
Brian under cover. Fishing’s gonna get better…..it always does.
Rains finally quit so I hit Sunrise this morning. When I got close to the top of the hill the fog was pretty bad…about 50′ visibiity. When I hit the lake it opened up ….just like saying “come on in…water’s fine”. And it was fine…52 degrees and just a hint of algae left. Looked perfect. I wish the fish knew it. I fished for 5 hours and landed 5 fish. One went 3.5, another went 2.5 and the rest were 12″ footballs.
When I hit the lake this Spring it was full of big fish. I think too many have been lifted by the “C&K” crowd. May be time to hit Crescent to see how it faired through the Summer. It will have fish just like these if they made it. I don’t think it was hit as hard as Sunrise either so may be it is holding more big fish…..we’ll see.
We had a WMLF meeting at my place this past Saturday. After all biz was discussed we hit the water. Most of us went to Big Lake and a couple guys hit the West Fork of the Black. They caught quite a few smallish browns. They both hit Canyon Creek Sunday and both caught at least one 14″ brown and lost several others. Joe reports they were using dry/dropper rigs and had several smack their elk hairs, but all the hookups were on the droppers…bhpt and a biot fly.. Pics below
Big was still in the 58-60 degree range and had quite an algae bloom, much more than I experienced the last time I was there. I think the winds are churning it up and redistributing it downwind. The weather has warmed some so not sure how long it will be before the water temps get to that low 50-40 degree mark. When that happens the fishing should really turn on. All our lakes are holding good fish. Should be an awesome Fall….so good that I am staying here this season and not hitting the Erie tribs this year.
Fishing was quite a bit slower than last time, probably because we hit it in the afternoon. Several guys we know had caught nice cutt’s that morning. Ron landed one at three lbs….no pic…(sounds like a fish tale to me). Most of the cutt’s landed were the 16″-18″ variety and fought hard. There are some good rainbows in there now. Rick reported that he had weighed several ‘bows 5 to 6 lbs in the past couple weeks. Get ready for Fall….won’t be long.
I can report now that AZ has been cleared by the Feds to introduce Tiger Trout into several of our lakes. AZG&F had some ordered from Wyoming but they didn’t meet their quota for their state so we were put on hold. I know this will upset some. Changes always do. I think it’s great. AZG&F is finally trying to make improvements in our fishing. It may not work because we have no past data to gain knowledge from. We are paving new ground here. If the Tigers don’t work in the lakes they choose than they can stop stocking them. They are hybrids so they are sterile and can not reproduce. I for one am not sure they will work in at least one of the lakes but only time will tell. A strain of fish planted on one lake will thrive while the same fish in a similar lake will not….so we’ll just have to wait and see.
WMLF is also taking steps to improve some stream fishing. That’s all I can say for now but steps are being taken to improve trout fishing in AZ….both stillwater and moving. This is a good thing.
Nice pics Gentry. Looks like a fun day for all
This is the way I started my morning….love it. Hit Big Lake this morning around 6. Raining off and on but launched anyway. Eventually it died down and I ended up in the back end of Railroad Cove. Had to go to the bobber after only three fish in the first three hours. Water temps are 62 and the lake is fairly clear, some algae but not bad. Cutt’s and rainbows ate smallish deep leeches like they were candy. The cutt’s all were between 14 and 16″s…not huge but good hard fighters. I had one good fish on that just ripped me so don’t know what it was…probably a rainbow. Talked with Rick on the way out and he said they have weighed in several rainbows over five pounds the past couple weeks. When the temp’s get down some the lake should be another great one to hit this Fall.
Sorry no pic’s…just didn’t take the time
Hit Sunrise this am with Ron. Lake was dead calm and we had the lake to ourselves for the first couple hours. Trouble was it seemed like the fish weren’t there either. We fished for four hours and landed 3 fish between us. The biggest went a solid 4 and fought like a beast. I have been hitting it about every other day for about a week now and I have landed at least one good fish every trip. I’ve never fished more than four hours so maybe it would get better later but I have never done that well on Sunrise in the afternoons. The good news is the big fish made it through the Summer. If they made it at Sunrise, they most likely survived in Crescent as well so this could be a Big Fish Fall like we haven’t seen for awhile now.
This fish went 4 as well. Sorry for the poor pic….selfies suck. This guy had a pretty good hook jaw on him…too bad you can’t see it. Water temps have been around 60. When I got on the water this am it was 37 degrees out and the bulls were bugling everywhere. The cooler nights will help a lot. Once the water temps get down into the low 50’s the lake should turn on….just not sure how many of the big boys are still in there. I think the lake got hit pretty hard this Summer by the “C&K”crowd. Gonna be an interesting Fall.
The lake has been hit or miss. One day you’ll get three fish and the next you”ll catch ten. I gave up the bobber and have been doing better stripping simi’s in dark colors….Black/Purple, Can Black, Black/Red and Blood Leech.
See ya on the water…..gonna hit Big Lake Friday…..hearing reports of BIG cutt’s being caught….yeehaw!!
Hit Sunrise this am for the first time in about a month. Lake level is still low but water temps’ were 60-61 and the algae is dissipating. Some areas were algae free. I fished four hours and landed 2 fish….still Dog Days for sure. I fished assorted flies all under a bobber. As much as I dislike it I didn’t think the fish would be actively chasing anything yet so the bobber was the choice of the morning. Fished a dozen different c’mids, Dogbones, SJ worms and leeches. The only action came on simi’s. Usually I don’t bother to report a slow day like today but catching the one good fish made the Fall season look brighter for me. I am hoping this means the bigger rainbows made it through the Summer because he fought very hard and as you can see he is in great shape. The Fall has always been the best time to catch BIG fish. This fish was 19″s and probably only 16″s this Spring when we were catching the 20-21 inch fish. Think how big those fish could be by now. Let’s hope they made it as well. Could be one of the best Fall’s we have seen around here in a long time. All the lakes hold good fish….if they made it through the Summer.
See ya on the water.
Hit Sunrise this am…first one on the water…glass. Headed for my area looking for rises. I wanted to see if I could get them to eat my hopper. Not a ripple on the water so any top water motion would have been detected….nada. Fished for 4.5 hours and saw one rise. I think it’s because the algae has gotten so thick the fish can’t see anything on the surface anymore. Temp’s were good …62 the whole time I was there. Fishing is getting tougher every time I go. Managed to bag two nice 21″ ‘bows. They fought like Hell again and swam off …no problem. Fish are in great shape but the algae is making it hard …..and it’s probably going to get worse. Might be time for a road trip.