Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Great Fishing Everywhere And Book A June Trip

"If I fished only to catch fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."- Zane Grey

FISH THESE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! The rivers are running full and cold, insects are hatching and the trout are willing. The Millers is bursting with trout and good daytime fishing will last through June with good flows. The Ware is running at a good level and daytime temperatures are in the 64 degree range - perfect for a freestone. The EB is perfect and you need to get out there. Same with the West Branch and 21 were taken (that's right) from the middle branch with a tenkara rod yesterday!!!!!

Rainfall has been very close to normal out here in Troutland for May and evenings have been cooler than normal and that is exactly what we want. I have some morning and evening trips for June plus full day trips on selected rivers. Email me for details and open dates.

Temperatures on the Ware

Don't think that this river gets too warm for the summer. The Ware has been running cooler (mid 60's) through the day which is cooler than the Millers, a similar freestone. And it holds its browns through the hot, dry months if last year was any indication. There are a lot of browns in the Ware now which will add to the fun.

The Black Spider (A Soft Hackle)

The last 30 fish my clients have caught, on 3 different rivers, have been on a Black Spider. I thank Gary Cranston, the Admiral of the Westfield, for this pattern. He gave us the pattern which is:

1.long black hen for hackle (I use dyed partridge) The hackle cannot be too long. Up to double the length of the hook is fine

2. layer of black thread for the body

3. 2 short strands of crystal flash on each side of the fly by the thorax

For those who fish weighted flies - the "take" on a weighted fly is more of "bump". The take on this soft hackle is a vicious strike as the trout tries to capture this "insect" before it escapes. I love to swing this fly downstream and then "bang"!!!!!

Happy Memorial Day


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bamboo, Brookies, Hendricksons, Baby Browns And An Update

"Never leave fish to find fish" Moses 1200 BC

It was going to be a good day. The tomatoes and peppers were put in the ground, a few other chores were done and I would be off to the Swift to dance with brook trout! Now, I have to say that I'm getting used to not having a circus at the Pipe. The lack of "too many fish" makes the place peaceful and a pleasure to fish. I spent an hour there, had one tap and then went downstream. In short order the 7ft bamboo began to roll out that 3wt line and the #24 CDC black thread midge began to fool those guys. All of that changed when the hendricksons made a noontime appearance. They seem late this year on the Swift or at least the hatch is drawn out. Yup, I had that pattern too and the surface action continued.

I totally lost count of the number of brookies that rose to my dry fly. These fish seem bigger than last year and really put a bend in the bamboo.

Baby Browns

The Swift above Route 9 and the Ware River are LOADED with 6 to 8 inch browns. Some may hate the stocking of trout this small but for the Ware this deserves attention. Last year the Ware received bows, brookies and browns in the Spring and after a long dry Summer received only bows for a Fall stocking. But 50% of our (me and clients) catch last Fall were browns!!!! It will be worth the effort to fish this river through the Summer to see how these browns survive and grow!!!!!

The Millers, Ware And Westfield System

The Millers is full of fish and those in the know will be fishing this river in the early morning or in the evening as we roll into Summer. It still amazes me that there are those that think that this river should play by tailwater rules. To paraphrase old Bill Clintons campaign slogan, "It's a freestone, stupid! It doesn't magically turn into a bass river on July 1st as one "expert" said. (that expert also said the EB doesn't fish well in the Summer, duh!)

Speaking of the EB (that's the moniker I hung on the East Branch of the Westfield 10 years ago) most fly fishers know only one branch and most draw a blank when they hear the WB or the MB brought up. The "overviews" you find on the web are only about the EB and the only one worth reading is the one by Christophe Perez in Eastern Flyfishing Magazine a few years back. I don't ignore the WB or the MB and you shouldn't either. They are not the "destination" that the EB is but they should be.


P.S. Keep asking for the Fly Fishers Guide To The Millers River. I've introduced thousands to this river through the Guide and it's still FREE!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Pipe Dreams, The Millers, Your Comments And Some Questions

"No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man" Author Unknown

It may have been the biggest bow or maybe the ONLY bow taken at the head of the Tree Pool, below the pipe, in weeks but it was taken by client Zack who nailed this 16 inch brute on a size 16 grouse and flash AND it was his FIRST trout on a fly!!!!! Hats off to a good accomplishment!

Yes, there are trout there AND DOWN IN CADY LANE but you will not trip over them as in prior seasons. Stealth helps a lot down in Cady Lane.

The Millers

Yes, it's been stocked again and I and my client Gary actually witnessed it at the Bridge Street Pool yesterday. There are a lot of fish in that river and although the flow is still high get a wading staff and fish it. You'll need weight to get the fly down but that's a small inconvenience. Orcutt is very wadable as is the Kempfield Section. The Upper Trestle Pool and Erving Center are still on the high side.

Your Comments

You guys got a compliment yesterday by a client who said that the COMMENTS at times are as good as the blog and he was right. Comment writers are naming the river, the stretch that they fished, what fly they used and what they caught. You do not find that anywhere!!! My comment writers don't act like they are holding state secrets by refusing to name locations. People like tincup, bigmster127, hockey_dad, Gary C, falsecast, mattk and many others are not afraid of giving you true information and locations. Read the comment section!!!!

A Question

I've been conducting an informal survey of the many people that I've guided this season. The survey has one question: Do you own a nymph rod?  So far I've found ONE person who owns one and he doesn't like it. (poor casting qualities). All of the others admit to using nymphing techniques on occasion but they use their conventional rods (the rods that they own appear to be on the fast side) and say that they do well.

I guess you can say that these folks prefer to fly fish!!


