Fly Fishing Tips & Technique
in response to letters from our readers
Answers to our readers' questions (page 2):
Is better to head upstream or down stream when fishing for trout? What is the best early season fly for fishing small streams for trout?
I want to know if it is better to head upstream or downstream when fishing for trout. Why or why not?
Also, what is the best early season method for fishing small streams for trout (dry-fly or nymphing)?
One negative to fishing downstream is that trout face upstream and they will be spooked when approached from upstream unless you use caution. In the spring when the water is a little off color less caution is needed. Always pay attention to your shadow on the water on sunny days. This will also spook fish.
Early in the season there are not many insects hatching and nymphs are your best bet along with woolly buggers and streamers. As water temperatures rise insect activity and trout metabolism will increase and fish will start to move towards the surface to feed on emerging insects.
Have Fun Fly-fishing
Are there any streams harboring populations of stream-bred trout in a 50 mile radius of Morrisville/Hamilton area?
My daughter and her family now live in the Morrisville/Hamilton area and I'm looking for some good trout fishing in the area. I'm especially interested in streams harboring populations of stream-bred trout. Of course, streams with good carryover of trout from year-to-year are fine. Streams in a 50 mile radius will get my most serious consideration.
Can you help me??
The Oriskany Creek is a beautiful trout stream, which runs from Sollsville to the Mohawk River in Oriskany. It would be about a twenty minute drive from Hamilton or Morrisville. It is stocked in some places, but also supports a population of browns and brook trout that reproduce in the stream. The upper stretches in Madison county are not stocked. The stream also has some excellent hatches of Sulfurs, various caddis, a good trico hatch, and others. There are many other streams in Central New York. The Oriskany is one of the best.
Let me know if you need more information.
Hope this helped.
Have Fun Fly-fishing!
I just got into fly fishing and would like to know what fly patterns, line, and leader you would recommend for Steelhead Fishing on the Salmon River.
I am from Rome, NY. I just got into fly fishing and would like
to know what fly patterns, line, and leader you would recommend for
Fishing on the Salmon River. Also, I just found your web site.
Do you sell any fly patterns?
There are a number of techniques used to fly-fish for steelhead on the Salmon River. Some anglers use what is called "chuck and Duck" with a "Slinky Rig" The water is often times quite high and fast and the fly must be drifting along the bottom. This set up uses a lot of weight(slinky) and a floating running line with fly-fishing rods and reels, which gets the fly down quick, but is not fly casting.
If the water is not high and fast, a floating weight forward line with weighted flies and some small split shot on the leader can be used in conjunction with upstream casts and mending line. This is a more traditional nymphing technique. I like to avoid the high water and fish with the floating line.
I like to use a tapered leader of about 8-10 feet which starts with a thirty pound butt section and ends up at 8-10 pound. Then I tie on a three foot section of 6 pound tippet. Maxima Brand is very strong and abrasion resistant. They make tapered leaders and tippet. Or you can tie your own by knotting a series of pieces together using blood knots.
Yes, I could sell you some flies for the salmon river. Check out CNY Flybox on the web site for a few patterns or I could tie you a few of my favorites. The site is always developing. Hope this helped. Let me know if you need more or more detailed info.
Have fun-fly fishing
Do you have any spring creeks and limestone streams. Are there good small streams with nice sized trout?
You have a great site. I don't know much about the region. Do you have any spring creeks and limestone streams. Are there good small streams with nice sized trout?
Grant Mudge, CT
Thank you for the compliment on my site. We have the Chenango Canal in Madison county south of Utica, which is similar to a spring creek. It is partiallly spring fed and supports some rather large brown trout and good insect and scud populations. The fishing is tough though. The Canal is only about 20 feet wide and much of it is surrounded by heavy cover. The in stream vegitation gets pretty thick during the summer months. The name of the game is finding rising fish and using stealth to move into position and cast.
There are a number of small streams throughout the area which hold some nice trout and some good hatches, but the good sized trout are not everywhere. You have to find them. E-mail me if you would like more information.
Have Fun Fly-Fishing,
Can I stock a backyard pool with brook trout?
Super web page, I really enjoy it. I have a question. I own an acre of land in Wayne, NY and I am going to retire from the Navy in a few months and move there. I am thinking of ways to cut down on just plain lawn in the yard and one thought is an ornamental stream and pool. Koi and Gold Fish are the common fish to stock such a pool with, but being a trout fisherman, I would like to try and stock it with brook trout. Is this feasable? And is it possible to get insect hatches started?
Thanks for the compliment on the web site. I have seen ponds stocked with trout. It can be done under certain conditions. There must be a constant supply of cool clean water. Good ones are spring fed. Trout require high oxygen levels and colder water holds more oxygen. Water churning into the pond, such as a falls, will also create oxygen. Ideally the pond water temperature should not exceed 65 degrees F. Especially for Brook Trout. I was recently at the Bath, NY fish hatchery and they have a little pond, which is spring fed, and supports some rather large trout. Starting hatches will be tough. You may want to contact one of the fish hatcheries to get some more information.
