Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 2/28

Reports

Guided Mark I. and his friend Kevin for a full day. Mark fly-fished and Kevin casted spinning gear. Kevin's mainly a saltwater guy and this was his first freshwater fishing experience. He was impressed with the beauty of Cayuga Lake.

Water levels on Cayuga Lake are still low, but have come up 1+1/2 to 2' or more since last week's rain. Things have settled nicely and there's plenty of fishy looking green water around and not too much debris. We worked 1/2 dozen areas on the day and had hits in one-half of them. We found a good concentration of fish in one area and the guys landed 6 salmon between 14" and 20" long. Most were 14" to 17 1/2". A few had lamprey scars and one had a very small lamprey attached. We had a follow from a brown trout as well. Stickbaits and streamers did the trick. I am experimenting with some special single hooks designed to use with stickbaits. These should help reduce the "maiming" factor that happens more often than I like to see on these salmon. One other salmon in the 17 1/2" range was landed by Mark in another area on a goby pattern that I tied up during a tying session with my friend Eric, who has had some good luck with these flies. They are tied on articulated shanks.

I strongly recommend having some duct tape and zip ties on board just in case. Zip ties saved the day today when my old trolling motor shaft knob (for height adjustments) failed. The threads got stripped. A handful of zip ties and we were back in business.

With salmon and brown trout eating gobies as well as the usual alewives and rare smelt, I have to believe that we'll see quite a few salmon getting around legal size within a few months.

As a funny aside, we finished up our day fishing right alongside Taughannock Point. I heard a large splash – I thought maybe a big dog had jumped in the water, but nope – it was a group of two guys and girls, likely college students doing a polar bear swim! I've never seen anything like it, but they jumped in and got out. One guy even jumped in backwards! Thirty Nine degree water!!! I've seen it all now…