Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Millers And EB Update

The fish are there!!! The EB has them although they seem to be fairly spread out. Last Friday found me on the Bliss Pool where I saw one 'bow dead on the bottom of the pool. I fished that pool hard for an our looking for survivors but found none. The base of the Gorge brought two to the net on a hornberg, a fly that seems to work on that river when I'm forced to fish subsurface. BTW, the big tree that fell across the road has been removed and the road seems to be drying out nicely.

The next day I visited the lower Millers to fish one of my favorite springtime runs - The Bridge Street Pool. Two 'bows came to the net, one on a Millers Stone and another on a brown bugger. Then I took my first trip of the year to the Kempfield. The 600cfs flow hid all of the familiar rocks. The bugger took another rainbow. BTW again - I fished with a FULL SINKING LINE!! It was the standard procedure years ago to go with a sinking line in the spring until the flows dropped and the trout rose. Don't leave home without one!!

We're starting to get into the REAL fly fishing season! Warmer days, lower flows, more insects and RISING TROUT. The data that many of you have emailed to me shows something else - the hardware/bait season has peaked on many of our rivers and fly fishers now outnumber the others. Keep the data rolling in!!!

Also, I've gotten a lot of Millers Guide and fly orders. THANK YOU!!



Anonymous said...


I am glad you brought up mention of the EB. I was there again yesterday and the stocking has been putrid! Spead out is a kind word for what they did. A friend and I fished the entire run from below the gorge down to just above Bliss and I took two 10" rainbows. Typically that river has fish in the 14-16" range and I have taken some up to 20" that may have been fall holdovers. But with last seasons drought, I doubt many if any survived. If anything, they should be doubling up on the stockings due to last summers heat. Most all the pools and runs that typically harbor trout are empty, trust me I know this river. We spoke with 2 other fishermen who both got skunked and were as equally upset. I believe they basically dropped a couple nets in throughout that system and called it a day. We also drove down and fished the bottom section of the Flyfish C&R and the big pool at the gate is also empty of fish. I urge anyone with an interest in this wonderful c&r fishery to call the Western District and air your complaints because it is horrible. And I do know they do not plan to stock next week at the TU campout is not happening at IH this year

Tom said...

Thanks for the update browntrout, I almost was thinking of heading there with my dad this weekend which is about a 1.5 hour drive for me and with the cost of gas i would have been upset. Is it the district office thats responsible for the stocking? I'm having the same problem with NH F&G lack of stocking on a great river in Southwestern NH. There could be a good reason but they should let folks know. Guess I'll be sticking with the Millers and Deerfield. Caught 3 browns in the bearsden on tuesday evening in short time.

Anonymous said...


My ride to EB is over 2 hours, never mind the gas prices!, so needless to say I am very disapointed with the state. The western district is located in Dalton MA. Call the main # at bottom of MA Fish & Wildlife and the voice message will give you the number. I've been there twice now and its been a huge disapointment. The only upside is I've spent more time fishing the other branches and found some beautiful runs and pools, even landed a couple nice holdovers-still, the EB is my river and I am VERY disapointed in the state os MA stocking effort. You would think these people understand the fact that we pay for these fish!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Google decided to eat my post the other night and they consumed the three comments that were added. Post again if you like.

The browns are in on the Millers and the flow is NICE!! Hit the Millers!!!!


Christopher Takacs said...

I have caught more bows in the bears den than browns!!! STRANGE! Holdovers? Or maybe the state just slipped in some bows to the mix...Either way, Ill take it!!! Bears den was BOILING yesterday with the caddis coming off!!!! ZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Anonymous said...

When the bears den C&R was stocked last Friday with the help of DFW and Millers River TU 725, there were about 800+/- browns, AND also about 100+/- rather large rainbows thrown in as a bonus from Ken Simmons.

Lower C&R was also stocked with 800-900 VERY LARGE browns today. Flows are near perfect. Its the time to hit the Millers!!!!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Rainbows will migrate down from S. Royalston. I've actually caught them behind the UTD dam which is the end of the Bears Den C&R - miles from where they were stocked.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to these promising reports on the Millers, as of this past Wednesday, the EB has been a disaster this season. After calling MA Fish & Wildlife about the downed tree blocking access into the gorge, I followed up with them and they confirmed it had been removed (would not state whether it had also been stocked). So I took the 2 + hour ride out there again with a buddy (the prior week as well), expecting good things. The result-two 10" rainbows. Trust me, I've been fishing the EB for some 15 years now and know the pools and runs well, there is no way they have stocked it anywhere near like they have done in years past. And the fish they did dump in are few and small. Also drove in to the lower end of the c&r above Knightville, zero fish in the big pull by the gate or up to rainbow pool. I've heard rumors that they are not treating the river the same without the TU campout at Indian Hollow which is complete BS. For any of you that fish the EB, I urge you to call the Western District office and air your complaints.

Christopher Takacs said...

Bears Den has treated me well the last 4 times out...I hope the Millers blows out this week to spread those 800 browns out!!! They are hitting anything right now!

Been having a blast in the "park" as well, too! Caught my second HUGE brookie in there...THis one was tagged! Lots of 'bows too!

Tight LInes all!!

Fife Brook Guides said...

Great to see you on the Millers saturday.Joe and Pat Gauthier.
We hit 29 browns for the day.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I hear you and everyone else should hear you and the DFW should hear from all of us. It could very well be that the DFW may NOT stock the C&R EB as usual because the TU boys are not there this year. One weekend entertainment should not ruin a season!!!

