Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, February 27, 2012

The "Revisionists" Are Out There - Renaming Of Millers River Pools

It started in 2004 when a "local" decided to "rename" some famous pools on the upper river (Bears Den) of the Millers. It was strange BECAUSE these places ALREADY had names that stretched back a half century!!!! I thought that baloney sank without a trace but it's back with an internet presence. Out of nowhere came the name "McKenzie's Pool" in place of the "Gorge Pool". Where did that name come from?? I had 20 years of fishing that river(at that time) and I had never heard of it. Neither did any of my local fly fishers friends who fished with me "back in the day". The late Bob Roleau, a local commercial fly tier and instructor NEVER called it "McKenzies Pool". When researching my Millers guide I fact checked the name of that pool and he said "It's the Gorge Pool and we called it that back in the late 1930's" Rodney Flagg of Flagg's Flies backed him up: "My dad and I fished the Gorge Pool in the 40's and 50's until they stopped stocking the river". Red Sox great Ted Williams and Heavyweight Champion Jack Sharkey, who fished this river in the 40's and 50's, would NEVER recognize the name "McKenzie". They would know the name "Gorge Pool".

The McKenzie label and any other labels are 21st creations. They lessen the legacy of this river that goes back at least 80 years and add unnecessary confusion to new generations of fly fishers.

Why do they do it?? Your guess is as good as mine. Me? I like a sense of local angling history. It's important and I don't feel the need to make it up. It's like renaming the Y Pool on the Swift and calling it "Kens Pool". We fished the Gorge Pool long before anyone tried to rename it!!

I'm glad to see that the Gorge Pool is now a favorite section. Since I first wrote about it in 2008 I've received many emails about this place. I've brought many fly fishers there too. If Ted Williams were still alive he would know where I was talking about. "McKenzie Pool"??? Ted wouldn't know where that was!!

The above photo is of the GORGE POOL!!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Midging On The Swift

I was thinking about this all week long - midging rainbows on the Swift. Let's face it, it's February and we have the chance for rising fish. I got a sniff of this two Saturdays ago with a few trout brought to the net but the fly selection was off the mark. I fine tuned that selection with some #22 through #26 in a simple recipe. Stripped peacock with a tiny tuft of CDC at the top. It worked.

First, I had to wait for the midges to start hatching. At 10:00am the trout seemed dormant. At noon they began to move around because that early afternoon hatch was beginning. At 2:00pm the trout were gently slurping the surface and I took a few. It isn't easy. My first offering brought fish up but they turned away. Reducing the size by one size brought success.

The above photo is of the Y Pool at 10:00am. It was EMPTY!!!!! You may never see that again on a sunny Saturday morning. The salmon are still there (caught one) but they are fewer and they seem a bit shopworn.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

A February Morning On The Swift

It was a non hurried start this past Saturday morning. First a haircut and then breakfast at my favorite spot in Northampton and then off to the Swift.

The 2 inch snowstorm never materialized and neither did the mob that usually fills this river up. The fear of snow may have scared them off because at no time did this parking lot for the upper section have more than 8 - 10 cars.

The fishing - I started out swinging a #12 partridge and orange and took one salmon and lost another. I like swinging flies for these fish instead of deep drifting because it reminds me of REAL salmon fishing (sea run Atlantics). They will rise through the water column and take that fly just below the surface, breaking the surface as they strike. It's fun!!

Now for the rainbows (remember them??). One can expect at this time of year a mid day hatch of midges. Many consider any tiny fly a "midge" but I'm talking Chironomidae. I believe that is what the few dozen trout were rising to at the overflow arm of the Y Pool. I took two rainbows and lost two others fishing a #24 dark grey midge pattern with a dark grey cdc wing ON THE SURFACE!!!!!

The days are getting longer. It's mid February and the bulk of Winter is behind us.

I'm ready for Spring and fishing the Millers!!


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday On The Swift!

It was COLD on this Super Bowl Sunday. The 350 or so cfs flow was wadable but I didn't catch anything. I have great faith in an orange soft hackle swinging just below the surface on this mid 350 cfs flow. It had worked before when the flows were wadable as today and salmon came to the net. This time the salmon and the trout didn't want any of it even though the flows were perfect. I saw no rods bent with a fish in play. One nice lady hiker said that she saw a trout taken on the bubbler arm. "Bill", the regular ( a true fish hawk) spent his time on the upper overflow arm. Another angler said that he lost a 20+ inch laker drifting a large streamer in that spot.

The large fish (salmon/lakers) are there. The trout are scattered. A few warm days will find the trout working the surface above Route 9. They were scattered on the surface today.

I saw two birds building a nest this morning in early February. Things are changing!!