Skip to Main Content

We are on the backside of some challenging wind, snow and cold temps. And we barely got clipped by the worst of it like SW of the area around Buffalo got it! Thanks to the abrupt cold and snow and wind all the tribs are essentially frozen in. Even the Oak thanks to starting out so low at the onset of the cold weather at the start of the past weekend, is mostly frozen. Downstream slow water spots are for sure locked up and even upstream all the way to the dam is frozen except for a rivulet here and there or if you were to break something open. Total snow cover in the immediate area may only be 6 inches give or take, but the snow is wind swept bare in spots or drifted in feet otherwise. Going SW or just by the nature of the LES bands having moved around, accumulations will be more in different nearby areas. The weather is a changing again according to the near term forecast, with above freezing temps expected day and night starting about Wed/ Thu and lasting at least thru the begin part of next week. All the trib flows will be on the rise and melting and probably going off color. We'll have to wait and see how much they rise and open up and how much additional snow accumulations like in the Oak upper watershed get things rolling.

Thanks to losing the Canal feed/winter drainage, flows in the Oak are real low. Water color is clearing with 2 ft or so of stained viz. It's unknown if flows will stay as low as I saw today on recon, but likely flows will remain real low or optimistically may go up to less low. No serious icing yet and all the downstream frog water is open. Look for drop back fish to be living there for now, with the other most productive spots being right at the dam or overflow channel pool. A few pools or slots may hide a fish that didn't take the drop back trip. Fishing pressure is real light, only a few anglers on the water. A couple of reports thru yesterday mentioned some hook ups on smaller browns and steelhead. The other area smaller tribs comparitively to the Oak anyway, have better looking flows at low to mod and slightly stained viz. Coldish days in the low 30's F and 20's at night look to be dropping trib flows to the east at Sandy quicker then flows to the west at Johnson. The forecast ahead for end of week and Christmas weekend looks challenging. We'll start out with a warmup and rain or showers then a quick transition to much colder and snow or snow showers Fri/Sat. High winds and advisory is likely for something like Fri/Sat/Sun. With any luck we’ll get some measurable liquid precip to help flows out. For now it doesn't look like a big snow event. The forecasted colder temps without significant precip tho may cause some ice up conditions esp if low flows prevail.

Ron Bierstine from Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge reports:

A little bit hard to stay on top of trib water flows as it seems like Canal drainage water is being passed thru with select adjustments on the water managers end that only they know about. For now after the past weekend it looks like flows are back down some in the Oak to about med or slightly high and less stained. Flows in the other tribs bracketing east and west look like they are back up some. It's unknown how much longer Canal drainage flows will last but it likely is not that long. Recent precipitation for now probably not enough to keep flows any higher then low-ish when Canal water is ended. Weather is seasonal for now with highs in the 30's°F and dropping back at night forecast thru the mid week. End of week there is the chance for mixed bag precipitation and Lake Effect Snow for the weekend. Greater impacts expected SW of here but the south shore of Lake Ontario may get some accumulations. Fishing pressure real light. We are hearing of most guys getting their drifts down and slow getting a few hook ups in the fast water reaches below the dam and a little more action in the downstream flat water possibly as a result of some drop back brown trout action and a few fresher steelhead.

Ron Bierstine from Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge reported:

Fishing and weather conditions pretty nice by late fall/early winter standards. Forecast temps in the mid 40's°F for this mid week period and chance of off and on rain showers. No serious precipitation expected. Another chance of precipitation for begin part of upcoming weekend although at this point the greater impact is forecasted south of the area. Cooler temps for end of week and upcoming weekend. Flows in the Oak still humming along at around slightly high and slightly stained. The other area smaller waterways trending slowly falling flows at around mod and slightly stained. Fishing pressure light and angler reports thin. Plenty of water cover in the Oak for a few fresh brown trout or getting toward more post spawn fish. Chance for fresh steelhead at any time building up toward the true late winter/early spring runs of Feb/Mar. Hike and hunt around the smaller waterways in the lower flows like at Sandy and Johnson and you should find some browns too.

Stay Connected