Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB
Fly Fishing The Millers - With over 30 years of fly fishing this river I will claim more knowledge and fish caught than anyone. There are over 40 miles of river and I will take you to the best sections and if you want to sections that never see another angler. Don't be fooled by those who say the Millers is a Spring and Fall river. I'll show you how to have great Summer action. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe this river. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go to catch trout. After a trip you will too!! Solitude and trout IS the EB. The Swift - 20 trout days are not uncommon on this river if you know what to do and use. I'll show the way and you catch the trout. RATES - Full Day (6 hours) = $150.00 for one, $225 for two (lunch included). Half Day (three hours) $90.00 for one, $155.00 for two. Beginners Class - 3 hours ffor $90.00, all use of rods lines, reels included.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Miller/EB Season Wrap Up




Yes, that's right. I'm wrapping up the Millers for the season. At 1500cfs it is pretty safe to say that the flows will not get down to the flows that we have normally had at this time of the year. I looked back on my October posts from 2007 and 2008 and read about evenings with normal flows and rising browns. Not this year. And the idea of chasing freshly stocked rainbows does nothing for me.

Ditto for the EB. It's flows drop quicker than the Millers BUT Hurricane Irene hurt this river and closed the access road. Jack, a contributor to this blog, found out that the DFW will not stock the EB this Fall because of access problems. I think that this will not bode well for the Spring. Roads are not repaired in the Winter so the same excuse might hold up next May. Lets hope not.

So that leaves the Swift which seems to be slowly rising. It's always a delayed reaction behind that dam. It takes a while for that "pond" to fill up. Let's hope that we don't get into an overflow situation. That could last for months!!!!

It's been a strange season!!!

Ken

30 comments:

Scott said...

Color me disappointed. Have some free time on Friday and was hoping to make a run to the Royalston section of the Millers as I'll be in Leominster until 9ish.

I'm guessing at over 700 cfs it will be unfishable. Ideas ?

Thanks,
Scott

Anonymous said...

I'm still holding onto some hope of fishing there again before the leaves fall; but the rain coming tonight and Tuesday will most likely end that.

Al

Falsecast said...

I fished the Swift on Sat with 2 big Bows in hand on the same Hopper. The naturals slowly going away and water was rising to the high end of fishable. I bail on it at when it gets over 220 cfs.

Hope you are wrong about the EB. The Squannakook and Nissitissit will be getting a fall stocking soon.

browntrout said...

The EB is done. Boulders block the entrance to the gorge to shield the massive sinkhole caused by Irene. This has NOT been one of our better seasons for sure weahter wise. Now beyond pond fishing, the only games in town are the squannacook, swift, nissi or farmington.
-BT

Falsecast said...

Don't ignore the Salmon run on the Stillwater and, when the water mellows out, the Quinnapoxet has good small stream Brook and spring holds in Oct/Nov.

I went up the spillway on Sat and the water was warm. Very few fish in the pool below.

scott said...

Appreciate all the help fellas.
Is there really a salmon run anymore since the beaver dams or has that changed in the last year or so ?

I was at the Quinnie the other day and aside from 1 little brownie no luck in about 1-1/2 hrs. I am reminded when I fish there (a stream that I adore by the way) of how the DEP and TU's policies can ruin a good thing. That stream surely has greater potential than it shows.

I'll try and keep the faith, perhaps the Stillwater is worth a shot or maybe that little hideaway brook I fished as a wee lad...

Thanks again guys !

Scott

Millers River Flyfisher said...

It certainly has been a tought year. The smaller river mentioned above are still higher than their historical flows for this time of year BUT they will drop quickly if the rains hold off. Let's hope that the Swift doesn't spill over.

One waits for certain seasons. The Spring, with it's high flows and it's hordes, doesn't appeal to me much anymore. It's the Summer and the Fall that I look forward to and this year it was a bust. I remember that cloudy October day in '09 when the EB could not have fished better. I was looking forward to another day like that.

One more month until the "Dark Season". Let's hope the the Swift holds up.

Ken

Tony said...

Anyone have any insight or recent reports of the Stillwater? Planning to head out there with a buddy on Friday to stretch out the 2 hand rods, and get them ready for the Anadromous action heating up in New York. It's one of the few rivers wide enough with sustainable flows to wade in, but I'm wondering about water height and fish reports if anyone has some...
Let me know!!
Tight Lines,

Tony

Millers River Flyfisher said...

A THOUSAND BROWNS in S. Royalston??

First, the Millers in S. Royalston isn't on the Fall stocking list. Second, why would they stock more browns in the FALL then in the SPRING (1000 vs 800)? Third, the TU Chapter mentions one day of stocking, not two. Fourth, the EB is old news. Fifth, are you the Chris that I banned from this blog last Spring? The ban is still in effect. Go away.

browntrout said...

