Skaneateles Lake 10/19
Guided Gordon for a full day here getting underway around 9:30 am. Over the past 6 or 7 years, we’ve done this trip in the spring and fall over here annually. I would have moved the trip back a week or two after what I saw on Monday, but Gordon had commitments over the next few weeks. He spent half of the day fly-fishing without much luck. Water temperatures remain around 61 degrees, and a lot of fish are in deeper water now. Rainbow trout tend to move in as the water cools – to some extent, the colder the better. He caught a decent perch, rock bass and a very small largemouth bass on his buggers. We went to a sinking line, but the winds really came up into the low 20s (mph range) and made it tough to fly-fish. We switched out to spinning gear, using soft jerkbaits and tube jigs and started putting some decent fish in the boat. He caught a lot of rock bass, some decent smallmouths and a few nice perch that went home with him for dinner.
Overall I’d say that the fishing is somewhat slow on Skaneateles Lake. It’s certainly not bad overall, but it’s not what I would normally expect going into the third week in October. The nearshore bite should improve by the week. The water is still a bit warm for perch, lake trout and rainbows to move up. Rock bass and likely plenty of smallmouths are still somewhat deep. It’s fishing like late-September to a point, where drop-shotting might still be one of the best techniques.
All of the above being said, Skaneateles is still the nicest of the Finger Lakes to be on and the foliage was pretty spectacular, so it was still a good call.