Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, November 29, 2010

Post Thanksgiving On The Swift - TheTributary

Let's start with the Saturday after Thanksgiving - When I got to the PIPE at 7:30am it was crowded with six anglers jammed into the area from the PIPE down to the TREE. I rigged up while listening to a very loud group that were fishing just below the PIPE. I left the circus atmosphere and fished upstream past the gauge station to the crib dam. A nice morning that saw a half dozen 'bows and brookies playing into my experiment. The experiment was to see what size mattered as far as the trout were concerned. First I rigged a size 14 scud on the top with a size 20 serendipity on the bottom. The smaller fly worked best. I switched the setup but the smaller fly still prevailed. Then I went to a size 20 serendipity on top with a new creation in a size 24. The size 24 won out!! Hmm, this year the smaller fly is the choice!!!

After two hours I walked back to the PIPE where I found one new angler fishing about 30 feet below the PIPE. I decided to take a few casts with my new creation at the PIPE outflow. I immediately took a bow within 5 feet from the PIPE which caused the other angler to say that I was crowding him. I said that if he thought that he was being "crowded" he should of been there three hours before!! I was casting far above (for the pipe) where he was casting and the end of my drift was in water that he wasn't close to fishing. I like solitude but the PIPE is more communal than any other spot on the Swift. One person from the PIPE to the TREE is not a CROWD. When there are three or four in this section I head upstream or downstream. I am certain that I was minding my manners!!

The TRIBUTARY - Sunday afternoon I took a walk down to the above section just to check out the situation. I saw a Hummer parked at the gate which said that George was there with the usual good conversation. That's when he decided to show me the trout in the outflow stream above the PIPE. I've heard of the trout here but never explored the area. We walked past the "No Trespassing" sign (sorry, we were on a mission) and saw dozens of large fish in this outflow. Nice to look at BUT you CAN'T FISH THERE, PERIOD!!!! It reminded me of looking at the outflow from Quabbin into Wachusett years ago. Lots of big fish but NO FISHING!!

The outflow from the hatchery is the largest tributary on the Swift. It's extremely fertile and effects the trout behavior for a surprising distance downstream on the Swift. It is tempting but.......don't fish there!!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

The End Of The Swift!!

No, there wasn't a spill or a fish kill. Today I decided to do some exploring, sans fly rod and waders. The aim was to check out the lower, LOWER Swift and to find where it joined waters with the Ware River. The above photo shows the junction of these two rivers. It's a nice pool. The flow of the Swift meets the Ware head on creating a beautiful drift line that seems to last forever. Below the junction there is a nice set of riffles. Above the junction the Ware offers nice, nice dry fly water. The Swift's cold flow should provide sanctuary for some of those Ware River browns that we hear about. Maybe or maybe not but it was worth the trip. I'll be back to this spot next Summer for sure!!!

More time was spent exploring this lower Swift River and it included me spying on some rising trout! As expected there was nobody there except me and the trout.

Tomorrow morning I'll be working the Swift with some new creations. Will they work? As I said earlier - maybe or maybe not.

We could get out first snow within two or so weeks. Fish Now!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Indian Summer On The Swift

First, let me define "Indian Summer". It's not what the TV weather bunnies claim it to be, namely a warm Fall day with lots of foliage. Here in New England it has traditionally been a warm Fall day AFTER the foliage season. If you don't believe me then ask Robert Frost!!

The day starts with a temperature of 30 degrees and ends in the low 60's. Perfect. I meet Dick at the Pipe parking lot at 7:30am. I forgot to make reservations for the Pipe (haha) so we have to fish the stretch upstream to the crib dam. (actually this was the plan!!).

This stretch, almost always devoid of flyfishers, was ours for over three hours. We fished upstream with Dicks red beadhead and my scud taking and losing 'bows and brookies. Not too bad!!

After working this stretch we went back down to the Pipe to find a few anglers who had decided to drop anchor for the day just below the outflow but the "tree" pool was vacant. We were seated immediately (haha) and began to work a steady rise to midges or something very small. A size 24, mentioned in a recent post, tied onto the business end of a strand of 8x brought a couple of more trout.

It was a good day with good company and good trout. These sunny, comfortable days are in short supply. Fish them if you can!!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

The "light" Season Ends, The "Dark" Season Begins

The alarm is set for 5am. I leave the house at 6:30am after two cups of coffee, a bagel and some drifting on the web. It's dark. Dawn is scheduled for 7:29am which means that you MAY be able to thread on a size #20 to a strand of 6x at 7am. I'm up for this but in a strange way. Tonight we set the clocks back and that's what's bothering me. Sunset on this Saturday is at 5:30 which means that tomorrow sunset will be at 4:30. The best hours of the year, for me, have disappeared into memory. The hours of the "evening hatch", the sublime time between dusk and dark, of shirtsleeves and rising trout, are gone for the next six months. That time means more to me than Hendricksons at 1pm on a late April afternoon. The road ahead means frozen feet, icy guides and lots of fly tying. The "Dark" season is here.

I get to the "pipe" on the Swift at 7:15am. Within a half hour there are six working this crowded water. I hook three and land two. Time to move!!

I almost always have the crib dam section and the water below to myself. The fast water at the base of the dam yields nothing to my rig which consists of a #14 scud at the top and a #20 serendipity at the bottom. Twenty yards below I begin to pick up some small brookies and browns on the scud. From the gauge everything changes!! More small brookies and browns on the scud but now some good bows smash the serendipity!! And these guys want to rip line from my reel!! I take ten from the crib downstream, six are good sized 'bows!! That was it for today.

I went home and raked leaves again, turning a lot of them into the garden soil. It will build up that soil for next Spring. Next Spring......

I'll fish through this Dark Season but my mind is on next Spring!!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tiny Flies For The Swift

Things will change on this river. Five seasons ago a #16 olive soft hackle made dark colored trout go nuts during the Fall. Since then it's been a second tier player. Scuds and hot spots have had great days and always will BUT something has surpassed them at least for this season. The above photo shows what I have been using up and down the river. Size #18 through size #26 works and have produced 43 trout in my last five hours on this river. Early morning or late afternoon seem to work best for this pattern. Maybe it's because these hours yield the least fishing pressure or maybe because the air is full (especially in the late afternoon) of tiny flies. In any event this fly works! I like it!!

There is the occasional post concerning my generosity dealing with naming locations on certain rivers. It has now spilled over to my sublime posting of fly patterns which work on the Swift, Millers and the Westfield Rivers. Frankly, I don't understand it. I really want people to do well on these rivers! I'll continue to post locations, conditions and patterns on this blog because it's my blog. But for this pattern I'll give the pattern instructions to anyone who emails me on the email address that I have on this blog. If you want to tie this fly then just email me. If you don't want to know about this fly then keep fly fishing and have fun!!

Daylight Savings Time ends this Saturday night. Sunday morning (11/7) will have light at 6am but darkness around 5:30pm. Bummer!!!! The "Dark Season" begins!!