Hitting Goals on 18 Mile Creek

Trying to get an accurate fishing report out of western New York for specific Lake Ontario tributaries can be difficult. New York’s Department of Environmental (“NY DEC”) Conservation offers a western New York fishing hotline and that is probably the most consistent place I’ve found to get up-to-date information. Otherwise, when wanting to fish water like 18 Mile Creek near Newfane, I’ve learned to guage fishing by following the Burt Dam Facebook page. The more frequent the posts of fish pics, the better the fishing. This past week the NY DEC report was saying that the salmon had all turned to post-spawn zombies and the steelhead and brown trout were in the Lake Ontrario tributaries in good numbers. I made up my mind on Thursday night that I was going to take one last shot at hitting my goal of landing a trophy lake-run brown trout before giving in to the coming winter.

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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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