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Continued warm today and thru some of tomorrow before colder weather is forecast for end of week and the upcoming weekend.  The high temps have been near 50°F and there is rain expected thru today for chance of 3/4 in accumulation.  And the forecasted return to colder temps is just seasonal, no exceptional cold is seen in the near forecast.  The precipitation today and any future showers have the chance to raise trib flows up some with stained water color, especially the smaller waterways.  Also at some point, the Oak should start showing some rising flows and this latest precipitation could bump up flows from what's been low to moderate after the Canal feed went away to something like moderate to medium.  You may recall this refrain from this fish report writer before – but if it's gonna be warm, it may as well rain and if its gonna be cold it may as well snow.  Either scenario will lead to better trib flows sooner or later! 

So far this mild winter is bringing on warm temps and precipitation and has kept anglers in the game on all the waterways without any icing conditions.  Just prior to Christmas, we had heard a few good reports from the smaller area waterways and any rise in flows should only help the fishing action there.  Also, we are hearing that there was some medium angling pressure around Christmas so with reasonable weather we might still expect folks out right thru New Years.  And if the Oak should bump up even a little it will help the hook-up chances there and the waterway will better handle some fishing pressure then if it were real low and real clear.  Look for hold over brown trout and darker steelhead hook-ups or the chance for some fresh steelhead migrations on any decent rise in flows.

Right now, we are on the backside of the previous weekend rain and a couple day cold spell. The area got a couple inches of snow for this beginning week period. The previous rain perked up flows in the area smaller waterways and brought on a little stain. Now a mid week cold spell has those flows back on the retreat and clearing. For now look for moderate to medium flows that could have a little short lived icing thanks to the recent cold and snow. Forecast ahead is warming thru end of week and weekend and thru beginning part of next week. No serious precipitation in the near forecast. Snowmelt may be just enough to maintain the smaller area waterways at moderate to medium and mostly clear flows or put them on a slower drop. Flows in the Oak are low to moderate and mostly clear. No big change in flows expected there unless there’s significant precipitation or Canal feed/drainage “re-commences.” We are waiting for word from water managers if the Canal water feed or drainage is done, done for the season. Still a few guys out and about enjoying decent weather, and free time for holidays coupled with nice weather will probably bring a few more guys out. Some anglers are dropping back lower in the water courses just like the fish and staying in on some action for hold over browns and darker steelhead. Jigs and bait or streamer action has been the ticket. Upstream fish will be pooled up in the spots they can find adequate water for cover. There’s pretty much always some fish living at the Waterport dam where long, light float drifts should be productive.

On the backside now this week of the previous warm weekend temps and some rain. Looks like that precipitation has barely bumped up flows in the smaller area waterways or more as maintenance for medium-ish flows with some nice stain back to the water color. Flows in the Oak may actually be on the fall and going clearer as the first wave of winter time Canal drainage water might be played out. Flows about medium so down from the slightly high. Chance of flows dropping and clearing more in all the waterways thru the week as seasonably cold and dry weather hangs in for this week. Look for breezy if not windy conditions. No significant icing expected so lots of water to choose to fish too. Not a hot and heavy bite all around but definitely not bad by December standards. Check out the pics below of some solid steelhead and browns lately hooked up in the Oak and smaller waterways. Good looking steelhead are showing up in the Oak with still some browns and Kings hanging on. Other area smaller waterways like Sandy having action for some good looking browns. Clean looking fish either way even if they are post spawn but there are fresh browns apparently late to the party also. Fishing pressure about moderate thru the past weekend and will probably lessen thru the week. Fly guys with streamers and float guys with jigs & beads are scoring. Lots of float drifts running thru certain drifts in clear water are going to cause fish to turn on and off.

Over the past weekend there was precipitation on the order of 0.75+ inches for the WNY Lake Ontario south shore. Along with winter time drainage of the Erie Canal underway right now, the trib flows are up and slightly stained. By anglers reports no one has been kept off the water because flows were too high or dirty. Smaller area waterways are high and stained and look to be on the retreat. Dropping and slightly clearing flows are typically a good recipe for action so look for chances at fresh steelhead and a mix of browns moving up or post spawn fish dropping back. Flows in Sandy and Johnson are likely to drop back to around medium – slightly high as the Canal water prevails after the runoff. 

Smallest tribs like Marsh could be offering up a decent water window right now that some folks were looking for earlier in the fall season. In the Oak, there wasn’t much observed change in what was already slightly high flows to perhaps now high flows. Color still good, just a little stain. Hearing of brown trout hook ups on the Oak from the middle reaches and to the downstream flat water. Check out the nice Oak brown trout below that was hooked up this beginning part of the week along with bunch more and some steelhead. Drifts or swings just need to be down and slowed a bit but the post spawn browns are hungry hitters now and steelhead are being intercepted too. Look for continued higher flows in the Oak likely at least thru this week as the observed Canal levels look to be dropping only slowly. Weather forecast is a little cooler thru this mid week period then another warm up thru the weekend. Next chance at any significant precipitation is for the end of upcoming weekend.

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