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  • Writer's pictureBrian Lansing

low and clear, but cold

The weather man lies frequently. We’ve been waiting for rain in Central New York to bump our water levels up to kickstart the fall trout season. It hasn’t happened. The streams remain low and clear, but cold. Luckily, we’ve had nights into the 40s and some streams have seen their water temps drop into the 50s. While rain would certainly help, cool temperatures have been a blessing to keep the trout healthy and at least semi active. Any bump in water should fire the trout up.

While I’d like to see the water up a bit, I cannot complain about the water temperatures. One benefit that streams have of being low is the water has had the chance to cool quickly. Low water means that it cools fast. Streams can often drop 5-8 degrees overnight. They also heat up quicker with low water, but in this case with cool nights, the streams have cooled to be in pretty good shape.

Low and clear means stealthy approaches and light tippets. It also means watching where you’re going, not tripping and blowing up the entire run like someone I know. That someone is me. Enamored with Kingfishers chasing each other, I kept walking and looking at the birds at the same time. Suddenly, I was like Bambi on ice skates navigating the boulders that always seemed to roll and move in the wrong direction. As I caught my balance after doing my best to mimic Harry and Marv in Home Alone and glanced to the stream, I saw trout darting to new hiding areas. I moved onto the next area.

Fly fishing for brown trout in Central New York
Jenny with a beautiful Central New York wild brown trout.

Sunday morning, I had the pleasure of sharing the stream and showing Jenny and Kathy around a Central New York trout stream. These ladies fished hard and were successful in finding and nymphing up beautiful small stream brown trout. This was Kathy’s first-time fly fishing and it was a great experience to see her catch her first brown trout. Jenny has fly fished before and I admire her enthusiasm as she dives head first into the sport. She did an excellent job learning a new nymphing technique that brought her to land stunning wild trout. It was an excellent and very fun morning on the water. Thank you, Jenny and Kathy!

Fly fishing in Central New York for brown trout.
Kathy's first brown trout was a beauty.

Though we have low water, the streams are cool. Rain is in the forecast and conditions will only improve. We are heading into my favorite fishing season of the year. Fall trout fishing should be very good in the coming months. In addition, the salmon are running and the stripers and bluefish are blitzing. I will be out to Cape Cod for several days later this week. I’ll, surely, have pictures and stories to share upon return.

As always, feel free to like, comment, and share. Drop me an email with any questions. I’m happy to answer and help. Have a great week and great weekend! Keep the rods bent and lines tight.

Brian Lansing


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