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.

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!!

Ken

30 comments:

Gerry said...

Ken, Dick and I had the same experience there on Tuesday. We found a few fish above Route 9, but ZERO in the Pipe Run. I even walked through the likely spots to see if I could spook any fish - NADA! Also no trout in the Squannacook or Nissitissit Rivers. I hope they get the fish in soon.
tight lines - gerry

Eric said...

Not much going on at the upper Millers either. Fished around Winchendon with no luck. Some bait guys around. Didn't see any fish in the water or being caught.

Mark said...

I've been to the pipe and had the same experience as Gerry. I also tried bondsville. Nada.

Nothing either in the squannacook, Stillwater or Quinepoxet.

Not a single wild brookie anywhere or holdover browns. A real surprise.

Despite what the dfw website says, I don't think they've stocked yet !

Millers River Flyfisher said...

The Millers in Winchendon and the Quini in Holden were reported as stocked last week. Hmm....

Anonymous said...

Ken,
I know in sturbridge the DFW stocked the quinebaug. Saw a bunch of guys hanging powerbait off a bridge. One poor guy hauled in a nice rainbow and brought it over to show my daughter. When he presented it to her the fish wriggled out of his hands, hit its head on a rock, and floated downstream!
Does the DFW only stock rainbows this time of year? Was hoping for browns, but only saw bows.
Went out a couple times this past week to a brookie stream. First day was skunked, and thought the drought last summer had finished them off. The next day for some reason tried again, and hooked up with the biggest brookie i've got in a while (albeit only an 8 incher). What a treat! Can't wait to get out there again.

Cliff

Anonymous said...

Guys,

The MASS Fisheries "stocking" page is ONLY "planned" rivers they "wanted" to stock that previous week...Most of the time, almost ALL listed ARE stocked. HOWEVER< there are some times where they re-nig. What I do is call the district in which I want to fish on Saturday or sunday, AFTER HOURS, (after 430), punch int he extension when it goes to voicemail and it will tell you what rivers were ACTUALLY stocked the previous week....Each district does not update there own section..It takes 3 days for the info to get to the individual who does it, and another 3 days to change if a river was not stocked that it currently says was....

As for the Quinnie, caught a few natives which was suprising and river road bridge WAS stocked, but VERY VERY few...Only saw some meat hunter pull out 2.... Its been a very dissapointing spring...flows have been PERFECT here in central distrcit for some time and NO fish....its sad...

The squanacook has been good to me the past few weeks....surprisingly a lot of holdovers...I was shocked.... PINK SAN JUANS ARE THR TRICK FOR THOSE LAZY WINTER FISH!!!!

Dustin's Fly Box said...

never made it out that way yet. Great blog!! You got a new follower

Mike said...

Fished the Stillwater and Quinnie on Sunday - not a sign of a fish on the Quinapoxet, but they dumped a bunch of fish into the Stillwater. The spinfishing guys were pulling out one after another, but the 'bows would not take a fly - none of the FF'ers caught anything as far as I could tell. A couple of the spin guys were actually practicing C&R, but otherwise the fish were being hauled out hand over fist. Spoke to a ranger at the Quinnie a few minutes - he said a few real holdovers - judging from their football-like proportions - came out of the river earlier in the week. Tight lines!

Mark Clements said...

I went to the Qunnie on Saturday and hiked a good portion of the stream over the day. Didn't see any fish, however I did see a few little black stones (probably Capnia). Pounded it all day and I couldn't buy any action. IT was my first trip, I guess I'll have to give a try later in the season.

Mark

Christopher said...

The Quinnie is going to need ALL season, if not TWO, to spread all the fish out from river road down to the dam...It was RAPED last summer between the extreme temps and the god damn meat hunters...I EVEN SAW DUDES CARRYING OUT NATIVES!!!!!!!!!!! Once it dries up though, the stocking trucks will use the rail trail...But still, going to take a LONG TIME for the fish to get back to their "secret" spots...

browntrout said...

