I live fairly close to the "Cayuga Operating Company" plant aka Milliken Station/Cayuga AES, so it's not a big deal to drive over to check it out. In the wintertime I can usually see the stack from my living room window. They've been generating power over the past few days, but today they weren't doing much. I still gave the pike fishing around 2 hours or so with the 8 wt. fly-rod.
Nobody else was fishing when I arrived around 3:15 pm. I casted a very heavy unwieldy Clouser Minnow and within 10 minutes I landed a solid northern pike around 28" or 29" long. Great fight! But that was it. Casting was tough with the north wind - at least at certain angles. The lake is as low as I've seen it. Just ridiculously low. I remember winters in the early 2000s and late 1990s where we'd have to wade under the docks to get over to the point. Now it's easy to wade OFF of the docks. Big difference and I'd like to know why the DOT or Canal System or whoever controls the lake level feels that it needs to be even lower than it was 10 years ago - and it was low back then. I'd call the pike fishing "fair."
Finally got out for a little bit of shorefishing. Just like with guided trips, I try to pick good days. If the conditions aren't optimal or at least pretty good for what I want to do, I do something else - either fish for a different specie or stay home.
I spent just over 2 hours fly-casting on Seneca Lake and landed 2 nice salmon. The first one was a 19"er that hit a large deceiver. I was going to release the fish but it destroyed its eye on the big hook, so that fish was kept for dinner. It was full of scuds, which is often the case this time of year around certain parts of the lake. The only other hit I had felt like a lake trout when I hooked it, but was slightly more frantic. I saw silver and then landed a really nice looking clean salmon that was around 23.5"/24". This one had a slight hookscar (meaning it'd been caught once before.) This one I released.
It can be tough wanting to put a salmon back in the lake. They do taste great and they can be hard to catch/find at times. I could've gotten 4 nice meals at the very least out of the larger salmon today! A lot of us enjoy eating FL salmon. I certainly do! With the lakes' overall productivity being considerably lower than some of the heyday years of the late 1980s, 90s and 2000s, I think it's a great idea to release most of the healthy fish. If you catch more than a couple salmon - whether trolling, casting, fly-casting or using live-bait, you are likely going to have a fish or more that are deeply hooked, scarred from eels, bleeding badly or just worn out. Keep those fish and try to release the healthy ones! We all love catching salmon but I just don't get the feeling that there are a ton of them to go around. It isn't like lake trout. The poor salmon runs in the tribs - regardless of rain, should tip anglers off to the fact that most of these fish aren't making it to the spawn. Not that it matters ecologically, since they don't reproduce much at all, but my point is that most of these fish are getting harvested before they run the tribs. And trib fishing for salmon is something a lot of people really look forward to. It's a great component of our local fisheries. Just some food for thought.