Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 11/21


Guided Dave for what ended up being an abbreviated full-day today. We were looking for salmon on the fly. Water temps remain cold around Seneca’s south end; we had 40 degrees in most areas and up to 42 up the lake a couple miles. Up the lake towards Glenora the H2O temp is around 49 and my guess is that further north there’s probably some water in the 50 to 52 degree range. Strong south winds appear to be causing a minor upwelling at Watkins. This type of phenomena is common in the Great Lakes but also occurs around here.

Dave used my Sage RPL+ flyrod and once he got used to it he enjoyed the outfit. It really casts an intermediate line well. After around 2 hours of fishing Dave hooked a decent salmon, but unfortunately it was foul-hooked in the dorsal fin! It’s weird fouling a fish on a #4 streamer fishing blind in 40′ of water, but with landlocked Atlantic salmon it happens maybe 5 to 10% of the time. The fish hit the fly, miss it and then swirl around it trying to eat it again. The fish gets broadside to the fly as the angler strips it and next thing you know, you have a foul hooked fish! I got one look at the fish before it kept running upwind of us. Dave fought it for a little while then the hook popped out. That was the only salmon hit on the fly.

We did some fly-fishing for pike, but it was windy and there was a lot of weed debris around which hampered our presentation. Plus the fish are lethargic and deep. I had Dave try a spinning rod with a Lunker City Shaker after a bit and he managed to land a nice northern over 29″. We went up the lake looking for salmon but we got interrupted when the winds switched out of the north and the lake began to whitecap. So we called it a day.

Although the lake temps are ideal for salmon on Seneca Lake, the lack of cold weather and rainfall has probably delayed good fishing by a week or two. I’m sure flatliners could find some fish around, but for my style of fishing I think the best action will be in December. Time will tell. I have a suspicion that Cayuga will be the hot salmon fishing lake this season!