Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What's Up With The Swift??

Ok, what's going on with this river?? If you have had success below rt9 then hats off to you. At the beginning of April I caught a number of holdover rainbows during a two hour trip. I thought that this would be the start of something great but April came and went without SEEING a trout in this section. Nobody that I knew had seen any either. By May 1st the river passed the 200cfs mark and then peaked around 300 and stayed there for a while. I revisited the Swift today at 7am with the flow around 185cfs. I was the second car there. The first belonged to a few casual hardware guys and they caught nothing. No other fly fishers were there. I caught and saw no trout in the quick hour that I spent working this water.

I remember, only a few years ago, when I would brave 200cfs currents and have double digit days on this river. Have I lost my touch?? I don't think so!! Are you doing better? I hope so!

When I first passed the Y Pool parking area I saw one car. An hour later I saw a second car. By 8am on a Saturday in June, with most other rivers blown out by the rain, one would expect more fly fishing traffic on the Swift.

What's up with this river???

The attached photo is from a much better time!!


Monday, June 20, 2011

An Evening Rise

It's that time of the year. The trout know it - the insects, which graced the waters during balmy Spring days, have been replaced by other species of mayflies and caddis. These are the evening insects and they will be with us for the next few months. They start to emerge as the shadows lengthen over the pools and runs of my favorite freestone rivers, the Millers and the EB. They were there tonight on the EB.

My little gem, the Slant Rock Pool which is classic dry fly water if there ever was any, was slow tonight. One bow came to my Harrop Hairwing Dun so I moved up to the Bliss. With the same fly I began to work the water from the mid section heading upstream, casting that dry and taking an upstream step every few casts.

The rises began. It was a slow, casual sip of the surface which reminded me of Millers River browns and not the EB's slam bang rainbows. That's because THEY WERE BROWNS!!! I took four on that Harrop dry and failed to entice the rest before I decided to call it a night.

The emerging insects were large. A dusky caddis and a dusky mayfly. My offering actually looked like the mayfly as they drifted together in mid pool!!

The evening rise is what I live for. Everything before hand in April and for most of May is a warm up act. Let the shadows fall on the water, let the insects begin to hatch and let the trout begin to rise. You can have the rest. I will not need it!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NOW For The Millers And An Odd Fish

What a difference a year makes!! Last year at this time we were praying for rain which really never came. Now things are perfect on this river. Although the flow topped the 400cfs level yesterday it is now on the way down which will give us the best mid June flows since 2007 and it's reasonable to suggest that these flows will last through the weekend at least. The browns are working the surface so get to them!!

I've had stoneflies on the brain (an annual June affliction) and evenings on the EB and photos like the one above only reinforce it. This fly, dropped into the heads of pools and danced around the glassy tailouts, will cause trout to lose caution and smash this imitation. Don't leave home without it!!

The "Odd Fish". This happened this past Sunday while guiding two fellows on the lower Millers. We brought a fish to the net which at first defied description. It was 9 to 10 inches long. If it was 4 to 6 inches we would of known the species. It was the LARGEST Atlantic Salmon smolt that I've seen on this river. Smolt stage salmon are usually in the 12cm to 15cm (4-6 inch) range. This fellow was WAY over that. Now, a quick web check revealed that the last parr stocking in this river was in 2008. Correct me if I'm wrong. That means that this fellow was at least three years old. I would assume by it's size that it was older. All parr stocking for the last 15 years has been done in Royalston which means that this fish may have been heading to sea as a very large 3 year old or as an older fish. Anyway, it was a surprise and it was released quickly.

The Millers season is just beginning!!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

An EB Evening And A Word On The Millers

Tuesday evening and I'm heading for the EB for a few hours by myself. Between guiding and filling fly orders I find myself without the usual casting time. This would be the quick fix!!

The guy who likes to throw sticks into the Swimming Hole Pool for his black lab was there so I headed down to the Bliss Pool where I found two women and three dogs. Ok, down to Slant Rock. I was in the water at 5:30 and I had the place to myself UNTIL two fly fishers showed up at the head of the run and began to walk through the BEST holding areas. Now, these guys were fishing by the book and by that I mean they were nymphing which is ok BUT this run screams DRY FLIES!! I took two on a Harrop deer hair dun before I gave up and headed back to the Bliss Pool.

The dogs and the ladies were gone and I had this beautiful pool all to myself. I've had stoneflies-on-the-brain since Memorial Day so tonight I would work the cure with a size 10 dry stonefly.

I took thirteen out of that pool, all rainbows except that 16 inch brown that had the color of butter in a frying pan. The stonefly was beaten to death. I had a ball!!

The Millers - there are fish all over the river BUT they have wised up since early May. It's becoming an early morning/evening game right now and that will last through the Summer. FISH THE EVENINGS and catch some rainbows before they disappear. The Browns?? I bet they are rising as I write this!!