Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Millers - Now is the TIME!

Hit this river NOW!! The last two years have been crazy with flows that broken records over the last two Summers. But this dry April has gotten this river down below 500cfs which is PRIME as far as flows are concerned. The browns go in on the first two Fridays in May but the bows have provided plenty of sport. Even the hendricksons are getting into the act on the lower river.

Temperatures will be in the '80's this weekend. It should be great!!!!! See you there!!

The photo is from the Cable Pool on the lower Millers.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Millers Update

Saturday, April 17, and the Erving gauge reads 820cfs. The Bears Den comes in at 465cfs. It's hard to believe but April has been a bit on the dry side and the flow readings are showing that. In fact, the Millers is running BELOW normal. If the Bears Den reading is to be believed then we can safely say that it is very fishable right now. Once the Erving gauge hits 500cfs we will be out there regardless of the stocking reports. BTW, the DFW site says that the lower Millers has been stocked a few weeks ago. If it was then the trout (rainbows) will be scattered due to the high water at that time. It appears that the Bears Den will get it's browns on May 7th with the lower C&R getting it's browns on the 14th. That's when the season starts for me!!!

The above photo is of the pool at the mouth of Mormon Hollow Brook on the LOWER river. I love fishing this section starting at the Bridge Pool and working downstream. It's lonesome fishing for sure. Very few want to take the walk to get there but it is certainly worth the trip. An added bonus in this section is the awesome smallmouth fishing. I'm not talking about 8 to 10 inch bass but bass that are 15inches plus!! In May and June, I've been told, that smallies come up from the Connecticut River to spawn and these fish are BIG! They're measured in POUNDS, not inches. I can't say if the spawning theory is true but I've caught many big bass here that may be Millers River bass.

Here's a fishing trip for you: start in the late morning during June swinging buggers, muddlers or leeches through the big pools and runs of the lower Millers. Fish through the afternoon catching good size bass and some trout. Have a sandwich around 5pm and then head upstream to the Kempfield or the Upper Trestle for the evening rise. THAT would be a good day on the Millers!!

The Lady with the bass?? Caught on the lower Millers on a June afternoon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April Update

Elliot said that April was the cruelest month. He must have been a Massachusetts fly fisher!!! The Swift and the Millers are roaring along at flood stage. The EB and the other branches of the Westfield have been stocked (they say) but nobody is catching anything and it appears that very few are fishing. I made a dawn trip to the Middle Branch Saturday morning. Nothing - and no other fishermen. I took a walk through the EB in the early afternoon. The water looked good but I saw only two fly fishers. The road is still closed AND the "Bliss" sign was crushed by a falling tree over the winter!! My neighbor fished the main stem of the Westfield Sunday morning. No fish!!

Things will get better!!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Remembering Days Past - Opening Day

If you are under 30 years old you will not remember this. If you are 40 years old you may have heard the stories. If you are over 50 years old then you just may have been part of a ritual that has long since disappeared and it is a benefit to you that it is gone. I'm talking about OPENING DAY OF FISHING IN MASSACHUSETTS!!!

It's February 28, any year before 1978, and as the sun sets on the last of the ice fishermen, the fishing season ENDS. Trout, perch, bass, horned pout, it doesn't matter. It's over!! And it will not resume until the third Saturday in April. Most of us fly fishers will not cry too much. It's WINTER, the streams and rivers have been chocked with snow and ice for months and our thoughts are somewhere else, not to be ignited with January fly fishing shows (they didn't exist back then) or internet forums (they didn't exist back then) or by a mailbox stuffed with fly fishing magazines (only Flyfisherman Magazine). We were ok, content to slumber the dark months away UNTIL that first WARM DAY in February!! Then it happens! It's a genetic predisposition. The days seemed warmer then they actually were, the streams, buried in late Winter snow and ice, actually begin to seem FISHABLE!! We begin to start sorting through fly rods and reels and lines and start tying flies, flies, flies!! And we then do the hardest thing - we check the calendar and count the days - to OPENING DAY!! It's two months away!!

It's the worst time of the year. Lunches are spent with brown bag trips to ANY tackle shop that has ANY fly fishing gear. We may actually go to a TU meeting for a quick fix and to be among the suffering. We devour Orvis catalogs and fill out orders for everything that we will never use. We make phone calls (no internet, remember) to buddies about stream conditions, hot flies, where they will stock and everything else. And then, just when all hope seems lost and that we will be victim to an early death or a transfer to Alabama, IT'S THE NIGHT BEFORE FISHING!

THE NIGHT BEFORE FISHING was a special time. It was handled in two different ways. The first way was to have a full nights sleep, wake at 5:30am, leisurely load the car with gear, meet your buddy at some fisherman's breakfast in some church basement and then hit the river around 8:00 am. These people do not deserve to fish, period! There is only one way to approach Opening Day and that is the SECOND WAY!! The second way resembled the Normandy Invasion. All gear was vehicle stored by 7:oo pm the night before against an inventory check off list! Lunch (peanut butter sandwich) was pre made and ready! Coffee makers with timers didn't exist back then. Instant coffee had to do. Breakfast was a hard boiled egg and a leftover donut. The alarm was set for 3:30am and you did not oversleep because you have been lying there half awake for hours like a loaded trigger. You ARE to be on the river at 5:am.

There were two weather conditions that you could count on for Opening Day. The first condition was that four or five days before the blessed event the temperatures would hit the 60's and the rivers would BE GREAT CONDITION! The second condition was that a front would roll through fortyeight hours before with two inches of rain (and snow) and the rivers would be blown out. 4:00am would find a cold rain or if you were lucky a cold drizzle. It didn't matter. It was Opening Day! A third condition was that you would be up to your shins in snow that had refused to melt.

You drove like a madman through the predawn darkness knowing that every set of headlights that you saw was driven by a madman with the same intentions: to get to the river before anyone else. You flew down the country roads with a silent prayer - please let me the first to get to the head of my favorite pool on my favorite river to cast my favorite fly to release the demons that have tortured me for two months.


You are met with bundled warriors, packed shoulder to shoulder, slinging crawlers, mepps spinners, daredevils (yes, it's true), shiners and the occasional fly. Some of these warriors will be taking that one extra step that will put them over their waders. Some of these warriors will be 1/3 of the way to a brutal hangover. Your line will be tangled up with the above warrior's contraptions on many occasions BUT it will all seem to fall into a cosmic order when you feel the HIT.! Some shop worn rainbow will come to your net while a dozen flings by the unlucky are made to where you had just cast. All will seem worthwhile, some how.

Massachusetts put and end to this cruelty except for places like Quabbin and Wachusett. Those folk carry on the tradition under far less trying conditions. They can have it.