Waneta Lake 11/30 + Cayuga Lake out of Myers 12/1


Waneta Lake 11/30:  Guided Mark I. for what’s become a regular fly-fishing (mostly) trip for us over the past few years.  Conditions weren’t looking like fun as of Monday.  Mark was seeing forecasts calling for strong gusts out of the west and some very cold “real feel” conditions.  Often times his weather sources tend to be better than mine (I usually use weather.gov or weather.com – although I also check Iwindsurf.com too.)   On Monday we decided it wasn’t worth doing the trip, so I didn’t prep my boat Monday afternoon.  Lo and behold, Mark stepped outside on Tuesday and felt that the conditions were fishable, so he gave me a call and off we went.  (The first issue I had to deal with was a frozen-on boat cover, but fortunately that didn’t take too long after defrosting it with some warm water.)

We fished an abbreviated (6 hour) day starting just after 10:30 am and finishing up around 4:30 pm.  Needless to say, it was very cold outside.  We had to motor through some skim ice in the channel in order to get to the lake.  Mark spent most of his day working a couple musky flies he’d tied up.  He never had a hit on the day.  He had one nice musky that he estimates between 30″ and 40″ chase his fly in and follow it on a figure 8 but no grab.  We gave some gear a shot as well without any luck.  Water temp was 39 to 40 and the water looked good.

Snow in the boat from my boat cover - some of which never did melt off on the day

Mark enjoying the fishing

Even though he didn’t hook any muskies, we’ve had a good track record here of getting some action on the fly.  It felt good giving it our best shot with the tough conditions.

12/1 Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park:  I got out on my own for around 4 hours today starting at 12:30 pm.  I wanted to scout some areas for lake trout.  My goal today was to catch some for the smoker.  This is the first year that I can recall not having smoked any fish.  I checked out areas I hadn’t guided or received reports on recently.   I thought I had some pretty good jigging conditions and for an hour I had some pretty good action – hits that is.  I think the fish were mostly small.  I only landed one laker – a 16 1/2″er.  I had a few grab the jigs but not hookup, which often indicates short hits, small fish or both.  I think it was both.  I found fish in a variety of depths and areas, but they weren’t very active.   I also tried some casting and working jigs and bladebaits for shallower lakers.  No luck there either, though the calm conditions aren’t always very good for a shallow bite.  Had this been 2 to 4 years ago, I most likely would’ve had a solid day despite the conditions.  It’s clear to me that the goby fueled hot shallow lake trout bite is pretty much over with.  At some point I’ll recap the trajectory (i.e., the timeline) of that short-lived insane inshore fishery.   Water level is still launchable at Myers without kicking up mud.  Water temp on top is 46 degrees.