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, March 31, 2013

The Swift Comes Alive (That Means Stocked)



As you probably know the Swift got some trout last week and as occasional contributor Kozman said you just had to find them. Yup, they were ganged up in deep runs in the Guage/Pipe section were I fished late Friday afternoon. It was funny but the Pipe run was empty of trout (at least for me) and I waited around until the lone bait guy left the tree pool. He had caught one bow in his time there. I waded in and took 8 the last hour fishing to a pod of trout in the deepest part. A size 18 hotspot 18 inches below a micro shot did the trick.

We hear about bait and lure fishermen cleaning out rivers but over the years the vast majority of trout taken in this section are taken by fly fishers. I've seen two trout taken by other methods this year and that's not because of a lack of non fly fishers. Just an observation....

What I'd like to see is a stocking practice that scatters the fish on the Swift. Some years some sections have plenty of fish, the next year they are scarce. Again, an observation.

I've got the Millers on my Brain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ken

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Some Soft Hackles To Kill The Time



What's going on? A week ago we had only remnants of snow piles to deal with. Then a new storm comes through and dumps six inches on us with a cold blast that had preserved that snow. In the meantime we tie flies and I have soft hackles on the brain. Here are a few: A brown soft hackle is what I call it and it's a good early season soft hackle especially when Hendericksons start moving around. The color of this fly is perfect for that insect.

Hook - size 12 standard wet or dry hook
Body - brown floss(hard to find)or brown ultra fine dubbing.
Rib - copper or gold wire
Hackle - natural turkey flat tips. Place a SMALL bunch on top of the hook, points extending beyond the eye about 3/4 of the hook Shank. Secure to the hook and fold and tie back towards the tail. Trim butt ends and dub in a thorax if you want.

I included a photo of a worked over turkey flat.

The next is a generic Sulphur/Cahiill/any light color soft hackle.

Hook - size 12/14 standard wet or dry hook
Body - yellow floss
Hackle - light brown hen hackle (thorax is optional.

So, that's what I've been doing this week. Word has it that the Swift was stocked last week. I'll try it late tomorrow afternoon if it's not snowing!!!!!

Ken

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The End Of The Connecticut River Salmon Restoration Project



As many of you already know, the 40+ year effort to "restore" Atlantic Salmon to the Connecticut River system ended in 2012 as the Feds pulled the plug on this "doomed" project.

I placed two of the above words with quotation marks for a reason. The project was "doomed" because you can't "restore" something that really, in all reality, was never there in the first place.

The were no millions of salmon surging up the Connecticut River in early colonial times. There were millions of shad and herring but the salmon was a rarity. Why do I say that? Because salmon remains do not show up in the archaeological record in the Connecticut Rive basin or anywhere else in Southern New England. Every other anadromous species does show up in the areas where indigenous people fished for them.

So what about the stories that came down through history of salmon abundance on the Connecticut. At worst these were tall tales to showcase this new land and to draw settlers from England and at best they were species confusion (shad became salmon).

Even the tale of the salmon's sudden disappearance is fishy. The first dams were built and in just a handful of years (by 1814) the salmon had disappeared from the ENTIRE watershed. First, why is the Connecticut River the only major salmon river to loose it's salmon so quickly? Other major rivers were dammed but held onto their runs for decades. The Penobscot had dams but still had salmon runs. Spawning habitat existed in the lower reaches of the Connecticut below the dams but no salmon survived there??? Shad and herring survived! Maybe there were no salmon in the Connecticut.

For more on this I suggest that you google "Catherine Carlson NPS Archeology Program" for a very good read. Carlson runs with the theory that the whole salmon restoration was run by a faith in folklore without any REAL scientific (archaeological)facts.

Now we can get busy saving the fish that have always been there like shad and herring.

Ken

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Is Here!!!



The last measurable snow to hit the greater Northampton area was in early February. That 20 inches is mostly a memory now. That can't be said about central and eastern Ma which has been hit with snowstorms for the last few weekends. 30 inches at Blue Hills!!!

Our streams are open and with temperatures climbing past 50 we have one of the first aquatic insects to make the scene. Little gray/black stoneflies are covering everything that's near open running water. In this case it's the Mill River in Northampton. These small stoneflies, (size 20) are a sure sign that the back of Winter is broken. We may have another storm but Spring sun will make short order of it.

In another month......

Ken

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Post Evening Sun And The Fly I Skipped Over



First, We had a great Sunday at Charlies Evening Sun Fly Shop. The house was packed for my presentation, maybe too packed, but we got it off and it was great. Flyfishers: Charlies is the place to get what you need whether it's equipment or advice. I have bought rods from Charlie and have asked for advice. I'm a better flyfisher for that!!! Do your business here!!!

During my presentation a slide was shown which I kind of skipped past. It was a photo of a fly that I first tied 40 years ago. I caught lots of fish with it. NOTE: hatchery trout were as dumb 40 years ago as they are today but we don't want to use the same flies that caught all of those fish. Why? Because it's kind of "incorrect" to use a traditional "wet fly". What does it represent?? Consider that thought when you cast your wooley buggers this season!!

This fly in the photo has no name. It is a traditional wet fly. It works when I use it and I should use it more often. This year I will!

Hook - wet fly hook 12 - 14
Body - yellow dubbing
Rib - tying thread (brown)
Wing - brown grizzly hackle tips. I dyed these with RIT brown dye
Hackle - soft brown hen hackle

Another fast to choppy water emerger pattern. Late May and June evenings when the caddis are dancing is when I use it. I've caught trout decades ago with it. It still works.

Why did I skip past it during the presentation? I thought I might be too "incorrect"!!!!

Ken