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Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 4/23 - midday

Met Mark, John and John's girlfriend Julia at Long Point State Boat launch at 10:30 am for a 1/2 day laker trip.  The guys had hammered the lakers out with me last summer.  We were a bit concerned about the lake's high water and mud, but within about 20 minutes of fishing Mark nabbed a very solid laker around 26".  Unfortunately it was a slow go after that.  A few other hits and momentary hookups were had but the fishing was tough.  We ran south to AES, where the water is often clearer after heavy rains.  The water was clearer, but the numbers of fish we encountered we not great.  (We did have hits there.) Clearly the fish are there but our timing wasn't good.  Given how tough our fishing was, I kept the gang out for a bit longer than usual.  Fish appeared to turn on a little during the last hour of our trip but it wasn't enough to land anymore fish.  

Lake level is still very high.  There's a ton of small debris around but very little big stuff that I could see.  It was a gorgeous day to be out and we certainly enjoyed the weather.  Surface temps have risen into the mid to upper 40s in places.

Cayuga Lake 4/20 + 21

4/20:  Launched out of Taughannock with regular Mark I, who usually fly-fishes.  I felt that we could have a good salmon day today.  The fog delayed our trip by an hour and a half and it never really did burn off.  Fishing was very slow to start. For four hours of fishing he had one hit.  We tried some different areas and tactics and eventually started picking up fish.  He wound up having a great day with 8 mostly nice salmon landed and one big 25.5" pickerel.  Fish came on intermediate fly-lines and a woolly bugger. Some came on gear as well.  It was a catch and release day today and we at least were able to take care of a couple lampreys.  

4/21 PM:  After last night's rain I was really wondering what conditions would be like today. We got pummelled with rain late yesterday PM (both while fishing and later on.)  The ground is obviously still saturated and all that muddy runoff went right into the lakes.  The idiotic "ditching" that the local highway departments seem to be so fond of doing does virtually nothing to help anything that I can see.  You get sheer muddy water running right into the lakes. The water still pools up along the roadside, because the system is imperfect. A ditch will just end for no reason.  There's still tons of erosion - much more that there would be if the grass were just left there.  It is a complete waste of time and money. But I digress....

We launched after a brief heavy rainstorm.  Inshore water was very muddy and full of debris, but we were lucky that the winds were mild and kept the mud and junk in shallow. We had a start when Michael landed two lakers from 18" to 23" within the first hour and a half. Fishing was slow afterwards for a couple hours then picked up notably.  Another 4 lakers were landed including LeAnn's 28"er and Norris's solids running 25" to 27".  We had one wild fish and Norris also managed a 19"er.  Fish were feeding on gobies and alewives.  It was a fun trip!

Cayuga Lake 4/17 + 18

We had two very different days on Cayuga Lake.  Things are finally settling after the flood conditions.  There's some nice warm water around creek mouths and in the southern end of the lake, but north winds have also periodically been mixing and pushing water plateaus all over.  We also have salmon that are taking advantage of two very different food sources - alewives (which are moving into the marinas and likely elsewhere) and the ubiquitous gobies.   

4/17:  Guided Stan and his boys Andrew and John for a 1/2 day.  We were originally going to salmon fish for a full day on Sunday and switch the boys out (do 1/2 day with Stan and one of the kids..), which would've been good in hindsight - but there were forecasts for very high winds, so we went with Monday.  Lake trout didn't seem to be an option with the strong north winds forecast for Monday. (FYI-  I know these guys well and Stan knows the deal with my 3 person rule, but he wanted to give the casting a shot for salmon, so I made an exception to my usual policy.) 

Fishing was very tough for us.  I did the first cast to demo what we'd be doing and show a few things that I like to see regarding the tackle (e.g. closing the bail on the spinning reels by hand, not by cranking) and lo and behold I got a solid strike.  I figured we'd wind up having some good fishing but it was not to be.  Andrew probably had 3 hits/follows but nada.  11 year old John did a good job with the casting but never had any action and Stan had a hit or two then a follow from a solid salmon in the low 20s inch range but that was it. 

