Newfane Blues & Spring Creek Wild Browns

I thought I had western New York fly fishing out of my system for the year, but I didn’t. After catching a 20+” lake-run brown trout on 18 Mile Creek last weekend, all I wanted to do was go back and catch another. I ignored the lack of posts on the Burt Dam Facebook page and all the other indicators I use to know when it’s a good time to head north. I left early Saturday morning and arrived at the Burt Dam Fishermen’s Park at 6:30am. There weren’t many cars in the lot, maybe a dozen at best. I got dressed with my cold weather gear as the morning temperatures were in the high 30s. I headed down the hill to the water and as I got closer to the creek I could see that the water was lower than the weekend before. There were a couple of guys at the trestle bridge and one or two on the run above it.

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Going to Combat for Lake-Run Brown Trout

One fish that has eluded me on the fly rod is the Great Lakes brown trout. Both New York and Pennsylvania now have thriving Great Lakes brown trout stocking programs. The program in New York is more mature and in late October, these brown trout that commonly grow to 30” and larger come into the Lake Ontario tributaries to spawn. Last week I was doing some research on where I’d have the best shot at catching one of these giants and the two bodies of water that kept coming up in my research were both located in western New York, the Oak Orchard and 18 Mile Creeks. I found a video on YouTube that was posted in 2015 by Holsinger’s Fly Shop, and in it, they discuss the great run of lake-run brown trout, steelhead, and salmon that comes up the 18 Mile Creek through Newfane, New York. After watching several other videos, I decided I had to head to Newfane to see if I could hook-up with one of these brown trout.

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