Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB
Fly Fishing The Millers - With over 30 years of fly fishing this river I will claim more knowledge and fish caught than anyone. There are over 40 miles of river and I will take you to the best sections and if you want to sections that never see another angler. Don't be fooled by those who say the Millers is a Spring and Fall river. I'll show you how to have great Summer action. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe this river. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go to catch trout. After a trip you will too!! Solitude and trout IS the EB. The Swift - 20 trout days are not uncommon on this river if you know what to do and use. I'll show the way and you catch the trout. RATES - Full Day (6 hours) = $150.00 for one, $225 for two (lunch included). Half Day (three hours) $90.00 for one, $155.00 for two. Beginners Class - 3 hours ffor $90.00, all use of rods lines, reels included.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Two Rare Openings And Where To Go This Weekend

First, I have two FRIDAYS open that I'd like to fill. The dates are August 7 and 14. Take your pick of half day or full day trips. First come, first served. Email only. If you are already on the calendar you CANNOT reschedule to the above dates. NOTE: 8/14 has been booked.

Second, Read one of my readers comments about fishing the EB in the very early morning. Read my comments about doing the Swift during the day and then swinging by the EB or the Millers to catch the evening rise. Read my comments about exploring the Swift instead of doing the same old same old. Why not?

Going to Boston tonight to catch Steely Dan and Elvis Costello, hang around beantown tomorrow and then hit the streams Sunday.

Go Fish!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

River Update And A Word On Leaders

It seemed that I spent most of May and a good portion of June plying the Millers and the EB, especially the Millers. But the fishing on the Swift has been sooo good of late that I have neglected the Millers and to some extent the EB. My loss!!! The Millers is in prime flow and evenings should be good in August. We've lost about 45 minutes of sunlight since June 21 and the shadows will appear sooner. Same for the EB. If you believe the conventional wisdom about the EB in Summer just read these posts over the last 7 or so years. If the flows are good the trout will be there. I will be there!

The Swift - I've fished everywhere from the Bubbler Arm to the Jungle and the BIG bows are there and so are the brookies. A few days ago I spent a few hours away from the crowds taking in brookies on ants and beetles. It was a blast! Then I went upstream and had a hundred yards to myself and took big rainbows. Now, I've been saying to the Y Pool crowd for years that they should break the mold and start exploring. Now I say STAY THERE!!!

Leaders - back in early 2012 I gave my method of handling the high, murky flows of early Spring. I short, I said ditch the tapered leader when tossing #8 cone head root beer buggers and go with 3 ft of 3x tied to 2 ft of 4x. Tapered leaders are meant to deliver flies softly and the long lengths don't give us the advantage. My short leaders do. Now I've gone further. When flows are high and dirty and I know that high sticking with a short leader is the best chance of getting deep I now use 5 ft of 3x and that's it. Fly delivery is not a problem with this rig.

A month ago I gave solid reasons for NOT fishing very light tippets with large flies. Water clarity has nothing to do with tippet size and all agreed, many siting their personal experience. Now for another trick.

When I guide a new client one of the first things that I ask is what shape their leader is in. Many times it was a 5x cut back to 3x with a 5x tippet tied on. I change it and show them a trick that will make their leader last all season or longer.

Tie on a 9 ft 5x leader and then cut off about 12 inches (the tippet section of a leader is about 24 inches). Form a SMALL loop at the end of the leader and then take about 18 inches of 5x or 6x and put a loop in that. Then loop the pieces together. Now you have a main leader length that will never get shorter when you have to add tippet after changing/losing flies. All you are changing is the tippet. Lefty Kreh made this popular a few years ago and now he's a big fan of doing the same thing with leader rings which makes much sense to me. BTW, casting is not effected by this innovation. I've done the loops for a number of years and will give the rings a test soon.

The last full month of Summer is almost here. Do as much fishing as you can.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Mid Summer And The Swift Is It

It's the middle of Summer and we know that the freestone rivers are an early, late situation. Not the Swift. Today I took a first timer to the Swift and we worked some sections that are seldom fished. We caught fish and lost many others. The fish are there but you have to hunt for them and we were successful.

All of this was BELOW Rt 9.

Above rt 9 it's finding the trout. We found the trout, dozens of them, in a spot that was totally under fished.

There are trout EVERYWHERE on this river. You have to find them.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Swift - Away From The Crowds And a Tenkara Evening.

All of the parking lots were full on late Monday afternoon so we went to the jungle where the mosquitoes actually wear Skin So Soft and think that those wimpy citronella repellents actually taste good. It is a full blown DEET spray down that will allow you to survive. The Result: Native brookies to the net on dry flies and we had the place to ourselves.

Tonight it was a Tenkara lesson. We stayed away from the usual traffic areas and fished alone. Big bows and some brookies where in the mix and most of our flies were size 18 and 20 on 5X!!!!! Trout are now everywhere on the lower Swift and they are not pushovers.

