Tuesday, September 14, 2010
This past week was hard. Sometimes personal things change everything and they did. Fly fishing was something far from my mind as my drive back home found me near Wendell Depot. I needed a break and the chance to check out the Kempfield, take some low water photos and the idea to just chill a bit seemed right. With only my camera a took the walk over the trestle, into the woods and down the hill to the top of the Run. The island at the top of this run is now connected by dry land. (see above photos) I've never seen that before. The big, slow pool at the end has a large rock breaking the surface. Never seen that before either. I've never seen such a low water condition on this river!! I hadn't been here since early July. I saw the low flow online, heard the stories of dieing trout and even began to believe that my brown trout would not make it. Like I said, I've never seen it this bad before. I sat down and spent a half hour just taking it in.
In a while the sun sank below on of the tall pines on the opposite shore, putting me in the shade. The air felt cool. It was 6pm with an hour till sundown and that's when I saw it - A RISE!!! Back to the car I went for waders and a 4wt (never leave home without it) and then back to the spot.
Here's what happened. The water felt cool and a quick temperature check registered 67 degrees - the same range as every 20+ years on this river on an early September evening. The air was filling with a small (#18) yellowish mayfly and rises were beginning to mark the surface in that beautiful glide above the large, slow pool. I fished for a half an hour and took three dark, beautiful browns on dries. I could of fished longer but after snapping the leader on the last release I called it a night. The browns fought hard with that bulldog "nose in the gravel" battle that browns are known for.
I've fished this river, this spot, for 26 seasons and have never seen such dry conditions. Even I, who have waved the pom-poms for browns for all these decades, began to lose faith in their survival. I STAND CORRECTED!!!!!
As I say on my home page - Browns are the ONLY trout that belong in the Millers!!
There's your proof!
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 6:31 PM
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I was the first at the "Pipe" at 7:15am this Labor Day Saturday. What a difference a week makes!! The flow at the mid 40cfs range should not have mattered. It didn't a week or so ago when big, dark rainbows charged the fly. My hour alone produced one middle size 'bow. So I walked upstream just below the gauge and cast a few dry fly casts to those riffles. Above me was a young father, a dog and a young daughter. Dad had a fly rod and both he and the girl waded wet across the stream to fish that set of riffles. Dad hooks a trout, the girl is spellbound and the dog even seems interested. It reminded me of years ago when I would take my girls on trips such as this. That dad is doing the right thing!!
Upstream I go to the crib dam. A land a "triple" - 'bows, browns and a brookie!! All are on an olive parachute, size 16. All are small. The rainbows are between 5 and 7 inches, the browns run 7 to 8 inches and the brookie (so beautiful)made the 10 inch mark. For a while I forget that this is a tailwater where cold water means lots of trout, even big trout. For a while I was in a Northern New England state-of-mind!!! I'll take those small fish. They remind me that I am damn lucky to find rising trout at the tail end of a horridly hot and dry Summer here in the Baystate.
You will know when you get there that this water below the "dam" is best fished from the left side, looking upstream.
I've highlighted this section before. A number of you have commented on it (thank you) but I usually still have the place to myself. Then again, I fish during the early morning and in the evenings.
I posted a photo of the short section that is directly across from the hatchery intake. Last year it was the home of rainbows. This year it's the home of brookies!! Here's the catch - there are a lot of 5 inch fish here but if you work the water carefully and totally the 10-12 inch brookie will show. I fish size 18 CDC emergers on a short line. These fish are beautiful and a lot of fun.
I hope to be there tomorrow (or maybe Bondsville)
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 2:51 PM