Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB
Fly Fishing The Millers - With over 30 years of fly fishing this river I will claim more knowledge and fish caught than anyone. There are over 40 miles of river and I will take you to the best sections and if you want to sections that never see another angler. Don't be fooled by those who say the Millers is a Spring and Fall river. I'll show you how to have great Summer action. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe this river. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go to catch trout. After a trip you will too!! Solitude and trout IS the EB. The Swift - 20 trout days are not uncommon on this river if you know what to do and use. I'll show the way and you catch the trout. RATES - Full Day (6 hours) = $150.00 for one, $225 for two (lunch included). Half Day (three hours) $90.00 for one, $155.00 for two. Beginners Class - 3 hours ffor $90.00, all use of rods lines, reels included.

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!!



Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,
When people talk about "night fishing", is this a reference to the hour or so after the sun goes down, or can you really catch trout at 2 in the morning? I have a one year old daughter at home, and 3am would best fit my schedule. I've learned to appreciate my "free time", or the idea of it a bit more.
Thanks Ken!


Millers River Flyfisher said...


I am so glad that you have asked these questions. The late, great Sparse Grey Hackle said this about night fishing"

" It is a gorgeous gamble in which one stakes the certainly of long hours of faceless fumbling, nerve-racking starts, frights, falls against the off chance of hooking into-not landing necessarily or even probably, but hooking into-a fish as long and heavy as a railroad tie and as unmanageable as a runaway submarine."

The overkill is here in the above statement but it is not too far removed from what you will experience if you are lucky - a slashing brown of good proportions in the dead of night!!

What is night fishing? It's fly fishing in the Summer after the sun goes down and the light leaves the sky. Most flyfishers leave when dusk turns to night. Nobody fishes after 10pm. This is a great time to fish for those light sensitive browns which love the dark hours. Bring a flashlight!

Let's talk about your "3am schedule". In the early '90's I would hit the Millers at 3:30am from Mid June until Mid July. The sun rises between 5 and 5:30. I would be on the Upper Trestle Pool at 4:15am, with light in the eastern sky, and would find the pool boiling with rising browns. The rising trout would end their display at 5:30 when the sun made it's appearance. Before 5:30 it was heaven!!! I could cast ANY dry fly and it would work.

Night Fishing, whether it's after dusk for many hours or in the very early pre-dawn hours is a tough game but the rewards are there!!

Good Luck!


Jim C said...

Nice job update on an old classic! Those aren't altogether different than the venerable old gray or brown hackle peacocks that my dad used to tie/sell in the 50s! He always swore by them but they never did much for me until last summer when, in a fit of nostalgia, I took to swinging them above a caddis pupa dropper. I must have found a bunch of retro-trout. :D

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Jim C,

I like that retro trout comment!! Many of those old patterns really work on our 21 century trout and they are fun to tie!!


Scott said...


Feeling yer pain with the scheduling (4 year old twins here !).

Funny story for everyone but me that is: I bushwacked in the dead of night to a large pool on the Quaboag a couple years ago, to a spot on the bank that had been carefully chosen (in daylight)for its' shallow, sandy bottom and adequate casting room. The very moment my wader boot broke the surface tension a rather LOUD and alarming smack and splash inches away from me stopped me in my tracks. What I thought was cannon practice for a wayward reenactment regiment was in fact a beaver who proceeded to smack the water repeatedly, along with the rest of his gang (when is trapping legal again?).
Needless to say I had to "rest the pool" which was good because it took a while for the inside of my breathable waders to dry out !


Anonymous said...

Hey Ken,
First and foremost I would like to thank you for the informative entertaining posts you continually add. I look forward to every one and have actually read all your blogs as far back as they would go! I was just wondering if you wouldn't mind posting the recipie for that fly? Im always on the lookout for new "wet" recipies!
I am fresh to the Fly-Fishing lifestyle, only 2 years in, but I can cetainly attest to night time fishing and it's eeriness, but also the extreme excitement one can expierience once hooked into a "FrankenFish" in the darkness. I have yet to find a match for the adrenaline rush accompanied with such a feat! I wish I could post some pictures here because brothers, seeing is believing! Do yourselves a favor and go late, just make sure you watch out for the bats!
Take care and thanks again Ken,
Michael in CT

Bob O said...

Echoing previous comments, I want to thank you for your interesting and informative blog. It's one of my favorites. I look forward to each new post.

Best Wishes to you and your family for a healthy and prosperous New Year, and lots of time on the water.

Bob O

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Thanks to everyone!!

Falsecast said...

I like the Moby Dick pattern and use it on the Westfield and Housatonic. I swing it with a split shot.

Regarding night fishing, I have caught very large fish on the Swift at night. Also in June I will only show up at the Quinnepoxet at dusk. A full moon helps and means you can fish all night. It's imperative you know the water as wading at night can be dangerous, but fruitful. I swing and strip large streamers that would never work during the days. Bright flies like Mickey Finn's or Black Ghosts work well.

Scott said...


I cannot imagine wading the Quinnie in the dark, that's gotta be interesting. There probably aren't two rocks of similar shape and size in that entire watershed !

Although, I would imagine there are a few hogs swimming around there in the wee hours.

Perhaps if I can recover from my "Beaver trauma"...


Rookie said...

I too have been scared "wet" at night by the beaver... In almost every application of Fishing i have enjoyed (My largest striper, bluefish, Largemouth, Shad have all been in the darkness) there is always a RISK REWARD thing with night fishing. Never thought about it for the rivers... Definately will be attempted this summer.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Maybe I should start a blog totally devoted to fly fishing at night. There appears to be some interest here!!!! I remember a bat hitting my fly rod a foot above the handle years ago on the Squannacock. It dropped into the water at my feet and sent me back to the car!! Maybe I should have tied a "drowned bat fly" for those browns!!


Anonymous said...

I know it's off the original subject....but...any word on the catch and keep results?
I'm relatively new to this phenomenon so I was wondering if what I heard about cleaning the pipe area out was true..and how long (or fast) it takes.
Tom from Orange

Millers River Flyfisher said...


There may be some urban legend at play when we talk about the "cleaning out" of the pipe section after Jan. 1st. Some of the best catch and release fishing that I have had has been in this section during January through March when the place was supposed to be cleaned out by catch and keep people. If flow conditions are good it usually means fishing is good. I've seen more evidence of keeping fish during the Spring and even the Fall. Most of the bait people work the pipe downstream for a 100 yards or so. None of them are fishing above the pipe which has a good population of trout. Remember, most of the "keep um" crowd cast a line, let it sink and then wait for a bite. Fly fisherman drift their offerings which are exposed to more trout in that environment. We will always catch more trout during the Winter. In the early Spring, with lots newly stocked trout, the "keep um" people will have more success but that's the same for most Ma. rivers.

Don't stay off the lower Swift because it may not be "catch and release" at this time of year. You will miss a lot!!