Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mid Week Evening On The EB And A Word On The Millers

This past Wednesday evening was prime for the EB. The flow was perfect, it was cloudy (perfect)but not raining, I was the only one there and the trout were hitting my surface offerings. Now, there wasn't a full blown hatch going on just the usual scattering of seasonal mayflies mixed with some large stoneflies. There were few trout that were rising but enough to keep it interesting.

The best places were at the head of pools where I caught most of the 11 that took the fly. No violent strikes just a sip off of the surface. And it didn't matter what fly I used. A size 10 stimulator worked early followed by a size 12 hair (deer hair) wing Adams and then at the end a size 14 oliive comparadun. And I guess that I hit the cycle because I took browns, 'bows and two brookies all on dries. It was a great evening.

What about now? Last nights storms blew the EB out, period. It also backed up the Millers for who knows how long. It's been three weeks since the Millers was at 500 cfs so plan on another week for this river. The EB will drop quickly and then level off.

While I'm on the topic of the Millers: Don't listen to the sources that say that this river will offer trout fishing only until late June or early July. I've had great trout fishing (brown trout) throughout the Summer for 30 years. As I said in my Millers Guide, if you fish the Millers, or most freestone streams, at mid day during the heat of Summer you will not be successful. Fish the Millers in the very early morning (4am) or in the evening during the Summer. That's when you will see actively feeding browns. The term "evening rise" has been with us for almost a hundred years. One online source seems to be unaware of freestone Summer conditions. Fish the evenings on the Millers. It's always been great!!!

It's Summer and I look forward to it. Shirtsleeves and balmy evenings and rising trout!!!!

The Swift - Low and COLD. Need I say more.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Thunder And Lighting On The Swift

At noon it was close to 90 degrees and by 5:00 pm the temperature stayed steady with a spike in humidity. I wanted to fish but where to go. The forecast spelled t'storms which would cut out the longest drive to the Millers. I had a score to settle with those rising 'bows on the Swift and I figured that the hot weather would keep the swimming crowd on the EB longer than usual. The Swift was the choice. (55 degree water on THIS day had an influence on the decision).

What was the score that had to be settled? I was skunked on Saturday by trout that seemed to be cruising around picking sulphur emergers when they felt like it. I dreamed of seeing a steady rise. I got THAT and some scary weather.

5:45 found me below RT 9 ready to work some riffles as the skies began to darken to the west. The riffles showed some active surface working trout. The appropriate low lying dry was tied on and I was quickly on to a good fish. It got darker accompanied by the tell-tale booms of thunder but more 'bows were landed.

Don't believe the old saying that trout will stop rising when lightning is in the immediate area. I rose my last fish when the sky exploded above me with a bolt of lightning and that crackling sound that says "get out of here". I did. The skies opened up by 6:45 with buckets of rain with more lightning. I was on the way home.

I took eight rising bows in that short time. All casts were in the 15 to 20 foot range with a sulphur emerger fished on the surface. The score was settled.

This river is full of fish and when I say "this river" I mean below RT 9. It amazes me that so many people still fish only above RT 9 when downstream is so much more interesting. The bait boys have become a fading memory and in a week it will be catch & release. Besides, the hardware guys fish in only one place: the tree pool. The rest is ours!!!

Time to go check out the Millers. That will happen very soon!!


Monday, June 17, 2013

After The Flood - It's the Swift (Of Course)

A fellow named Brad sent me a photo of the Millers looking downstream at the Kempfield section while the flow was at 3700cfs!!!!!!! That was on June 13 and it's now down below 2000cfs which is in the right direction but still too high to do anything but kayaking. Let's give this river a dry week and then see what happens.

The Swift - It has been sublime even with it being the only major river that has been fishable over the weekend. The flow was in the 55cfs range which REALLY brought out the crowd at the Y Pool. I found an isolated spot or two and had wonderful fishing over a steady sulphur hatch. There are a few species that we now label as sulphurs. Basically any mayfly that's yellow or cream. Ephemerella Invaria and Ephemerella Dorothea are the species that we generally call "sulphurs" but now the cream cahill, a steady summer hatch on the Swift, is lumped into the sulphur group. I usually don't care too much because my flies are generic enough to represent a number of insects. What I care about is whether the trout like them and they do.

The EB - Checking the online gauge is misleading for this river. When we get pounded with rain the dam will hold back water and then release it when the downstream flood threat ends. The flow gauge is situated just downstream from the dam. The flow will look outrageous at that spot but the flow miles upstream in the Gorge may be hundreds of cfs lower. That was the case this afternoon when I drove to the Gorge to check it out. I would say the flow was somewhere around 800. Of course when I was there the skies opened up with a heavy downpour and we are supposed to have more storms tonight. I'll keep an eye on this river but my guess is that we will have good flows by Thursday.

I was reading a few posts of mine from June and July of 2009 just to recount the flooding of that year. The Swift ran over 500 cfs in July after running in the 50-60cfs range in June. Will 2013 be a repeat of 2009?? Hope not!!


Friday, June 7, 2013

The EB - Before The Rain

Two things had to be done this past Wednesday night: hit the EB before the monsoon blows the river out and watch the Bruins!!

We did both.

The upper sections had more than the usual number of anglers as it appeared that they wanted to take advantage of the flows. We went downstream a bit and had the place to ourselves.

The short hour and a half trip produced a half dozen browns and 'bows all taken on the surface. Water levels were great, caddis filled the air and the section that my friend and I fished had what appeared to be a steady grey fox spinner fall. I used stoneflies, caddis and a big, scary hair wing Adams. They all took trout with that aggressive, splashy rise of trout chasing caddis. Then it was time for the Bruins.

We made it to the tavern in Willimsburg to catch the end of the first period. This place has a Wednesday special of a glass of craft beer and a burger with fries for $5.00!!! We caught fish and our team won! A perfect night.

Anyway, the EB and the Millers will rise again starting today if this forecast is true BUT the EB will begin dropping by Sunday and be fishable by early Tuesday. I'll be there!!