Water was high and quite a bit of debris was still around. (For what it's worth, my buddy Mike fished the PM and also struggled.)  But two tough salmon trips in a row!  Ouch...

4/18 AM:  Today wound up being the opposite case.  The water levels dropped a bit more and most of the debris washed up onshore - it's just about gone.  I had Bill and George work a lot of the same stuff we used yesterday in different areas but we never saw a fish.  We had to fish some different areas using different lures and hit paydirt.  Within 2 hours the guys wound up landing 9 salmon up to 26" and one solid spawned out rainbow at 23".  Two of the salmon were 12" dinks and it was good to see them around.  The rest were legal sized fish. My boat limit for anglers targeting salmon is 2 per person.  So the guys kept 4.  One was a bleeder that had no chance of making it and one of the others wound up with a messed up eye.  So that was two of them.   Fish fought great.  George is no spring chicken and he told me it was " of the best fishing days I've ever had."   After two skunkings in a row, it was quite a relief.   

I received my DEC Region 7 Diary Results/Reports in the mail last week.  Lots of interesting info is on the reports.  I was disappointed to only see around 25 cooperators on Cayuga Lake.  There used to be upwards of 70 to 80 or more!  That's not a lot of information for DEC to base (in part) their management decisions upon!  Whether you troll, cast, fly-cast or still-fish your assistance really helps DEC.  Even if you only get out a handful of times a year or just shore fish or kayak fish.  So if you've never done it, or used to - please consider keeping a book this year.  For example, DEC will be fin-clipping the two strains of rainbows stocked on Skaneateles Lake to see which one performs better. The diary results will probably be the main way this is assessed, so it isn't something to be taken lightly.  I wouldn't want DEC to have to go back to doing "Spring Brown Trout Assessments" and setting up lethal gillnets to check on how the trout are doing.  It's much easier and better for the fish if YOU do your part!




Cayuga Lake out of Dean's Cove 4/15 AM

Guided Jeff and his sons Kyle and Joe for a 1/2 day of laker jigging today.  The bite was slow to start but picked up after a couple hours.  The guys landed around 7 fish with a couple 27" to 28"ers in the mix.  Deeper water was what we fished today - around 120' to 150'.  The fish I cleaned had alewives in them - no gobies.  One fish had a good lamprey hit.  The others were clean apart from one healed up scar.

Water levels dropped a couple inches today - or so it seemed.  Water temps are still in the 41 to 43 degree range off of Long Point. The lake is warming nicely down south.  Past clients/Angling Zone friends had some top notch salmon fly-fishing today out of Myers.   Again - I expect around another 3 to 4 weeks of good salmon fishing. 

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 4/14 PM

Got out with Ed and Linn for a 1/2 day trip starting at 2:30 pm. The lake is still as high as it has been over the past week - it hasn't dropped noticeably yet. There are large expanses of warmer water along the east shore going way out towards the middle of the lake. This definitely spreads fish out and makes it more of a troller's game until things subside. That being said, casting and fly-casting can still be productive and should be for another 3 to 4 weeks.  

We had a slow go this afternoon, especially when compared to the fishing of the past 4+1/2 months.  Ed fly-casted and Linn casted gear.  Linn had a hit and around ten minutes later connected with a solid salmon that jumped twice before throwing the hook. It was likely in the 20" to 21" range.  That was it on the day.

We hopped around a bit today and didn't work any areas very thoroughly - that may have hurt us, but it's tough to pinpoint fish when they can be in so many different areas. Salmon action is reportedly picking up further uplake, so our concentrations of winter fish have likely dispersed quite a bit.  Time will tell.

Cayuga Lake 4/10 + 11

4/10 out of Long Point:  Guided Paul and Cindy for a 1/2 day starting around 8 am.  Lake trout fishing started a little slow but wound up being top-notch for this time of year with over a 1/2 dozen fish landed including three in the 27" to 28" range.  Paul and Cindy were both surprised and impressed with the quality of the fishing and catching.  Kept fish had gobies in their stomachs.  Lamprey wounding was very light.  Fish came from shallow out to around 140' FOW.  

