Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Seed Bead Heads, Partridge and Magic Orange, Big Bows And Food

"The future isn't what it used to be" -  Yogi Berra

I can't seem to leave well enough alone - I'm always fiddling around with fly patterns and new materials usually with the result being a different profile to the fly while still making it look like a real insect instead of am attractor fly. Seed Beads, a mainstay in jewelry manufacturing, filled the bill.
Just march into a Michael's Craft store and head for jewelry making. You will see vials of different colored plastic beads (pretty much weightless) and then pick out a color. I picked Olive. Size 11/0 pretty much works for sizes 14 through 18. Flies tied with these beads give us a true profile that nymphs have without the heavy attractor bead and they will not be getting you down into the weeds which is what you don't want! Like the soft hackle family they are the perfect low water fly!!

The Partridge and Magic Orange has been my top fly on the Swift within the past week with a size 16 taking top honors. As I stated in my last post you can order Partridge and Orange flies from me and then send an email with the words "Magic Orange" and I'll send you the real thing.

There has been a rash of break-offs by monster bows on the Swift lately. A client broke off three last Wednesday evening and David said he lost four on Sunday. Both of these gentlemen are accomplished anglers and were not using ultralight tippet material. The top photo is of a rainbow that was in the 20 inch range that I managed to put into the net only to break off the next large bow.

I love chicken in all of its forms and it just seems best when it's paired with garden grown summer vegetables.  Cooking this is easy: take some boneless chicken thighs seasoned with pepper and throw them on a hot grill just to sear the outside. Then transfer to a skillet in the kitchen and toss in some zucchini strips, thinly sliced carrots strips, thinly sliced onion, some tomato wedges, one thinly sliced potato (like the thickness of a potato chip), a few chick peas, season with anything you like (I like pepper) and then cover and cook slowly. When it's almost done toss in some baby spinach and let it wilt.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

The New Orange And A River Update

"I've been getting into astronomy so I installed a skylight. The people who live above me are furious" - Steven Wright

Last season I began to experiment with different body materials and colors for soft hackled flies. I was testing this nice yellow material when I noticed the strangest thing. The bright yellow body entered the water as bright yellow but when removed from the water it was the neatest pale orange that I've ever seen on a trout fly. Furthermore, the fly turned back to yellow as it dried out!

It caught trout and lots of them. It's been my go-to Partridge and Orange this year and it's all I've used on the Swift this Summer. The above photo shows the yellow version of the fly on the bottom and the "Magic Orange" on the top. If you want to order some just use my paypal buttons for the partridge and orange, place the order and then send me an email with the message "magic orange" and you will get the right material. $20.00 minimum for all flies.

The Rivers

The Swift dropped like a rock yesterday going from 130 cfs to 52 cfs. I for one like that flow especially with brookie spawning season just around the corner. If the flow is too high the BT will not hit the redds. 50 cfs is perfect spawning flow.

Now, is it my imagination or does there seem to be fewer brook trout down in Cady Lane this year? Gone are the schools of a dozen or so brook trout just milling around. Are they further  downstream and if they are why would that be? I think we will know in a month.

The Millers - forgetaboutit!!!!! On Monday 9/10 it was a perfect 220 but now it's at 973 cfs as I write. I would love to see a flow of 300 or less by the last week of September. As my comment section states, the browns are still active on this river.  We just need a better flow.

The EB - 994 cfs but it will drop like a rock by the weekend if it doesn't rain. The trout are still there and we have caught some by moving around and fishing hard!!!

A Funny Thing - Last Monday morning I drove past the RT 9 parking areas at 7:30 and saw no cars.  The Pipe parking lot also was vacant of vehicles and so was the Pipe and Tree Pool for the next 2 hours until Phil showed up.  late yesterday afternoon my client and I had 3 hours ( 5pm - 8pm) of fishing the same place with nobody else in sight.  Question - I thought that the Swift was crowded??


Monday, September 10, 2018

Fall Is In The Air, The Swift River And Book A Trip

"Another great post from an experienced angler. It amazes me how much of a bond I feel with you even though we live on opposite sides of our nation, fish different types of water, and have different preferences for the areas we fish."  Reader Phil in 9/6/18 comments

On Tuesday September 4 it was 92 degrees at noon and I waded wet. In fact, I waded wet all week. Yesterday, Sunday the 9th, it was 58 at noon and refreshing and I hope it stays like this. This is the time of year that I anticipate the most. The streams are low but cool and trout will be after everything from size 20 olives to size 12 October caddis. These great conditions will run right into November so get out there and fish! I'll keep you posted!!!!


