Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The EB - A Second Chance

I was tired of the crowds. After a few weekends with the alarm sounding at 4:00am and making it down to the Swift at 5:00am only to be the third angler at the Y Pool and then sharing the joint with six others by 9:00am and God knows how many others by 10:00am I was due for a break. And the Pipe wasn't going to do it after being third on the water at 5:30 am last weekend. I like some solitude and I had to find it.

The EB had treated me will through May into late June but then the storms hit and the flows rose way beyond comfortable fishing as they did on the Millers. Then came the heat wave. That's why I was on the Swift for so long. But the flows came down and it was time to try the EB and to see if the trout had survived the crushing heat wave of the last three weeks.

I gave the East Branch a shot last Thursday evening with a friend of mine. The easy dry fly fishing of late June was replaced with a river with low flows and no surface action. Just before my friend broke his fly rod I saw a good healthy rise. I worked that stretch but to no avail. My friend was through for the night so we headed to the Brewmasters Tavern in Williamsburg. The special was prime rib for $14.95 all you can eat.

The next two days had me thinking of that one rising trout. This river has a reputation of being dead in mid Summer with the exception of 2009. Was this going to be another average Summer? I had to find out.

Sunday morning,(7am)under overcast skies,(perfect) had me on Slate Rock Pool, a very reliable spot. I rose nothing which was scary because this run always produces. But at the head of the run I saw a trout rise. I made the casts but came up empty but at least I knew that one trout was there.

Then there was the Bliss Pool. A half a dozen casts with a #14 hairwing Adams landed a very healthy 14 inch brown. Two more browns came to the net. All were healthy, fighting trout that quickly swam away when released. One brown was a bit over 16 inches. I nicked a rainbow that decided to get into the game and made a zillion casts over another rainbow that did a yo-yo act whenever he saw my fly. Very frustrating!!

At 10 am the sun began to strip the fog away and the trout began it hide. I felt that if I wanted to fish subsurface I would have continued to fish and be successful but I'm a dry fly guy if I can get away with it. Anyway, I got what I wanted: rising browns and fishing solitude.

I'll be back at the EB!!!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer - The Half Way Point

It's been a horrible July! From July 1st until the 27th we have been blasted by high heat and humidity. The heavy rains of June (appox. 10 inches over average for Massachusetts) kept the rivers from getting too low BUT the temperature kept the trout from wanting to feed except during the dark hours. Even visiting my favorite summer haunts like the Millers and the EB during the evening seemed too much like a chore with temperatures still in the 80's. That's why I spent so much time on the Swift from 5:30am on some days and until dark on others. The water temperature ranged from 54 to 62 degrees each day during the hot spell, very easy conditions for those trout.

Now things have changed. As I write this on Wednesday evening the temperature is 73 degrees and will drop to the mid 50's by morning. Tomorrow the temperature may hit 80 and that's it. We've lost close to 35 minutes of sunshine since the first day of summer (June 21) and the loss will average close to two minutes a day going forward. Although we will still have a heat wave or two historically the hottest time of the year left us last week.

What does this mean? First, the rivers have a good flow of water going forward into August. The hottest days are behind us AND the days are shorter which means that the evening rise will be sooner. I've had wonderful evenings on the Millers in August with the sun setting sooner and the evenings being cooler.

We have months of comfortable fishing weather ahead of us here in central Massachusetts. Make the best of it.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tiny Flies On The Brain!

That's right. It's been a recent passion to fish tiny flies to sipping trout. Where does one go to do that here in central Massachusetts? It's the Swift of course. Now, I should be working the Millers or the EB BUT these are not tiny fly rivers. The Swift is! That's where I've been.

Last Sunday (7/7) found me at the Y pool at 6:30 am. I caught fish BUT I was the fifth one there. Today I got there at 5:30 am and I was only the third flyfisher. A week before I landed 10 and lost many on size 24-26 black bodied or olive cdc dries. The same flies brought many break offs and 4 to the net this time around.

The Upper Swift is loaded with trout. Maybe too many trout. Is there ample food for these fish? I don't know. All that I know is that others, not fishing dries, caught trout on everything from woolly buggers to grasshopper patterns to something that resembled a dark nymph with rubber legs. The difficult trout rose to small flies!!

This tiny fly obsession may be on the wane. Even after getting home at 1ish and after tying a dozen tiny flies and listening to the Sox I began to think about the other rivers. The rivers that are home to 14-16 size dries and 5x tippet. Maybe this week during the evening I'll visit these rivers or maybe I'm not cured yet!!!!!!!!

There are many fish below RT 9 especially in the Pipe section of the Swift.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's Hot!!!!! A Three River Update

Well, first we go from a flood condition to a heat wave all within one week. If there is anything good about all of this for the central New England fly fisher it is that the rivers are still fairly high and the watersheds are saturated. The trout(browns) will find the cool spots and survive this heat. They did in 2010, the worst summer ever.

There's a new feature on some of the flow sites and that is a temperature gauge. The Swift site has one and so has the site for South Royalston (bears den). Don't freak out when you check the bears den site. That's what the temperature has ALWAYS been on this river during the height of summer. As I said, the trout survive.

The Swift got stocked at the PIPE section last Wednesday. Actually, it got stocked just above the "intake" house (see photo) and a hundred or so trout are still sitting there smacking wb's, leeches and other things that in a week they will have nothing to do with. They did hit my sulphur dry before I left.

I would like to see the hatchery folks drive up to the gauge and stock there but they never seem to even when requested. It will take some time but those new fish will begin to move around and provide some real sport.

The EB is down to 230 cfs as I write but I'll leave it to the swimmers this weekend and hit it next week during the evening. The Millers is heading downward! It's at 670 cfs as I write and should hit 500 (where it hasn't been in a month)by Monday. It's fishable now but your best best is very early morning and at dusk.