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Fishing Line

Feeder streams

Streams entering Lake Erie and Lake Ontario have seen a fair rise in water levels.

Observers along shorelines of both lakes look for continued, soaking rainfall to raise levels and improve flow, but anglers using the proper approaches can see some successes on just about every large and smaller feeder stream that attracted salmonid species in previous fall seasons.

Even before Erie Barge Canal officials have begun letting canal water out and into Ontario's feeder streams, waders below Waterport Dam still see a few nice kings.

The salmon run has just about ended, but those few lingering kings also draw good numbers of brown trout and an unusually large number of steelies. At Oak Orchard, waders work flies in waters well below the dam for browns of all sizes.

Johnsons Creek has good water, but nearby Keg Creek still showed a shoreline gravel barrier on Wednesday morning.

Eighteen Mile Creek has a solid presence of brown trout from the piers at the mouth up to Burt Dam. Small schools of darkened king salmon still head upstream, but the browns and increasing numbers of steelies show best, along with a few coho salmon sneaking in with the trout.

Along the Lake Erie shoreline, Cattaraugus Creek remains the spine on that water body, but smaller feeders have gained an arm and a leg up on rainbow/steelhead action.

Chautauqua Creek got enough runoff during the past two weeks to draw steelies well upstream. Canadaway Creek, east of Chautauqua, shows less flow but has drawn good numbers of trout into pools. Both of these creeks could use more flow and depth, fish can be visible in most pools, but the run is on in both of these mid-sized feeders.


Lake Ontario

Boaters have left the open waters but bays and harbors can be productive. At Oak Orchard, perch and the occasional northern pike keep casters busy near the creek mouth.

Pier casters at both Olcott and Wilson are seeing a good run of brown trout. Wilson Harbor also offers a good batch of bluegills in places where shore casters can reach over weed edges.

Perch cluster in just about every bay area along the Ontario shoreline. The trick is to find larger, eater-sized ringbacks.


Niagara River

Lower Niagara River salmon are done, but steelies and some intrusive lake trout (out of season at this time of year) tug on egg sacks drifted along bottom in Devil's Hole. With the right winds (south, west or southwesterly) a Kwikfish moves just right for the trout bite.

Water temperatures hold slightly above 50, about 5-8 degrees above normal for the Ides of November. A few lingering bass might bite along lower drifts, but the better bite close to the mouth has been smaller browns around the Niagara Bar.


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