4/11 out of Taughannock:  Well the lake sure came up a bit!  The ramp area was flooded at Taughannock and we cleared the bridge by about 8".  If your boat has a lot of height or a cabin, don't bother launching here.  You won't make it under the bridge.  Michael and his son Colin were staying with family on Seneca Lake and wanted to give the fishing a try. We started with some salmon casting and after trying a couple areas Colin had a solid hit from a fish in the low 20s" range that didn't stay on.  We did some laker jigging near AES and the guys each landed fish - Mike had a solid one at 26" and Colin a smaller on just over 16"

Unfortunately our trip got cut a bit short by an incoming storm.  It's hard to know what to do in these situations - safety has to come first.  Also there's the high water and getting back under the bridge, which could be very tough with wave displacement!   A one foot wave wound send the windshield and us into the bridge structure.  A two footer?  Forget it. So we headed in.  Overall I was hoping for more action but given the calm conditions, very high water and debris/murky areas, I felt pretty good about how things turned out. Water temps are running from 40 to 46.  

Cayuga Lake 4/9 PM out of Myers

I have a pretty full slate of guiding trips this week, so I figured I may as well get down to Myers and launch the boat so I could see what the conditions were like after the rain. My friend Silene was up for a couple hours on the boat and she brought her friend Alyssa, so it was a good chance to get out, fish a little and kick back.  We were only out for about 2.5 hours.  

The lake level is very high.  You launch your boat and you have to step up to get onboard.  I expect the level to drop this week with the warm weather and mainly dry conditions in the forecast. Water is warming with all of the warm runoff and I saw temps up to 43 degrees out there.  Alyssa had never fished much at all except a little bit when she was a child, so I showed her how to cast and work lures.  As luck would have it, on her 4th or 5th cast she hooked and landed a nice jumping salmon around 23" to 24"!  Silene also caught one around 22".  I was happy given the high water and relatively calm conditions.  I cast gear as well for awhile but never had any hits.  

There was a huge debris (aka scum line) along the east shore of the lake south of Portland Point.  This is not a good time to zip around the lake fast. A submerged log can turn up just about anywhere.  I expect pretty good fishing this week with the warm relatively stable weather.  We'll see!

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 4/5

Got out with my buddy Terry from around 11 am till 5:30 pm.  We spent half of our day targeting lake trout and the rest chasing perch.  Lake trout fishing was excellent. Terry landed the first three fish in less than a half an hour.  Within an hour and a half we had the five fish I wanted for my smoker.  They were fighting great as well.  We wound up landing around 10 fish from shallow out to 150'.  Lamprey wounding was low, but this will likely change once the parasites infiltrate the rest of the lake (they have been coming(aka "transforming) from out of the inlet.)  They are gobbling gobies.  We had two fish in the 27" to 28" range.  Two were wild.  

We didn't really do justice to the perch fishing.  We landed around 12 or 15 with only 5 keepers.  A few pickerel also found our perch setups.  We stayed away from the pack for the most part.  Perch fishing pressure is high here but there is plenty of room to fish and the fish are widely distributed - you can catch a few just about anywhere on the lake's north end.  Mud was a factor.  Water temps hit 43 up here.  

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 4/2 PM + 4/3 PM

I have been taking full advantage of the top-notch salmon/brown trout fishing we've had throughout this season.  This has been a great year for salmon action on Cayuga Lake. Large numbers of 17" to 22" fish are available.  A few smaller and larger fish are also around. Lamprey activity has been high with most fish having at least one wound on them.  

4/2:  Guided Don and his nephew Greg for a 1/2 day.  Greg is just about 12 years old and the guys joined me for a couple trips last year.  Fishing started out a little slow but before long Don landed a nice salmon on his Temple Forks 7 wt. flyrod.  Fishing wound up being solid with 5 nice fish landed on the afternoon.  Greg took two fish on stickbaits;  Don's came on white bionic smelt flies, both fished on a floating and intermediate line.  Other hits were had as well.

