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.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The East Branch of the Westfield - first trip in '09


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!!
Ken

9 comments:

cluster said...

great post. moving back to the northampton area tomorrow and looking forward to checking out alot of the area streams. enjoying the reports.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

We're lucky to live in the Noho area. The Westfield is 15 minutes to the west, the Swift is just 20 minutes to the east and the Millers and the Farmington are just 45 minutes away. Soon we'll have shad in the Connecticut River!!

Jackson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackson said...

i've heard amazing things about the shad fishing on the connecticut. My father has told me in the past about an essay by John McPhee that is about the connecticut shad. What size outfit do you use for the shad? Just got back to Noho today and im thinking i might go check out the westfield territory tomorrow if its not super rainy.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Jackson - You should be able to get away with a 6wt outfit for shad although something heavier may be needed in some areas like below the dam in S. Hadley. I've had good luck up in the Turners Falls area in the past. A small bucktail or marabou beadhead jig will do the trick. Hope you did well on the Westfield.
MRF

Todd said...

Ken,
I was thinking about making the ride out from Lowell tomorrow to the Swift and was hopeful you'd have an update on the flows before I make the long ride out. Sounds like the river has been running too high thus far this spring.
Thanks,
Todd

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Todd,

Forget about the Swift. I drove by on patriots day and saw only two cars at the rt9 lot and NONE in the lot for the "pipe" section. Today I saw no cars at all. It's flowing at 565cfs as we speak which is too high to fish succesfully. I had a talk with the head of the hatchery system today and he expects high water conditions running through Spring.
Keep checking with the link that I have to the Swift flow. Once the water stops flowing over the spillway the Swift will drop like a rock.

I might hit the Millers or the Westfield this weekend.

Ken

Todd said...

Ken,
Thanks for the info and for saving me a long ride and frustrating day. looks like I'll stay local and try the Squannacook and Nissi tomorrow. Unfortunatley it appears that the first stockings at both these rivers this year were quick dumps at the bridges, which means some of the more enjoyable spots (i.e. fewer worm dunkers) are not producing fish yet, for me anyways...

Todd said...

Ken,
Thanks for the info and for saving me a long ride and frustrating day. looks like I'll stay local and try the Squannacook and Nissi tomorrow. Unfortunatley it appears that the first stockings at both these rivers this year were quick dumps at the bridges, which means some of the more enjoyable spots (i.e. fewer worm dunkers) are not producing fish yet, for me anyways...