Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Saturday, December 29, 2007

December To Remember

The Swift is a lifesaver!! My last trip to the Millers was on Hallowen. After that the rains came, then the ice and then the snow. Without this little tailwater I would be waiting until April to cast a fly. I made three trips to the Swift in December. Two trips were to the "pipe" and one to the "Y" Pool. The Y Pool trip was on the morning of Christmas Eve which turned out to be warm but very windy. I took to big rainbows in three hours. The two trips to the pipe accounted for 67 rainbows in about four hours of fishing. There are a gazillion small rainbows here and they were a blast on my 6ft, 3wt. bamboo. Hot flys were the Hot Spot and jailbirds in size 16.

It's been a good December which caps off a good year. Can't wait till 08!


Monday, November 26, 2007

The Swift - Saturday November 24

Now, this was great!!! Stole two early morning hours and landed 12 trout, all 'bows and one brookie. All were caught on one fly, a #16 "Hot Spot". The hot spot is any dark, slender nymph with either a yellow, orange or pink band of dubbing around it's middle. No tail, no hackles. Just dead drift this nymph WITHOUT an indicator unless you begin to see nyphing rises and then drift it under some indicator putty and only six inches under the indicator too.

Indicator putty - the best stuff going and I don't know why it's not used more often. Unlimited sizes, easy to put on and adjust and easy to take off. Still, flyfishers are using their cork "bobbers" and yarn indicators that are the size of a shaving brush!!!

I may try a weekend day on the Millers if the water level stays down but the Swift is calling me.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Saturday, November 11, on the Swift

Saturday morning found me on the beautiful Swift River for the third consectutive Saturday. This was different from the past two outings. first, it was not raining and second, it was loaded with flyfishers. I made my first cast below "the pipe" at 7:45am and by 9:00am I counted eight other anglers fishing above and below this section. What made it special and entertaining was the presence of flyfishing celebrity Marla Blair with a camera crew of one who spent over two hours recording her flyfishing prowness. Marla caught a lot of trout but the major event was the dunking of her camerawoman who fell "back first" into those frigid waters. She and her camera survived and that's a good thing. Marla is a fishing machine!! So was the young guy, maybe twenty, dressed in waders and a hooded sweatshirt (a Swift River homey) who yanked trout out of thin air that morning. This kid can fish!!!!

The count - 11 rainbows either landed or almost landed. Early on the trout were slow to respond with only a #16 dark beadhead showing any interest. By 10:00am the fish became more active. You could see them darting back and forth. That's when a #20 dark olive emerger began to bring trout to the net. The days obligations made me leave just before 11:00am when I KNEW that a full blown hatch would start soon.

Winter is a special time on the Swift. I need to spend a full day there.

I will soon.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Saturday on the Swift

The alarm went off at 6:00am. Soon I was driving down Rt 202 under dark skies and breezy conditions to get my spot on the lower Swift River. The weatherman on the radio spoke of the Nor'easter charging up the coast with hurricane gusts and buckets of rain. If this holds off till noon I'll be fine.
Now here I am, below the "pipe" and I'm the ONLY one here!!!! I guess my brother longrodders have been scared off for a second Saturday because of a forecast. Soon I'm joined by the only other angler I'll see this morning. I tie on a #16 grouse and flash and for the next two hours bring only two small rainbows to the net. This pipe stretch, so good last Saturday, is just off today. I end up switching spots with the other angler, taking a position at the deeper, slower section a few hundred feet below the pipe. This section is LOADED with fish and they appear to occasionally be taking something just below the surface. Then things change as a tiny olive mayfly appears. Soon the surface is awash in them and the trout really begin to rise. A search through my"tiny fly box" reveals only two olives and they are #20, a bit large for this occasion but they will have to do. Short story - I lost both those flies after taking four of those rainbows. Time to leave.
Six trout in four hours isn't that bad and it beats raking leaves! As I drive over the Rt.9 bridge I notice that the "Y Pool" parking lot is EMPTY!!!!!!! I've NEVER seen that before.
It's early evening and it's raining. I have a roast in the oven, a glass of wine next to me and I'm half way through tying up some tiny olives. Next time.......

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Late Season on the Millers-Fall on the Swift

Well, things are beginning to wind down. The great surface action of the past month and a half is becoming a memory. On the October 24 I got an hour in at Rezendes in the Bears Den. I was looking for rising trout but that hour before sundown failed me. Rollcast forward to Saturday the 27th. The forecast of heavy rain was dead on as I drove down to the Swift and the "pipe" section which is a favorite of mine. I met one other angler that morning who agreed that the rain would keep others off the river. "Yesterday I couldn't find a place to park because of the crowd" was his lament. We didn't lament for long. I caught 8 rainbows and he had about as many. A size #16 grouse and flash took half with the rest coming on a #16 dark olive beadhead. The new Orvis rain jacket worked as advertised. I was there for just less than three hours and wanted to spend the rest of the day there but obligations made me reel up and head for home. October 31 - One hour at the Kempfield in the very late afternoon. After seeing only one trout rise I put on a #8 marabou muddler and fished the rocks above the slow water. Bang! One 14 inch brown. Bang again and a parted tippet. Time to tie up some marabou muddlers and try this area again in November.

