Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/19


Guided a full day with James, targeting Landlocked Salmon on the fly. His wife Meg joined us for 2 hours or so as well. The weather was very cold, with air temps around 32 to 35, north winds around 10 to 17 mph and full cloud cover, despite the forecasts for sun. We started around 10:30 am and earlier in the morning I had a fresh coating of snow on my boat. I congratulated Meg for being the first woman I’ve ever guided between the months of December and March.

The lake level is very high and getting higher. Taughannock Park is just starting to flood – at least with the wave action. The lake is about 6″ below “flood stage” at the park; you’d need knee high boots just to cast off of the N. marina breakwall! I was very optimistic after talking to an angler that had just come in with a beautiful limit of salmon and one nice brown. He’d also released some fish – all caught by casting, which was nice to see. I’m always surprised I don’t see more people out in boats casting for these fish. Trolling may be more productive day-in and day-out, but casting is more fun and often very effective too.

There was a lot of debris around the park and throughout the perimeter of the lake, kind of like Lake Ontario “scum lines.” Fishing was tough but Meg did have a good hit S. of the park. It was cold out and Meg’s hands were feeling it so we dropped her off at the park and headed south. Fly-fishing remained tough, though James had one hit. His casting was decent.

We kept drifting various areas and eventually James hooked a fish near the boat that wound up getting off. It was in the 16″ range. No other hookups were had. All in all a tough day with cold air temps, moderate to high winds, and plenty of debris floating around. The lack of sun hurt us as well. Water temps are hovering around 37 degrees – both off creek mouths and in the main lake. The quality of fish in Cayuga Lake this year is impressive.