4/3:  Got out on my own today for around 4 1/2 hours.  Despite the calm conditions the fishing wound up being very good to downright excellent.  I did some exploring and a fair amount of gear fishing as well as fly-fishing.  I wound up landing 10 salmon and one brown - 8 of those fish came in areas I hadn't fished yet this year, so that was great. Water temps are hovering around 40 degrees though some east shore areas were pushing 43.

I've purchased some new equipment and am very happy with it. As usual, SAGE is making some amazing rods.  I've fished the SAGE X, Method and Motive.  All have been superb casting rods and the 6 weights are terrific salmon rods.  

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 3/30 PM

Got out with my buddy Eric today and we mainly fly-fished until just about dark (7:15 pm or so.)  At times we worked some jigs.  Conditions didn't look great for salmon fishing, but with the great numbers of fish available this year as well as the changes in their habits, it didn't really matter much.  We landed a good number of fish up to around 22".  I got a chance to cast a couple of new fly-rods that I'd bought recently and they were both fantastic (a Sage X and a Sage Salt.)  Water temps got up around 39/40.  Water levels are at full pool.  I kept one fish today and it was stuffed with gobies. Fish were fairly scarred up and we had one live lamprey come onboard.

I have plenty of availability in April, so if you're looking to get out for some salmon or lake trout action, now's the time!   My SAGE RPL+ and Diamondback Diamondfly rods are still available if anybody is interested.  I may sell some other rods off later this year.   

Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/21

I heard birds chirping for the first time this year a couple days ago. Photoperiods are getting noticeably longer.  We witnessed thousands of snow geese on Cayuga Lake today - it was an awe-inspiring sight!  Spring is definitely in the air but it may still take a few days before it actually feels like it.

Guided Mark I. for the full day today starting around 10 am. We started with some salmon fly-fishing but then quickly went to laker jigging.  The jigging was good with Mark landing three nice lakers in around 2 hours.  We then switched back to salmon flyfishing.  The bite has been off and on for us pretty much all season. The fish are around just about everywhere but the bites can be tentative.  Mark wound up doing very well with four solid Landlockeds landed - all in the 20" to 22" range.  The fish were in nice plump condition for the most part and fought great. We used intermediate and full sinking lines with flies in various colors - white, gray and chartruese/orange. 

I had Mark keep the lakers for me for my smoker or maybe chowder and we harvested two of the salmon that had some serious lamprey hits.  One very small live lamprey came up on a fish.  The parasitic eel like creatures are definitely a factor this year in Cayuga Lake, but there appears to be enough hosts around so that the lampreys are acting more "parasitic" than "predatory."  They are basically attaching to fish for awhile then moving onto another host rather than killing the fish and then moving on.  That's good.  With fewer hosts they will stick with a fish until they kill it.

The reason I started this report with comments on the coming of spring was that the salmon I cleaned had been gorging on alewives. Fish we've kept this winter for the most part had been feeding on a mix of alewives and gobies with gobies dominating in certain parts of the lake. When we've found alewives in fish, there weren't many in their stomachs. Alewives are likely gradually moving up due to the lengthening photoperiods. After all, the water temperatures really haven't warmed up that much.  

Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 3/17

Got out on my own for some shorefishing today from around 1:30 pm till 6 or so.  I worked three different areas.  Fishing was very slow in my first two and very good in the third.  My fish came on flies today, though I did throw some gear for a bit.  Fish were biting in a peculiar manner at times, not really committing to the fly.  I lost a very solid salmon, then missed a couple hits, lost another that hit after a bad "dump cast" then landed and let go one around 18".   Had another couple hits and I finally hooked up with a great fish.  Some great runs (got me right on the reel,) a lot of turns, more runs, more dogging - just a classic nice salmon battle.  I kept this fish and it was 24" long and weighed 5lbs 3oz despite having a lamprey hit.   The fish appeared to be eating small gobies. It's my understanding that gobies don't have quite the level of thiaminase that alewives have, so perhaps that is contributing to the vigor that many of this year's salmon are showing.  I don't know.  They're also feeding a lot this winter, so that must help too.  

I did not take a water temperature but would expect the lake temp to have dropped a degree (at least) during the high winds and major snowstorm.

