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Hello Everyone! 

 

 

So I am not from the area (about 4 hours South in Pennsylvania), but I will be taking a fall trip to the Finger Lakes region in the fall. I feel like I have a done all of the online research I can do, but I still have some questions. I'm going to ask a lot, but any help at all would be much appreciated. I also want to mention that I am by no means looking for anyone's secret spot or anything. I like to do my own exploring. I will be up there hoping to fish some of the fall runs for Salmon and Brown Trout. So far it looks like the Ithaca area on Cayuga would be my best bet. I was also thinking about taking a day to go up to Oswago Lake as well. Every fall I go to Lake Erie in PA for the Steelhead runs, but I just want to do something different this year. I am just going to list a few questions below, and feel free to send a message to me if you would rather not post on here. 

 

-When is prime for the run? I was thinking about going in either late October or Early November.

-How crowded does it get?

-I've researched the major tributaries that fish will run up, but will they run in some of the smaller streams as well? Like I said, I like doing some exploring. 

-I also read that Lake Trout may find their way into the tribs, any truth to this? Also, how is the shore fishing for Lakers around the same time. 

-How are the Brown Trout runs? I would love to hook into some big browns.

-Lastly, how is the shoreline access on Cayuga? 

 

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Finger lakes tribs are like fight club you don't talk about it. Your research seems to have you in the right direction as for shore fishing t fall is probably the best bet.

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37 minutes ago, Billy H said:

Finger lakes tribs are like fight club you don't talk about it. Your research seems to have you in the right direction as for shore fishing t fall is probably the best bet.

 

Lol I kind of figured that it might be tough to get any info, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. I'm used to figuring it on my own so I'm sure I'll be fine. With limited time there I just don't want to waste too much time. 

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4 minutes ago, ontherise said:

Take an extra couple hours and go to lake ontario tribs.

Sent from my LM-G710VM using Lake Ontario United mobile app
 

It had certainly crossed my mind, but I've been there before. I am hoping to go somewhere new this year. Plus from my limited experience in the region, i really enjoy the area.   

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Posted (edited)

When is prime for the run? I was thinking about going in either late October or Early November.   - Both can be good, but the run timing is heavily impacted by rain and runoff, and there is no way to tell you when that will happen.

 

-How crowded does it get?   After rains and on weekends it can get very crowded, although generally less so than in the spring.

 

-I've researched the major tributaries that fish will run up, but will they run in some of the smaller streams as well? Like I said, I like doing some exploring.   -  The major issue with this is access.  Virtually everything in the FL is posted if it is not public, Regardless of what you know from PA, or are told about New York, you can't just enter a stream at a bridge and stay within  the high water marks, if the land adjacent is posted so is the stream.  ECO's generally don't even hesitate to write on trespassing charges.   Go on the Fishing Page of the DEC Website and look at Public Fishing Rights maps, if it is not on there in the FL, it is likely off limits, the exception being anything flowing through a park or state forest.

 

-I also read that Lake Trout may find their way into the tribs, any truth to this? Also, how is the shore fishing for Lakers around the same time.  I've never seen lakers in the tribs but I've seen pix.  They are spawning so they may get a little tight lipped.

 

-How are the Brown Trout runs? I would love to hook into some big browns.   IF your goal is a BIG brown, listen to Ontherise and hit Western LO tribs, like the Oak or 18 Mile at Newfane.  In the FL, you pays yer money and you takes yer chances.

 

-Lastly, how is the shoreline access on Cayuga?  -Very limited, Toughanock State Park, the power plant on the east side and the public park near Ludlowville, at least at the deeper south end.   The little pier at Toughanock is very popular for spoon chucking as it drops off very quickly..

 

Edited by Lucky13

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30 minutes ago, Lucky13 said:

When is prime for the run? I was thinking about going in either late October or Early November.   - Both can be good, but the run timing is heavily impacted by rain and runoff, and there is no way to tell you when that will happen.

 

-How crowded does it get?   After rains and on weekends it can get very crowded, although generally less so than in the spring.

 

-I've researched the major tributaries that fish will run up, but will they run in some of the smaller streams as well? Like I said, I like doing some exploring.   -  The major issue with this is access.  Virtually everything in the FL is posted if it is not public, Regardless of what you know from PA, or are told about New York, you can't just enter a stream at a bridge and stay within  the high water marks, if the land adjacent is posted so is the stream.  ECO's generally don't even hesitate to write on trespassing charges.   Go on the Fishing Page of the DEC Website and look at Public Fishing Rights maps, if it is not on there in the FL, it is likely off limits, the exception being anything flowing through a park or state forest.

 

-I also read that Lake Trout may find their way into the tribs, any truth to this? Also, how is the shore fishing for Lakers around the same time.  I've never seen lakers in the tribs but I've seen pix.  They are spawning so they may get a little tight lipped.

