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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