Lake Ontario's alewives still aren't "out of the woods" temperature-wise this winter.  A late winter with more cooling and uneven weather could create some issues there.  We'll see how things shape up.  Right now we're looking at some cold temps over the next week on most days. Cold but fishable!

Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/6 AM

Guided a half day trip with Chris and Greg starting around 9 am. Fishing was good for Landlocked salmon with the guys landing three nice fish in the 20" to 22" range. The two 20" fish had fresh lamprey wounds on them. We kept one of the smaller fish and it had a fresh alewife in its stomach.  

A couple other fish were lost and we had some follows and hits as well.  Water temps were 39 degrees on top and the lake level had come up a little bit.  It may drop again (it likely WILL drop again since it's very unlikely that the DOT is raising the lake at this point in time.)   Greg remembered me from way back in my old Irondequoit Creek days (1977 onwards) so that was quite the blast from the past!  He was a friend of an old fishing buddy of mine.

Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 2/28

Decided to check out Seneca Lake today with my buddy Terry.  We brought tackle for salmon/trout, pike and lake trout jigging.  I had pike and trout/salmon fly-gear in tow but never broke it out.  This time of year there are usually a bunch of boats out targeting perch. I saw maybe one. A local told us that perch fishing wasn't worth it.  Trout and salmon action has been slow by some accounts though I know someone who has had fair to very good fishing from shore at times this winter.  There are decent numbers of landlocked salmon and brown trout available on Seneca Lake.  It doesn't come close to what Cayuga has been producing, but if you live around Watkins Glen or further west, it may be worth a try on occasion - especially if you don't like fishing around other anglers or the extra drivetime to Cayuga.

We spent most of the day (which started at 10:45 am and went till around 4:15 pm) targeting trout and salmon with spinning gear.  I had a few follows from some salmon including one nice one (over 20".)  Terry got clocked at least once on a hair jig.  I cast stickbaits.  I connected with some silver in one area and we netted a chunky brown over 16" that I kept.  It did have two lamprey scars on it - one fresh and one healed.  That was it. We did see some fish below our lures.  So the salmon numbers are fair.  A year or two ago we saw next to nothing!  So it's better than it was then (take this with a grain of salt given that this was our first time out in a boat there this season.)

We checked out a lake trout area and I marked a fair number of fish.  Fewer than past years, but it wasn't terrible.  No hits.  The conditions weren't great for laker jigging.  We tried a couple areas for pike kind of quickly as the day wound down and did not encounter any fish.  Water temp on top was around 39 to 41.  Lake level was low but still good for launching.  I can't argue with 62 degree air temps on the last day of February!

Cayuga Lake 2/22 - 24

I never thought I'd see t-shirt weather here in the Finger Lakes Region on February 24th, but my car thermometer got up to 77 degrees today!  As long as we don't hit 115 degrees this summer, I'll take this warm weather on occasion.  After all, there's nothing I can do about it. 

Fly-fishing and gear-casting for landlocked salmon, brown trout and occasional lakers has been very good thus far this winter.  Action picked up for us over the past few days.  Water temps were around 39 on Wednesday (and on last Sunday) and hit over 41 degrees today. I'm sure we'll be in for more winter weather sooner or later - certainly in March.

2/22:  Got out with my friend Silene for around 5 hours of fishing.  I cast flies and she worked gear.  She hadn't had any luck last time we were out but her luck changed today. We had some very good fishing for a couple hours with us landing 7 decent fish - 2 browns (one around 16" and one at 18" - though very fat) and 5 salmon up to just under 22" (basically 21.5".)  We kept her nicer brown and two salmon that had lamprey hits on them. Great fun.  She caught most of the fish today, which was great to see.  My fish came on my Bionic Smelt fly and an intermediate line and hers came on a stickbait and a tube jig.

