Chill weather has anglers discomforted by the breezes but in store for some interesting and productive trout treks.
The statewide inland trout season opener had fisher folk well bundled to bear cold breezes and blasts, with better results for native inland rainbow trout than stocked brown trout and brook trout in most areas. Look for a detailed report on the Naples Trout Derby conditions and results on the Sunday Outdoors Page.
Fly anglers look forward to an enjoyable season, once waters start warming and an abundance of bug life begins to emerge from or fall into lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. For now, a smaller egg sac is the major attack. Sacs were the main menu during the Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby on Monday; either pink or orange netting worked equally well.
The trick to fooling April Fools Day trout was lure placement rather than any particular color. Savvy trout anglers expect this approach to work for weeks.
Don’t do this at home or on Chautauqua Lake, but earlier this week observers saw anglers skirting the ice in the Mayville area at the north end of the lake. Local and regional crappie experts know either side of ice-out can be super hot for crappies at many points around Chautauqua; however, warming water runoffs, increased sunlight and above average temperatures should make any walk on ice too close a call. No bucket of “calicos” is worth crashing through honeycomb ice.
Ice-out transitions offer anglers the most radical feast-or-famine outcomes each year.
The bluegill bite was exceptional at Silver — at times. The more consistent ’gill activity showed at Chautauqua Lake’s Burtis Bay. Bigger perch often hit in those deep pockets of Conesus Lake and Honeoye Lake. But successes came mainly for anglers on the move and willing to write off previously hot ice spots.
As the ice melted, crappie schools began moving in and many a shoreline opening has dimpling minnow schools on surfaces. But crappies, and other desirable panfish species, may take a while before moving into the cold shoreline shallows. Try your smallest lures on the lightest lines and keep moving until a good school of panfish put in an appearance.
Trout stocking sites
The Randolph Hatchery has stocked area streams with brown trout, brook trout and rainbow trout at various county sites. Along with spring yearlings, anglers can also hook into 2-year-old brown trout stock. Here is a listing by county of stockings made recently or in the past week:
Allegany County: Dyke Creek (Andover), 1,240 brown trout and 200 2-year-old brown trout; Cryder Creek (Independence), 1,090 brown trout and 200 2-year-old brown trout; Birch Run Pond No. 1 (Allegany), 200 brook trout; Case Lake (Franklinville), 1,800 brook trout; Allen Lake (Allen), 2,800 brook trout; and Caneadea Creek (Rushford), 950 brown trout.
Cattaraugus County: Cattaraugus Creek South Branch (East Otto), 850 brown trout; Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), 360 brown trout and 100 2-year-old brown trout; Clay Pond (Poland), 300 brook trout and 100 2-year-old brown trout: Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), 290 brown trout; Great Valley Creek (Ellicottville), 330 brown trout; Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), 400 brook trout; Goose Creek (North Harmony), 1,050 brook trout, 760 brown trout and 300 2-year-old brown trout; Guernsey Run (South Valley), 150 brown trout; North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), 110 brown trout; Bone Run (South Valley), 300 brook trout; Paisley Pond (Randolph), 50 brook trout; Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), 1,270 brown trout; Bay State Brook (Red House), 400 brown trout; Quaker Run (Cold Spring), 1,290 brown trout; Red House Brook (Red House), 870 brook trout; and Science Lake (Red House), 180 brown trout.
Wyoming County: East Koy Creek (Gainesville), 3,320 Brown trout and 650 2-year-old brown trout; Cattaraugus Creek (Java), 1,750 brown trout and 600 2-year-old brown trout.