Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Millers River Evening - May 29

It was 5pm when I hit the Kempfield section last night. The forecast called for t-storms around dark so I knew that my trip would be weather shortened. The river was higher then last week but still wadable. I began, as usual, by drifting a large, dark softhackle at the top of the island, then through that beautiful glide down to the large pool at the end of the section. I took four large browns, all between 14-18 inches, using that method. The last two on the wet fly were caught at the large rock at the beginning of that large pool. They took advantage of the deep water and it took a while to get both of them in.
Large dark caddis began to show so my tactics changed. Off came the softhackle and on went a large bivisible dry called the Millers Bivisible. (see 1/12/2009 post for photo and tying instructions) This is a great fly to prospect with because of it's visibility and floating properties, great for casting through the riffles in lower light. There were very few rising fish to be seen even with all of the insect activity but that didn't stop the browns from smashing my caddis offering. Another four browns came to the net. The riffles that run along the island produced three of the four browns, all on short upstream casts.
It had clouded over when I called it quits at 7:30. The deluge began when I was half way home to Northampton. All told it was a good night. I got to enjoy what the Kempfield Run is famous for - upstream dry fly fishing to eager browns!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Swift At The Pipe - Finally

I guess it was Gerry's note that got me going about the Swift. As I stated throughout the winter and early Spring the Swift has been roaring away from 400 to 700cfs. As late as Sunday, May 17 it was over 400 and the Y pool was the only place that seemed fishable. But this past Friday the flow dropped to about 280cfs. Then it went up over 300 again. Memorial Day morning had it at 330cfs but I was hooked on a early morning trip just to check it out. What I saw prized me. The "hatchery pipe", which spent the last four months underwater, was half exposed (see above left photo). I took a look at a post and photo that I did last December which showed the river at 350cfs (only 6% more flow then now) and the pipe was 90% waterwater!!! Hmmm......anyway, the current wasn't that hard to wade and in the hour that I was there I took three browns, two on a hotspot and one on a dark beadhead.
It was good to get back to this wonderful stream. I missed it this past winter because of it's heavy and dangerous flows. Now it's coming back and I am very glad about it. BTW, I saw only one other flyfisher there. He was just getting there as I was leaving. He probably had the place to himself too!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Millers River Update - Thursday, May 21

Early last evening found me on the Millers for a great two hours. I first hit the stretch in Erving center just below the lower C&R boundry. Four rainbows came to the net courtesy of an olive soft hackle. All were caught about a 100 yards downstream from the bridge. I then went upstream to the Kempfield Run. The river was running about 500cfs which is easily wadable but just a bit high perfect dry fly action. About 7pm a nice hatch of sulphurs began to appear in the upper part of the run where the riffles smooth out to that beautiful glide. A few browns responded and I caught two with a sulphur comparadun. I would of stayed later but I had a very early start to today's work.
Tonight I tie some flies and tomorrow I'll make an early trip to the EB of the Westfield, a river that has baffled me and a number of others this Spring.
The Millers season has really started. Good flows, lots of caddis and mayflies and plenty of trout.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saturday, May 16 Sunday May 17

Well, Early Saturday morning I headed to the Chesterfield Gorge section of the Westfield to be greeted by an influx of flyfishers most likely the result of the overflow from the TU Indian Hollow conclave of this weekend. I like this place less crowded so I took the 15 minute drive back home and spent the day putting in my tomatoes, peppers and beans with plans for the Westfield again or the Millers for early Sunday morning. I awaken in the dead of night by the sound of heavy rain. 6am found me checking the stream flows online. The Westfield went through the roof and I had a guess that the Millers would not be far behind. So early afternoon found me in the area of the Swift's Y Pool. A few risers were seen in that heavy water. One rainbow came to the net in a spot below this section . I licked my wounds and headed home to find a great sight on my glass patio door. First I saw a Pale Evening Dun on the glass. This is a beautiful mayfly with it's rusty tan body and those beautiful smokey wings. On another section I saw a March Bown, a large fly with that give-a-way deep backward slant to the wings. Following that was a Quill Gordon Spinner (had to reference the Ames book for that one). It was then that I thought that taking a picture would be a good idea. It was except that the camera's batteries were dead. So I through them in the charger. An hour later I had a camera ready but only the Q.G. ready for a photo. The others were gone. I took two Q.G. shots and then through in an old photo that I had of a March Brown.
It's been an odd Spring - high water just went you want to get out there. Sometimes just seeing mayflies up close can make for a better day.
Hopefully the Millers will get down to dry fly level this week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Millers Update May 10, 2009

The browns went into the upper Millers on Friday in the stretch below S. Royalston and at Rezendes Pool. The river is also roaring along at +700 cfs, so there you go. The lower C&R (Wendell Depot) is scheduled to receive it's browns this Friday. That spot is now flowing at +1500cfs and the smart money says it will not be flowing below 700cfs by the weekend. Try it if you like to live dangerously!! I've always felt that 450cfs is the starting point on this river for the wading flyfisher and I for one will wait for that level. Slinging weighted, large flies through swollen currents is not a game that I like to play if I don't have to. In the past when the Millers has gone UP I've headed to the Swift which has always been DOWN. The Swift is a mess this Spring, no longer the tailwater that we enjoy but a roaring raceway. That has forced me to go elsewhere like the small river that flows past our backyard. The Mill River is a small, clean flowing stream that comes out of the hills west of Williamsburg and flows through Northampton. It gets it's share of clonebows and powerbaiters and an occasional flyfisher. It rises like a rocket after a rain but drops quickly. It was fishable this morning and I had fun. The photo is of the Mill River from my backyard. Yup, I've tested new rods from our back deck!
It's easy to get discouraged with all the rain and high water but IT'S ONLY EARLY MAY!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's been a funny start to this Millers season. Last weekend, on a day where the temps hit the 80's and where I saw a BAT flying around in mid-day, I managed to land a couple of 'bows on the lower river.
This past Sunday morning, with temps in the high fifties and with water temps the same, I figured that I'd have more success. That wasn't the case. I met up with my friend Rick who probably has more consectutive years on this river then anyone. We fished hard at the Kempfield - no luck!! Off we went to the dam at Orange center. This is usually a hotspot in the Spring. Forgetaboutit!!!!!!!!!!!! The few other flyfishers that I met didn't seem to be faring any better. I got an email from a fly angler who worked the Bears Den that morning. His message = "skunked". So what does this mean? It means that for Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, the trout were the winners. This will always happen and on the Millers it seems to happen more often in the Spring. Actually, it's kind of nice to see that those "truck trout" rainbows are learning quickly!!
The browns go into the Bears Den this Friday and into the lower C&R the Friday after.
Better days will be here again. I'll keep you posted. If you had success on the Millers within the past week then give us a post. Bragging, if it's true, is encouraged!!
The photo is from the bridge at Wendell Depot looking downstream. It's the beginning of the lower C&R.