Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Moby Dick Wet - A New Standard Wet Fly

By late February we will be dreaming of those days and evenings of May and June when trout are breaking the surface chasing caddis and mayflies OR if you are beyond hope (like me) we are thinking of those days NOW!!!! We have five months to survive before we see that action. In the meantime we can create those offerings.

I am a sentimental fool for the "old patterns", namely the old wet flies that have performed so well before they fell out of favor. The Moby Dick Wet, first mentioned on this post three years ago, is one of those patterns. Actually it's a new tie in an old form. What will it do? It will nail trout before and during a caddis hatch! One fellow that I guided on the Millers near Erving Center took a half dozen browns in a hour one evening with this pattern. Another took almost as many. I've done the same working those beautiful riffles at the head of a Millers pool. It's caught trout from northern New Hampshire to Connecticut all season long. It has the color and profile that just WORKS!! Fish it in the surface (damp!) and it's irresistible. When the surface action really starts switch to the appropriate dry if you like. I mentioned in that long ago post that I wanted to tie this in a size 6 for night fishing. I did. The trout that I caught were not measured in POUNDS like I had hoped but were good fish that attacked this fly. I will keep my hopes up on this "after hours" thing and will still count on this pattern as the sun sets.

Happy New Year To All Of You!!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Cold December Morning

It seemed like a good idea on Saturday night - get up at 5am Sunday morning and hit the Swift for a few hours. It didn't sound so good when the alarm went off so I ended up buying an extra hour of sleep which resulted in me crossing over the Rt9 bridge at 7:40 instead of the planned earlier hour. Everyone else must of had the same idea/excuse because the Y Pool parking lot was EMPTY!! So was the Pipe lot too!! I guess a sunrise temperature of 14 degrees will do that! Anyway, I had the place to myself from 8 to 9am coaxing a few reluctant bows to the net with serendipities and Marla's jailbird (a very good fly). At 9am George and this other gent made an appearance. The action (?) was slow for all of us. I took four by 10am when I decided to call it quits.

The fish are there but they were like me at 5am. Not in the mood!! Maybe we can get a 50 degree day before our licenses run out.

Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mistakes Made Over The Last Season

It's late December and I regret some of those plans that I hatched last February and March when fly fishing plans are usually hatched, namely that I didn't fish where I said that I'd fish. We all know the drill: I'M GOING TO FISH THIS PART OF THE RIVER but you really never get around to it. You go to where the "action" is even if the action doesn't always play out. I did explore and fish the Bondsville section of the Swift. Check off one plan as completed. I spent wonderful hours above the pipe with hardly anyone there. What I didn't do was go back to my haunts of '06,'07and '08 and that's the section above the crib dam up to the "duck pond" on the Swift. '06 through '08 gave us low Summer flows and dry fly action to ants, beetles and other critters. It was great but hard fishing but well worth it. 2009 gave us mid Summer flood conditions that made wading this section life threatening. I said that I would go back to this seldom fished spot this past season (never saw another fly fisher) but I never did. My mistake!!

How come I didn't go below the Bridge Street Pool on the Millers?? Maybe it was because the Millers, like many freestone rivers, were hit by the "2010 Drought". Maybe I was playing it safe by fishing the Kempfield Section which survived the Summer. It was a plan of mine to pack a sandwich or two and spend a day fishing the miles of water below the bridge for outsized smallies and browns. They are there. I should have been there!

We are two weeks away from "New Year Resolution" time. I'm already making a list. Let's hope that I stick to it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Three Rivers - A 2010 Summary

This blog has centered on three rivers in Massachusetts over the past three years and those rivers have been the Millers, the East Branch of the Westfield and the Swift River. If I was to rate the rivers for 2009 they would have been 1. The EB, 2. the Millers and 3. the Swift. What about 2010??

Number 3 - The EB. If I were to ask the gods above for one more season on one river for 2010 it is certain that the EB would be my choice. 2009 was perfection - great flows and rising trout from May through November. I couldn't ask for more. That didn't happen in 2010. The hot weather and the drought wiped this place out. My last trout was taken in July, a far cry from the heavenly, October day in 2009 where the bows sucked in BWO's and my dry fly offerings. It was a sad summer on this river. A normal year, weather wise, would be much appreciated. So would more browns!!

Number 2 - The Millers. 2009 was a cursed with high water. In 2010 fishing for those browns was great until the end of June when the worst drought conditions that I've seen in over 20 years took hold. Did those conditions kill off the river's browns?? The answer is NO. I caught them, as did others, in the early Fall. This river will come back!!

Number 1 - The Swift. A great part of 2009 saw this river turned into a flooded, kayakers dream. This past year saw it running between 45 and 115cfs - perfect flows. What gives this river the top prize for 2010 is the fact that I "discovered" the lower river in Bondsville - no crowds at all and plenty of trout. I really and truly love that lower river. The above photo shows one of my favorite runs on the lower Swift. Solitude and rising trout. Who could ask for more!!

Say a prayer, fly fishers, that 2011 will bring a "normal weather" year.

I'll be on the Swift and probably the Farmington this Winter. I'm also looking forward to a week long fly fishing adventure next June. Tenting, campfires and fly fishing until I drop!! You know the drill. Any suggestions??