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Drew C.

Cattaraugus Creek vacation

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Title says it all. I want to try and do a trip this fall. I’m looking at the last week of October into the first week of November. 
 

anyone fished it and any advice? Flies, tackle(single handed, 2-handed) , etc. 

 

am I a little early for it? Maybe a little later? 

 

places to stay? Guides? I would probably try and get a guide early on but I’m ok with diy too. 

Edited by Drew C.

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The Cat is one of the larger tribs so you should bring the two hander. I’ve heard dicy things about the section in the reservation, but there is some good water there. I would look up Nick Pionessa for a guide, I’ve fished with him and he knows his ****. Shoot me a PM and I’ll send you his contact info if you want it. It’s amazing water around there, and don’t overlook some of the other smaller water in the area, they can be clear when the Cat is blown out. 

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Been fishing there for over 30 years.

Motels aren't abundant.The Lighthouse in Silvercreek near rt 90,another upstream toward Zoar Valley in Gowanda are the closest options.Both are kinda beat but close to the river.If you want hotel comfort there are national chains w/in a half an hour.Several mom and pop diners and a few fast food joints in Gowanda and Silvercreek.The one in Gowanda specializes in beef,serve it w/ everything if you want it or not.

You'll have to drop $40 on a Rez license,totally worth it as it's the lower river and that's where the freshest fish are.

You don't need a guide if I have advance notice,be happy to show you the ropes.I;ll bring my drift boat so we can float Zoar Valley(look it up).

The Rez is not as dicey as some might make it out to be,just don't leave your expensive tackle in plain sight or drive a vehicle w/ fishing stickers all over it.

On the Rez any Indian has the right to stop you and ask for your fishing license.They typically are on 4 wheelers w/ a holstered rifle running the riverbed but I've only ever been stopped once and it was uneventful.Mostly they just glare at you as they pass by.They think we're stupid for "playing w/ our food".ie,fishing.

A 4wd is mandatory to reach much of the best water or you'll be hoofin' it for miles as the roads in are crap full of holes and giant puddles/small ponds.Yes,of course,I have one.

The river is a spey fishers dream as many of the runs and pool have long,very swingable tailouts and the fish,being Erie fish, are grabby;more-so than the other of the 5 lakes.Natural tones w/ a hot spot and Erie shiner imitations are key.They will also take surface flies there.

I'll throw streamers when the occasion calls for it but I tend to indi a lot more as it puts so many more fish on the bank.Yarn in colors correct for the stage of the run(hot early,pale later) and small beadhead nymphs are the arrows in your quiver,sizes 10-18 but 12-14 sees the most action.

Try to be flexible in your timeline,a week either way can make all the difference as there are certain conditions you need to be successful and the weather will blow the river out in a heartbeat.

Watching the USGS graphs is an imperative and knowing how to read the #'s is key to going at the right time as it has a huge watershed. There can be no rain where your motel is but 40-50 miles upstream it can be pouring rain and ruining the fishing downstream.

 

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23 hours ago, slip n slide said:

Been fishing there for over 30 years.

Motels aren't abundant.The Lighthouse in Silvercreek near rt 90,another upstream toward Zoar Valley in Gowanda are the closest options.Both are kinda beat but close to the river.If you want hotel comfort there are national chains w/in a half an hour.Several mom and pop diners and a few fast food joints in Gowanda and Silvercreek.The one in Gowanda specializes in beef,serve it w/ everything if you want it or not.

You'll have to drop $40 on a Rez license,totally worth it as it's the lower river and that's where the freshest fish are.

You don't need a guide if I have advance notice,be happy to show you the ropes.I;ll bring my drift boat so we can float Zoar Valley(look it up).

The Rez is not as dicey as some might make it out to be,just don't leave your expensive tackle in plain sight or drive a vehicle w/ fishing stickers all over it.

On the Rez any Indian has the right to stop you and ask for your fishing license.They typically are on 4 wheelers w/ a holstered rifle running the riverbed but I've only ever been stopped once and it was uneventful.Mostly they just glare at you as they pass by.They think we're stupid for "playing w/ our food".ie,fishing.

A 4wd is mandatory to reach much of the best water or you'll be hoofin' it for miles as the roads in are crap full of holes and giant puddles/small ponds.Yes,of course,I have one.

The river is a spey fishers dream as many of the runs and pool have long,very swingable tailouts and the fish,being Erie fish, are grabby;more-so than the other of the 5 lakes.Natural tones w/ a hot spot and Erie shiner imitations are key.They will also take surface flies there.

I'll throw streamers when the occasion calls for it but I tend to indi a lot more as it puts so many more fish on the bank.Yarn in colors correct for the stage of the run(hot early,pale later) and small beadhead nymphs are the arrows in your quiver,sizes 10-18 but 12-14 sees the most action.

Try to be flexible in your timeline,a week either way can make all the difference as there are certain conditions you need to be successful and the weather will blow the river out in a heartbeat.

Watching the USGS graphs is an imperative and knowing how to read the #'s is key to going at the right time as it has a huge watershed. There can be no rain where your motel is but 40-50 miles upstream it can be pouring rain and ruining the fishing downstream.

 

Thanks for the response, offer and info. 
 

question - is my timeframe of last week Oct first week of Nov good or should I be a little later? I’m blocking 2 weeks off on my schedule to keep a bit of a window and I’m planning on being there a week (I could leave early stay later depending on conditions and success). 

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40 mins ago, Drew C. said:

Thanks for the response, offer and info. 
 

question - is my timeframe of last week Oct first week of Nov good or should I be a little later? I’m blocking 2 weeks off on my schedule to keep a bit of a window and I’m planning on being there a week (I could leave early stay later depending on conditions and success). 

You should be good for prime time on Erie tribs,esp the Catt,usually blown out for the winter by end of Nov although the smaller tribs fish well till they freeze up.

A word of caution: steelhead are way up on the list of addictive fishes,a couple good days can cause serious obsessive/compulsive disorders as related to this fish....

 

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10 mins ago, slip n slide said:

You should be good for prime time on Erie tribs,esp the Catt,usually blown out for the winter by end of Nov although the smaller tribs fish well till they freeze up.

A word of caution: steelhead are way up on the list of addictive fishes,a couple good days can cause serious obsessive/compulsive disorders as related to this fish....

 

All of this stuff is addictive. 
 

I’ve done one full season on the fresh side and have sold off 80% of my salt tackle, gotten into trout Spey and looking to start steelhead. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

4 hours ago, Drew C. said:

what size for 2-handers - 6 or 7wt I assume?

More like a 5 or 6.The fish avg 6-8 lbs but I've landed fish upwards of 15 lbs there,could go as light as a 5wt easily as there's lots of room to fight them....not like Michigan where you're dukin' it out in a hole full of wood in a stream that takes 180 deg turns every 100'.My current fav TH is a 6 but I got a 5 I'm lookin to try on them.

 

Edited by slip n slide

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