Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 1/12/24 PM


The past two days looked pretty good for fishing “on paper” – i.e., forecasts were showing milder temperatures combined with south winds, which depending on what sources I checked, varied in speed from 7 to 25 mph.  I talked to a client about a guided trip, but we both agreed that the weather forecast didn’t look good for anything over a half-day, which wouldn’t have worked for him.

I’ve been wanting to get out, but I don’t feel like dealing with marginal conditions for comfort and fishing.  Today I broke down and went anyways.  I drove into Watkins Glen with ample sunshine and my truck thermometer reading 44 degrees.   Unfortunately, the winds were blowing pretty good and were sending a lot of murky water into my favorite winter salmonid fishing areas.  I ran to what looked to be the best option and set up fishing with a 6 wt. fly-rod and type 4 sinking line.  After about 5 minutes of casting, I felt a hit.  Shortly thereafter I set into a solid fish that fought great, both digging and jumping – it wound up being a chunky 17.5″ brown trout.  I figured I’d be in business in this area and worked it for a good half-hour, mostly with the flies, but even with some spinning gear.  I didn’t have another hit.

Winds amped up even more (out of the south) so running further north didn’t look like much fun.  I worked some areas in the murky water for maybe 20 minutes without luck.  I tried a pike area and had a follow from something that I couldn’t identify.  It might have been a brown trout – but I’m not sure.  No other action.  One other boat was out clearly trying to mark some perch schools.  So today wound up being a very short day of fishing – I fished maybe 2.5 hours, that was it.  It was good catching a brown trout on Seneca Lake, even though it had signs of a pretty good lamprey attack.  Just that one great solid hit and fight really made my day, so I didn’t regret fishing today.  I caught it on one of my own fly-patterns, a variation which I hadn’t fished in quite some time, so that also made catching that fish that much sweeter.

Looks like the deep freeze will start on Sunday night.  I don’t do much ice-fishing, but if we get some good solid ice on lake trout waters, like Keuka Lake, I’ll head out.  Water temps on Seneca Lake ran from 41 to 42.  The water level is good.  Clarity was generally poor – maybe 2′ of visibility in areas getting the muddy inlet water blown in.

Lampreys are still a factor on Seneca Lake, even though their numbers are down