Winter Fishing

Feb 4, 2015

Big fish CARLTON — It wasn't the worst day of the winter, not by far, and definitely not this year. But you still needed a good reason to spend any extended time in the elements, much less along the Oak Orchard, a sometimes creek and other times river that stretches from Medina to Lake Ontario at Point Breeze. Ron Bierstine caters to these men and women, who outlast the “nimrods” and average anglers that swell the creek each fall, but thin out as the season changes and the abundant trout and salmon populations dip. “There’s a cut-off,” Bierstine said from Orleans Outdoor, the tackle shop and fishing lodge he runs in Carlton. “There’s only so many diehards; the average guy won’t go out below 30 degrees, the nimrods are gone until it hits 50 again.” Those that stay are after steelheads, a challenging and rewarding catch even as temperatures and underwater energy drop in the creek. “It’s definitely the big, fresh steelhead,” that attracts people to brave the winter’s worst, Bierstine said. “They’re the best … steelhead are pretty; they’re big and they fight like hell." “Steelhead make people do weird things.”