Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, May 22, 2011

EB Update

The fish are in the Chesterfield Gorge section of the EB - that's for sure!! The only thing is you have to work hard for them. This morning I parked at the first turn off on the right and walked to the first turn off on the left and then scampered down the hill to the spot I call the "Swimming Hole". Visit this spot at noon on any Summer weekend and you will know why I gave it that label. It's a neat run to fish on Summer evenings and today I was hoping that this pool would offer holding area for trout from the high flows. I was right but just barely.

The weapons of choice were a 5wt equipped with a full sinking line. The ammo was the dreaded, bead headed bugger assortment. I "rediscovered" my sinking line strategy after many years of plying floating lines in heavy flows. It worked on the Millers two weeks ago and it worked today.

I took five 'bows and a brookie in the two hour trip. First, the fish were smaller than the fish of the last few seasons. All were around 12 inches except for the 8 inch brookie. I'm not complaining because these guys will provide great surface action with 3 and 4wt rods and tiny flies soon enough. Maybe the larger fish just didn't feel like playing today.

The EB drops like a rock from flood flows to that 250-500cfs range quickly. That should happen over this coming week (at least to 500cfs, anyway)if the rain holds off. Let's hope so!!!



deanwo said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the update.

I can help you with fixing the comments on your blog so that they show up. Send me an email at and I can step you through the blogger configuration.

Best regards,

Anonymous said...


I've heard that you use a shorter leader with a sinking line. Do you?

Christopher Takacs said...

With a sinking line, even a sinking tip, one should not EVER exceed 4 feet of leader...6-8lb test is easy to get away with in high water not only because its clear, but because its going so fast...

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I've actually stopped with using a tapered leader on a fast sinking line with heavy flies in heavy flows. No finesse here. 3x works fine.

I think I used my last sink tip line to string up tomato plants. I HATE those lines.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


The flow for the EB has dropped from 1100cfs on Sunday morning when I fished it to the mid 600 range as I write( 6pm Monday). It is fishable NOW and if we don't get blasted with rain it should be PRIME for this weekend. Yes, the gauge is below the dam which can distort upper river readings BUT if history is any indication this drop in flow is
REAL and you will see it on the EB!!

The Millers Bears Den flow is dropping. Good times are ahead. The lower river, without additional rain, will produce this weekend without sinking lines and depth charge buggers. Bring them just in case. Last weekend a person that I guided took a brown on a size 14 BWO dry!!


Millers River Flyfisher said...

I'm referring to all sink tip lines!

bert said...

We can all put the sinking lines away with the upcoming good weather! Finally....

bert said...

Ken, why don't you like sinktips? because of casting issues (which are real)? I like the ability to mend with a sinktip, something that would not be feasible with a full sinker.

Anonymous said...


Seems a lot of silly commentary that all points to personal preference. There are many ways to skin a cat, and if we all did the same thing fishing would get boring pretty quickly. Also some fly fishing snobbery which I haven't seen on this blog in the years I have been reading. As far as streamer express, sounds like an awesome set up for still water (actually used it in the Adirondacks this past week), but if we are talking Massachusetts moving water who cares about 100 feet, but like I said, if it works for you, great. As far as poo pooing the bugger, while I relish top water action, the olive bugger is the single most effective early season pattern. Can be fished many different ways, and can be altered on the fly to represent a lot of different things in the water (i.e. clipping the tail short and trimming the hackle to represent a dragon fly nymph). You play the hand that's dealt you when you get on the water, and you change tactics based on what the fish are telling you. Personally i like catching fish. I love top water action but when I want top water bombs I strip frogs and mouse patterns through pads for bass. If i am lucky enough to be on the Upper Trestle pool in August enjoying dry fly bliss, so be it, but I also enjoy being on the water and catching fish other times of year. My two cents probably worth a fraction of that.


Anonymous said...

I was not on the Ausable. Was lucky enough to get the invite to the Adirondack League Club from a friend. A special place and about as well maintained a preserve as I've seen. Big Lakers, atlantic salmon and brookies galore.

Read my comment and maybe a bit harsh on the reread. I've fished with Ken once and he is a far more knowledgable and skilled fisherman than I am or will be for some time.

If there is any chance of Mass DFW changing their stocking ways, which I hope will be the real benefit of all the participation on this blog, i think an us versus them mentality or a black and white approach, will only lead to failure.

As an aside, I live near the Assabet and a local fly shop float stocks the river with browns. They accept donations beforehand and based on what they get determines what goes in the water. Food for thought as it seems the audience grows.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


It's true, I don't like sinking tips and I've owned them for over thirty years some I have some experience with them. When they were first introduced it came with the claim that one had "easier pickup" over a full sinking line. all that I can say on that. "Mending" was the second claim. Remember that you are only mending the floating portion of the line. When I use a sinking line (very special conditions) I don't worry about mending. Mending has much to do with surface currents effecting your line. With a full sinking line surface currents are not in play. When I use sinking lines I want to play the fly in that DEEP zone. When using a sinking tip surface currents effect the floating section and who needs that?

I use sinkinng lines on occasion. If you use sinking tips and like them and are successful then use them. Personally, any line that sinks is just a way to catch fish before the rivers drop and the REAL fishing begins. I like floating lines and dry flies!!!


Mike G said...

Folks I received another email update from Mass I'll post it here from all to read and opine...

Dear Michael,

Here is some information from Dana Ohman regarding your stocking concerns—this may be new information to you:

The stocking at C & R area that has occurred this year has been similar to those of years past. We have stocked some beautiful rainbow trout within the Westfield River East Branch.

The first stocking for the Catch and Release section of the Westfield River East Branch occurred on April 25, 2011 with the first stocking of the Westfield River East Branch (not in the Catch & Release area) occurring on April 11, 2011. Following the first stocking of the Catch & Release on April 25, 2011, it was additionally stocked on May 5, 2011. It is scheduled to be additionally stocked two more times prior to the Memorial Weekend Holiday.

In terms of the drought that occurred last year, it was a natural event. Stream systems and the fish communities that live within those systems are adapted to the severe conditions in which they live in. This would include periods of drought, flooding, and heavy freezing. Generally the hardest season for fish to live through is the late winter period when usable water volume is at its lowest and food sources are not as plentiful.

The trout stocking program for the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, is based strictly for recreational purposes and is not a part of establishing a population. All of our trout that we grow are of catchable size. The majority of our fish are either caught by humans, animal predators, or move through the system continuing downstream.

Unfortunately, the Catch and Release section of the Westfield River East Branch gets rather warm in the summer in addition to not having a very high oxygen level which the trout need to survive. During times of stress such as a hot summer, many of these fish will migrate up the smaller tributaries adjacent to the Catch & Release areas to find colder and more highly oxygenated water. Most years it is difficult for the stocked trout to survive throughout the summer, and that is why we also stock trout in the Catch & Release section in the fall as well.

Despite rumors that are circulating in regards to the Chesterfield Gorge not being stocked because of the TU Jamboree Weekend not occurring this year at the Chesterfield Gorge area are unfounded. The Western District of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife are scheduled to stock with members of the Pioneer Chapter of Trout Unlimited prior to the weekend of May 21st.

If you have any additional questions please feel free to call Dana at the Dalton phone number listed below

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Mike G,

Thank you for posting that response. They hear our concerns and respond to them. That's a very good thing!!!