Finally my first day out, without snow and ice and not on the Farmington down in CT. It has been a strange Spring to say the least. It has been dry but two of my "go to" rivers have been high and cold. One is the Millers (to be expected) and the Swift (not to be expected). So I went to my local gem - the East Branch of the Westfield. 8am found me at Chesterfield Gorge with the access road blocked by the Town of Chesterfield. This better be a short-lived condition!! I was able to walk my way down to say hello to some pools and runs that I've been dreaming about since last Fall. Quickly I found myself landing a very dark rainbow, a holdover from last year. The next two hours found me fishless. I saw only two other anglers through this stretch. I spent time casting and turning over rocks which revealed LOTS of the large stoneflies that this river is famous for. I then headed upstream into Cummington basically scouting out the area. Over the miles of river that I fished and scouted I saw only those two anglers (flyfishers) that I mentioned earlier. The DFW stated that the East Branch was stocked over the last two weeks. Where is everyone, including the bait boys??
Spring is a bittersweet time for me this year. I need to get out and flyfish. Usually the Swift is perfect with it's highly educated holdovers but with its 500cfs flow this Spring it's been a chore that I will skip until things level out. The Millers is the domain of the heavily weighted bugger until mid May (I don't fish buggers unless I'm REALLY over the edge!!) In the depths of Winter, when I dream of flyfishing, it is always a late Spring/Summer evening, rising trout sipping in hatching mayflies and me catching them all!! Spring means freshly stocked trout, dumbells for sure, smashing every oddball, sunken glitzy fly thrown at them. That didn't happen today. Maybe the East Branch didn't have any stockers to play the game. But it will and those stocked fish will survive, get educated, and give us the memories that will keep us going back. The East Branch of the Westfield, through Chesterfield Gorge, is utterly beautiful!!
The rest of the day was spent working the garden, peas and onions are in, the tomatoes and peppers are living it up in that sunny southern window. I'll tie some stones tonight. Not a bad day when you look at it. The Swift is coming down which may require a late afternoon trip this week. And the Millers......maybe soon.
Catch Some Trout!!