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Chemung river


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I would like to start a topic on the Chemung river fishing and thought this would be a good place to start.  I get a few walleye each year from the river and now my son is really getting into fishing and likes to eat fish we catch.  I have told him how good walleye are and he wants to try them.  The river is right out behind the house, we live in Big Flats but don't catch too many walleye in this stretch.  We did get quite a few 17+" small mouths the last couple of years right out back.  We are going to start canoeing the river more this year, most likely down past Elmira where I hear there are more walleye.  I grew up in Elmira and we used to get quite a few out behind Dunn Field.


Does anyone use Jon boats in the river?  I am thinking that it maybe a little more stable to fish out of than the canoe?  Was thinking about selling my bigger 17 foot Spectrum and down sizing to a 12-14 foot jon or v-bottom.  I think they would be more versatile.  I would set it up like a row boat and use oars and them pick up  a small motor or trolling motor.  Thoughts?


Anyways, not a bad topic while we wait for the river to drop and the season to re open.


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i have a 12' sea nymph v-bottom I've taken down the river a few times. it works, but i think something with a shallower draft like a flat bottomed jon boat would work better as i scrape bottom on some of the riffs. i use it because it's what i have.

another issue is maneuverability. there are more than a few places where you could quickly get pushed into log jams because you run out of room for your oars. i have had a few close calls, under the right circumstance it could ruin your life.

with a motor you have to be very mindful about shallow water.

actually, the more i think about it, it's probably not a good idea to use a boat at all, at least not from big flats to walnut street.

i have never taken the boat from dunn down, on bigger water it might be better.

i have seen plenty of people launch at dunn with motor boats, go down the river a ways, and return to dunn.


if you are going to buy something to run the river in i would have to say get a kayak, hands down. they make wide bottom versions that are quite stable, and they are very maneuverable.


what do you think about pfifer and the river friends? it seems to me they are turning the river into a commercial venue. i can foresee in the not so distant future having to register and buy a river use permit and sticker for your boat, the proceeds going to "search and rescue" teams.


and, while I'm on my rant, what possessed the powers that be to cut down all the trees at the dunn field fishing access wall? now if you want to use it you have to bake in the hot sun. i mean, really? wtf?




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Yeah I hear you about the dangers of downed trees.  I am asking because I want to know things like that if I am going to be taking my son with me!  From Botchers to Fitches I think I would stick to my canoe since I already have one.  I have always liked the canoe, I feel comfortable enough in one to stand and fish and I have had it in some pretty swift rapids not in the Chemung of coarse, lol.  I do like to idea of a Kayak.  Maybe when my son gets older and he can carry one on his own we can get a couple.


Not sure about the friends of the Chemung thing.  I have thought about joining but have not yet.  If they start to charge, I will stick to the bank.  I am all for safety but some of the people I have seen out behind the house should not be in a boat to begin with.  Then go out when the water is high with no skill is just putting your own life and the lives of others in jeopardy!   With the prices of kayaks and canoes as low as they are and readily available to any Walmart shopper, I think it is going to get worse...


Don't get me started on the clear cutting the state has done.  I lost a great kids fishing spot when they flattened everything on the water side of the dike.  There used to be a pond at the end of Esty street that they bulldozed in, I had a ton of memories there as a kid.  And lets just say I was not happy when I took my kids there and there was nothing for a couple hundred yards between the dike and the water!!!


Thanks for the input!



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