Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fly Hatches For The Millers

I have been asked many times to provide a "hatch guide" for the Millers River. In short, there is no hatch guide for the Millers. Here's the reason: The Millers is very much like many freestone rivers in central New England. The flies that you find on the Millers are very much the same as the flies that you encounter on other central New England rivers. The hatch times are pretty much the same as on other central New England rivers. Now, our fly boxes are loaded with every creation to "match the hatch" as the saying goes, so why worry! If there are hendricksons hatching we have the right fly. If it's March Browns, Sulphurs, or BWO's we have that too for every stage. In short, worrying about hatches is a fools game. We have enough flies to match what's happening, period!

If you want to have a "guide" to the important insects then buy Tom Ames " Hatch Guide For New England Streams". That is all that you will need.

Here are a few pointers: The Millers is loaded with Hendricksons BUT they are a minor event. I have seen the river loaded with them but with no rising fish. So have the Harrison Brothers who claimed that their paddles drowned hundreds of these flies without seeing a trout rise. The great rod maker Dan Trella says the same thing about the Quaboag River - lots of Hendricksons but no rising fish. Last year's low water brought a great hatch at the Kempfield with RISING BROWNS but it was a rare event.

March Browns - This large fly is a standby from mid May through late June. It's always there and brings the evening fish to the surface. Any March Brown pattern will work if the presentation is correct.

The "Tan Flies" - Sulphurs, Cahills, you name them. They can be all over the river at times from late May through September. ANY tan pattern will work ( I know this from experience)if the size and presentation is right. Sizes 14 through 18 will fill the bill in most occasions.

Caddis - Don't go crazy with the array of surface/sub surface patterns that are out there. Caddis patterns, for the Millers, work best in the top six inches on the water column. My Moby Dick Wet pattern has been doing the trick over caddis water for years as long as the presentation is right. I hardly fish a dry caddis anymore!

In short, don't fret too much over what's hatching. You probably have enough of the right flies to be successful. The again there's always the wooley bugger!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The EB Gorge - It's Still Winter/Our Stocking Philosophy, read the comment section!!

You've read the stocking reports of all branches of the Westfield getting their first stocking of trout over the past week or so. That made me take a trip (non fishing) to check out the EB on a balmy Saturday afternoon. The river looked great above the Gorge but the access road at the Gorge was still covered with ice and snow. The mountain of plowed snow, at least five feet high, will keep vehicles out for another two weeks.

I saw NOBODY fishing at the Gorge or above it. Where are the stocking truck chasers?? Was there an actual stocking?? Hmm.....

A late Friday afternoon trip to the Pipe on the Swift produced a goose egg. I saw no trout and no anglers. This NEVER happens on the Swift during April. Water conditions are perfect which makes this scene a total mystery. Maybe next week will be better.

I'm starting to book up for trips to the Millers. Things start in May. Don't wait!!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Early Success At The Pipe

There were two sets of tire tracks in the inch of new snow as I made the turn off of River Rd.onto the Pipe access road this past Friday afternoon at 2:30. That meant two things. First, there were two cars in the lot or second, that someone had come and gone. The second theory proved correct as I followed the coming and going footprints down to the Pipe. The footprints never entered the water which meant that a bait/hardware angler or some sightseer had paid a visit. I saw no other footprints on either side of the river which confirmed the rumors - the fishing has been very slow here. I had the place to myself.

I rigged up a #16 Swift River Scud and started from the head of the Pipe and worked down to the Tree Pool. No runs, no hits and no errors and from my vantage point I could see no fish. Time for another walk through. This time I got a "follow" from the top of the pipe. The next cast resulted in the same thing! A half dozen casts to the same area were ignored so I switched to a #18 Swift Serendipity. Everything changed!! That fish came up and was landed. The next CHASED that fly for two feet before it made a grab and hooked itself on the side of it's head. I'll count that as two landed. The third inhaled that Swift Serendipity and then came to the net. All were dark rainbows, survivors of this brutal winter.

I had to give up at 4ish to make the trip to see my daughters. I didn't feel bad about leaving since the evening would be great and I didn't really expect to catch anything if the rumors were correct. The 'bows were a bonus.

By this time next week the Swift should get it's first helping of trout. Why it hasn't yet is a mystery. Plenty of anglers of all types will be there. It may be the last time that I will fish that section ALONE at mid afternoon until next winter! I will not complain. I can't wait for a 70 degree day on that river. When the crowds come I'll just find a place, work the water and catch some trout!!