 

-How are the Brown Trout runs? I would love to hook into some big browns.   IF your goal is a BIG brown, listen to Ontherise and hit Western LO tribs, like the Oak or 18 Mile at Newfane.  In the FL, you pays yer money and you takes yer chances.

 

-Lastly, how is the shoreline access on Cayuga?  -Very limited, Toughanock State Park, the power plant on the east side and the public park near Ludlowville, at least at the deeper south end.   The little pier at Toughanock is very popular for spoon chucking as it drops off very quickly..

 

All very helpful information, thank you so much! Cant say much of it is a surprise. As far as the browns go, it is definitely not the goal of the trip. Just curious what my odds where. Only Salmon I've ever caught was a kokanee in Montana, so the salmon would be my main target I guess. Also never caught a laker before. This trip is more about going somewhere new for change, not so much what I'm catching as long as I can catch something. Again, I appreciate the help!

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My experience is that every stream is a little different , so just because you have fished in the LE tribs, don't assume that the LO tribs are the same.  You can catch LL Salmon, Brown and Rainbows in the Finger Lakes tribs (depending on the lake, a lot of lakes don't get any browns or LL salmon.) but planning around targeting one particlular species is difficult, so it is kind of a grab bag.  And if you go on Tuesday after a dry spell, the stream could appear barren, while 1/2" of rain over night could have fish screaming upstream all day Wednesday.

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If you are planning on staying in a motel or hotel, Ithaca might be your best choice, and there is a lot of music and craft brew around there.  From thee you have the option of driving over the hill to Seneca (Catherine's Creek), fishing the tribs of Cayuga, or shore fishing from one of the spots.  I used to live in Binghamton, and I spent a lot of time fishing at Toughanock as it was on the way back to Rochester, I could easily access the pier to throw spoons or I could fish the short stretch of Toughanock Creek between the lower falls and the Lake. A second choice for places to stay would include Watkins Glen at the south end of Seneca. 

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Posted (edited)

Some good advice given. As far as the brown spawning runs up minor streams in the Fingers other than major streams - most streams are either dried up or very low water conditions with the mouths often blocked off by silt, debris, or through wave action from the lake piling shale up in front precluding fish from entering and not enough water to spawn. This applies to both landlocks and browns. Lakers will go into streams occasionally and I have seen in the past (Keuka Outlet) first hand, but it has been in the Spring, and not to spawn but to gorge on rainbow and sucker eggs and when smelt used to be around they probably fed on them as well as they were the early entries to the streams. Lake trout traditionally spawn in gravel areas deep in the lakes in October/November but they may also spawn in other suitable places in shallower water; but in the lake itself. Sometimes the piers in both Geneva and Watkins offer possibilities casting lures but it is usually "hit and miss" and the locals have an advantage because they can check more frequently:smile:. If the water off the lake side of the breakwall at Sampson State Park isn't real clear casting lures can sometimes work for browns especially at that time of the year and an occasional large pike may be caught. They may have a perplexed look on their faces this year though as the marina where they have traditionally spawned in the past has been totally renovated totally destroying their spawning grounds as well as that of the perch (despite the positive changes for launching). Taugannock State Park offers some potentially good shore fishing around then through the winter as well as there is close deep water to the shoreline there. Using live bait such as shiners or gently pulling egg sacks along the bottom can be productive but again it is "hit and miss" there and there are a number of folks that have fished it then for many years so you may have quite a bit of company:smile: If it is stream fishing for salmon and browns the tribs of Lake O and Erie offer the best possibilities and depending on the stream selected may offer some of the best fishing of that type in the northeast.Good luck.

Edited by Sk8man

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Some decent advice here, wide ranging.    But it essentially comes down to this : if there is abundant rain in the fall, the tribS  will have all 4 species..........if not, there will be no fish or fishing in the creeks.  It really is that simple.  If no rain, stick to the lakes  , or try the larger tribs of lake O. The finger lakes tribs are far  too small to deliver consistent fishing   

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I appreciate all of the advise given. Sounds like I am at least headed in the right direction here. Looking forward to the opportunity to fish this area! I do understand that the Lake O tribs are probably better fishing, but I will get there eventually. Fishing or not, it seems like the Ithaca area is a pretty cool place to check out. 

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It is a wonderful place to go whether fishing or not. Check out the farmer's market for great food and other goodies if before December, and Simeon's restaurant near the "Commons" for great food and atmosphere. All sorts of things to do and going on there in town....one of our favorite places to hang out.

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When you have one of the major universities in town, and a college as well, there tend to be lots of good restaurants, bars, etc.  Check out college town, and while it has been a long time since I've been there, the Rogdovian Embassy in Trumansburg was a great bar.  And don't neglect to check out the waterfalls, at least from the overlook at Toughhanock, but also the one you fish by on Fall Creek, as they say " Ithaca is gorges!"

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I'll be sure to check everything out! I saw there plenty of waterfalls around to see, and yes the town looked to have a lot going on. Looking forward to it all!

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