Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Swift - High Water And Smelt

Well, all of this rain and snow has finally had it's effect on the Swift River. A month ago we were fishing in a 40cfs current and as of Christmas week we passed 250 and have settled (hopefully) in the mid 260's. There is, no doubt, plenty of overflow from the Quabbin dam and once this condition starts it usually lasts for weeks or even months. Check out the video clip above and then backcast to the clip on my 11/22/08 post. It's the same section with 5 times the current. I find that 300cfs is about where I call it off as far as fishing goes down at the pipe. I then begin to look above Rt 9 or fish by the gauge station from the west bank. The wading is much safer.

Just before I left one of the hatchery workers asked if I had any smelt patterns. He said the intake screens were full of them. That may have caused that massive, slashing rise I saw a half hour before. It certainly wasn't a rainbow chasing an insect.

Time to tie up some Joe's Smelts.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Kim's Special - A Good Millers Fly

My friend Kim, a Millers River regular, seems to carry only two flies in his fly box. First, he is loaded with size 12 muddlers and then he has this fly. "My friend ties it and it doesn't have a name" is all he could give me concerning it's origin. He gave me one last Spring and as I eyeballed it I noticed that it was simplicity, pure and simple. First thing that I noticed is that it had NO BODY, just a bare hook shank and that there were only two materials involved in it's design. I added a body (sorry Kim, I couldn't help it) of mylar which may or may not improve it's effectiveness.
This is a good fly that is fished as a searching pattern in the early evening before one sees real surface activity. It works best just below the surface either dead drifted or on a quartering cast. It is easy to tie:
Hook - mustad wet fly #12
Body - mylar
Wing - bronze mallard tied flat on the top of the shank and folded arond the sides of the hook.
Hackle - soft hen or partridge in a dark brown color.
That's it! I was a bit skeptical of it's slendor profile but the browns love to smack this thing whether it's fished in fast water or on a silky run. I've been calling it the "Kim's Special" for want of a name. I guess that name will stick.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seasons Greetings

A great run on the Lower Millers
Well, the seasonal activities and the weather have kept me off the water for 10 straight days which is the longest fishless stretch for me since early March. With a big storm coming this Friday and some late Christmas shopping on Saturday it appears that I might have to wait till the 26th or the 27th before I wrap up this year.
Winter naturally slows things down. The Swift will be the only game in town unless I find myself spending a day or two on the Farmington and there will be the January flyfishing show in Marlboro but this is the time of year where we put in hours at the vise, the snow swirling and the mercury dropping as we dream of Spring days and Hendricksons! Last year I posted some fly patterns that work well on the Millers and the Swift. (check the posts for 3/1, 3/10, and 5/27) There will be more within the next few months so stay tuned.
Want to know where that beautiful run is that's included in this post? Well, just send for my Fly Fishers Guide To The Millers River. Just send a check for $10.00 and your email address to Ken Elmer, 42 Water St., Leeds, Ma. 01053 and I'll email you the Guide. It's over 30 pages long with over 20 great photos of each section. I've received great reviews this year concerning the Guide and it's helped a lot of fly fishers get to know this river.
In case I don't post within the next few days - Merry Christmas to all of you!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Winter On The Swift

Sunday morning, December 7th, found me brushing the first snow of the season off my car at 7am. It seemed like it was just a short time ago when I had to get up at 5am to beat the crowds on the Swift. That's Summer fishing. Now it's a slower pace and the crowds are mostly gone. Snow and cold will do that!
I fished leisurely from the crib dam below Rt 9 through the "pipe" and then through the riffles and flats that extend below the pipe section. I saw only two other flyfishers during those two hours. My rig was a SJW with a scud below it. It was the scud that attracted all of the attention just like the previous trip.
The top left photo was taken around the gauge station on the lower river. I'm on the left side facing upstream. This run never fails me. The other photo is of one of the rainbows taken from that run. Try it the next time you're there.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NH Fly Tying Instruction


If you live in southern or central New Hamphire (or in northeastern Ma.) and would like to learn the craft of tying flies which will save you many $$$$ and give you hours of off-season fishing related pleasure then just hit the link on this page for "Fly Fish New England". Here you will find the info that you will need for a fly tying course, taught by flyfishermen, at a price that you can't beat. Check it out!!!