2/23:  Got out with my buddy Terry for around 5 hours of fishing.  I went with my fly-tackle most of the day and he went with spinning gear.  We had terrific action with us having a lot of follows but also landing some hard fighting fish.  I landed a 24" salmon and a couple smaller ones (nice to see some dinks around.)  Terry landed a 19" salmon plus a super hard fighting brown that went 24".  It was as fat as any I've ever seen.  I'd bet it weighed 7lbs.   Certainly over 6 for sure. We released everything today.  Had a lot of follows too.  One laker hookup shallow as well.

2/24:  I had an email from Tracee who was in the region looking for a fishing date for her and her husband Harry.  She read my reports and thought perhaps the fishing was slow, given that the past weekend's fly-fishing trips only resulted in a couple browns (though me and my friend Jeff did well on lakers.)  I let her know that we were fly-fishing for the most part and it does have its limitations.  I rarely expect to catch as many fish as a gear guy or a troller. So she was reassured and we booked the half day.

They were impressed with the fishing today.  We started with jigging lakers and two were brought to the net.  Casting stickbaits for salmon resulted in another laker and two salmon - one around 20" and one at 18".  We kept all the lakers and the bigger salmon (that also had a lamprey scar.)  Stomach checks revealed gobies.   Great day and you could never ask for better weather!  Rain was to the north of us this AM but Ithaca never received a drop!

Cayuga Lake 2/18 + 19

Launched out of Taughannock on both days. The goal was to fly-fish salmon.  Fished with my friend Jeff on Saturday starting around 10:45 am.  I met him back in 2004 or '05 when I worked at Bass Pro Shops.  He's an avid fly-fisherman.  We had terrific fishing but slow catching over the first few hours.  We found plenty of fish and had follows but strikes were few and far in between.  The salmon were tentative.  I managed one brown just a hair shy of 15". We set up for lakers and had some great jigging action with 4 fish landed between us in around 2 hours.  We also missed other hits and dropped a fish or two.  The smoker will be running this week!

Yesterday was a full day guide trip with Mark I.  I gave him the option of Sunday with warm temps but poor winds and today (Monday) with cold temps but good winds.  He went with the nicer day.  Winds were dead calm after an hour of light southerlies.  We were able to see deep into the lake and spotted plenty of suckers along with a few salmon in a few different locations.  We even saw a lake trout.  

Just as I was debating setting up for laker jigging, the winds came up strong out of the north. Fish activated a bit but were still tough/tentative for us.  Gear fishing likely would've been productive but we stuck with fly-fishing.  It was hard to cover water effectively due to the strong winds pushing the boat along a bit too fast (even with drift bags.)  We found some more sheltered areas and Mark got railed by a nice thick brown trout.  It found superbly - with some deep runs and great jumps.  The fish went 20" and Mark caught all of the action - including the hookup on his Go-Pro.  After that Mark had another hit (likely a salmon) but that was it.  

Water temps ran around 39/40.   Launching wasn't a problem for us.

Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 2/7

I gave the lake around 2 hours today and managed to lose a nice salmon around 19" that jumped twice and threw the hook on the second jump.  My buddy Mike worked another area and landed some good fish up to 24" on the day.   The water level is very low - about as low as it gets.  Water temps remain in the low 40s.  Shorefishing overall remains good with salmon, occasional browns and lake trout in the mix depending on where and how you are fishing.  


Cayuga Lake 1/20 - 1/22

Got out for three days in a row in my boat. Water temp is around 41.  Here's the breakdown:

1/20:  Fished with my friend Silene for the day starting around 11 am. We had pretty strong south winds for most of the day and then it finally let up.  No rain, which was nice. Action was slow. I fly-fished and she casted gear.  I missed some hits and had some follows. She had one hookup momentarily but that was it.  

1/21:  Got out with my buddy Mike for the day, starting around 10 am.  A lot of boats were out today.  We brought gear for salmon, lakers and pike.  We like to hedge our bets! Salmon fishing was pretty good for a bit - I nailed a 17"er and a 22", Mike got a 21".  Mike had a nice lake trout take a few swipes at his streamer which was pretty cool.  We did some laker jigging and it was good. We landed 4 of them up to around 26".  I kept my large salmon and it was stuffed with gobies. The fish had a large lamprey scar on it.

