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Visibility: 6 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 40 Degrees F
Water condition: Muddy
Best time of day to fish: Morning, evening
Best stretch: Seneca Nation Lands
Best access point: Route 438 on reservation, gowanda
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
Fish species: Steelhead
Fishing season: Fall
Nearest airport: Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 2X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 10' 7 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: Salmon/Steelhead WF Fly Line
Best sinking fly line: Streamer Stripper Sink Tip Fly Line
Lower Cattaraugus Creek, NY
Each year from October through April, the Cattaraugus Creek sees one of the most prolific runs of Steelhead in the entire Lake Erie region. Steelhead averaging 5-8 pounds with some fish reaching 13 pounds ascend the creek on a mission to find adequate ground in which to spawn. From its mouth in Irving upstream 34 miles to the Springville Dam, the Cattaraugus is more ...
diverse than most other Lake Erie Tributaries. The lower 14 miles of the stream are located on the Seneca Nation of Indians Reservation. This area consists of long gravel pools perfect for holding fresh run fish. This area is about as good as it gets in the entire region for swinging flies off a switch or two handed rod. If you plan to fish the Reservation, a special Seneca Nations license is required. Anglers do not need a New York State license to fish this water. From Gowanda upstream through the public land of the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area, the creek drastically changes to a predominantly shale bottom. Fishing deep shale cuts and ledges is the name of the game here. This canyon section is one of the most beautiful areas in the entire state, but is remote and can be dangerous to fish. I would recommend fishing this section with a friend. Finally, anglers can fish the short area located at the Springville Dam where the Steelhead run comes to an end. The area below the Dam through Zoar Valley is very limited in public access.
Equipment for the Catt
The Catt allows the fly angler to deploy almost any technique of fishing they want. I enjoy fishing the Helios Switch 11ft 8wt rod in the fall and spring months. Swinging big woolly buggers, bunny streamers, and speys off a sinking poly leader is probably the most exciting way to fish. Fish will explode on your fly so make sure you have heavy tippets in the 10 and 12lb range. As the water cools in late November and into December, drifting egg and nymph patterns off a 9ft tapered leader will produce big fish. I like to use a 10ft 7wt rod as it is perfect for casting indicators and split shot. Make sure you use 2X and 3X leaders and an indicator for best results. Make sure your box is stocked with stoneflies in sizes 8-12 and egg patterns in every color in sizes 10-14.
Source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (www.dec.ny.gov)
For successful nymphing, use a 9ft 3X flourocarbon leader and an indicator, preferably a thingamabobber. Swinging flies with polyleaders in the morning hours can produce some nice takes! Egg sucking leaches and articulated flies are producing big fish. Its the best time to swing flies for fresh chrome. Switch rods are a lot of fun to cast big streamers!
Rain and milder weather will cause major snow melt and flooded conditions