It’s been awhile since we put out a semi-weekly fishing report. To be honest, although we have been fishing, the focus of the past couple weeks has been spending quality time with our families prior to what is going to be a busy fall. Kids starting school and planning for upcoming trips have been a pleasant distraction from daily outings in one of the greatest offices in the world. Our local waters have been fishing well, we just completed a trip north of the U.S./CA border, and we’re at the doorstep of making another adventure up there at the end of the week. Here is the latest and greatest:
Overall Situation Update:
Recent rains and cooler nights dropped the temperature of the Niagara River by around 4 degrees. This seems to have turned the fish on quite a bit. BIG smallies are showing up more regularly now than in the preceding weeks and we can finally target muskies. The inland creeks are coming into shape – not great shape – but barely fishable. The long, hot summer and continued above average water temperatures has put the salmon, lake-run brown trout, and steelhead run a little behind. We also made a trip up to Georgian Bay (pics will follow) – I was a new addition to an annual trip that Nate’s been doing with friends of the family for over a decade. It was a blast – good people, good food, outstanding atmosphere, strong fishing – count me in for next year.
Although probably fishable, the inland trout fisheries are still a bit warm for our likings. Nonetheless, anglers without access to the Niagara River have been dredging up some nice trout – if for no other reason than the jones to fish claws at them daily. That’s completely understandable but we’re going to stick to the big water until there is a persistent chill in the air and the fall pattern is in full swing.
Smallmouth Bass: The Upper Niagara River continues to impress me with every outing. The smallies seem to be getting bigger and bigger. It seems like every fish brought to hand has a huge belly. As many local anglers know, when you fight these local beauties they frequently regurgitate their last meal (providing a little pre-digested snack to their brothers and sisters that follow them throughout the fight). Crawdads are the most common food we have been seeing shoot from their mouth so we continue to fish those patterns. Chuck Kraft’s Clawdads in tan (to imitate soft shells) have been the go-to fly.
Muskellunge: Due to high water temperatures, we laid off the muskies. That’s about to change. As I mentioned earlier, the Niagara River dropped significantly over the past week – it was below 75 degrees as of yesterday. That’s a safe temperature to begin targeting them. We made a few casts yesterday and had one VERY aggressive follow and miss on top water followed by a somewhat lazy follow shortly thereafter. That got our hearts pounding so we will spend much of our free days in the near future casting for these apex predators. Although it hurt the morale a bit not fishing for them all summer, we saw quite a few out there, so at least we know where to start hunting them.
Common Carp: These guys have been out of the question for a few months now. However, I have been noticing a few of them showing up in shallower water. Not enough to get excited about but I will keep my eyes open for targets of opportunity randomly feeding in shallow water.
Georgian Bay Adventure
I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking on this next piece – just a couple of comments.
- The fishing wasn’t hot but strong enough to keep us interested. Next time I go up there I’d like to spend a week.
- The scenery was incredible.
- You definitely need a boat, preferably one like mine that will allow you to get out there and explore the area.
- It is also INCREDIBLY helpful to have Navionics – especially if you want to preserve the lower unit on your outboard.
- Finally – we are looking really hard at turning this into an annual hosted trip – stay tuned.