Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here Comes Irene - There Goes The Fishing

I'm not going to rain on anyone's parade. Hurricane Irene will do that starting Saturday. The forecast states the possibility (where the smart money is) of 5 to 10 inches of rain in Central New England for this weekend. Here's what it means for the three rivers that I write about:

The Millers - A flow in excess of 2000cfs is a real possibility. In June of '08 a 3 to 4 inch storm drove the river from 250cfs to 1600cfs in 30 hours. It took a few weeks for it to come down. The same happened in '09. This river doesn't like to give up it's water!! Wadable water may have to wait until September.

The EB - It will soar up like a rocket and then drop like a rock! In the Summer of '09 I saw an 1800cfs flow fall to 500cfs in about three days. Lack of big tribs means a quick drop in the flow.

The Swift - The above photo is of the spillway in July of "09 when the overflow brought the river up to 700cfs where it stayed until the water stopped going over the spillway. It took a few weeks, at least. The key for this storm is whether there is enough unused capacity in Quabbin to collect the rainfall and still not breach the spillway. Also remember that Quabbin overflow is always a delayed reaction - the "pond" has to fill up first and then the river rises. That could be days AFTER the hurricane passes. Also realize that the rain that falls ON the Catch & Release areas will be of little consequence. It's what happens behind the dam that counts. My prediction - a 5 to 10 inch storm will cause overflow and the Swift will go up. I hope I'm wrong!

Check the stream gauge links at the bottom of this blog for updates.

Have fun tying flies!!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Two Days - Two Very Different Rivers

My Friday night plan was to hit the EB early Saturday morning. At 5:30 Saturday morning I checked the online gauge and saw that the river had gone from about 120cfs early Friday evening to just a hair below 600cfs by midnight but had now dropped to 445cfs. That's fishable but I should have known better. You can't have that kind of flow increase without the dreaded effect. As I drove down the access road the river had the color of a Dunkin Donuts coffee, one cream, no sugar!! The submerged rocks, usually easily seen, were hidden in the murky flow. I had left the big, heavy flashy stuff at home because, well, I don't like to use it at this time of year. So I spent a couple of hours working a dull hares ear dropper below a a large Wulff dry. No runs, no hits and no errors!! I did see one health rise which let me know that something had survived that hot, dry July. I'll be back.

Sunday morning found me heading east on RT9 for a few hours on the Swift. 8am and the Y Pool lot has 8 cars but that place was not my destination. Neither was the PIPE. I took the right onto River Road and drove a few hundred yards to my "spot".

I love this place in the Summer. It doesn't have the number of trout as the two previously mentioned areas but that means it doesn't have the fishermen! The thin water means that the trout will be VERY difficult. That's OK because it gives me what I want - the chance to fish a dry fly slowly upstream in what amounts to my own private spring creek.

The flow was in the mid 40 range, down from the 120 flow of the previous week. That made the fishing even more difficult. I took two and lost another two in two hours and had a ball.

I could of stayed longer but my grandson's birthday party trumped any thought of that. I'll be back this week in the late afternoon.

I had plans to hit the Millers after the party but the thunderstorms in the air and in the forecast for the evening killed that idea. I'll be there too!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quiet Places On The Swift

I've been spending a few late afternoons during the week this past month plying the Swift. So, it seems, is everyone else!! The Y Pool should have a reservation system installed and the Pipe has it's usual crew plus it's been bombarded with hardware tossers. This leads me to find quiet places. The Gauge Stretch is nice to fish but this season it just seems "off". Still good but not like last year. From the Gauge to the Crib Dam is reliable and like the previous two spots it doesn't get hammered much except on weekends. Are these the only spots? No!

I'll let you guess where I took the above photos. The water is low and gin clear. The rainbows hold behind the occasional rock or log and sip tiny offerings from the surface. Careless wading or poor casting will send them running. A slow upstream approach fishing with dries will do the trick. They'll take most surface flies from mayfly to ant imitations and they will rip line from your reel when the hook is set. Friday afternoon I took five 'bows and a brookie on this quite water, watching them rise to the surface through water that seemed like liquid air.

Will I find this place packed with anglers because of this entry? I don't think so. First, my description fits a lot of spots on this river. Second, the average Swift River fly fisher has his or her favorite spot and they will fish there regardless of the crowds.

Am I writing about a certain section of this trout filled river OR am I writing about ANY place on the Swift where you can fish alone?? I'll let you decide!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Summer Evning On The Swift - Cut Short

All day long we had blue skies but at 5pm I was flying down RT 9 to beat the T-storms that seemed to be hovering in all directions. My three hours of planned fishing ended in an hour of fishing BUT it was a good hour!

The Y Pool lot was FULL but nobody was at the Pipe lot. I've heard that there's lot of fish above Rt 9 but that means lots of fisherman. I had the Pipe and beyond to myself and that was great.

First, I caught a bunch of those 8 inch escapees on my Swift Serendipity. Thunder rattled close by as I moved downstream to the "tree pool". Another four 'bows, in the 16 inch club, smacked that Serendipity. But then the skies opened up, the lightning flashed and I was out of there.

I saw something last night that I have seen on occasion on the Swift. A trout will make a beeline of over five feet to take a fly. We have been taught that trout really need to have that subsurface offering bounced off of their nose but that is not the case. The bow TRAVELED to take the tiny serendipity. It was great to see it in that skinny water!

High Summer will slowly drift into Late Summer and then into Early Fall. Swift Serendipities and Pinheads will will get the job done as the seasons slowly change on the Swift. It will be a great time!!