Resist the urge to fish the Y Pool and the Tree Pool and move around. There are fish everywhere!!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

What Is A Soft Hackle Fly

I tied up a zillion of them through the Winter and fished, lost and destroyed many over the last four months.
From size 8, which just seem to work well on the EB, down to size 18 or so on the Swift. I'm tying more now for the Fall (I hate to say that) season only two months away. I don't mind because of all the sunken fly patterns that I tie this is the one that makes me feel good when I take it from the vise. It's a beautiful trout fly.

First things first - the soft hackle fly is a STYLE of tying that goes back over 400 years to the British Isles. It was saved from oblivion by Sylvester Nemes and his great book "The Soft Hackle Fly". It is the style of tying that counts. Just because you tie in grouse, partridge, hen, starling, whatever into a fly doesn't make it a SOFT HACKLE FLY. It's a fly with soft hackles which doesn't do what the original patterns were meant to do: imitate an emerging nymph on it's way to emergence. I guess that you could tie a wooley bugger with grouse hackles but it's still a wooley bugger and not a soft hackle fly.

This is a slim fly just as many emerging nymphs are slim. Originally tied with silk for the SLIM body you can now get away with floss or nylon or 70 denier tying thread. A simple, sparse thorax and then two turns of hackle of your choice does it. DON'T OVER BUILD THIS FLY!! Fat, bushy soft hackles don't really work on trout that have been in the stream for awhile.

The Partridge and Orange that's pictured has produced more Fall/Winter trout than any other pattern for me. Replace the orange with olive thread and you will do well through the Spring and Summer.

Get a copy of Nemes's book. Look at the fly photos and start dreaming!!

P.S. Forget Striper fishing until next year.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dry Fly Magic!

This is the style of fly fishing that is set apart from all the other methods. It is the style that has captivated a breed of fly fishers for well over a hundred years. It is the true test, the hold grail and your one way ticket to angling heaven when all goes right. Halford, from England, developed it, Theodore Gordon brought it to this country and developed the flies for our streams, George LaBranche expanded it's usage to include Atlantic Salmon and then a host of others, Cross, Dette, Darbee, Jenkins, Flick, Fox , Marinaro to name a few, expanded the legacy. It is top shelf fly fishing. If many of the above names are unfamiliar to you then start reading. You'll be better at this endeavor. If you think that it isn't necessary, that high sticking your way through life just seems fine, then take up golf. But then you'll have to know who Bobby Jones was!!

Some readily admit that they don't GET this method. They are not successful. My advice is to start reading and bury yourself in Utube videos. Get an idea of what the trout are feeding on. (cahills and sulphurs are on our streams now. If you don't see any on the water fish them anyway). Learn the upstream approach to a rising trout. Learn that drag occurs BEFORE your FLY begins to drag. Your floating leader will drag first and that is true for nylon AND fluoro. Learn that your cast will spook more trout than your fly or equipment.

Dry Flies - I don't believe in strict "matching the hatch" but take a more impressionistic view of fly patterns in the 12 to 20 size range. My experience says that comparaduns in the right size and shade will cover 90% of the situations that we meet. Faulty presentation will result in failure. The Comparadun does a great job of imitating the adult mayfly and the pre adult trying to break through the surface.

Many years ago I used to spend the summers fishing the Squannacook with only dries, taking a half mile of river in the evening and fishing upstream for rising trout and casting to places that should hold trout. That strategy was carried to the Millers and then to the EB. This strategy has worked and still does. Finding a trout that has taken up position and is rising in a regular pattern and then making the perfect cast and then seeing that fly disappear in the "ring of the rise" is almost beyond words. You have to do it.

Go do it!!!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Swift Reliables

Two flies that you should not be without when you fiswh the Swift (or any tailwater) are scud patterns and the Hot Spot.

Scuds come in all shapes and sizes. Mine are not as bushy as the traditional tie but are slimmed down and may actually pass off as a generic nymph at times. My bodies are olive Australian possum and the shell is nothing more than thin clear plastic. The wire is 32 gauge and the size range runs from 14 through 18. Pick out the fuzzy hairs by the thorax and you're done.

The Hot Spot goes back about 10 years in an attempt to imitate the mess of tiny dark subsurface insects that this river has WITH ONE IMPORTANT FEATURE. A contrasting band of light material sandwiched between dark bands. The reason? Trout seem to key in on that contrast amidst all the other bugs floating by. It's caught untold numbers in the bubbler arm and around the pipe.

I like olive/brown dubbing (natural or not) for the fore and aft sections and white or yellow for the band. Sizes 18 through 24 work very well. KEEP THE BODY SLIM.

These flies are easy to tie and really produce on this river. Try them out!!