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.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Late Season Hour On The East Branch
















This would have been an easy decision three months ago. Just leave work at the end of the day and spend three peaceful hours until dark fishing the East Branch of the Westfield. Now darkness comes at 5:30 and I knew when I made the decision to "go for it" that it was an ever shrinking window of opportunity. I had maybe an hour.

I hadn't tied on anything but a dry fly for this river since late June and I didn't want to end the streak. At first glance there was nothing rising on the Bliss Pool but then I saw a swirl at the head of the pool. There were no insects in the air so I used an old strategy: nothing in the air, use something BIG. On went a size 12 muddler with a good dose of floatant. It was on about the fourth cast when the 14 inch 'bow rose up and smashed the muddler.


This will probably be my last "evening trip" of the season and it was a pleasure to take that trout on the surface. I may hit the Millers on Sunday if Saturday's rains don't blow it out but it will be a mid day trip if I do. No more "evening rises" until next May. That's a long way off!!!

Ken

16 comments:

Kozman said...

The east branch recently became my most favorite river to fish. Having found it by accident back in August, each time I made it out from Boston, the trip has ended with at least a half dozen trout over 18 hitting my fly. The fishing there reminds me of Montana's golden triangle. If you don't like the crowds of the swift, this river is definitely worth the extra milage to get to. I do suggest making the hike down the dirt road a bit to get access to hungrier trout downstream of Chesterfield gorge.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Kozman,

Glad that you found the EB!! Check out the past posts on this blog especially the notes on the Hemlock Pool a mile or so below the gate. There is another gorge below that. The EB may be the BEST place in Massachusetts to spend a day alone flyfishing for trout!!

Ken

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Great site. I went to the EB on Wed and the gate about 2 miles in was open. This was the first time I've seen it open all year. I parked there and walked to the second gorge. Didn't see one person all day until I passed a couple of mountain bikers on the way back. Was a peaceful day.

Anonymous said...

Kozman, I've fished that stretch over 20 times this year, sometimes making it down to the 2nd gorge. Although there are certainly trout in the 18"+ class, I've yet to have an outting in which 6 in that catagory were landed. Which sections are you fishing? And what has been your go-to fly?
I will say that back in May, while standing directly over the crystal clear ledge pool - a fifteen minute walk past the second gate - I saw one of the biggest rainbows of my life, well over 20" and shaped like a football! I hope someone was fortunate enough to get into that fish, unfortunately he would only nose my offerings. Anyway, great blog Ken, keep up with the reports

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,

That gate was open on my Oct. 23 post which was the only time that I saw it open this year. I still parked at the gate and on my walk back from the Hemlock Pool a bow hunter came driving past so I guess it's open for hunters. I like the fact that it's closed through the spring/summer. It will keep the crowds down and makes that first trout soooo sweet!!

Ken

Matt said...

What a lovely website! I may just have to take up fly fishing. Is this a good time of year to get started?

AspiringFishCatcher said...

Coool Website -- is this a good time of year to take up flyfishing? What if I fall in the river?

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Matt and Aspiring,

Anytime is a good time to learn about fly fishing. Start on the web.

Aspiring,

Can you swim??

ethan said...

Hey Ken, did you fish the Deerfield River at all this year? I fish all the same rivers as you, and feel that the Deerfield is the best spot to land a Western Mass Trophy.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Ethan,

No, I didn't fish the Deerfield this year. In fact, I've fished it once in the last 20 years and that one time was just a half hearted attempt. I have a problem with that river and it's management. Don't get me started ranting about the Deerfield. It's a great river that has forgotten the wading angler.

Ken

ethan said...

Ken, although the release schedule on the Deerfield makes for tough wading, I've found that the fish are often more aggressive when the water level rises above 1000cfs. Landed my largest brown on the river back in spring when the river was running at 1200. I will say that the EB of the Westfield is MUCH more friendly to the wading angler, and more picturesque too. It's always fun to switch it up, and I've been fortunate enough to enjoy many days on the Deerfield, Westfield and the Miller's this year. Anyhow, I'd say check the release schedule on the Deerfield and make a trip up next year...you may be pleasantly suprized.

Kozman said...

My go-to fly for landing the late-season biggies was a size 10 bead-headed hornberg with extra long yellow tail with a size 18 prince nymph trailing behind it (Having grown up in PA, this is also the go-to fly combo for those rivers if you ever venture down that way). The hornberg is super effective when knocked off of rocks into the current...this technique usually gets the trout all hot and bothered (try knocking it off the cliff across the stream at the place right before the dirt road starts to diverge from the river and let me know if you hook up on my buddy george...he's a big one). Was there 1st weekend in Nov, caught 8 total...4 on the hornberg, 3 on the prince...and one while fishing some wacky super small ant thing that hit the water late in the day. I usually get skunked at the swift so this river is a nice change of pace for me.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Kozman,

The old Hornberg!! Talk about a classic New England pattern that is sinking into oblivion. Decades ago it was a "must have" fly on any stream. Right now it's an afterthought. Glad that you are using this very successful searching pattern.

Ken

Adrians Blog said...

kozman,

funny you mention the hornberg. I caught some nice rainbows on it with a dropper nymph this past June in the Gorge area. I still have some photos of it somewhere probably on facebook. Def a pattern I know carry in my box in several sizes. Never thought of the hornberg having a bead head and an extra long yellow tail. Any chance you could post your recipe up?

Anyways I fished the Swift last wednesday and not the Deerfield as I had planned...I met some good people, learned a few things, and caught a good amount of fish that day in 2 spots. Thanks to those I met and got to talk with. Ken, as always, thanks for keeping up with the reports and all the insightful information!

Andrew said...

Love your site Ken!

I have used your suggestions for finding spots on the Miller's which is a river I don't know very well and must say have had the least luck at.

I do fish the EB and Swift a lot and my "go to" fly is similar to Kozman's technique. I use a Size 8 or bigger Moby Dick with a split shot about 16 inches above it and 16 inche dropper (Prince, PT, Copper) trailing. Bounce it off rocks and have good luck "swimming" it across currents.

I like the fact that people on your site share information. It's really what fishing is all about. I can understand protecting a favorite spot, but I've never understood why some fly fishers are so closed about sharing techniques/flies, etc. ? Keep it up Ken!

Andrew

Andrew said...

btw, lots of Poachers at the Swift this time of the year and a few people have had some scary experiences. Recently someone confronted them and got their tires slashed. I have seen these people around. Be careful.

Andrew