It's always interesting when I tell a client about the pellet hatch while guiding on the Swift. First, I get the impression that they don't believe me until it actually happens but the sight of dozens of surface slashing trout will quickly change their minds. Then out comes the PELLET FLY and to see trout fooled by a piece of cork is entertaining. Kyle saw his first pellet hatch, caught his first trout on a pellet and showed up the next day with his own pellet flies tied up the night before.

Then there's Des who caught his FIRST trout by any means on the Swift yesterday. I think he is hooked on fly fishing!!!!

Big Browns

I received a photo of an outsized brown taken and released down in Cady Lane this past week. The sender of the photo claims that it was just over 24 inches long and I believe him.

Here it is for your viewing pleasure!!  It's that time of year folks!!!

The New Orange

I've got a new body material for the classic Partridge and Orange that just outshines everything else.  Stay tuned for that!!!!!

Book A Trip

My calendar is filling up quickly but I still have some prime spots open. It's time to "call in sick" after you've booked a session with me. We will be hitting the Ware, Swift, the EB and my most popular destination, the Millers. Get introduced to places other than the same old stocking spots. YOU DESERVE IT!!!!!!!


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Autumn Olives, Book A Trip And A River Update

"Thanks for the continued updates! I wouldn't fish nearly as much if it wasn't for your blog." comment on 9/5

The Blue Wing Olive
The BWO is with us all season long but its prime stage is on those cool, cloudy September and October afternoons on rivers like the Millers and the EB. 20 years ago it seemed to be a rarity to see this hatch on the Millers. Now it's a daily event from mid September onward and if the weather stays good (no flooding rain) it will go right into November.

Where To Find Them

Fish the riffles at the head of pools. That's the neighborhood for this fly and that's where the trout will be. Think of the riffles at Erving Center/Arch Street on the Millers or that sexy riffle at the head of Les's Pool on the EB. Every stream has these locations and you know where they are.

What To Fish

Way to much emphasis is placed on the dry fly when working these insects. The pre-emergence stage is just as important. My top emerger the last few years has been nothing but a starling and olive soft hackle (what else) from size 16 through 18. I fish this fly upstream or on the swing until the rising fish REALLY begin to appear. Then my dry emerger goes on. Read Bob Wyatt's book What Trout Want to get the idea. I shy away from those dainty parachute flies for something that can be whipped up in mass and actually is the most representative of the BWO. Sizes 16 through 18 work the best on the above mentioned rivers.

The Swift

Believe it or not but the Swift release was increased on Tuesday from 50 to 130 cfs.  Now, I can hear the round of applause celebrating this event but I like 50 cfs!!! When they up the flow it puts the trout down for a few days.  Surface action was slow but I managed 2 sipping bows above the Duck Pond and then a brown at the Y Pool.  The water temperature was 56 degrees at 5pm and wet wading felt REAL GOOD!!!

The EB

It seems that everyone is catching something on the EB and although it isn't at the same success level as this time last year we will take it.  Iso nymphs are everywhere and BIG FAT Stoneflies are all over the place.  Sparse, size 12 or 14 dark buggers have done well representing the stoneflies and pheasant tail nymphs work for isonychia  nymphs. The flow is about 130 cfs = A good flow!!

The Millers

Read the comments on this blog for the last two weeks. Some say that it's all smallies and fallfish and others say that browns are in play. I'll say that the rainbows are still with us and when this damn heat finally breaks we will have even better fishing. The flow, as I write, is at 267 cfs = PERFECT!


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Big Flies Of Autumn And Another Soft Hackle

"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time" - Steven Wright

Photo by Thomas Ames, Jr.

"Look at them, the place is covered with them!!" The them being referred to were the empty shell casings of large Golden Stonefly nymphs clinging to streamside rocks and this was not a day in early June but a day in early September. They crawl out of the stream usually under the cover of darkness and they will do this all season long ESPECIALLY in the Fall. Combine these guys with the Fall emerging Isonychia mayfly (a nymph that hatches the same way as stoneflies) and you have two insects that wack the conventional wisdom that Autumn means tiny flies.

