Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 11/28 PM


Got out on my own to do a little scouting as well as hopefully catch a fish on my brand new SAGE Method 9′ 6 wt. fly-rod. I hadn’t bought much new fly-fishing gear in a while, so this year I broke down and bought a new SAGE musky rod, a Redington Predator rod and my new Landlocked Salmon stick – the Method. I’ve been so busy I hadn’t even cast it apart from a couple casts when I had Mark out on Skaneateles Lake a couple weeks ago.

The great news on Cayuga Lake is that fall-winter-spring fishing is now a lot more fun with the numbers of lake trout that are moving shallow in order to feast on the goby infestation we now have. When I first started fishing Cayuga Lake in my (then) new boat back around 2001/2002 in November, the most common fish species I’d encounter while working tube jigs and jerkbaits was smallmouth bass. I’d also catch quite a few northern pike. Very rarely would I catch a salmon. This would be in late-October, typically before the salmon really got going. But even in November/December – working baits along the bottom wouldn’t produce a whole lot. Now it’s a new ballgame. Like Skaneateles Lake, lakers are now commonly working the shallower shelves. These are hungry feeding fish! And unlike Skaneateles Lake, these Cayuga fish are bigger!

I worked some shorelines and after starting at 1 pm, within 20 minutes I landed a hard fighting 27″ laker on a tube jig. After another 1/2 hour I caught an 18″er and had a follow from another laker as well as a brown. I broke in my Method fly-rod with a beautiful 22″ brown that hammered my bionic smelt fly. Great fight and one of the nicest looking lake browns I’ve ever caught. Not any better looking than a nicely colored stream brown, but a gorgeous fish with full colors including some red halos. It was clearly a hatchery fish, as it was lacking straight fins. I thought I had hooked a laker on my fly-rod, so for a second I was actually disappointed to see that it was a brown. But fly-fishing lakers is now a very good option on Cayuga throughout the winter months.

Salmon are around, though I didn’t encounter any today on my short (3 hour) day. I’ll be back shortly. But I am enjoying Cayuga Lake late-fall fishing circa 2016. It’s a new ballgame out there! I kept the big laker for the smoker and sure enough, she’d been eating gobies. Water temp was at 48. A lot of bait is around in deeper water. The lake level is low. I’d expect launching to be a pain up north.