When fishing the western NY tributaries it is always good to go with friends. Most of the rivers big and small originate from hydro electric dams. At any time the electric companies can decide to fluctuate the flows.
When our Delaware fishermen and fisherwoman ask about what its like fishing the Great Lake tributaries we simply tell them “different.”Some days it will seem like every cast has the prospect of fish, however many days are cold and dismal.
On our December trip we had 8 guys and lots of fun. The first day ended with one hook up and one lake trout to the net. The second day was totally different. The fish moved into the area we took over and called our own. In tributary fishing the spot is more important than your skill and your equipment.
Many anglers arrive as early as 3am in the morning to stake claim to their section of river. Some areas are on a yearly basis “better” than others. It could be a swirling back eddy or even a large rock that creates a holding zone for these migratory travelers. Knowing the spots will increase your catch rate. Also having enough friends to “hold down” the spot from other anglers is essential when the rivers are busy.
Most of our hookups were on simple estez egg patterns. The second day you really couldn’t go wrong. If you got it down to them, they ate it. We finished the second day landing over 30 lake trout and breaking off one steelhead.