I consider brown trout somewhat of a bonus fish for us on Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. They don’t chase flies quite as actively as landlocked salmon do, but we catch a fair number of these fish every year while fly-fishing and spin-casting in the winter and spring. They typically run around 15” to 20" long, though we’ve caught them up to 27” on flies and upwards of 30" on jigs. In Lake Ontario they run much bigger. Seneca and Cayuga Lakes give up some monster browns on occasion – fish pushing 17lbs! For many years Owasco lake was known as "THE Lake" for big inland browns. Browns should be coming back steadily on Owasco Lake.
Cayuga Lake is currently offering the best brown trout action. We have been catching them there pretty steadily on flies and with spinning gear throughout the winter and spring via casting. Seneca Lake has some quality fish but until lampreys get under control over there, I think Cayuga will be better in terms of numbers. I have patterned browns in Lake Ontario and had some good jigging for them off of Oswego in years past. Brown trout fishing in Lake Ontario was not up to par in 2016.
Browns stack around creek mouths in October and November on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes as they prepare to spawn. These fish are oftentimes in a negative mood but a little wind can turn them on.
I've had some success fly-fishing spring browns on Lake Ontario. Conditions need to be right to have success targeting these fish, but for the serious lake fly-fisher it's a worthy challenge. I will be doing more Lake Ontario fly-fishing for browns in 2017. Fall run browns can also be fly-fished on Lake Ontario around creek mouths.
Here's a beauty that my buddy Mike caught on Seneca Lake while casting a swimbait. We enjoy the challenge of locating and casting to browns on lakes like Cayuga and Seneca in the summertime.