As a guide, I walk and fish the tributaries of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario during this time of year in almost daily measure. I often realize how peaceful and beautiful the winter season is here in Upstate New York and how quiet and serene the fishing landscape can be. Sometimes the winter fishing landscape in all it’s beauty is challenged by winds, cold temperatures, and heavy snows. Most of these winter weather conditions can be good for the fish but not so good for the fisherman who brave these elements. As a result, finding the right time or “window of opportunity” to fish can be a personal challenge. Trying to find a piece of water that is not frozen or that is holding winter Brown Trout or Steelhead can leave you scratching your head and opting for better days.
Don’t wait on the weather! The fish are here now. Do not miss the small windows of opportunity to unleash your passion for fly fishing this winter. The windows of opportunity show themselves to us fly fisherman in many forms at many times. You just need to be prepared. Carpe Diem! You can do this by making sure your fly fod and gear are always in your vehicle ready to fish. Take the time to drive a different route to your daily destinations. Instead; drive by the creeks you fish and take a look at them every day. Stay “dialed in” on the weather and the water you fish and wait for that run off, ice out, or thaw. The small windows of opportunity to be productive on these waters at this time of year takes commitment, focus and creativity. Be flexible and seek out other destinations to fish that promote fishable conditions in terms of water quality.
Do not wait for better weather or the perfect time to unleash your fly fishing passion. If you do, you will undoubtedly miss half of the Steelhead fishing season. Yes,… the fish are moving in now. Right now, around mid February, things start to heat up on all of the tributaries on both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The crowds of fair weather fisherman are extinct this time of year and the fish are becoming more abundant. Last weekend I fished The Lower Niagara River (Art Park) and had a banner day. This time of year some of our bigger waters have Steelhead runs that are unmatched. The challenge is to be flexible, travel, make the time, stay dialed in, share reports, and be prepared!
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