Lower Niagara River trout fishing with Flies and Heavy Sinking Fly Line, a Winner!

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report & Forecast for from Destination Niagara USA
  • Check out these pictures from a few days before Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019
Jeff Pierce of Scientific Anglers with his arsenal of flies caught this nice steelhead and many other fish off Niagara Bar this week using a new sinking fly line.

Fishing pressure lightened up the past week with the opening for the Southern Zone regular big game hunting season last Saturday. However, the fishing action didn’t let up, as some great action was being reported in the Niagara River – both above and below Niagara Falls – and on the Niagara Bar.

We’ll start with the Niagara Bar as Jeff Pierce with Scientific Anglers out of Michigan made a solo trip to do some filming and photos Sunday through Tuesday. He was fishing faster sinking lines (Scientific Anglers Sonar Stillwater SD SINK5/7 and the Sonar Titan Triple Density SINK3/5/7).  These lines allowed him to get the fly down a bit (yes, he was fly fishing from his boat) in the river current as it flows out into Lake Ontario.

He would use the trolling motor to control his drift so that with a long cast, he could get his flies where he wanted them.  If he started stripping the fly right away, he could cover the top 10 feet.  If he let it sink 10 seconds, he could cover the bottom half of the water column.

He focused his efforts in the 17 to 26-foot range.  Every time he got a strike, he’d hit the waypoint marker on his Lowrance unit.  After a few drifts, a pattern would develop, and he’d concentrate his drifts on those spots. He was using a few different streamer fly patterns he ties.  Double Bunnies, Bunny Strips and Clouser Minnows were all effective.

Jeff Pierce offers proof that deep water and fly fishing can go together on the Lower Niagara River. A nice lake trout.

All flies have a little weight on the head (cone or dumbbell eyes) to help them stay down in the current.  At times there were some salmon up chasing bait on the surface.  The first day he lost a real beauty of a brown, right at the boat as his net wasn’t quite big enough.  He estimated the fish at around 16-17 pounds.  Immediately after that, he got his bigger net out. Over the course of the 3 days, he caught brown trout, steelhead, smallmouth bass, and lake trout. Finally, winds were not an issue.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught some steelhead and lake trout from shore in the Niagara Gorge this week.

Lower river trout fishing has been on fire the past week according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Trout have been hitting egg sacs and beads in size 10 mm in chartreuse and orange from shore in the gorge. For the sacs, use chartreuse or natural colors.

Boaters have been drifting MagLips, Kwikfish and egg sacs off three-way rigs.

Shore guys are also using glow spoons and sacs for browns near Fort Niagara. Devil’s Hole has been picking up according to reports. Water level fluctuation has been severe at times. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was doing well on steelhead using a mix of jigs and spinners in the gorge.

Gary Laidman of South Wales with a 48-inch upper river musky caught while fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.
Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island with a big smallmouth from the upper river.

The John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament hosted by the Niagara Musky Association will be held on Dec. 1 this year. Musky fishing was good the tail end of last week in the upper river reports Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. Gary Laidman of South Wales was 2 for 3 on muskies last Thursday including a 48-inch fish that was sporting a 30-inch girth – a personal best for Laidman. The fish was estimated at over 50 pounds. The musky season closes in the upper river, Buffalo Harbor and Lake Erie on Nov. 30.

Some big Lake Erie bass were also available on emerald shiners.

Not as much fishing going on the past week with the opening of the regular big game season in the Southern Zone according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott.

Young Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane had the dam area to himself this past weekend on 18 Mile Creek. He reports that it’s been hit or miss for the most part for trout. Some days are better than others.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane with a 27-1/2 inch brown trout from a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.

Conditions were murky but fishable earlier this week for browns and steelhead. Egg sacs and beads work best.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303

GIANT Salmon and Carp….Lake Ontario High Water is NO PROBLEM

  • Bill Hilts Fishing Report & Forecast for Niagara USA…June 20, 2019

Capt. Hank Condes of Wilson (Blade Runner Charters), said it best as he spoke to a group of front line tourism folks this week in Wilson Harbor: “June isn’t the transition month that it used to be!” The push is on to let everyone know that Lake Ontario is open for business and that the fishing is great, even in June!

Lou Rivera of Kenmore, NY, with a 20-pound class King Salmon caught off Wilson Harbor in Lake Ontario this week while fishing with Capt. Alan Sauerland of Newfane.

Capt. Alan Sauerland (Instigator Charters) has been fishing 55 to 75 feet down over 160 feet of water straight out from his home port of Wilson Harbor.  Magnum spoons are the ticket with the best ones being Moonshine Geezer and Warrior pink-spoiler or green-spoiler patterns. They caught 25 salmon during this catch/release trip.

Jeremy Smith of Rochester (R) and his buddy Paul show off a couple of King Salmon they caught off Wilson Monday, fishing with Capt. Alan Sauerland (Instigator Charters).

Capt. Vince Pierleoni (Thrillseeker Charters) reports similar success out of Olcott Harbor, 60 to 80 feet down over 60 to 250 feet of water, also with Dreamweaver magnum and super slim spoons at the top of his list.

Joe Oakes of Wilson was fishing out of Olcott this week and wanted to try and get his 300 and 400-foot copper lines a bit deeper, so he put on a J-plug for the heck of it.  Yes, that plug took some hits too.

Next derby is the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby (LOTSA) that runs from June 29 to July 28. Check out www.LOC.org for details.  Grand prize is $10,000 for the biggest salmon and $32,000 in cash prizes overall.

