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Southern tier fly fishing: Fly fishing report, end of May, events

A kayak is a great way to fish ponds. Right now, largemouth bass and panfish are aggressively taking poppers towards evening.
A kayak is a great way to fish ponds. Right now, largemouth bass and panfish are aggressively taking poppers towards evening.
Bob Bruns

Summer is just around the corner! And how fast time seems to go when the weather turns nice. Farmers are planting fields, trees are fully leaved, and May flowers are in bloom dotting the countryside with white, pink, and purple. Water levels, in general, are excellent as are water temperatures. Things are looking up for fly anglers of the Southern Tier.

Fly fishing is in its prime right now. Fly fishers who enjoy casting a popper on ponds will find both largemouth bass and panfish to be willing takers. Fishing in low light conditions and in particular, towards evening, will work best. And since panfish have smaller mouths, don't hesitate to use a terrestrial such as a grasshopper or cricket pattern. For trout anglers, fishing has also been good. The main hatches are caddis and march browns, although some small hendricksons are still around and sulfurs are starting to appear. I've gotten mixed reports on dry fly fishing. Risers have not been as steady as some anglers would like.

The warmwater rivers are finally settling and clearing. As of this weekend, the Tioughnioga is in very good shape for wading and fishing, and its larger brother, the Chenango is almost there. The Susquehanna still has a little ways to go. Hopefully the rain in the forecast this week will not reverse things for anglers. Keep in mind that smallies are either in the process of spawning or on the post-spawn side at this time. While smallmouth on their beds will attack or remove anything that comes their way, for conservation purposes, anglers are encouraged to avoid fly fishing for smallmouth bass on the beds.

With the start of June, many fly fishing clubs and outfitters scale back on their events. However, there are still some events for this week as follows:

  • Tuesday, June 4 at 6 pm, BC Flyfishers Fishing Buddies on Owego Creek. Anyone interested in doing some fishing on Owego Creek should show up at the Park Settlement Road access. Experienced anglers will be on hand to help newbies fish this great creek. Experienced anglers are welcome to come and fish as well. Owego Creek was recently stocked with brown trout but also has some very nice holdovers.
  • Wednesday, June 5 at 6 pm, A&G Outfitters Fly Fishing 101. This is a great (and free) way for beginners to get into the fine sport of fly fishing. Contact the shop at 570-489-1650570-489-1650 for more information.
  • Saturday, June 7 from 9 am to 4 pm, Badger Creek Fly Tying Open House. Come out and cast rods, check out some new gear, and shop for fly tying materials and load up on flies. Hardy/Greys will be showing their latest rods, reels and gear. Guest fly tyers include: Joe Cambridge and Josh Filter. Carol Farkus Cambridge will be on hand for free casting tune ups and lessons. Free drawing for many door prizes which include a free. Bring a friend and register twice.
  • Saturday & Sunday, June 7 - 8, JP Ross Trout Power at West Canada Creek, Herkimer County, NY. Trout Power's mission is to change the world by honoring clean water not by its clarity but by the wild trout that live in it. Catch the Power on June 7th from 5:30am to 2pm. For more information, click here.

The week ahead will be another mixed bag weather-wise with some nice days as well as some days with rain in the forecast. After a beautiful weekend, precipitation will hit the area in the form of scattered and isolated thunderstorms on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday has a 60% chance of rain with the probability reduced for Wednesday and Thursday. Friday will be nice but Saturday will again have a 30% chance of rain. Highs for the week will be in the low 80's and lows will be in the mid to upper 50's. Let's hope the precipitation received this week is enough to sustain creek levels but not enough to kick the area rivers up again.


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