Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB
The Millers - Experience the best brown trout fly fishing in Massachusetts. This river only gets better as the Summer rolls on with Autumn being prime time!! Day long trips or "Evening Rise" excursions are available. There are over forty miles of river and I will take you to the "best" sections. I have over twenty years of experience on my "home" river. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe the EB. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go when I want to catch trout!! After a trip you will too whether it's surface or subsurface action that you like. If it's a wilderness experience that you're looking for then let me take you to the "EB". The Swift - Let's "de-mystify" this river. 20 trout days, year round, are not uncommon on this river. It's technique and fly selection that counts. I can introduce you to that experience. "Dry Fly 101 - Dry fly fishing is the "soul" of fly fishing. The "fly fishing schools" will "scan" this method but I teach the classic upstream approach in depth. In over forty years of fly fishing I have caught more trout on a dry fly than with all other methods. I teach this method on "a river" so you can carry it forward season after season. RATES Full Day (7am-1pm) $150 per per person, $225 for two (lunch included) Evening Rise -(5:30 till dusk) $90 per person, $155 for two Dry Fly 101 - $60 for 3 hours

Monday, November 24, 2014

Late Season On The Swift




There are still lots of brook trout in clear view on this river and they are still taking the fly but they seem to be a bit shop worn. Not from being caught but from the spawning infighting that we have seen for the past month or so. I've actually been looking for rainbows like the one that took my egg pattern, shot off ten feet and found sanctuary in a downed tree!

Egg patterns or more exactly a micro egg pattern. I tie mine on size 18 and 20 egg/scud hooks with just a bit of flash on the pattern. Micro eggs are closer to the natural size and seem to work better than the larger sizes at least for me.

Another pattern that has worked this Fall are orange San Juan Worms. 40 fish days?? That's what I've heard. I tied some up but haven't used them yet. Maybe next year.

The first real snow hits Wednesday afternoon with maybe a 6+ inch total here in trout land. It will not keep the faithful off the Swift this weekend and that is a good thing!!

Have a Happy and safe Thanksgiving and we will see you on the Swift!!

Ken

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Late Season The EB


It's late in the season and two rain events in October did a good job of spreading the trout out. One event moved the needle to 1300 cfs and the next hit about 3000 cfs. The river came down but the colder water changed everything. Double digit days where gone but careful fishing produced results.

Tuesday, November 11 was a good late season day. Two 'bows came to the net with soft hackles and WB's and one of three trout that took a liking to a large dry managed to be released. The other two? Soft rises and no hook ups. It was a good 3 hour trip in that 42 degree water. I was there over this past weekend where the 38 degree water resulted in some hits but no hook ups.

Last year the action seemed to have no end except when the weather just got too cold. This year it seemed to end early. I blame the rain events.

Now, we head into Winter and a season that belongs to the Swift. Some of my best days have been on this river during the Winter. Dress warm, know what to do and you will be rewarded. Contact me if you want to spend a half or full day fishing the Swift during this season. It beats waiting until Spring!

Ken

Monday, November 10, 2014

Autumn Is A Swift Season


What can I say. It's been wonderful on this river over the last month. Brook trout in all size ranges and in all numbers are all over the river. Big browns are in the mix with outsized bows to top it off. Regulars with 40 plus years on this river haven't seen an Autumn like this. It's the brook trout that have stolen center stage. I have not seen these numbers in the almost 30 years on this river. They have always been there and their numbers seemed to increase in that last five years BUT this year may be a benchmark. Do we have a native brook trout fishery on the Swift? Looks that way! Should we protect it? Of course!!! Catch and Release, no bait, year round below rt 9 to the boat launch. Why not??

Winter doesn't end the season on this river. Some of our best days are during the Winter when a sunny day pushes the temperature into the mid to high 30's. The fish respond and we are rewarded. Let me know if you want in on this!!

Ken

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rating The Rivers Again And The "Dark Season" Again


Ok, it's that time of year again. A month and a half ago you could get down to the river at 5pm and have a few hours doing what you like to do. IT'S ALL OVER NOW UNTIL MARCH when we turn the clocks ahead. I hate this time of year because it limits what I want to do. Maybe when I retire I may feel differently but I think not. Our river choices are very few until Spring. The Swift and the Farmington will remain for the wading fly fisher. The others may very well be frozen over which will only cause us to wait patiently for Spring. In the meantime tie flies.

LET'S RATE THE RIVERS FOR 2014:

3rd Place - The Millers: Again, prime Summer time evening fishing was blown away by high water. Things are happening on this river. For the first 20+ years on this river I had GREAT summer evenings with manageable flows. Since 2008 I've seen one blowout after another. Canoes and kayaks on the Millers in July??? I love this river and the Spring seasons have been nice and some Fall seasons ok but the flow levels are like nothing I've seen. Climate change?? Bad luck?? Who knows? I guided this gent last July at dusk. We caught fish and he said the this river, at dusk, was just beautiful. I knew from the forecast that it would change quickly. I would love to see a Summer like the Summers of the 1990's. Maybe next year.

2nd Place - The EB: There's a reason why this river came in 2nd. It's not because of the flow. It was fine all Summer long. It's not because we didn't catch trout. We caught a bunch! In fact, this may have been the best season since the epic 2009 season. The flow stayed at a good level during July and August and when we had only a 1/4 inch of rain in September the weather was cool which kept the water cool and the trout could not be happier. When it rained the river went up but then dropped like a rock, usually just in time. Rainbows and browns provided season long entertainment. Perfect, but good for only second place. No fault of it's own!

1st Place - The Swift: It wasn't like this just a few years ago. You would catch the occasional brookie of hatchery size and at times the little guy who was measured south of five inches. Three years ago I began to catch more around 3 inches in certain areas. They were beautiful! Now those fish are everywhere. They're not escapees from the hatchery because they come in all sizes from 1 1/2 inches to 8-10 inches. Then there are the tape measure fish that are seen but seldom taken.

The Swift has its year long fishery which is a plus AND it's traffic which is less than a plus. The rainbows supply the muscle on this stream but the brook trout supply the beauty and MAYBE the promise of having a self sustaining brook trout fishery. I'm glad to see the brookies thriving!! That's why I rate the Swift number 1 this year!

Ken

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Getting Up Early - A Swift River Morning


It pays to start early and when you go to the Swift "early" is never early enough. I began the hike to the Y Pool section at 7:30 today with only one car in the lot and another just arriving as I was putting on the waders. I stayed away from going to the PIPE after what I saw yesterday: 8 flyfishers from the PIPE to the end of the Tree Pool at 9:00 am. The gauge section was not an option because I and another angler saw NOTHING in this section. I decided to go above RT 9 for a change.

After the 10 minute walk I got to the Y Pool and found 2 anglers working the water. No worry because the Pool was not my destination. The Bubbler arm was the place that I wanted to be. Long story short: I took 7 in two hours and all where over 16 inches. Started with a #14 scud, switched to a Grouse and Orange and they both worked. The guy who arrived just after me caught double what I did. A real fish hawk that guy!!! The Y Pool - not so good but maybe as the day went on it improved.

I'm not giving secret spots away. Where I fished is fished by everyone. It just pays to get there early!

Went home, raked leaves and am listening to the Patriots as I write this. A good day so far!

Ken