I consider brown trout somewhat of a bonus fish for us on Seneca and Cayuga Lakes during the late fall through spring fishing calendar. They don’t chase flies quite as actively as landlocked salmon do, but we catch a fair number of these fish every year while fly-fishing and spin-casting in the winter and spring. They typically run around 15” to 20″ long, though we’ve caught them up to 27” on flies and upwards of 30″ on jigs. In Lake Ontario they run much bigger.
Cayuga Lakes give up some monster browns on occasion – fish pushing 17lbs! For many years Owasco lake was known as “THE Lake” for big inland browns. Browns should be coming back steadily on Owasco Lake. Seneca Lake has produced its share of giant browns over the years – especially in the 1990s, 2000s and early 2010s. With lamprey control being an issue over there, those days seem to be over with for now.
We catch decent numbers of browns jigging on Cayuga Lake during the summer. The fishing is not nearly as good as the lake trout fishing but they are a gorgeous fish and fun to have on the end of your line.
Browns stack around creek mouths in October and November on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes as they prepare to spawn. These fish are oftentimes in a negative mood but a little wind can turn them on. I’ve had some success fly-fishing spring browns on Lake Ontario. Conditions need to be right to have success targeting these fish, but for the serious lake fly-fisher it’s a worthy challenge. Fall run browns can also be fly-fished on Lake Ontario around creek mouths.