Hope this helped,
Thank you very much. Just the fact that you have seen ponds stocked this way helps because it gives me confidence. I plan to keep water moving through a stream with a small falls through the back yard, then re-cycle it through a stone filter deep underground to maintain cleanliness and temperature. I will first have to experiment to see if I can maintain temperatures during the warm parts of the summer.
Thanks for the reply,
What are some good fly shops to ask about what is catching (and releasing) fish on the West Canada?
My name is John Polanowicz, I am currently living in Northborough MA. I grew up on North Gage Road, just outside of Poland and my parent's still live there. I picked up fly fishing this year, and in conjunction with my sister's wedding on Oct 9th, a buddy of mine and I are coming back up to do some fly fishing on the West Canada. Wondering if you could direct me to some good fly shops to ask about what is catching (and releasing) fish on the West Canada for the week that we are up there. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
There are a few shops you could hit on your trip to the West Canada. In New York Mills, which is just west of Utica, at the #3 Mill on Main Street is the Rising Trout Outfitters which is Orvis and other stuff. Down the same street is D&D Sports which is a Cortland dealer and more of an overall fishing tackle store, but has some good fly-fishing stuff too. In Middleville north of Herkimer on Route 28, located right on the West Canada is The Golden Drake Fly Shop. They can tell you what is happening on the river and they have a nice selection of stuff. E-mail me if you need more info.
Have fun fly-fishing
What areas are productive in the Northern NY region , other than the Salmon River, for trout?
I am planning on being in NY State in the middle of October for the express purpose of fly fishing the Northern NY region. I am originally from a small-town called Harrisville which is northeast of Watertown. I have not done any fly fishing in the state even though I grew up there. I was wondering if you have any info on any areas that may be productive, other than the Salmon River, for trout. I just spent 2 ½ months in Europe and I fished in Italy and France. That was pleasing, but I miss the trout I grew up catching on the "old hook and worm" and I really want to try my hand up there with the fly rod. Thank you for your time. Nice site by the way. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the compliment on my site. Well, I am not all that familiar with the water up north out of Central New York, but I can throw out some suggestions. How far north do you want to fish? The West Canada, which is featured on my site is a wonderful stretch of water and is well worth trying. If it is Steelhead you are after the Black River in Watertown can be very productive in the fall. And just south are the North and South Sandy Creeks which get some fall Steelhead. The Tug Hill Plateau, has a number of small creeks which hold brookies and some browns. The East Branch of Fish Creek is one of my favorites in that area. If you like a good hike that stream can take you to some good wilderness for browns. Hope this helped. E-mail me if you need more info.
Have fun fly-fishing,
Year-round Streams near Syracuse
I'm just getting back into fly fishing and am new to the area. I'd appreciate any advice you can give me on streams near Syracuse? I especially want to get on the water this weekend - is there a stream nearby that's open year-round?
Thanks for the help,
There are a number of all year opportunities in the area. In Onondaga county Limestone Creek the section from its mouth to route 20 and Butternut Creek the section from its mouth to route 20 are both open all year.
In Madison county Chittenango Creek the section from route 20 north to Conrail railroad line and Oneida Creek the section from Peterboro Road to NYS Thruway are both open all year. Also in Madison County the Chenango Canal is open. This is a special trout water. It is narrow spring creek like water that holds some big fish, but is extremely tough fishing due to casting restraints.
If you want to drive a little, the West Canada Creek bordering Herkimer and Oneida counties has an all year section from Trenton Falls down to the mouth of Cincinnati Creek is open all year and produces some big Browns, but is subject to water releases from the dam.
Lastly, if you are a steelhead fisherman, there is the Salmon River,Oswego Rivers, and many other tributaries relatively near Syracuse. You can also consult your Fishing Regulations Guide. You can ask for one when you purchase your NYS fishing license. Feel free to write in anytime about fly-fishing in Central New York.
Hope this helped,
What do I do when I have a bite?
This might sound kind of stupid, but I'm just starting to fly fish
and my biggest question is " What do I do when I have a bite?
I know I have to set the hook, but do I reel in or just kinda pull
the line in by hand?"
That is a very good question. Once you have set the hook, the first thing to do is apply pressure to the fly line with your forefinger at the grip of the fly rod and determine the size of fish you have hooked. For small trout, you should be able to strip them right in using your left hand if you cast right handed. If the fish is large and your tippet(usually 1-6lb test for trout fishing) is in jeopardy of breaking, you will want to let the fish run a little(play the fish), so let the fly line slip through your fore finger while still applying enough pressure to bend the rod. Once all the loose line is gone you begin to play from the reel, using your drag or palming the edge of the reel, and reeling when slack presents itself. You can practice on a lawn by having a friend be the fish(no hooks involved).
