Seneca Lake out of Geneva 5/15, Watkins Glen 5/16


Geneva 5/15 PM: Guided Dean, his wife Robin and his son Sam for a 1/2 day. Robin didn’t fish. The weather forecasts were crazy with good chances of upwards of 1/4″ or more rain. It never rained a drop. It was supposed to be cloudy – it was sunny. We were supposed to have light south winds – we had zero wind.

As is the case with windless days, I had to move the boat a lot. We started just after 3 pm and the fishing was decent. Sam landed his first laker in short order. Lots of fish are around on the Geneva flats but they weren’t super aggressive. Once Dean got the hang of things, he started picking up fish. The guys wound up landing 5 nice lakers. One fish we caught twice in about 10 minutes – which is a new one for me. It hit a smelt-colored Shakers then came back later for a BPS Swim bait in chartreuse. It was a distinctive fish with a double fin-clip and one of the fins wasn’t completely clipped. We also removed a lamprey from it off the top of the fish. Same darn fish hit again! Fun trip.

Watkins Glen 5/16: Guided Kevin and his girlfriend Laurie for the full day of fly-fishing. Kevin first fished with me during my first year guiding and it was good to see him again. Last time we were out together was for two days of fly-fishing during Seneca Lake’s c. 2007 pike heyday. The pike fishing isn’t what it was back then, but it can still be very good. We set up in some shallow water and within a few casts Kevin had a follow from a hefty 7 to 8lb fish. Another hit and follow ensued. Within a half an hour Kevin landed a fish around 25″. We had one more follow, then things slowed. We tried some different fly setups, but conditions were starting to favor Landlocked salmon action.

We set up up-lake for salmon and again, within short order Kevin had a follow from a decent salmon around 18″ or so. He landed a few small salmon – maybe 13″ to 14″ fish on the flies. Bigger salmon – including some 3 to 4lb fish were following but conditions kept changing and the bite progressively got tougher.

The weather really dealt us a tough hand. We had intermittent sun, clouds, wind and then no wind, then westerlies and finally northerlies. We wound up with some casting with gear for pike but the lake started getting rougher and the rain started pouring down, so we called it an early day and had a couple beers and bite to eat at the Watkins Bar and Grill. It was a good AM for fishing, but the catching could have been better. Lots of fish around in places, but tentative. Water temps on the surface ranged from 51 to 56. It looks to be a pretty good pike fishing year from what I could gather here. I’ll be out more this week out of other ports so I should have some reports.