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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Millers Update And Some Dry Fly Ideas




A Millers Update - sorry but I have nothing to offer. The river on this first day of March is buried in snow and ice as is the entire watershed. April flows will be high and our best bet will be mid May for anything other than deep dredged WB's and streamers. Ditto for the EB which is buried in the same winter conditions.

Here we go about Dry Flies again!! Back around 2005 a newbie to fly fishing (that's how he described himself) asked me the question: How come dry May Fly imitations have wings pointing straight up (90 degrees of the hook shank) BUT real mayflies have wings pointing back up to 45 degrees of the hook shank?? How is that an imitation?? My answer: I have no idea!!! "Matching the Hatch" has dealt with color and size for decades but not profile. This "newbie" was on the right course. Mayfly wings slant backwards!!!!! All imitations over the past hundred years, except for the "sidewinder" no hackle patterns had wings standing upright like ship masts! Some of our other dries, like elk hair caddis have the right profile but just too much material to be passed off as a mayfly. Is there a way to imitate this wing position??

Try this - I've fished comparadun patterns for years and have FORCED the wing material BACK with some heavy dubbing towards the front of the fly. The wing material is pushed back in a position that resembled a natural position. The above photo shows (just barely)a comparadun with the wing slanted backwards.

What about hackled dries - The above photo shows a style that I will offer this Spring/Summer if I have the nerve. It's goofy looking BUT it is very much like the profile that Theodore Gordon first tied as a dry offering. The slant back wing worked for him. I'll try it out!!

Last year, at the end of April, I and those that I guided caught rising browns working hendericksons. Not this year. Look to mid May for real fly fishing!!

Ken

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ken,
Finally got out on the water this past presidents day for a few hours. Unfortunately the only thing I removed from my hook was that green algae which is so plentiful on the bottom of the Swift. Drifted some small pink SJW's and PT's with lime green hot spot to no avail. In hindsight, I should have checked out the y pool, but instead went to the pipe (forgot that it was permitted to take fish this time of year below bridge).It was pretty cold that day, and was the only one there. Not sure were they hide on such cold days, but i didn't even see anything. It was great to get out though, and I can't wait to give night fishing a try once the conditions arrive!

CLiff

Millers River Flyfisher said...

The water has to be very cold due to all of the snow that we have had even on a tailwater like the Swift. The trout have probably found some deeper holes to hang out in until things become more Spring-like.

Ken

Scott said...

Interesting observation by the 'newbie' Ken. In a similar vein you could look to Clyde River style wets where the "dressers" (coloquial Scottish) slimmed down the patterns much like the low water salmon flies and tied the (albeit tiny) wings straight up.

Seems as though there is nothing new under the sun in our humble pastime. "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme" -Twain

Scott

hbmonn said...

Ken,
Fly Fisherman, Dec. 2008, has an article "Tying a Better Compara-Dun" by Paul Weamer. It's a tying method used by a guide by the name of Jimmy Charron who guided for Al Caucci's Delaware River Club. He ties it with the deer hair butts toward the hook eye instead of toward the bend.He then brings the hair forward 1/3 at a time and ties it in. The result is a wing that bends back which as, as you mention, is a more accurate imitation. You don't seem to be able to get at the tying instructions on Fly Fisherman's web site but the article pretty much gives the details. i can send you a copy if you like.

Regards,
Harold

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Hbmon,

I remember that article and it was a good one. The slant back comparadun wing can be accomplished with hair butts towards the rear or front of the fly. Charron's comparaduns are beautiful and they work but one can tie these flies in the traditional manner if we BEND THE HAIR BACK!! (45 degrees to the hook shank)

Ken

hbmonn said...

Ken,
What I like about Charron's method is that it puts the bulk after cut-off where it should be-in the thorax (particularly makes it easy on smaller flies to get the fly looking right) I don't fish flies larger then 16 very much anymore unless I'm in Montana-emergers larger but not dries.
Harold

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Harold,

Good points and they are much appreciated!! I've relied on the comapadun style for over twenty years. As of late I've relied on CDC feathers in this style in the smaller sizes and they work very well.

Ken

Bob said...

I was thinking about this over the winter as well and pulled out my copy of Trout Hunter by Rene Harrop. Some time ago he created a pattern called the Hairwing Dun. It is very much like an Elk hair caddis with a split tail and super thin body. You can see a picture of a version of it here or google it. You may hopefully be on track to a more successful dry fly season with some revised patterns. Just an FYI I used to fish the Millers regularly, loved the river, very few anglers compared to other spots and wonderful fishing...I miss it but am in Denver Colorado and have access to great fishing within an hour or two but truth be told I consider fishing the Millers and other rivers of New England not that far behind what we have here out west..in fact its under-rated. I am planning to return for good in 3.5 yrs give or take. I enjoy your blog, keeps me up on New England and hopefully I can return for a few days this spring/summer.

Bob said...

Here is the link to the photo..I forgot to past it in the last post.
http://www.charliesflyboxinc.com/flybox/print.cfm?parentID=179

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob,

Thank you for the link!!!! I love that pattern and wish that I had thought of it myself!

If you find yourself back in the Millers/EB of the Westfield/Swift River country this Summer drop me a line. Maybe we can take a "guides day off" and fish together.

So, we're not "far behind" those western destinations?? That's good to hear!!

Ken

Anonymous said...

Hey Ken - Have you or any or the readers here heard of the no-tie hooks using the "Loop 'N Lock system by a company called Gateway Hooks? One of the guys down at BassPro told me that variations of this idea have been around in the past. Anyone have any experience with them or other no-knot hooks?

Joe.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Joe,

The loop-n-lock system looks interesting but I wonder if that knot really slides open and shut the way that they say it does especially when that tippet is wet and dirty. I wonder how often I'd bust that tippet trying to slide that knot!!

Ken