Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, November 6, 2011

After The Snow Storm And The Top River For The Year

Driving down the turn off to the Pipe this morning was like driving through a clear cut zone. Lots of trees and branches down, lots of chain saw work. If you wondered why you can't get a flow reading for the Swift the simple reason is that the antenna at the gauge is resting on the ground. Who knows when that will get fixed. The flow is high with just the tip of the pipe showing. That is a +250cfs flow if my memory serves me.

The flow is one thing but the tree debris in the river is another. I with I had taken my camera to record this although I believe the trees and limbs will be there for a while. The short pipe stretch is graced with a large tree that broke in two. There are other "new arrivals" up and down the river and I would just as soon leave them there. This river can stand more trout cover and more woody debris (bug food), especially the former and certainly the latter. Lets hope no well intentioned soul decides he's going to spend a day doing "stream improvements".

Over the last two years I've rated my three rivers, the Millers, EB and the Swift for their yearly performance. In 2009 the EB was the best, followed by the high water Millers and the flooded out Swift. In 2010 the order was reversed. The Swift won by being a refuge during the worst heat wave/drought that I can remember. 2011??? It's the SWIFT. It was not a runaway decision.. The Millers and the EB fished well up through early July but fell victim to another drought and heat wave for most of July and August. Then came Irene!! The Millers hasn't seen a 400cfs day since August 28 and Irene killed the access to the EB and it's Fall stocking. Meanwhile, the Swift just purred along from 45 to 120 cfs all Summer and provided great fishing. Ok, it has an unfair advantage being a tailwater but ......who cares!! It's just a great place to spend a Summer day working over highly educated trout!!!!

I'll be there this winter, half frozen and thinking of sulphurs and short sleeves!!


Tom said...

I was there this morning as well. Unfortunately I received my first ever swift river skunking today. Crazy how much damage occurred in that last storm. The storm managed to change a few of my preferred spots, but above route 9 is much improved.

Greg said...

Thanks for the honesty Tom.
Happened to me today as well.

My new plan is to tie a flies to my shoelaces. They seem to prefer my feet over my casted offerings. Ha

I found a couple ole regulars to be helpful with advice. Learning a little more each trip. This was my second visit.

Amazing how the time flies on such a little stretch of water.


ps ...I saw a sign in a couple yards on River rd. about saving a dam on the Swift. What's that about?

Millers River Flyfisher said...


There is a movement by some folks to save a dam in Bondsville from being torn dam. The dam is in tough shape and should be removed. These folks are saying that it's removal would lower the water level in the C&R sections which is baloney!!


Anonymous said...

The owners of the upper Bondsville dam, Belchertown Land Trust, are under State orders to either repair or remove the dam, as engineering studies have deemed the dam to be unsafe. It will require funding from the govt or private sector as the Trust does not have the money to comply with the State order. If the dam is repaired, there will be the need to raise money on an annual basis for maintenance and inspections.

A group has been created to have the dam repaired and have threatened to sue the trust if plans are made for it's removal. A good portion of the small lake behind the dam will narrow and become part of the river's flow, but not all of it as the elevation flattens out some in this area. These opponents to the dam removal lose some of their credibility with some misinformation and misguided accusations. Quote: "the most beautiful, clean, and pristine NATURAL river in our state"; "to even consider destroying a river to turn it into a stream" Pictures from the 1949 Chicopee Aqueduct project are posted on their facebook page, showing the river in low flow with some extensive earth excavation underway, with the claim that "this is how the river will look if the dam is removed".

I'll end this long "comment" with a quote from an opponent:
"Trout unlimited are a bunch of self serving, NRA nuts who also like to fish, and care nothing for the thousands and thousands of other animals and dozens of other varietys of fish that would be displaced if it were drained".

Mike C said...

Greg..are you the Greg I think you might be?

Greg said...

Well, I can tell you I am the Greg I think I am.

Yea Mike's me. ;-)

I'm guessing my success stories give me away. lol

Thanks for that dam info guys.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Your quoting of the dam preservationists shows the misinformation that they spew.

TU = The NRA

"Thousands and thousands of other animals (no species listed) and dozens of fish would be displaced (again no listing) if it (the dam I presume) was drained.

"No animals will be displaced." Forget that nonsense. They will not be able to provide data to support that claim. "Dozens of fish...." Again, a pipe dream used to scare the unknowing. One has the feeling that these folks didn't give a damn about "species" until they felt that they were threatened by the removal of their pond.

Without the dam this river will still support kayak and canoe traffic. It may open additional wading areas that will be a benefit. Dam removal will not threaten the C&R sections.

Remove the dam!!

I believe that TU and the Western Ma Fly fishers have a stake in this game. They should be active if they are not!!

Mike C said...

Since it is that Greg...we need to head out there together to double up on the flies on our shoelaces so we can increase the odds of a hookup.

Anonymous said...

Try nymphing guys. It worked pretty well for me the last time I fished the Swift.


Mike C said...

I was thinking of trying some hot spot nymphs (size 18). Can I get by with 5x tippet or do I need 6x?

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Mike C,

5x will do in heavy water with #18 hot spots. 6x when the water is lower.

Mike C said...

Thanks Ken

Millers River Flyfisher said...

The gauge is up and working and it shows a 209cfs flow. This is high due to the spillway. How long that continues will be anyone's guess. I think that it may be the future for the next two months. The rains of Irene and the recent storms have a delayed effect on the Quabbin. It takes a while to fill up and then it takes a while to empty out while many streams without the "Pond" get down to fishable levels quicker. This 200 + or - level is OK for this river. Trout are to be had. Fish deep Swift Serendipities or HotSpots deep and Pin Heads when you see constant surface action.

It just seems to work during the "dark months".