Chris,
When you say " the gorge will not be stokced but the lower section will", do you mean the lower catch n release section ABOVE Knightville dam or the waters down BELOW the dam? I was told directly by MA F&W that they could not access the lowere C&R due to the amount of woody debris still on the roads in that stretch, so now you have me curious.

Concerning the Stillwater, our state has done a terrible job managing a potentially great small fishery. First the beaver issue. They run rampant there and all of their dams really affect rising flows when the rain comes. They also have affected many of the spawning stretches. Secondly, the lack of a flyfishing C&R section. Worm dunkers and snaggers are everywhere throughout the river and mercilessly crush those spawning fish. There are no limits to the kill rate that I am familiar with. Just horrible how our state fisheries are run.

Tony said...

I'm with you on that one Brown Trout...so much potential to that river, I've had some scathing response letters from the Ma F&W in regards to my constructive opinions about their stocking points, frequency and so on...they just want a put and take fish farm in thus state with little regard to a manageable fishery...
Tight lines!

browntrout said...

Ken,

I must have been submitting my response the same time as you were, so my apologies to my questions for Chris. Clearly, it sounded way too good to be true.
Apparently he likes to try and get a "rise" out of us!
-BT

Falsecast said...

I haven't been up there in a few months. Sometimes the run is very late, like Dec. I am hoping that the high water blows out the beaver dams and if there are stacking fish they'll move in quickly.

The Quinnie does get killed in the Spring, but try walking way back in the Oxbow. There are some nice holes in there that will have fall fish. I actually like catching the small browns as they are wild.


I also have hope, and have heard, the dam is going to come down. This will make the river more viable for LLS. Now if they ever had a bottom release from the upper resevoir, you could have 8 miles of great water, perfect for a TMA as most of the land is already protected. Alas, it will never happen.

Anonymous said...

The stocking report for the Millers is accurate There were 1000 Browns put into the Bears Den, and another stocking is slated for tomorrow @10 starting at Holtshire road bridge down through the lower C&R. TU and the DFW coordinated this. If you want to right off the Millers for the year, that's your choice, but I'll be out fishing....

Scott said...

Falsecast,

I too share your sentiment with the wild Browns (& Brookies) as well as how much better the Quinnie could be especially as I'm only 20 minutes away. I spend a lot of time casting to empty water, but again I suppose that is the lament of the Massachusetts Fly fisherman. I find that like you, if I hike off the beaten path
I can find a few trout that have escaped the butchers.
In any event, thank you again. This is why I enjoy this Blog so much - good group of guys here Ken. Keep up the faith and above all, good work !

Scott

Anonymous said...

Argh, just deleted an attempted post. to those with the Stillwater questions, i stopped while getting in a workout (bike ride) the other day (monday) and actually could see a fish in the flats above the res - looked to be a nice salmon from what I could see... so I'd give it a go, this rain should be a real boon to that fishery. You just have to brave the folks who are, um, less concerned about the fishery in the years to come... On a positive about the millers, if it's hard to fish or not fishable at this point, I'd say great to the stocking. that means potentially some good streamer fishing later this fall/winter if conditions improve.

Happy Fishing
Will

PS - thanks for the fun this year. I just had twins, well, my wife and I did... this limited fishing time (as you would imagine :)) and reading folks posts on here has been a nice way to feel connected to some of my favorite rivers even when i can not get out on them!

Tony said...

In regards to all these fish being dunked into the Millers, any word about the Wendell/Erving/Lower C&R area being stocked??

to the last "Anonymous"
I share the same feelings about the post buddy! Between work and my little guy running around it's tough for me to get a day in on the water. So being able to read up on the current conditions, see some pictures and here from real guys, real fishermen, real enthusiasts keeps me feeling like im still in the loop!
...Now if only I could get a few good tugs in by the end of the year...

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Well, here's the news. The DFW has stocked 1000 browns at the Bears Den. The question is WHY???? In the last eight years the stocking has been 800 browns in MAY when we have many months to fish for them. And "acceptable conditions" (flow rate) were a condition for stocking. Why stock ( a bucket dump instead of a float stock) MORE browns in October, during the highest flow for brown trout stocking EVER and we have LESS time to fish for them? What will be the survival rate of these fish when we get past Winter? We had over-winter survival of Spring stocked fish on some years. One thinks that these "newbies' don't stand a chance of making it to the Spring.

Last Spring it was easy to take 20 browns after the stocking. I guess some who fashion themselves as fly fishers are looking for nothing more than that. It's a numbers game. What we need is something logical and sensible and long lasting, not the "dump em and fish for them" mentality that this stocking encourages. This is not what I envisioned when I got the DFW to resume brown trout stocking on the Millers in 2003!!!

