Sunday, March 28, 2010
It was a bit strange to see only one car at the Y Pool lot at 7:30. It was Reed, a Swift River regular, who was just suiting up. We took a walk up to the "brook" which is the only spot that hasn't been flooded out as of yet. I'm not giving away any secret locations here. At 300cfs the "brook" is known by now as the only spot that gives the regulars the opportunity to do some "Swift River Fly Fishing" - fine tippets and tiny flies.
I went upstream as far as the law allows and fished with a size 20 red hot spot. I took seven in those two hours fishing directly upstream and letting that tiny fly drift back. It was worth it even with that slow leak in my waders that I thought that I had fixed. Note to self: get new waders!!
It would be nice to be able to get closer to the "bubbler". I saw some fish rising just beyond the "do not enter sign". Maybe in the future that will happen.
Spring is an odd time. Years ago I would ply the swollen rivers with HEAVY flies to fish for recently stocked trout and loved every minute of it. Now my dreams are centered on lower water and fish that have wised up. The Swift can still deliver on that account. Someday I will write about the era of OPENING DAY when three months of fishing angst would end with more angst (usually). I have many stories to tell!!!
Our favorite rivers will fall from their high, angry flows soon enough. Soon the Hendericksons, Quill Gordons and March Browns will appear and we will wonder why we even bothered to tie all those Wooley Buggers!!!
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 1:40 PM
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Four straight days of fly fishing the only water in Massachusetts (maybe New England) that's fit for fly fishing! The Swift has been spared the floods that have blown out every trout stream within a days drive. At 200cfs the section below rt 9 (the pipe) is still fishable if one fishes deep enough. I fished that section and above rt 9 and I have had four very good days. Size 18 through size 22 in hotspots and tiny jailbirds (maybe I should call them "jailbaits" at that size) worked very well on 6x early in the AM and 7x when the sun was out above rt 9. Most of the anglers that I saw were plying the Y Pool and I believe that they took some trout. Word has it that smelt patterns were taking, or showed some interest to, the Y Pool trout. I fished differently and had a ball!!!
The hotspot worked well today with a red middle section showing the most interest. Frankly, I now believe that "hot" patterns cool off quickly in the water that I was fishing. I think that the trout just see too much of one pattern and it will take another, of similar size, to continually fool them.
Soon our favorite rivers will recede and we will start dreaming of Hendricksons! Until then It's the Swift!!
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 3:21 PM
Monday, March 15, 2010
SPRING starts now, not in five days! At least that's my feeling as I head out for the Swift this week. The rains of the weekend continued into today. Even though the river has risen over the last forty eight hours from about 140 to 190cfs it is still fishable below rt9. I made it to the pipe at 10am and had the place to myself. I took six small 'bows, four on a weighted scud and two on a serendipity and would have been content to stay more than the 1 1/2 hours that I was there if it wasn't for the flush of debris that came flying through the pipe. Tons of pine needles and leaves made drifting a fly impossible. So off to the Y Pool I went. At the bubbler arm I met Ryan and Reed who were drifting that skinny water and catching fish. I got into the act with a hotspots and jailbirds in size 18 bringing in another six. The fish here are larger than what I've been catching at the pipe but a lot harder to fool. They know you are there!!
I caught the hatchery staff in the act of loading their stocking truck or at least that's what I think they were doing. It wouldn't be long now.
Sunday presentation at Charlie Shaden's Fly Shop was a blast. Lots of fly folks. At times it seemed like a Blog reunion!!
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 6:38 PM
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Ok, I don't like indicators and seldom, if ever, use them but a little web browsing brought this to my attention. I've heard of using cdc feathers but I can say that I've never seen them used by anyone. Everyone on the Swift uses balsa, cork, foam and yarn (I hate yarn) and the trees are full of them. This web article talked about how trout in certain heavily fished streams are becoming shy of these day glow bobbers BUT are not wary of cdc. It's a feather and looks natural. Ok, I took the bait (sorry for using that term), deciding to put on the "training wheels" (sorry again, I saw the term and it sounded funny) and worked up a feather indicator to use today if I could force myself to do it. I took three WHITE (no bright colors, it had to be natural) cdc feathers and tied them to a six inch piece of 3x tippet. I cut off the tag end leaving about four inches of leader material. I then attached the remaining tippet end to my leader a few feet up from the #14 fly that I intended to use. The "indicator" was positioned about a 1/2 inch from my leader. Here's what happened. The cdc rig didn't hit the surface with the customary "plop" one sees with the usual materials but nestled gently onto the water surface like, well, a feather!! The fly and the micro-shot didn't pull the indicator under. Only the trout did!! These stupid feathers floated like hell and looked TOTALLY NATURAL. I was able to adjust the depth by moving the knot up or down. It worked very well. I took five in the pipe section under crowded conditions.
Now, does this mean that I've sold my soul to indicators? The answer is NO. I will continue to fish "commando style" going forward BUT on those certain days when the sun warms the early morning water and the trout start to move around in mid current I'll have a few of these "rigs" to possibily save the day.
Don't get any goofy ideas that cdc will work with a heavily weighted, size 6 stonefly. It's a "little" fly rig. Also, at the end of the day you can pull the feathers off the leader attachment and toss them into the air. You're not littering. They're only feathers!!!
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 2:55 PM
Thursday, March 4, 2010
One has to make hay while the sun shines or at least when the temperature is in the lower 40's and it's not snowing. I had the pipe section pretty much to myself for about two hours except for the last hour when I fished with two regulars, Art and Dan. The place "seemed" pretty dead until we were graced with the "hatchery hatch", the flush of old pellets and other things that flowed via the pipe. The place came alive with dozens of trout working the surface. This "hatch" resulted in zero fish. I took three before this event. Two on a red serendipity and a dark brown on a quill bodied nymph tied on a scud hook. I've had quill bodies on the brain for a month so catching this fish was fun.
I tried a new (for me, anyway) approach to fishing the "tree pool". I went in from the pipe side and worked my way down against the steep bank. It gave the fly a nice drift and I think that the trout were not expecting that presentation. It worked!!
15 more days until SPRING!!
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 4:52 PM
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
So, what have I been doing for the last month? TYING FLIES!!!!! I've left the Swift River alone and not really by choice since I had some vacation time and some personal matters to deal with over the past month which have sucked up the weekend hours. If it were June I'd have hours of evening fishing to write about but February will put the damper on that. Anyway, I love the time at the vise and have a lot of patterns (dry, of course) to try out during those great months starting in May.
Now, if you would like to get to know the East Branch of the Westfield River then show up at the EVENING SUN FLY SHOP at 11:30 on Sunday, March 14th. I'll be doing a slide presentation that can be best labeled as a QUICK AND DIRTY GUIDE TO THE BEST SPOTS on this river. If you've had limited experience on this stream this presentation will save you a lot of time. Locations, methods and flies will all be discussed. And if we have time (I'll make time) I'll do the Millers presentation again! I've really enjoyed these get togethers and I'm looking forward to this one.
Check the link on this blog for the EVENING SUN FLY SHOP for directions. Charlie Shaden runs the best fly shop in the Northeast!! I highly recommend it for all of your fly fishing needs! I bought my best rod from Charlie!!
The above fly is a cdc March Brown spinner. It floats like a cork!!! I'm working my comparaduns over from deerhair to cdc. It gives a nice profile, floats really well in all types of water and is easier to tie in smaller sizes.
The temperature hit 48 degrees today!!!! I've got the fever!!!!!!
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 7:26 PM