Commentary for the Week of 02/13 – 02/20/2022
It’s good to be back home! I’ve been in Guyana, South America for the past couple of weeks. As per usual, it was an incredible trip. Here is the link to that trip report – Guyana Fishing Report from Our Winter 2022 Trip (brookdogfishing.com) Here is the link to the audio version:
I returned home late Monday and was greeted with frigid temps for 2 days, then a couple of days of warmth, lots of rain, then floods, then back to frigid temps, more snow, tempest winds, and finally some calm. So…I didn’t get to fish. I’ll reconnect with home water soon enough. On the bright side, I got to spend some time with the family after having been gone over 2 weeks.
Daily Conditions Analysis
- Monday – It was cold – highs barely broke out of the teens and that happened late in the day. This was when I returned from Guyana so I wasn’t going to fish anyway.
- Tuesday – Water and wind were excellent but again, the highs didn’t break into the upper 20s until late in the day. I opted to reschedule my trip.
- Wednesday – highs hit the lower 40s but the wind raged for most of the day. I opted to stay home and relax/continue to recover from the trip.
- Thursday – the wind continued to rage except this time, lots of rain accompanied the blow that induced some crazy flooding throughout the region. All that snow on the ground that melted from the warmth and rainfall plus over the 1.5″ of rain that fell througout the day, dumped insane amounts of muddy water into the system. Oh yeah, then, later that night, temperatures dropped back into the low 20s and it snowed a few inches.
- Friday – after a brief sniff of what felt like spring temperatures, it dropped back into the teens and low 20s again. I drove around to survey the damage. East River was carrying a ton of mud from Buffalo River and Tonawanda Creek (Erie Canal). That’s the same water the NYSPA diverts to fill the resevoir and and push over the dam so everything downstream the dam (Lower Niagara) was muddy too. West River was gin clear and in turn, so was Niagara Falls and the rest of the water downstream to Devils Hole. However, there was a lot of ice flow in that zone – likely because the ice bridge broke just downstream of the falls. Bottom line, nothing was fishable.
- Saturday – big winds, a morning dump of about 2″ of snow, and frigid temperatures kept me inside. Water clarity improved but not by much. Ice flow continued in the Lower Niagara
- Sunday – water color improved a little bit. Devils Hole was the only stretch of water that was fishable. We opted to stay off the water.
Seasonal Assessment/General Observations
Winter is officially half over! Days are getting longer and we’re starting to receive small doses of temperatures in the 40s. Even better, it seems like the long-awaited winter action is finally here – albeit about a month and a half later than normal. Who really knows why it took so long for the bite to turn on – late arrival of fish, massive amounts of bait in the system, poor water color for the vast majority of the days, or a combination of all those things – at this point the “why” doesn’t matter. The bite is finally here, and it’s only going to get better.
If you recall from a few weeks back, I mentioned the benefits of Lake Erie ice cover throughout the winter months (i.e. ice keeps the effects of wind and snow at bay throughout the region). Well, while I was in the jungles of Guyana the deep freeze continued back home such that Lake Erie is now nealy 100% covered in ice – see this link:
Ice Cover: NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory – Ann Arbor, MI, USA
I’m optimistic that some longer stretches (3-4 days) of fishable conditions are in store for us in the upcoming weeks. 100% ice cover should prevent water clarity from being a problem…barring any more huge flood events like the one we just had. The only problem is – there’s a lot of snow on the ground. If heavy rain accompanies every little warm spell we receive, more floods will occur and the water will get jacked up for 3+ days following each event due to runnoff. If snow accompanies every deep chill we receive, that’ll replenish what just melted due to the rain…and the cycle will continue.
Looking Forward to the Week of 02/21 – 02/27/2022
The graph above is my prediction for this upcoming week. In short, more chaos is in store. I’m hopeful the water clarity will be good enough to make Monday a worthwhile day on the water. Devils Hole will certainly be clear enough, let’s hope the ice flow is at bay. Tuesday looks like it could trigger something similar to the flooding we experienced last week. Warm temperatures and close to an inch of rain is the forecast. If flooding occurs, the water will return to dirt and ice flows will pick up making Wednesday a “last minute” call kind of day. Beyond Wednesday, who knows? Thursday is supposed to be prohibitively frigid. Friday is borderline e due to frigid temps and north winds. Saturday could be great. Sunday could be good too…if the winds calm down.
Our spring calendar is already packed! Thanks again to our loyal customers for reserving dates well in advance! We still have a few openings left but things are getting tight so if you’re considering booking a trip for one of the best angling windows of the year, do so ASAP.
Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,
Going forward, pictures will be in a gallery at the bottom of every report. Doing this improves load times on your devices and allows you to tap images and expand them out to full screen/scroll through the entire gallery. Since we didn’t fish this past week, here are a few pics from Guyana – tap this link for WAY more imagery and our write up.