If I had to grade our states trout stocking performance I would give them an "F". Absolutely horrible. The rivers have been donw now for weeks yet the fish have yet to be released other than ponds and a few rivers. Plus this whole putn take idea with rainbows just burns my butt! If you want to see how it is done right, visit any CT fishery Housatonic, Farmington, Natchaug, Naugatuck, Willimantic. Much better trout waters, more catch n release areas and alot better and bigger fish that drives commerce and money (like me) to their state. MA ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Browntrout,

You are 100% correct and I could not agree more. This has been the most dissapointing spring in years. Sure, the Berks had snow until until a few weeks ago so I can understand the lack of stocking. However us in the C-Valley and Central districts have been experiencing PRIME water levels for us high-sticking enthusiasts and would have been perfect to stock. I do not understand the reasont he state wants water levels to be PERFECT> Higher water levels would allow the trout to seek refuge from the rooster tails, faster. The fish that they did stock this season here int he Central District have been PITIFUL!!!!!!!!! I saw literally a HANDFUL of fish go into river road bridge, LITERALLY! And, as fast as they went in, they came out. It was real sad.
And KISS the Quinnie goodbye if they dont work something out with the DCR to slighty move those baracades on river road to get down to the boxes 5/6/7...Without stocking that middle stretch, the Quinnie will be bleak... This state should be ashamed of themselves...HELL, the AUSABLE/SARANAC in northern NY have already been stockeddddddddddd!!!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,

Actually the Berkshires HAVE been stocked. I guess they're waiting for Spring vacation to make the kids happy. Forget who buys the licenses and all of the fishing gear (that's US)that directly and indirectly pay for the fish. Throw some 'bows and brookies into the ponds to keep the mobs happy but what about us who fish real rivers!!!!

Christopher said...

I live in Hudson and they stocked this 1 acre pond here with 450 trout...The pond is 4 feet deep and there was no entry fee for the contest...MONEY WELL WASTED!!!!! Another month and the fish will be dead due to heat exhuastion....Just PITIFUL...

Anonymous said...

Anyone fish the Ware River in Barre lately? Looks like it was stocked. I've never tried it but the stretch right below the army corp dam in Barre looks pretty nice. Anyone know how the access is down there?

Tom

Christopher said...

That section was NOT stocked yet...just alone rt 122 and in Hardwick was stocked.... Infact, that section you mention NEVER gets stocked, only above the dam...the DEC dude are too lazy to walk fish down there...

Been there twice, got a few...its ashame though as all the meat hunters are KEEPING EVERYTHING!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

One has the sense that fly fishers are being put on the back burner to satisfy the needs of anglers who actually do very little river fishing. Those "anglers" want a photo opportunity before their trout are thrown into a freezer. WE, who fish rivers through the entire season and pay good money to do it, are left hanging for a recreational opportunity to do it. I really think that the majority of "RIVER" anglers are "FLYFISHERS". We want something sustainable for the ones who really pay the bills for these rivers!!

vze27vtq1 said...

This is why I think it may be better for a dedicated group of fishermen to take care of this themselves. The state clearly has no clue and/or isn't interested.

On the North shore a private initiative was started in 2009 to stock sea-run browns in the Parker and Mill rivers (don't have an update on this though). They held fundraisers and local tackle stores had donation bins etc.

browntrout said...

If someone has the know-how, gumption and wherewithall to start up a browntrout petition, I will gladly and wholeheartedly help support and promote it.

Eric said...

I took a little ride around today after work to see what the state stocked. They put plenty of nice BROWNS into the W branch of the Ware. Now if they would only put them in places where they ALL won't end up in freezers by Sunday.

Tom said...

