I took some time early Monday evening and headed out to the East Branch of the Westfield. I took a rainbow on a #12 stonefly dry and then decided to scout around. There seemed to be a lot of flyfishers for a Monday night and their success was spotty. I sat down and watched two anglers working one nice stretch for some rising 'bows and saw one trout brought to the net. Hmm...maybe I should come back the following night and see what I could do.
Tuesday afternoon found me driving through a real cloudburst. This would bring the water up but maybe not too much to ruin the conditions that I hoped for - low, cool water. A quick check of the weather map showed that the thunderstorm line had past the Connecticut River valley but another line was forming in eastern NY and heading for the Berkshires. A tight window for sure but certainly worth the effort.
5pm had me on the banks of a favorite pool with the telltale clouds forming to the west. The water level was up and a bit cloudy but very fishable. What to use?? There were no rises so I began prospecting with the stonefly from the night before. What happened?? I took five 'bows that came up and smashed that large fly in forty minutes. That's when the sky began to darken accompanied with the sound of distant thunder and that's when the 'bows began to rise in earnest. Don't believe the wives tale about fish going off the feed when a storm aproaches. I switched to a #16 olive emerger with a cdc wing and took and lost another fish. That's when I saw the first flash of lightning. The first thing that came into my mind was whether bamboo is a lightning rod (I've asked myself this for decades). A very stupid question to say the least!! I headed back to the car to try to wait out the storm but this was futile as the heavens opened up with a blinding cloudburst. The ride home was a full wiper ordeal but made very easy because of the hour or so that the flyfishing gods smiled on me.
The East Branch rises and falls quickly. Not like the Millers which stays high much longer with the same amount of rain. Hit the East Branch!!
P.S. Those five inch salmon look sooo beautiful. Too bad it's a lost cause!