I don't like fishing or guiding over freshly stocked trout. It takes no skill. It might feel nice after a long, cold winter but we've been fishing all Summer. For me, that cheap thrill is empty.

I've always hated the Fall stocking. Now they're wasting browns.

Ken

Ken

browntrout said...

Ken,

If there is any upside to this it may be that hopefully many of the worm dunkers have put their rods away for the season. I generally find more than 1/2 as many bait fishermen in the fall as compared to spring. And who knows, being somewhat of an optomist, maybe some of these fish will hold over until spring. Keep the faith, thats all we can do. BTW, do you think possibly that this allotment were the result of fish they had planned to drop into the gorge but could not? They did say they would needto re-allocate them somewhere, although those fish in the fall EB stocking are generally more rainbows than anything.
-BT

Millers River Flyfisher said...

BT,

You are correct to assume that these fish were not meant for the EB.

I am trying to be optimistic but this kind of stocking, it seems to me, only encourages a bait dunking mentality. It's an opportunity to catch a ton of freshly stocked fish that anyone can do. The only difference is that we throw them back. I would gladly fish over a few wise trout than catch the dummies right off the truck. I think that you know what I mean. Some times I think that I belong to another time and place where difficult fish were the prize.

I've started to put together the data from the survey that we have gathered this year. I honestly believe that real fly fishers for trout want a stream bred fish and not a truck load for target practice.

Ken

Ken

Falsecast said...

Perhaps, maybe wishful thinking, but perhaps these fish will be tough to catch because of high water, survive and "wild up" by spring. I agree with Ken's sentiments about freshly stocked fish, but I think a fish that has survived the winter and is on the spring bugs has aclimated to the river and is fun to catch.

Who knows maybe they'll spawn in the tribs as the water comes down this fall :-) Like I said, wishful thinking.

Bob O said...

The Quabbin is already in an 'overflow' condition, with water coming over the spillway into the Swift River. Flow has risen again, from 165 to 177 cfs. The lake must be in its fall 'turnover' because the water flowing from the bubbler seems much warmer than earlier in the fall. Or perhaps the wind out of the north is piling up warmer water at the dam and pushing it out the bubbler.
Bob

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Falsecast,

Stocked fish need time to get accustomed to their environment to survive the Winter which is the season, according to Dr. Robert Behnke, that kills the most trout in a freestone river. Spring stocked fish, as adults, have a slim chance of survival but it happens on the Millers. It won't happen with these Fall stocked browns.

Bob O,

Your "turnover" theory may be correct.

Anonymous said...

Salmon were reported to be in the Stillwater after the big rain on Sept 24/25. After another 2 rains, I was on the water this morning. The fact that there were no other cars parked gave a clue on how the fishing is. I caught some parr, fall fish and even 1 pickerel that might have been 6". The water was at a nice level, a bit cloudy from yesterday's rain, but I couldn't find any salmon. I saw no signs of any redds.

There's no rain in the forecast for the next week and this water will be low again before then. Wherever the salmon are holding in the river, they will be seeing some serious hardware thrown at them this weekend.

Al

Tony said...

Fished the Stillwater this morning no fish didn't see any either. Hit the swift in the afternoon had one fish released when I touched the leader on a size 18 pheasant tail nymph between the bubble and foot bridge.2 takes on a red serendipty size 22 same area and 2 takes on a green foam hopper in the Y pool. Hopefully fish will start running next week on the Stillwater and the flows at the millers will calm down. I'm waiting for sub 450 or so!

Tony said...

Hey Ken,

I'm looking at your fly patterns on the Left margin of your site (pretty sharp I may add). The sizes you offer are those the sizes you typically fish yourself as well?

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Tony,

Those are the only sizes that I fish especially on the Swift. Those are the only flies that I fish on the Swift. I did very well with those flies today.

Ken

Tony said...

Thanks Ken! Yeah I had a good time on Friday with the Serendipity (your pattern type) a Pheasant Tail tied super sparse with no dubbed thorax, and a zebra midge. Also a size 12 hopper in the Y-pool up against the rocks. Had a few hits, but only leadered one fish.

Thanks!!
I'll get to tying!!

Kozman said...

Fishing report: Fished the Bears Den on the Millers Saturday afternoon. I landed about 15 brown. Looked like all but two were from the recent stocking (fins were curled). It took a bit of time to find the right fly before the fishing turned on so it was a little more challenging than fishing at a hatchery. I gave my buddy the same fly I was using, and he still was only able to land a couple, so I think the browns have acclimated enough to where one can replace the word "catching" with the word "fishing" on this river now.

tbooth said...

10/9 - Had a great day on the Quini and Stillwater. Landed a number of big fat bows and a few smaller ones. All were released of course.