P.S. The EB got stocked this week for the TU Party this weekend. Have fun if you are with that group but the BEST fishing is next week after the crowds leave.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Freestone In The Drizzle And A River Update

"You might also spot Ken Elmer, whose favorite fall prospecting patterns are soft hackles, such as size 8 or 10 Hen and Orange or Grouse and Orange. Somewhat too big to act like imitators, these are instead attractor patterns that have been very productive for him when swung and stripped across the current or dead drifted in the 2 Mile Pool or in the riffles at the head of Les's Pool" Christophe Perez, Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine September/October 2014, East Branch Westfield River, Ma

A West Branch Morning

We knew what the forecast was for Saturday morning - a drizzle that would swell into a steady, cold rain with temperatures in the low to mid 40's. I met Matt in the still asleep village of Huntington at 7:30 and we were on the WB of the Westfield by 8:00 working a soft hackle pattern that Gary, the Admiral of the Westfield, turned me onto a few days before: a Black Spider.

The flow was perfect and the water temperature was 53, even more perfect. We worked the stretch by Wildcat Springs where a fat rainbow grabbed that Spider and then fought for over 5 minutes before we landed him. Another whacked the same fly and kept it as a souvenir (he broke it off).

The rain picked up and the mercury dropped so we called it a day and it was a good day with another angler experiencing another New England freestone!!!

River Update

As I write the Millers is at 458 cfs which is good for most spots

The Ware is at 155 = very good

The above mentioned WB is flowing at 159 and the EB is at 352.

All the freestones are flowing full and cool so TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS!!! Leave the tailwaters for the heat of summer when we really need them. The fishing on the Swift has been very sub par but I don't care because the freestones (REAL trout fishing) have filled the bill, thank you! Besides, who needs the crowds anyway. (Ok, some people like crowds)


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A May Morning On The Millers And More!

Sometimes you have to play the cards that you are dealt. Make it work! Me

Sometimes plans go awry. Things don't work out for one reason or another. What to do? Answer = Go fly fish!!
I faced the Millers with its high flow (where is the water coming from?) I know but I throw the question out there anyway. The flow was roaring along at 700 cfs which has been the LOW point for three weeks. What to do? TAKE OUT A 6 WT full sinking line and do what we did years ago = attack the flow!!

I attached the 6wt to 4 feet of 4X tippet and attached to the business end a weighted size 12 reduced bugger (a great fly). Now, conventional wisdom would have said DREDGE the bottom with a politically correct nymphing technique, but I decided that this being a freestone river with a temperature of 58 degrees or so that the trout would be ACTIVE and not need a boring nymphing style to be fooled.

Technique - I cast across the flow. The 3-5 inch per second sink rate line sunk like a rock. I then did a gentle 2 inch strip as it swung across the current.

The result = 8 browns in an hour and a half. Two missed! They were in a perfect feeding mode with that water temperature and they chased that reduced bugger, turned into the current and stripped some line from the reel. Two beat 16 inches and the rest were above 12. They will be there this summer when we really want them.

BTW - When leaving west on Rt 2 a stocking truck pulled out of Arch Street heading West (Erving Center was stocked this morning) and then took a LEFT off of RT 2 onto Bridge Street in Farley (an illegal turn) to most likely stock BRIDGE STREET in Farley. There you go!!!!


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Ware Were We Fishing?

"Fly fishing guide Ken Elmer advocates exploring the entire .5 miles of water between the Route 9 bridge and the Pipe which he says "has more character than the year-round catch-and-release area, but is seldom fished by most fly fishers....Elmer's most favored flies are uncomplicated and impressionistic: a few turns of thread or dubbing can often go a long way." - Christophe Perez, Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine- January/February 2014


Ware did we find rising trout ? Ware did we we catch willing chunk-bows whacking comparaduns and snowshoe hare emergers? Ware did we fish ware we saw no other fly fishers?

If you haven't figured it out yet take up golf!!  If you want in........

Book me for a May or June evening to get in on this action!!


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Evening Rise - Book It! And The Swift

"Living only a few miles from the East Branch, Elmer is one of the most diligent and passionate fly fishermen you'll encounter on this river. You will find him there not only in May and June, considered by most to be the height of the season, but also on late summer evenings, waiting by himself until the sun hides behind the western ridge to catch one more brown on a dry blue-winged olive, and at freezing late fall dawns, netting a few more rainbows on soft hackles before ice and snow cover the pools" - Christophe Perez - Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine, September/October 2014

Yes, it's only the beginning of May but we can not forget about JUNE. This is the beginning of the EVENING RISE season, the witching hour of fly fishing. I'm not talking about 9 to 5 fishing on a tailwater but the time when things come alive on our freestones. Fish them at Noon and you may leave disappointed. Fish them after supper and you may not want to leave. You'll certainly want to come back!!

By mid June the major insect hatches have left the mid day theater and have swung into the evening and we anxiously await our March Browns and Cahills to arrive on the scene. Our fly fishing literature is full of scenes where wise fly fishermen stake out a run or pool and wait for the SIGN - the RISE. Soon the water is full of rising trout as the sun begins to sink below the western ridges. It has ALWAYS been my favorite time!!

Things to look for -

1. A cloudy, overcast day will mean that you will have rising action earlier than if you were fishing a crystal clear day especially if you are chasing browns.

2. A box full of comparduns and DHE emergers in sizes 14 through 16 will be all that you will need in the vast majority of evenings.

3. Absolutely NO NEED for a rod lighter than a 4 wt, period. A 4wt works fine and a 5wt may be better.

You owe it to yourself to get on a river like the Millers, Ware or the EB by 5pm. Swing soft hackles until the shadows grow and then work your dry fly magic. It's the BEST time to fly fish.

The Swift

Well, it looks like they decided to stock the Swift. I'll believe it when I see it.