Everyone - send an email to ask why they are not stocking the LONGEST C&R SECTION IN THE STATE - THE EAST BRANCH OF THE WESTFIELD IN CHESTERFIELD GORGE. The email address is Guys - bury them in emails!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll do a post dedicated to this tomorrow!!! I'm emailing now!!!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this Ken. The more exposure to this, the better! It is a shame and a sham. The EB deserves much better than this. Has anyone actually spent time there and seen the quality of water that runs from the gorge all the way to the dam? It is quality river water with ALOT of very fishable habitat.
If the state was really smart, I could see this whole stretch being managed in a way that they deemed a blue ribbon fishery and if need be, charging a minimal rod fee to help offset the stocking and management of the fishery- all the while keeping the population high and productive with quality stockings (like the farmington). On a side note, I wish our state would get their act together and think about become a bit smartet again about our recreational opportunities. Beyond stocking more browns for better holdover ratio's, please, go back to the days of having a closed season and stocking all the rivers heavily 32-3 weeks in advance to opening day. That would allow the fish to acclimate to the river, begin to understand natural food supplies and spread out more offering them a fighting chance as opposed to the tank stalkers, womers, power baiters, spinners and of course, folks like us (who at least put them back).
Does this not make sense?

Ellen Lahr said...

Gee, Ken, what a hot new website you have going! You will be glad to know that I have updated by own blog, but now feel inadequate having seen yours. I hope my latest content will make up for it. Sounds like good fishing. Best, Ellen

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I'm going to disagree on two points:

1. We can manage the EB as a first class fishery but I will not pay a fee when half of the Pioneer Valley uses the EB as their swimming pool every summer. What about the hikers and mountain bikers who love the spot?

2. The absolute worst thing to do would be to go back to the horrible Opening Day routine!! You're of the same generation as me so you know that those trout stocked 2-3 weeks before opening day were yanked out on opening day. I know because I did the yanking!!!! Only the SURVIVORS acclimated!! Opening Day concentrated everything into a crowded mess. It was hell for the hatcheries too because of the deadline imposed.


Falsecast said...


I couldn't agree more about your posts except the opening day proposal. I think of Jan 1 with the bait season on the swift. I'd rather see more C&R, ALO.

I spent all day yesterday at Indian Hollow (I was the only person) and no fish. I went back up to the Gorge and took one Rainbow. It did have nice colors and I kidded myself it was a holdover until I read Browntrouts post:-) . There were only 3 other fly fisherman I saw.

All I could think of the whole day was how good the river could be. I'd like to know the opinions here about 2 thought I had.

1. What do you think the result would be if they stocked Browns under Put, Grow and Take regs. Aggressively stock fingerlings. Do you think they'd grow to any size?

2. What if Knightville became a lake? Could that provide deep refuge in the summer and perhaps develop "runs" upstream to the Gorge?

Just a thought. Glad to email MassWildlife about the EB.

Christopher Takacs said...

I am going to have disagree with those opposing the traditional opening day...If I may, let me give my reasoning. And forgive me if I am not seeing the bigger picture.

Think about the states stocking tactics now and the surplus of MEAT SLAYERS...When the state "sprinkle" stocks like they do, ESPECIALLY THIS SPRING, the meat hunters are there WAITING for them to drump them in and IMMEDIATELY yank them out...LITERALLY! They hang out at the popular access points and follwo the trucks. The trout have NO time to scatter and spread out!

If we went back to the traditional opening day, and stocked a butt load of trout in the 3 weeks prior, DURING ELEVATED FLOWS, it would allow them to SPREAD OUT and have a FIGHTING CHANCE for christ sake. Then, throughout the spring, stock the rivers every week/2weeks or whatever, to keep them "replenished"...New Jersey has been using this method for years and provides AWESOEM hold over populations...I know first hand...Then after the Jersey opening day, they continue stocking WEEKLY for another 8 weeks...

Here, unless you fish the C&R areas, the fish are virtually GONE after June...Its ashame...

And IT BAFFLES ME as to why the state refuses to stock when water is "high"...This si the PRIME time to stock when water is elevated to spread the trout out... That state has been doing a HORRENDOUS job this year, and coupled with their "sprinkle stocking" and increase in meat hunters, its going to be a few season until we estbalish as healthy holdover population...

Millers River Flyfisher said...

False Cast,

I think that it would be perfect to have all brown trout in Ma.rivers designated as catch and release as a species.

The Knightville dam wasn't built to provide a cold water fishery. It would probably end up being a bass pond and if smallmouths (and perch) got in there we could kiss the Gorge goodbye.

The littleville dam on the Middle Branch WAS built to be a deep source of drinking water for Springfield. It has rainbows and SMELT and I've heard that there may be a run of both into the upper Middle Branch. I wonder about the possibility of planting landlocked salmon there like in Wachusett!!!!!!!!

bert said...

I agree with the closed season argument from the point of view that it gives the fish time to spread out and "wisen up" for a few weeks before anyone can target them. I can't imagine this being a bad thing. The "yanking" takes place anyway, but right now it happens when the fish are still concentrated at the spots where they just dumped them in.

From the point of view of stocking it may be harder with a closed season since the weather (snow, rain) may not allow access to some of the stocking points? At least, this is the only downside I can see. This would also depend on when opening day would be.

Why did the state do away with the closed season?

Of course there seems little chance for changes, given the way things are mismanaged right now.

My feeling is that a few rivers should be C&R entirely so they can maybe develop good populations of nice-sized fish that can be pursued by people who buy their fish in supermarkets...

Anonymous said...


Bridge St pool which side of the bridge do you fish upstream or down stream and what side side you first cross over or the parking lot side??