If a fish swims toward you strip line in with your left hand(if you cast right handed) to prevent slack. If the fish is staying at the same distance from you reel the loose line into the reel while holding the fish. A combination of all these techniques will land the fish.
Hope this helps,
Have Fun Fly-fishing
Fly-fishing near Hamilton, NY
I am a student at Colgate University, and flyfishing became a big part of my life when I attended private school in CT. I am 20 years old and I grew up in Rome NY. I was wondering if you knew of any good flyfishing streams in the area of Hamilton.
Thank you for your time.
The Chenango River from Randallsville up to Eaton holds some large browns and has some good hatches. Payne Street west from Hamilton will cross the river. River Road north out of Randallsville parallels the river to Eaton. There are many other streams in Central New York if you don't mind travelling a bit. Oriskany Creek from Solsville to Clark Mills is an excellent quality trout stream with some excellent hatches. It would be about a ten to twenty minute drive. Let me know if you need some more info.
Have fun fly-fishing,
Planning a fishing trip through upstate New York
I am planning a fishing trip through upstate New York in the last part of July, the 22nd through 31st. I have been fly fishing for years and have even fished in Maryland, however, since I am from the Midwest, I have never fished in New York or anywhere else on the East Coast for that matter. Would you be able to point me in the right direction? I would like to know which streams are productive during this time of year, what a five day license might cost and any other suggestions you might have. We will be fly fishing, camping in tents, and looking for trout (although any type of productive fishing is welcome). Hiking and/or wading is not a problem, and we can stop along the way to ask about which flies are the most useful. Thank you for your time, if I can do anything for you let me know.
Which part of New York are you planning to travel through? A 3-day license costs $6.00. A year long license costs $14.00, which will last until September 30th. One worthwhile stream to hit is the West Canada creek. It is productive all summer. In July you will have a good chance of catching the Golden Drakes. The Golden Drake fly shop in Middleville on Route 28 north of Herkimer will have some flies and more advice. The West Canada Creek campsite is also along route 28 further north. Access is very good. The Golden Drake should have a map of access points. The Delaware River system is another worth while trip, but I am less familiar with that water. There are many fly shops in Roscoe. They will be glad to help.
I have to go for now.
Let me know if you need some more info.
Have fun fly-fishing
Float tubing opportunities in the Finger Lakes
Stumbled across your page by accident and wanted to tell you nice job and well organized. Planning a trip to the finger lake areas in the fall and planning on some trout time. I'm a newly transplant from the Western Slope area and am used to lots of float tubing. Any advice or recommendations for the early part of October on any of the Finger Lakes. Patterns and sizes greatly appreciated. Willing to share secrets on Wyoming and Colorado for central NY.
Yes there are float tubing opportunities in the Finger Lakes. I lived in Ithaca NY for about 4 years in the early 90's, which is located at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake. My specialty is fishing moving water, so usually fish the tributaries. I have fished the lake on occasion when the fish are staging at the creek mouths, which can be good. It is all in the timing. Last fall the creeks were very low due to lack of rain and the lake was also. The result was poor fishing. If the fall rains are heavy enough fishing can be excellent for Browns, Landlocked Salmon and even a few rainbows in the fall. A good access point for Cayuga Lake in Stewart Park Just off Route 13 at the Southern tip of the Lake in Ithaca. The mouth of Fall Creek is at the west end of the park. Some good patterns are Zonkers in Black, Olive, or White sizes 4 and 6. Marabou Streamers Olive, white,or black. Deceivers green or olive . For reports prior to your trip. Check my site or the Cayuga Fly-fishing site link on my site. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any more questions. Hope this helped.
Have Fun Fly-Fishing
Collector's items among fly fishermen
Hi Matt. I have a (good condition) copy of The Complete Angler of Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton, second edition, published in London, year MDCCCXXIV. I understand this is a collector's item among fly fishermen. Do you know how I might sell this book?
Edith in Florida
I don't really know much about old fly fishing literature. I am concentrating on fly tying and fly fishing at the present time. You could try asking on a bulletin board. There is one at flyshop.com, which is the web site of the magazine "fly fisherman."
Hope this helped
What are the best flys to use on all types of trout, Salmon, etc.?
What are the best flys to use on all types of trout, Salmon, etc.?
Thank you, Jim Bankich, Plattsburgh, NY
A basic trout selection would definitely consist of Elk Hair Caddis in sizes 14-20, Adams in sizes 16-20, Light Cahills in 14-18, Hare's Ear Nymphs sizes 8-16, Prince Nymphs sizes 6-16 and maybe some grass hopper imitations sizes 8-12. Up your way(Plattsburgh) for Landlocked Salmon a good selection would contain Black Ghosts sizes 4-8, Grey Ghosts sizes 4-8 and some nine three streamers sizes 4-8. I hope this helped. e-mail me if you need anymore information.
Have fun fly fishing,