The Millers will begin to rise with the Autumn rains and the draw down from Tully Lake. It usually means an end to the great dry fly action that this river gives us in the Fall. Maybe it will be a bit late this year (hopefully). There's always the Swift to keep the diehards like me occupied till Spring.
The top left photo is of a rainbow from the Swift from last Saturday. The other is of "the pipe" with nobody there. I told you it was raining hard!!!


Friday, October 19, 2007

Kempfield Pool Again - October 17

Maybe it was too much to expect another banner day like I had two days before. Friends of mine from eastern Ma. spent Tuesday, the 16th, on the Wendell C&R and had limited success. Some BWO's but very little surface action. I made it down to the Kempfield for two hours before our monthly TU meeting the next day and caught the two rising browns that presented themselves but it was an interesting evening anyway. It was interesting because of what some flyfishers see and what some don't see.

When I arrived there was an elderly grey haired gent who was casting and retrieving a fly in the wide slow portion of this Kempfield stretch. What I noticed was what this gent didn't notice - the delicate rise of a brown near the rocks along the south bank. This guy never even tried for this fish!! After a while this guy left for home and I took up his spot. It was then that I noticed that there were two fish in this area that would rise, gently, every few minutes or so. Well, I put the #20 BWO emerger to work. The casts had to be long and right on the spot due to the rocks that guarded the spot. I took both of those trout, both browns, with that tiny fly. There is a lesson here. Some tactics work and some don't. If you are dragging a sunken fly with no success and there is a surface feeding brown within casting range then you go for it with the appropriate fly! It is hard for me to believe that this guy DIDN'T see these fish. All I can say is that he didn't see the sporatic rises otherwise he would have been on to them. The lesson - keep a clear eye and be aware of everything that is happening around you. Beadheads and buggers will fool the foolish rainbows of spring and early summer. By now the 'bows are long gone and the browns demand real skill and patience.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Catskill Weekend - Millers Monday

I received a great birthday gift this past weekend in the form of a long weekend, courtesy of my girlfriend, at an inn on the banks of the fabled Willowemoc in Lingingston Manor up in the Catskills. It is hard to believe but I've never been there so I took three days to scout out the "Willow" and the legendary Beaverkill. I visited and took photos of those storied pools on the Beaverkill - the Junction Pool, Ferdon's, Hendrickson's, Cairns, Horse Run (awesome stretch), the Wagon Tracks and Painters Bend. I'll be back, hopefully next June, to fly fish this beautiful region especially the Willowemoc. It is such a beautiful stream!! Oh yeah, I managed to actually fish for an hour. No runs, no hits, no errors. The above photo is a stretch of the Willowemoc upstream from Livingston Manor.

Now, for a real report!! I managed to find myself on the Kempfield this late afternoon. I expected the same nymphing trout that have been driving us crazy of late and I wasn't disappointed. This time I was armed with plenty of BWO emergers in #18 and #20. I tied them a bit differently using only olive or brown thread for the body and then a dark olive thorax finnished with a poly wing post. As it happened I was greeted with a good BWO hatch. All told I took 11 browns. It was just a great autumn afternoon.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

An October Saturday on the Millers

Yup, back at the Kempfield except this time there are two other fly fishers working the water above the big flat pool. There are many browns nymphing the stretch above Whetestone Brook. Another regular is pounding the deep slow water below but to no avail. It's a replay of the last trip where the browns are showing nothing but dorsals and tails. From 3:30 to 6:30 I take two, about 16 inches on a very light olive emerger size 18 and miss about three others. I can't believe I'm using 7x!!! Two of the anglers leave without any luck. Another fly fisher catches one on a tiny emerger but as darkness falls I give my spot and a big brown I've been casting at to him. He lands it on, can you believe this, a #14 Usual!! The brown is a full 17 inches and full of autumn color. It's a perfect evening with VERY difficult fish. One moment is worth mentioning. The last guy that I mentioned and myself saw a monster brown rise and then begin to tear up the stretch we were fishing. It had to be a 20 inch fish and very aggressive.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October Evening At The Kempfield Pool