Its amazing that most of these state fishery departments are still operating on 1940's era management practices just to satisfy the meat fisherman and sorry for the generalization but they tend to be the ones who dont care about the resource, leave trash around and think anything put in the river is for the taking. I have a neighbor who is just like that. Stocking was done in the past because the streams were so polluted they couldnt support anything. Well most of the streams are cleaned up and its poor habitat conditions, reduced flows and sometimes just plain geology for the reasons fish dont hold over in these streams. I feel that stocking should be used to initially jump start a fishery and then stop once its sustainable. It shouldnt be the sole fishery. The money should be spent on improving habitat, removing dams and maintaining minimum flows. Montana stopped stocking in the 70's and their fishery is one of the best in the lower 48; granted their rivers are different but its about ecosystem management not artificially propagating a species and dumping them into every waterbody even ones that couldnt support a dace just so someone can catch them. But the none of the state agencies want to step up and do that and until they do we are going to have these issues every year.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Ok folks, I'm willing to start something if there is support. It seems that we want a sustainable trout fishery that doesn't die off after the Fourth of July. We want the trout that are best suited for our rivers AND we want to at least investigate the possibility of a self sustaining trout fishery. We also need to convince the DFW that their "market" has changed. WE ARE THE MARKET!! To get this going we need a show of support. We need numbers and a mission statement, maybe even a loose organization to add weight to this.

Email me your thoughts at millercaddis@yahoo.com

Christopher said...

AND THE MILLERS IS LEFT OUT OF THE STOCKING LOOP AGAIN THIS PAST WEEK...WHAT A FRICKEN DISGRACE!!!!!!!!!! I am beyond annoyed with the state and their lack of stocking...Sure, the flows are a bit elevated, BUT THAT IS BETTER FOR STOCKING! WIll let the fish spread out!!!!!!! MASS Fisheries/Wildlife should be ashamed of themselves....

Bob O said...

Ken,
Good to see you Sunday AM at the Hatchery Lot. Sorry your report wasn't better. I went up above to the bubbler and Y pool. The water is coming over the spillway, and there are holdovers in the feeding lanes. Took a few on a number of different offerings including a smelt imitation (bam!), and small subsurface stuff. Like all above, I'm looking forward to the spring stocking. See you on the river.
Bob

eric_t said...

The commenters here do make some valid points but are neglecting some simple truths and sounding quite pompous while doing so. The generalizations many here have made on the "spinfishing guys" and "meathunters" are unfair generalizations. Guys, we get the point...there are many out there who like to go "trout fishing" in the spring immediately after the stocking trucks have hit the road and they take home their limit. They do this day after day for a few weeks with what most fly fisherman would call an unfair advantage (live bait??, spinners). I myself am not a fly fisherman (though i swear i want to learn someday)and instead use spinning and baitcasting(for bass mostly) gear. I buy my fishing license every yr (you ff guys arent the only ones) and i own rods and reels that are just as expensive as some of yours in many cases....believe me they make some really expensive spinning gear too. I do not take the trout home to eat....i believe in catch and release....unlike some of you ,however , i have accepted that most of the ma waters are put and take and not capable of becoming a self sustaining trout fishery. Seriously guys you are in the wrong state....with the exception of about a half dozen rivers or so (if that) we just do not have the natural resources that some other states do to maintain these self sustaining trout fisheries you guys want. Someone mentioned nevada. Really? Stop and think a minute what the difference is....im not even gonna get into it but the comparison or suggestion that ma should try to follow in footsteps of nevada is just plain foolish. Another person mentioned a sea run browns program....maybe you missed it but the state tried to get that going for years and it was a bust. Sure, some sea runs were caught in the parker river and saugus river, but a self sustaining yearly spawn?? Wishful thinking. One more thing guys....the 28.00 you pay for your license every yr is not the sole way of funding the 500k fish that get stocked every yr. Taxpayers money ends up paying for a large chunk of that. You guys are the small minority...a snobbish, elitist minority that just rubs me the wrong way. And yes the state will continue to cater to the masses who line the shores of walden pond to catch their 3 rainbows on powerbait that they will bring home for dinner. Who are any of you to make judgements on that? Maybe the state will build you a river of your own with that 28.00 and i wont have to feel like vomiting every time i see one of you self righteous, judgemental, jerks... talk about living in your own world....

eric_t said...

Correction....my post above i meant to type montana not nevada. sorry if this caused any confusion.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Eric_t,
1. The "Tax Payers" don't pay the freight on stocking. It's done by license holders and the tax on fishing equipment sales. Ma. has tried for years to rob this fund for "general revenue". Thankfully that hasn't happened.

2. The bait boys are the ones that leave the coffee cups and bait containers along our streams and rivers. I've seen them do it and I have actually cleaned up after these slobs. I've never had to do this because of fly fishers!!!