                                               Isonychia Nymphs

The Stones can be imitated with any large stonefly nymph, sizes 6-10 and the Isonychia works well with a size 12-14 pheasant tail. These nymphs can be found on the Millers but the EB takes the prize for the most.

Also, let's not forget that late Summer and early Fall are prime hopper time. Hoppers are to trout what chicken wings are to football fans. You just have to have them!!

Partridge and Olive

This is a very simple fly that allows you to play around with the dressing. I supply OLIVE bodies for the market but my own fly boxes  contain olive and very pale olive bodies that almost look like a pale yellow to me.  It doesn't seem to make much difference as long as you keep the bodies SLIM and the hackles SPARSE. There's nothing worse than a fat bodied SH with a half dozen wraps of oversize hackles. It would make Sylvester Nemes roll over in his grave.

I am booking up September, October and November. Don't get left out!!


Friday, August 31, 2018

This Blog, River Update, Ready For Fall And Soft Hackle Mainstays

I just wanted to say "Thank you" for the Blog. You do an excellent job, your flies are TOP NOTCH, and the reports are on the mark.
I have been "lurking" for several years, but wanted to let you know, before I drive the several hours to wet the line, I always check your blog to see what is happening. - Kindman - August comment by a reader.

It's been a great month of August even with the heat. A lot of that satisfaction that I've felt comes from the growth of this blog. I have stayed true to form by focusing on OUR RIVERS and doing that on a steady basis. YOU have responded by sending comments that ACTUALLY CONTAIN INFORMATION, a rarity in the fly fishing blogosphere!! You and I truly cover more rivers in Massachusetts than anyone else!!! Thank YOU!!!!

How are the rivers? As I write the EB is at 189 cfs which is perfect and we have been catching fish and now that the heat has broken this river will only get better. Pat's Rubber Legs and Buggers (size 12 to 14) work. Also check out the stonefly and Isonychia nymphs all over the rocks at the EB. Yup, there are still big flies around!!!

The Millers - It's finally coming down!!!!! 470 this morning and with no real rain next week it will get only better. It's amazing that we are still taking 'bows out of this river in August, a real rarity in years past.

The Swift - It went from 52 to 45 cfs during the last 48 hours and yes, some of these brookies are beginning to color up. Yes, there are plenty of rainbows!

The Ware - I haven't fished it since early July but I plan to be there next week. Stay tuned.

Book A Fall Trip

My calendar is beginning to book up quickly. It's not too early to grab an October or November date especially those anglers who are limited to weekends. They go quickly!!

The Partridge And Orange

This is the most requested fly that I tie and my top fly on ALL RIVERS during the Fall. Some say it works because it has the same coloration as the October Caddis (maybe) or that it has the color of trout spawn (don't think so) but I think it works because of the magical movement of the hackles and a "secret sauce" body that I use. Sizes 14 and 16 work on all the rivers mentioned above with size 12 best on the bigger rivers.

BTW, I just read an article about tying an October Caddis nymph.  This nymph had a tungsten bead head AND lead wire in the body.  This concoction must weigh a thousand times more than what it's supposed to imitate. That's why I like soft hackles - very lightweight and insect-like movement in the water instead of a static piece of submerged jewelry.  That's why they call it fly fishing!!

Happy Labor Day!!


Monday, August 27, 2018

A Short EB Morning And This Fall

"A Master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which." Francois Auguste Rene Chateaubriand

The air temperature was 64 degrees at 7 am below the Gorge and I had the place to myself. I needed an intervention via a stimulator (something smashing a big dry fly) and even though the flow was around 420 I felt confident.

The first brown was a good fish but the second was a horse that rode off to the center of the pool and broke me off. Another brown and two rainbows came to the net. It was a good morning.

If you read the comments section of this blog you will see a number of comments about the good fly fishing on the EB. In fact, I'm beginning to think that this blog is the ONLY blog that covers this river on a regular basis. Same with the Millers, the Swift and the Ware.

This Fall

Check out the brook trout in the photo. It's a Fall brookie in spawning colors from the Swift River which is the premier BT stream in Ma if not New England. If you want some of this action contact me for an October or November trip. BTW, I still have some September openings for the Millers and the EB. September is great. The sun is not as intense, the temperature is comfortable and you don't have to be on the river at dark unless you want to! Book Me!!!!!