The Thaw


Water conditions are changing quickly.  Less than a week ago, parts of Irondequoit Creek were iced over and unfishable.  Now, there’s open water, it’s off color and on the rise.  Sandy Creek was entirely iced up, as were several smaller tribs East and West of Rochester.  Another 5′ wide tributary that often boasts spawning steelhead in early March, still has 2′ of snow covering the creek and no visible running water.  I expect the ice to break and snow to diminish each day.  As we move into mid-March, anticipate more open water and increasing numbers of steelhead. There’s also hold over browns to target.  IMG_3678On one of our larger tribs West of Rochester, I was fortunate to tangle with a feisty brown earlier in the week.  It ate a dead drifted, no weight san juan worm pattern on 6 lb flourocarbon tippet.  The water was so low/skinny that I didn’t use any weight and a stealth presentation was essential.  The take was also very subtle, as the water is still in the low/mid thirties.  I’d almost forgotten what it was like to hold a fish and admire its’ beauty.  Boy, it sure was a cold February!  I’m glad those days are behind us.

FYI, earlier this week the Genny – Seth Green access was still locked due to ice concerns.  Once the Genny gets flowing, expect for it to be unfishable for at least a month or so, as it has a huge drainage basin.  Tomorrow’s 50 degree temperature will further contribute to the thaw.  Each day our creeks become more hospitable for angling.  Anglers are already starting to find fresh steelhead and more will pour in with the snow melt.  Get outside, shake off that cabin fever and be safe around rising water/ice chunks!


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Craig Dennison

This is Craig and I host Fly Fisher's Workshop. My fly fishing experiences include plenty of travel (Montana/Florida/North Carolina/Maine) and a few years part time guiding for trout. While I primarily target trout and steelhead, I still manage to chase warm water species and enjoy chasing stripers and bluefish. I'm a 3rd generation fly fisher trying to share the passion with my two sons!

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