“Clean Water – What Trout Require and Fishermen Desire”
– Brite Fox Flyfishers
The Oatka is truly a fly-fisher’s paradise. Referred to as a “Blue Ribbon” trout stream, it is well known for its great fishing action all year long, with many areas that are accessible to the wading angler.
The cool headwaters in Wyoming County are described in some detail in the Region 9 section of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYS DEC) website as: “stocked with… yearling brown trout over a 4 mile section from the state route 19 bridge in the Village of Warsaw upstream to Rock Glen. This section generally has a cobble and gravel substrate, averages about 23 feet in width and has a flow of about 10 cubic feet per second in the summer. Although there are no DEC public fishing rights easements on Oatka Creek, access is generally good as the stream is paralleled by state route 19 with at least 5 bridge crossings, and posting is light.”
A warm-water mid-section extends from Warsaw to LeRoy and is a popular area where pike, bass, sunfish, crappies, and bullhead are prevalent for the enjoyment of both the casual and serious fisherman. Access is again available from bridge crossings and in some cases via municipally owned property.
Downstream in the northern part of Town of LeRoy, the Creek again changes character to become a popular premier trout stream when it receives generous infusions of spring water from the “Blue Hole” and from Spring Creek, which enters the river near Mumford. This length is stocked with brown trout from the historic Caledonia Fish Hatchery.
This freestone length of creek flows through scenic rural farmland and averages about 50 ft in width, with pools, runs, riffles and pocket water making it an ideal fly-fishing stream. Included in this segment in the Town of Wheatland is Oatka Creek County Park, containing a 1.7 mile section of the stream.
While the lower Oatka below Scottsville gets a run of walleye from the Genesee river in the spring and there are smallmouth bass and northern pike upstream to at least the dam at Wheatland Center Road, the brown trout are the main attraction. Spring Creek has some wild brook trout, and both streams see the occasional rainbow trout, but neither are found in enough quantity to make them the primary target.
NYS DEC Region 8 has produced brochures for many of its publicly accessable fishing waters. A downloadable brochure with map of access and regulations for the Oatka and Spring Creeks can be found here. Please navigate down to the section for Genesee or Monroe County to find the information on Oatka Creek/Spring Creek.
Or you can click here.
Another way to ensure a successful fishing experience is to observe some simple rules of stream etiquette. The following were compiled by Brite Fox Flyfishers in cooperation with NYS DEC:
“At times, fishing pressure on the Oatka can be heavy and stream etiquette can go a long way in making everyone’s day a pleasurable one. Elbow room to fish is a common courtesy. The stationary, or slow moving fisherman should be given room by overtaking him noiselessly, out of the water, and re-entering as far away as practical. Wading right up to another angler could disturb a pod of feeding fish and no one appreciates this type of conduct. Pleasant conversations are okay so long as fish within casting range are not disturbed.”