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!!
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 5:20 PM