First Time on The Oak Orchard River

When I get it in my head that I want to accomplish something, good luck trying to stop me. I’ve wanted to catch a western New York giant lake-run brown trout on a fly rod for a couple of months now. From all the reading I’ve been doing online, November has looked like the best month to make it happen. And the location that has looked the most promising is one of the Lake Ontario tributaries in Orleans County, New York. I’m talking Sandy Creek, Johnson Creek, Marsh Creek, and the famous Oak Orchard River. I’d never been to the “Oak” before and so on Friday I got up early and made the trek to Albion, New York. Instead of going straight to the river, I decided to stop at a local tackle shop to talk and try and get any intel I could on what was happening and what I could do to increase my chances of landing a giant brown. I arrived at Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge (Orleans Outdoors) around 6:30am.

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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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