The NYS Summer Classic Tournament is July 1-August 31 with a $10,000 Grand Prize.  Check out www.nyssummerclassic.com for details.  It should be mentioned that nearly every launch ramp in Niagara County is open.  At Fort Niagara, Wilson-Tuscarora, and Golden Hill State Parks, respectively, you should have at least two people launching the boat due to some higher water around the launch.  Bring along boots, too.  If you don’t want to get your feet wet, the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott Harbor has been able to adjust to keep the feet of boaters dry. The Town of Wilson launch is also a good one in the West Branch of 12-Mile Creek. Boat size there should be 20-feet or less.

Don’t forget that the 5 mph speed limit in Lake Ontario is within 1,000 feet of the shoreline.

In the Niagara River, the dreaded moss is slowly starting to arrive on the scene as the river hit the 60-degree mark this week. In the lower Niagara River, there was still some steelhead around. Bass and walleye were cooperating, giving a nice mixed bag to anglers.

Rich Pisa of Kenmore caught this 30-pound class grass carp from the Upper Niagara River.

Live bait, like minnows fished off three-way rigs, is a popular approach – but bouncing bottom with a Strike King Zero (cut down) has been working for bass up to 5-1/2 pounds this past week.

Justin Transky of East Aurora with a respectable upper Niagara River walleye he caught while fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.
Parker Cinelli of Grand Island caught this tagged bass from the Beaver Island lagoon this week.

Swim baits and tubes will still work if the moss isn’t too bad. High water levels are making fishing tricky in the Devil’s Hole area and the NYPA fishing platform is underwater. The speed limit is still in effect along the NY shoreline so run the middle of the river and take it easy.

Upper river action for bass and walleye has also been decent, especially at the head of Strawberry Island. Worm harnesses, minnows, swimbaits, and tubes, all are good baits to use.

Make sure you mark your calendar for the Erie Canal Fishing Derby set for July 3-14.

Check out www.eriecanalderby.com for details.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane with a big carp he caught this week.

Also, next Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30, NYS will be offering up its free fishing weekend again.

The Olcott Kids Fishing Derby normally held June 29 has been canceled due to the high water around the docks.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Phone: 1-877 FALLS US / 716-282-8992 x. 303, fax: 716-285-0809

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Fishing 411 TV Show – Mark and Jake Romanack on the Lower Niagara River

Niagara Falls USA Fishing – from Destination Niagara USA…the FISHING REPORT for Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018

Mark Romanack with Fishing 411 TV Show hit the lower river this week and put a show together on brown trout with his son Jake and Capt. Frank Campbell.

After some muddy water slowed things up earlier in the week, anglers are catching fish again in the lower Niagara River. You never know what you are up against after a storm in Western New York. Winds, rain and snow can have an effect on water conditions, especially in the Niagara River. There is a difference, though, and fishermen and fisherwomen need to be cognizant of that difference between stained and dirty conditions.

Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls caught this brown trout on a MagLip plug fishing with the Fishing 411 TV Show that airs on the World Fishing Network.
Connor Cinelli of Grand Island caught this 8 pound lower Niagara River walleye using a Swedish pimple tipped with a minnow.

Mark and Jake Romanack of the Fishing 411 TV Show that appears on the World Fishing Network, visited town on Monday to put a show together on the lower Niagara River. The water was stained, but definitely fishable. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls met up with them and they fished the afternoon using 3.0 MagLips in Double Trouble and Green Machine colors.

In 2 hours of actual fishing time they boated 9 browns on 9 hits, enough for a show. The next day the water was dirty. After 4 hours, not a single hit, but the crew was able to take some drone footage and film some tech tips before the headed back to Michigan.

As of today, the shore guys were already catching fish again according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Along Artpark, pink and chartreuse spinners are working for steelies, orange for the browns. Chartreuse egg sacs and beads are also producing for the shore guys, as well as the boat drifters. Shore casters are out-fishing the boat guys right now, but that will change a bit as the waters start to clear a bit more.

John Keeler and his son, Shawn, were fishing the lower Niagara River last weekend and they caught nice steelhead like these fishing with Capt. Jim Rores of Grand Island.
Shawn Keeler with a nice lower Niagara River steelie last weekend.

In the Niagara Musky Association John Henning Memorial Musky Contest last Sunday, Andrew Lacko of Kenmore took top honors with a 41-inch fish caught on a Bondy bait. It was the only fish caught for the event held in the lower Niagara River. Musky season continues in the lower river and Lake Ontario until Dec. 15. Lake trout season is now open on the Canadian side of the lower river, but closed until Jan. 1 on the New York side of the river.

For the Lake Ontario tributaries, weather conditions have not been the best with a mix of rain, snow, wind, warm and cold temperatures. Still, trout are being caught. Not too many anglers have been hitting the streams according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott, but for those that are making the effort to wet a line, they have been rewarded with some nice brown trout, a few steelhead and even some late salmon. Spikes and wax worms are the baits being talked about most, usually tipped on a small jig and fished under a float. Fishing your bait slow with the slightly cooler conditions could help increase your chances for a hook-up.

Scott Feltrinelli with Ontario Fly Outfitters reeled in some nice brown trout this week from a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.

Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters caught some impressive fish yesterday in a favorite Lake Ontario stream. You might have to do a little searching. When you find them, the rewards are great.

Christmas Yule:

  • The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association has its Christmas meeting on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport. It’s a joint meeting with the county’s Fisheries Development Board.
  • The Niagara River Anglers will hold their Christmas meeting on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Sanborn Historical Society. Call Paul Jackson at 731-4780 for details.
  • The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs will hold its Christmas meeting on Dec. 12 at the Hartland Conservationists Club, Orangeport Road, Gasport. Doors open at 5 p.m. Bring a dish to pass.