Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Swift - 10/18 to 10/23, What Crowds??

A lot has been said about the crowds on the Swift. Lots of fish and lots of fly fishers!!! Here's my experience over this past week.

Monday, October 18th found me stepping into the pipe section at 5pm. There was one other fisher down by the "tree" and that was it for the hour that I was there. I took 16 'bows mostly on a tiny creation that I worked up the night before.

Thursday, October 28th I scouted the same spot around 5:30pm. Only one fly fisher!!!

On both of these days the Y Pool parking lot was full.

Saturday (yesterday)found me sleeping until 7:30am (that's considered "sleeping in" for me), eating breakfast, doing a 40 minute hard walk, picking the last of the green tomatoes and then a full raking of the backyard. Then came lunch followed by a trip to the Swift.

The Y Pool lot had a dozen cars but the Pipe lot was almost empty at 2pm!!!! On a Saturday????? The lone car belonged to Marla Blair. You can make out the car on the extreme right of the photo. It was a temptation to stop right here and take advantage of the rare elbow room but I had been thinking of one stretch at Bondsville (above photo) so downstream I went.

I fished Bondsville for a a little less than 2 hours, caught two 'bows, and then went back to the Pipe. It's still a ghost town and now Marla is leaving. She said the place was empty when she got there at mid day and remained so. Very odd!!

I fished the pipe totally alone from 5 to 6pm and took 20 'bows on that same creation I used Monday. The fly was one of a two fly rig and it was the only thing they wanted. It worked in sizes 18 through 26. More on that latter.

I can't think of a reason why the Pipe would be as lonely as Bondsville on a Saturday. Maybe it was just a fluke. It may be a good bet to hit the Pipe in the LATE afternoon to avoid the "practice green" atmosphere that we usually see.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Millers/EB - This Past Season

How do I explain this season on my two favorite rivers. 2008 and 2009 were mid season washouts for the Millers with great May through early June fly fishing followed by flood conditions that thankfully ended by late August which gave us very good Fall fly fishing. The EB of the Westfield was heaven during those past two seasons - dry fly HEAVEN!! This season, the driest in the last twenty years, brought these two rivers to their knees!! Browns survived in the lower Millers, rainbows in the EB are another story. Things like this will happen. In over three decades of fishing the Millers I know that some fish will survive although the number of survivors will be fewer than years past. The rivers are running at strong levels as I write which should help for winter refuge on the Millers. Let's hope so. I keep thinking of the dozens of Autumn trips on this river where we fished and fished for rising trout. Not this year.

The Swift - steady flow, cold water, lots of fish. Also lots of fly fishers. Take a break and go downstream to Bondsville. Steady flow, a good number of fish and very few anglers. It's soooooo... different from the tee time atmosphere that you encounter up by RT9.

Check it out!!


Friday, October 8, 2010

What They Are Rising To...

Here's a short post. I was fishing the pipe section, catching a few, while watching a local fish hawk hammer one 'bow after another. The fish are there. Sometimes we will wonder what the trout are after when we see the surface action which was evident. Well, a good indicator can be found on the new leaf deflector panels that the DFW have installed a few feet from the intake building above the pipe. (the photo is an old one, minus the leaf deflector panels) The panels are just a few feet into the current.

The panels are made of pexiglass which seem attract mayflies. On an early Thursday evening (yesterday) the panels were covered with blue wing olives duns running about a size 20. And I mean COVERED!!

There you go!!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

September Review - Early October

The rains finally came. Not in a series of wet days but in a 4 inch deluge which brought the lower Millers up to the 600cfs level and the Westfield EB roaring at 1800cfs. When it rains it pours!!!!!

The Millers needs this deluge. The rising browns that we caught last April need some depth of water to make it through the winter again. This recharging will do that, I hope. Those fish are still there and they survived this horrid Summer but they need water for the Winter. Hopefully they will have it.

The Swift - The flow was reduced from 112cfs to the mid 40cfs range just prior to the storm. This morning the Bondsville section was low, clear and wonderful. And I got skunked!! Trout were rising but in a very odd fashion. Two and three quick rises and then nothing for as long as 20 minutes. I couldn't get them to cooperate whether it was to a small olive emerger or to my trusty soft hackle flies. That's ok!! The Autumn sun was warm, the flow was perfect and two and a half hours just drifted by. Not a bad day for me.

The attached photo shows the location of those rising trout. You may recognize the spot or if you are new to the lower Swift you can easily find it easily.

Time to think of seasons past. Just one year in this case. Check out my post for October 23 of last year. It tells a tale of a warm cloudy day on the EB when dark colored 'bows took in my dry fly offerings in a way that leaves memories for fly fishers who look for memories. It was a perfect day but it was after two perfect Summers with good flows. We didn't see those conditions this year. It is something to feel sad about. Hopefully next year things will return to normal - everywhere!!

Last night I had a vivid dream of catching stripers with Jim off the mouth of the Merrimack. Some dream of other things but.....

Fall on the Millers and the Swift - I'm looking forward to it!!