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Southern tier fly fishing: High water cancels events, fly fishing report

Local ponds and lakes can be a great fly fishing haven during high water events.
Local ponds and lakes can be a great fly fishing haven during high water events.
Bob Bruns

The week ended with water, and lots of it. Weekend plans for fly fishing were suddenly dashed for many as the area received a good dousing thanks to a big front that passed through on Friday. Over 1" of rain caused area creeks, streams, and rivers to quickly rise and color up.

Fly fishing is not the only thing that high water put a damper on. There were a number of events scheduled for this weekend, a few of which were cancelled as a result of the high water:

  • The Cayuta Creek Clean-up / Fishing Trip that was scheduled for this past Saturday, 5/17, was cancelled. No word yet from the Twin Tiers, Fiver Rivers Chapter of IFFF as to if and when this event will be rescheduled.
  • The Al Hazzard TU chapter had scheduled a willow tree planting conservation event on Genegansalet Creek for Saturday, May 17. This event has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 31 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (see below).
  • No word on a number of other events scheduled this weekend, including the Ausable Two Fly Competition and the A&G Outfitters Shad Fishing trip.

High water persists on most fly fishing waters at the moment. Exceptions to this would be the Salmon River, where flows have been cut back significantly to approximately 600 CFS. Dropback steelhead fly fishing has been reported to be good, with a mix of big smallmouth also taking streamers on the swing. Ponds and lakes are always another option. With water temps above 60 degrees on most ponds, bass fishing is getting very good. This is a good time to fish poppers for both pre-spawn bass and panfish. Some rivers are slowly settling and clearing. The West Branch of the Delaware was spilling over, and while on the way down, levels are still way too high for safe wading. Floating is possible with streamer fishing the main game. Most of the warmwater rivers are way too high for good fishing.

The month of May will finish up with a few more fly fishing events:

  • Tuesday, May 20th at 7 pm - The Al Hazzard chapter of TU will host Joe Goodspeed of the Cortland Line Company, who will be speaking about fly fishing for brown trout in our local waters. The meeting will be held at the Vestal Public Library.
  • Thursday, May 29th at 6:30 pm - The newly formed BC Flyfishers Chapter of IFFF will hold their second monthly meeting at the Endicott Library. A fly tying demo will start at 6:30 - speaker(s) and other activities to be announced.
  • Saturday, May 31st at 7 am - The Twin Tiers Five Rivers Chapter of IFFF will hold a fly fishing trip to the Genesee River. The trip will depart from the Wegman's in Corning. Lunch will be provided. Contact Chas Elliot at 607-587-8763607-587-8763 for more information.
  • Saturday, May 31st at 9 am to 1 pm - The Al Hazzard Chapter of TU willow tree planting will be held on Geneganslet Creek. Bring gloves and a long bar for planting. Hip boots are also recommended. Go to the chapter's website for meeting location directions and more details.

The week ahead will be generally cloudy and wet. High temps will range from the mid 60's to low 70's over most of the week. Lows will settle in to the 50's after a start in the high 30's early in the week. And with the exception of Tuesday and Sunday, clouds will prevail with a 20 - 40% chance of rain. This won't help the high water situation that currently exists, and with the ground saturated, any significant rain will add to current water flows. It's always a good idea to check the USGS water gauge before venturing out, particularly this week.


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