Fly fishing the Upper Genesee River in New York

[caption id="attachment_54448" align="alignnone" width="1296" caption="Despite the cold temperatures, it was nice to have the sun make a brief appearance on this winter afternoon on the Upper Genesee River."][/caption] Kevin has declared this year to be "The Year of the Smallie".  Smallmouth bass are my favorite species, so I'm all game for them to be the focus of our addiction - our drug of choice - for this year. To this, I've added an additional personal challenge of fly fishing. Toward this effort, my son and I took to exploring the Upper Genesee River today in the Southern Tier of New York and made it all the way down to Allegheny County to a stretch just north of Shongo. I knew there was purportedly trout water and smallmouth bass down this way and we gave it a try in the sub-thirty degree air temperatures.  We had some minor trouble with our rod guides icing up, but nothing too major. No fish were caught, but at least I finally have proof that I fly fish to show on Fishgator (fly-catching might be another story), and we had a great time getting away for the afternoon. I know that I was using too heavy gear and flies that were too large, but at least I got in some practice casting. My soon-to-be 16-year-old son has really taken to fly fishing - truth be told, he's much better than I am... [caption id="attachment_54447" align="alignnone" width="516" caption="It is great to watch my son, Alan, developing to become a skilled fly angler."][/caption] We are contemplating returning for a float and fly fish trip by kayaks sometime this Spring. I'll try to be better prepared if we do!


I have been a dedicated freshwater kayak angler for the past nine years. I had fished off and on my whole life, but fishing from a kayak unleashed the beast. I earned my Ph.D. in Zoology from Oklahoma State University in 2002, and am an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at a large private university in Western New York. I helped to co-founder the Western New York Kayak Association, regularly blog for and am a MEMBER OF TEAM MALIBU KAYAKS pro-staff. I reside in the Finger Lakes with my wife and two children.


  1. twitter_FreshwaterKayak says:

    Paul: That’s fantastic. I haven’t been down in the Jack Bridge region of the Genny in over 10 years. Glad you made it down that way this weekend.

  2. Greg says:

    Fly fishing is definitely addictive. I feel your pain on the eyes of the rod icing up. Last time I was out west, we had to dip our rods every second cast. They were taking nymphs though, so it was worth it.

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