Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Lower Swift - Very Different And Very Cool!

The Heat is on and has been on for three weeks. Add in a lack of rain over the last two months and you will a situation that we don't want to see. The Millers is too low to fish and the EB is right behind it. That leaves our little tailwater - the Swift.

Late afternoon on July 20th found me eyeing the 8-10 cars at the Y Pool lot. No way!! The "Pipe" section had almost as many. It was then that the old idea came back - what about the Lower Swift? Not Cady Lane but much further downstream, that Bondsville section. Why not.

Five miles later found me looking at a river that was totally different than its upstream section. Gone were the shallow, placid runs with their sand and gravel bottom. In their place was a shaded, turbulent (for the Swift) river with plenty of boulders but with plenty of deep pools mixed in with plenty of riffles. What was also missing from the lower river were the hordes of anglers (I was alone)and the kayaks and tubers! The water was clear but not the gin clear condition seen miles upstream. One thing that it had in common with the river around rt9 was the water temperature. It registered 62 degrees which was surprising when one thinks of the impoundments just upstream.

The fishing - it was all dry fly. First with a stimulator in the heavier water and ending with #16 sulphurs as the hatch began. I took ten rainbows on this trip and they ran from some pint sized 10 inch trout to a few that pushed the fifteen inch mark. BTW, this place is a nymph fishers dream. It's classic water is that respect.

So, in this horrid Summer I have found an intimate, shaded river that looks like a mountain stream that is running in the low 60 degree range. Will it now become crowded?? I doubt it. The "Y" and the "Pipe" will continue to draw their faithful but if you are looking for some solitude go WAY down river!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Millers Update

Let's backcast a bit. 1993, 1995, 2002, 2007 and now 2010. These are the low water/drought seasons that I have witnessed on this river. One would think that after two high water blow out seasons in 2008 and 2009 we would have a "normal season". No such luck! The Millers is very low and warmer than we would like to see. What does this mean?? Are the trout dead and gone?? Is the season a waste??

The answer is NO!! If this season is like the previously mentioned seasons we will know one thing - the browns will weather this condition and will begin to play with us once the rains come or the water temperatures drop. 2007 was a a good example. Heat and low water brought fishing to a stop in July but August and September, with it's lower temperatures, brought the river back to life with minimal rain. I helped land that 22 inch brown that took a dry in very skinny water in early September!

We need some rain. Enough rain to raise the Erving section to about 200cfs. That will get things going for the evening angler. With enough rain the September fly fisher will have some memorable morning outings. By late September we will all be able to fish over rising browns during most hours.

The rainbows - say "goodbye"!! In every one of the above mentioned years this breed of trout failed to make it through the Summer. Be it angler survey or electro shocking survey rainbows give up the ghost so to speak. THIS IS A BROWN TROUT RIVER, PURE AND SIMPLE!!

I love this river! After 25 years I have a good feel for how it works especially under these conditions. Every one of the previously mentioned "dry seasons" had very good Autumn season. The browns make it through this condition. They will be waiting. I'll be ready for them!!

I'll keep you posted.


P.S. There were rising browns below Whetstone Brook this week. That's their refuge under these conditions and I didn't have the mind or heart to go after them. Try a bugger for the smallmouth who will play with you. Try exploring the lower river below the Bridge Street Pool for these critters.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Swift - Very Cool

This long, hot, dry spell has made the Swift an oasis. Water temperatures at the Pipe section range from 55 to 58 degrees and now we have a recent stocking. Along with the hot weather/cool water come the kayaks, rafts, tubes (see above photo) which put things on hold for us. The fishing - it's been good. Not up to the best that this section serves up but good anyway. Serendipities seem to get the job done. So have beetles on the surface. I took the advice of one fly fisher and tied on the only one that I had. The result - caught one and then lost the beetle on another fish.

Check out the section above the pump house. There's always rising trout there.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

EB And Millers Update

What a difference a year makes. The water is LOW, everywhere!! But even with these conditions one can find decent fly fishing. The EB - Tuesday evening found low flows BUT rising trout. All the action started after 6pm, first in the shaded pools with rising fish. Size 16 sulphurs brought the 'bows up although I didn't see one brown joining in. Last night I hit the Kempfield Pool on the Millers where I saw the same odd surface action that I saw during the low water June of '07 - browns flying out of the water on the south bank of the long, slow pool at the end of this stretch. Their action was "odd". These fish were smashing the surface or jumping two feet into the air for SOMETHING!! The surface was littered with sulphur spinners but that's not what they wanted. I caught one on a spinner out of the dozen that playing around. After a while I quit that scene and managed two browns among the rocks upstream. The ROCKS - I've always said that dry fly action starts when you can see the rocks. Well, the rocks are now one to two feet above the surface. We need rain!!!

Hit these rivers in the early morning or in the evening. The water temperature is ok and with a morning air temperature today of 46 degrees and with 43 degrees predicted for Friday morning things will not heat up too badly.

Pray for rain, the exact opposite of the last two years.