3. The ONLY fishers that I've know to be arrested below the RT 9 bridge on the Swift are your bait boys. They go over the limit when there is a limit AND keep trout when it is totally catch and release.

4. Fly fishing is the fastest growing segment of river fishing for trout and we are tired of the meat mentality that has controlled the DFW stocking strategy over the past decades. We want trout (brown trout) that provide season long sport and the challenge that the clonebows don't provide. Throw the 'bows into Walden to fill the freezers BUT manage the rivers for a season long sport.

4. BTW, browns hold over in many of our rivers very nicely. I know of guides that no longer fish Montana or Chile but stay in Ma. because of the outsized browns.

5. The times are changing. The days where someone fishes for three weeks to brag about making their "limit" and then does something else for the rest of the summer are going AWAY. Fly fishers don't stop fishing. We will have our way!!

Ken

eric_t said...

ken- you are a very astute poster. You make clear, concise, well thought out points in your post and i appreciate you highlighting some of your feelings on this issue. I have to admit that after rereading my post i was a bit out of line and i was guilty of the same behavior that i rail against in my post (kinda hypocritical on my part i guess). Like i said to begin my last post i do agree with some of the fly fishermans posts on this site i just felt that their is a constant biting sarcasm aimed at anyone fishing without a fly rod and reel. I just think that it is unfair to take that attitude. Your post did not fall in line with some of these other posts that bothered me because you did not generalize. In fact, i think the people who leave the rubbish behind should stay at home too. I also agree that brown trout do hold over well in many of our rivers and some ponds too....my argument was that a self sustaining, reproducing population of these fish is few and far between....basically only small isolated populations. You make a cogent point about the browns though...they dont suck up the power bait like the rainbows so they actualy have a chance to make it. A challenging gamefish?? who wants that when dinner is on the line right? in all seriousness the gold pin for brownies came out of walden last yr...13 lbs and change. i found this astonishing based on the fact that walden is only about 65 acres and receives more pressure from trout fisherman than almost any other pond in the northeast district. how did he survive long enough in there to get that big?? he must have had some wit unlike those silly rainbows. anyways, i suppose it's a reasonable argument that some rivers could be managed as catch and release with an empahsis on brown trout. as long as us spin fisherman can take a crack at them too. thanks for sharing your views.

btw- thanks for correcting me on the funding of the hatchery program. i was talking out of my you know what....i did know that 28.00 dollar licenses did not cover it all but what i didnt realize was that taxes from fish tackle sales went towards this. next time i should check my facts before i run my mouth i guess....i was just having a bad day. take care.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Eric_t

Thanks for getting back to me.

Fly fishers get a lot of abuse too but it's not from going over the limit or leaving bait containers around. The abuse could very well be from opposing that behavior. It could be that many of us will put fish back to extend the season.

What most fly fishers want is a species of trout that does best in our rivers, a trout that isn't easily caught, provides exciting sport and a trout that can last from one season to the next. Browns do that very well on the Millers but their stocked numbers are so few that progress is minimal as it is on other rivers.

We hope to change that!

Ken

eric_t said...

Ken- sounds fair enough. your right about the state being stingy with the browns. They claim to stock close to 150,000 brownies(just under 30% of all trout stocked) but where are they hiding them all?? I swear all i ever see in this state is rainbows. In nh it's 8 inch brookies and in mass its 12 inch rainbows. I suppose it would be nice to see more brownies put into waters they would have a chance to survive long term and provide more sport for the more serious anglers who are looking for something more challenging than the status quo.

Here's a question you may have an opinion on since you seem well versed on these matters....what if the state stocked more trout in late fall/early winter so they would have a chance to get acclimated and spread out before the spring pressure gets put on them. This is what they have been doing with the broodstock salmon and i believe it has been fairly successful. I know of at least a few salmon that were caught at my local pond in late march/early april this yr that had been stocked late last yr. I dont think the ice fisherman would get too many of them....or would they? Another option?? How bout setting an opening day sometime a couple wks after stocking in the spring like other states do. Would this help at all in your opinion?? just some thoughts. take care.