Sunday, December 6, 2009
The EB Of The Westfield - A Season In Review
Yes, I'm calling it a season on this river. There's snow on the lawn outside my window and the air temperature is hovering around 30 degrees. The next snow will probably be measured in inches instead of this overnight dusting and that will close down the dirt access road that runs through the Gorge and that will be the end of it until April. Ok, I could be brave and dodge the snowmobiles that will be racing up and down the Gorge but that will leave me ice covered boulders and just patches of open water to play in. No dice. That's what the Swift and the Farmington are for.
How do I sum up this season? It may have been one of the BEST seasons I've had on ANY RIVER!! First, it is the beautiful remoteness of this river that I've fallen in love with. I've guided two people on the EB and both said it was like fishing in the Rockies. Sure, summer weekends can find swimmers in the upper reaches but a short walk leaves all of that behind. Weekdays are perfect!!!
This is reliable RAINBOW COUNTRY which is a rarity here in Massachusetts. Most freestone streams give up their 'bows by July 4th but not this place. I had free rising rainbows from May through October and I bet they were rising during some of those Indian Summer days in November THAT I MISSED!! And during the last two years the fly fishing never really slowed down during the height of Summer. Evenings were sublime, early mornings even better. One hot weekend day I took a walk down to Indian hollow and back and saw rising fish throughout the river especially at the Hemlock Pool. You can rely on this place.
The EB actually saved the season for me with the Millers and the Swift flowing at full bore for much of the Summer. We would get a storm which would blow the river from 300 to 1000cfs
overnight but in a day and a half it was down to 500cfs while the Millers was still rising and RISING! This roadless, forested land keeps it's water too. The tribs and springs ran steadily all summer keeping the main river cool. I do wonder what a severe drought would do to the EB. The last two summers were very wet and I can see where the river could get a bit boney but I believe that the EB and it's trout can weather a "normal" summer. I'm not going to worry about it.
I'll fish the Swift this winter if the water level stays reasonable. I'll spend the winter tying flies too, but I'll be daydreaming about the East Branch during these dark months.
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 12:28 PM