Ok, Wednesday evening, October 3rd around 4:45pm. I get down to the Kempfield (lower C&R) and find my friend Herb already casting to rising browns or should I say browns with only dorsals and tails breaking the surface. Sylvio, another Millers regular, joins the ranks positioning himself at the exposed rocks at the head of the big pool. There's some "talent" here but we are no match for these selective browns. Drys don't work. Herb, with a #16 pheasant tail, takes a heafty brown after many casts. I take a 16 inch brown on a #16 olive emerger. Trout are breaking the surface everywhere above the mouth of Whetestone Brook but every presentation is refused. I miss one, then another. Herb and Sylvio call it a night. I finally land another brown on an emerger but because the fly is in the back corner of it's mouth I feel that it probably got hooked while going after something else. This may be the hardest evening of flyfishing on this river that I've experienced in years. Sporatic light mayflies would show themselves but no real visible hatch, just browns nymphing after something unseen. IT WAS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!! As I've learned in over twenty years of flyfishing this river - the Fall is the best time for rising, selective browns.
The above photo shows the section of the Kempfield Pool that we were fishing. It's an early season (June) photo. Conditions where more like the conditions in the photo of that goofy looking character at the head of this blog.
Fish this section anytime from mid afternoon to dusk at this time of year. It will test your skills and give you memories that will last you through the long winter which is just around the corner.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Kempfield Pool - September 27

This was an interesting two hours of surface fishing. First, I managed to take the one rising brown in the big pool below the trestle in the lower C&R. A size 16 olive comparadun did the trick. This strategy did not work as I made my way down to the Kempfield Pool a few minutes later. The water above Whetstone Brook has had rising browns this month but tonight they had other things on their mind. Nothing was rising. But then I noticed some surface activity at the top of this run just below that classic set of riffles. Two fish were working just below the surface and the trusty comparadun was totally ignored. I then switched to a light olive (I like olive) emerger in a size 18. That worked!! I took both browns, one about seventeen inches and broke off another of good size. I took them in the spot that is in the upper right corner of the above photo. By then it was getting dark and I called it quits. On the way back to the shore I noticed something interesting. I saw two browns in about a foot of water. They were swimming together, one following the other. It got me to thinking. Was this some kind of spawning or pre-spawning activity? Maybe, maybe not. I hope it was!
If you can get yourself free for a few hours (5-7pm) you will have action on the Millers. In October, if history repeats itself, you should find rising browns in mid afternoon. Don't wait for the State to dump in the clonebows. Fish now. It can be challenging but it's fun.

Extended C&R on the Lower Millers

I have some interesting news. For years we have always thought that the lower catch & release area on the Millers River ended at the "breached dam" in Erving and EVERYONE thought that breached dam was right behind the Erving Paper Mill. Well, we were wrong. While sifting through the Ma. Wildlife website I found a reference to the c&r ending at the "Bridge in Erving". I placed a call to Ken Simmonds of DFW and he stated that the actual lower end of this section is just above the above mentioned bridge at the site of a "breached dam". This dam is hardly noticable unless you really look for it. The above photo was taken from the "bridge" looking upstream. The dam is just a few yards above the bridge. What does this mean? First, it adds about a 1/2 mile to the c&r and includes Keyup Brook, a stream of good cold water and spawning potential. Second, it gives us more area to stock brown trout which do very well in the Millers and are limited to the c&r areas. I asked Ken if the DFW abstracts could reflect this condition and he said that the abstracts are already at the printer but the change will be made for the 2009 season. I like the idea of the lower c&r ending at the above mentioned bridge as I saw in the DFW website. Much less confusing. Anyway, we win on this. I've fished this section below the Mill and it really looks like brown trout water. Now we know it's protected!!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So far this September it has been like this.......

9/4 Kempfield Pool - 1.5 hrs fished, 2 browns both on dries

9/12 Rezendes Section - 1.25 hrs fished, 1 brown on dries

9/20 Lower Trestle Pool - 1.5 hrs fished, 7 browns on dries (great night)

9/24 Kempfield/lower trestle - 2 hrs. fished 4 browns on dries

All of the above took place from 6pm and after. I fished a size 16 olive or brown emerger but switched to a size 16 olive comparadun when the light began to fail. It was great every time except for the beavers that began to ruin things around nightfall.

One might say that I didn't spend a lot of time on the river and that was because of a few guiding gigs (guides don't fish) and because of three trips to the Swift where fishing has been VERY good and a weekend on the Farmington where I chased and actually caught a lot of nice browns on sub #20 emergers. It was heaven!!!!!!! I hope (maybe against hope) to make it out before this weekend which is totally committed to non-flyfishing activities. Yes, there is a life beyond flyfishing I guess.

Rezendes Pool - Bears Den Section Of The Millers

The Millers Flyfishing Forum

The purpose of this endeavor is to create a stream (or river) of information regarding flyfishing on the Millers River. The death of the Millers River TU forum has left a lot of anglers in a information twilight zone. What's happening, who's catching what and how are they catching them? Hopefully this will give anglers a chance to share insight, tips, locations or just plain lie!!

I fish the Millers and other rivers at least twice a week during the season so I will make ample posts to this forum. Readers will be able to comment on the posts or change the subject to share their own flyfishing experience. I will make all decisions whether or not "comments" are fit for publication.

This is NOT a Trout Unlimited project but it supports TU 100%. Hopefully TU projects will be mentioned on this site.
BTW, dry fly fishing for browns has been great since late August. I'll fill you in later.