1/22:  Did my first guided trip of the season and it went well. I met Gordon at the launch around 8 am and we were underway by 8:30.  Salmon fishing was good early, then slowed then picked up again.  He wound up landing 4 solid fish all on the fly.  Best was 24" and smallest was just under 18".  He also lost two good ones and missed another half dozen hits.  We saw a salmon around 6lbs or so jump clear out of the water in one area. It had a big lamprey attached to it and it appeared as though the fish was trying to "shake it."  The water level appears to have gone up a little bit due to all the runoff.  We finished our full day up around 4:30 pm. Really fun salmon fly-fishing!

Seneca Lake shorefishing 1/16

Got out with my buddy Mike and we hit three different shore areas for trout/salmon using our fly-gear.  In our first area we each hooked up (possibly the same fish but I am not sure) and Mike wound up landing an 18" brown trout (with attached small lamprey.)  Apart from the attached lamprey, it was in good condition - nice and chunky.  He let it go.  That was only luck we had.  The conditions turned calm which usually makes for very tough fly-fishing.  

I think we'll see fair fishing for browns, salmon and rainbows on Seneca Lake this year. I am guessing the Memorial Derby will likely be won by a big brown trout again this year. With the low laker numbers and abundant forage we may start seeing more trophy fish come out of Seneca.  I will likely check on things with my boat here over the next couple weeks.  Again, I blame a lot of last year's poor fishing on low laker numbers, high baitfish abundance, high lamprey numbers and poor water clarity during most of the summer.  The lake's transperency has been declining in the summer months due to more blue-green algae.  On the flipside, the lake is clearer than ever in the early spring/late winter.

Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 1/11

Got out with my buddy Mike for some salmon fly-fishing.  We started around 10:30 am and surprisingly were the only boat out fishing. Can't beat that!  As predicted last year, fishing for salmon this season has been top-notch on Cayuga Lake.  There are good numbers of 17" to 19" fish and then also some in the 21" range.  We haven't seen many dinks - fish under 15" or any fish better than 21" thus far.  Clearly they are out there but we just haven't run into them.

We encountered a lot of fish today in a lot of areas and a lot of different depths.  We landed 7 salmon and one brown. The brown was a heavy 21" fish.  Best salmon was 21" as well. A couple salmon went 16" to 17" with the rest running 19" to 20".  Intermediate and Type 3/4 sinking fly-lines both produced grabs for us.  For every fish we landed, we probably had follows from another one or two. There were signs of lampreys on probably 50% or more of the fish.  Today was a "catch 'em and release 'em" day with all fish going back into the lake. The fish we have harvested thus far this winter have been feeding on equal numbers of alewives and gobies.  Water temp was 41 degrees on top.

Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 1/3

Back to the shorefishing today.  Had the forecast not been for rainy, windy conditions I would have taken my boat out.  I was well equipped for shore casting today with my 6 wt. fly-rod with a type 3 sinking line, 5 mm neoprene chest waders (which are getting hard to find,) a stripping basket and waterproof wading jacket.  I fished a few different areas and in the first location I had five different encounters with what was likely two different salmon.  I landed one around 18".  

Location number two was the hotspot and within a half hour I'd landed three solid salmon from 19" to 21".  The fishing was reminiscent of the early 2000s or late 1990s with nice clean fish.  Great battles too with some superb jumps!  Putting in my time paid off. Time now to work on other things and wait for the next thaw.  Looks like it will be another topnotch year on Cayuga Lake.  

Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 1/2 PM

After taking care of a few things I met my buddy Mike out at Taughannock for some shore fishing.  He had a good late AM with 4 nice salmon landed - two sublegals and two legals. He nabbed three of them with the fly-rod.  He pretty much just hung out and had a cigar while I tried to nab my first salmon of the winter season.  Later on he fished a little bit more.  Yours truly missed two.  I had a couple decent hits - one felt good but I couldn't connect.  Fishing has been good just about anywhere you can get shore access around the southern portions of Cayuga Lake.  Water temperatures are around 44.  I'm looking forward to my next time out.  I also missed one a couple days ago - so I need to connect with a zolid... 

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