Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tomorrow Is Thanksgiving Day

The EB started today at 160cfs. It's now at 1060cfs. The Millers is doing the same dance, from 150cfs to 1270cfs. We know what we have to do tomorrow - spend time with our family and friends and be thankful for another good year!

I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and certainly many more!!

Thought that you would appreciate a month of May photo of me changing flies or trying to undo a wind knot. Take your pick!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

One Day - Two Rivers

7:00 am on the Saturday Morning and there are NO cars at the Y Pool parking lot on the Swift. There are three cars at the PIPE parking lot as I suit up at 7;15. The PIPE section is crowded (three cars will do that) so I work my way downstream to the Gauge and pick up two bows until I work around one angler at the PIPE.

I fished the tree pool, brake off one, land one, and catch 4 tiny brookies that went for my size 22.

Time to hit the EB!!

Went home, made soup and a sandwich and the headed west and had the EB to myself. I felt that after the good reports I had to show something. This place amazes me. This beautiful river is full of trout. I took 6 in the hour and a half that I was there. It really is the best freestone river that I write about!!!

One Note - A very REGULAR fly fisher (he is very good) said that the trout have left the Y Pool. I found him below the IPE WHERE HE IS SELDOM found.

A word to the wise!!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Winter On The Swift


Ok, it's Winter and the only game in town will be the Swift at least from late December through mid March but maybe even earlier. As you know the Swift is a neat tailwater that doesn't freeze over and provides good fishing through these dark months but some winters are different than others.

Last winter we started a flow rate of about 50 cfs which continues. This rate is fairly low which will cause the water to cool off more quickly than if the flow was higher. You saw ice forming around the PIPE section last year in places that it had never appeared before. This colder water will lower the trout's metabolism which will decrease their need for food. The Y Pool isn't really effected because the water hasn't had time to cool off yet. (We're talking about ice close to the current and not along the shore, shore ice is common).

Am I complaining? Sort of. Fishing seemed a bit slow below Rt.9 last Winter and I believe that's the reason. The remedy? Bring the flow up to 100 cfs. It's a good flow and most anglers like it better than 50 cfs. Will it happen?? No way unless we get pounded by rain but we are in a drought that doesn't seem to want to end.

Things are still doing well on the EB. Get there before it freezes over!!

Time to tie some flies.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rating The Rivers And WCVB Chronicle Show

First things first. WCVB Channel 5 Chronicle Magazine will air a segment on the "Hidden Hills" of Massachusetts on Monday, November 11 at 7:30pm. It will contain a segment on fly fishing the EB in which I was able to contribute in a small way. I haven't seen it yet so we will all have a laugh.

This time of year I like to rate the three rivers that I write about. All rivers are good but some just have better "fishing years" than others.

Here's the list and my reasons.

Third Place - The Millers

This was an off year for the Millers and I can't find a reason for it. Most anglers that I met or wrote to caught very few from June onward and some got skunked every time. One stretch that has been a favorite of mine for 25 years seemed devoid of fish!! I did notice huge concentrations of browns back in May in certain deep holes and heard a rumor that the float stocking crews purposely dumped them in concentrations instead of spreading them out.

I'll be back there later today for another shot at the Millers.

Second Place - The East Branch of the Westfield

The EB was great through June, hung tough through the Summer when it usually gives up and has been my favorite river since Labor Day. I ranked the EB number 1 in 2009 because we had a wet Summer which resulted in great Summer fishing that year. 2013 was not that far behind. The browns, pretty much absent in 2009, were the prevailing species this past Summer and they were gorgeous fish. Second place but just missing First Place for the EB.

First Place - The Swift

First place is not a "given" for this river. Things can go wrong like a high water year or a yo-yo water level but this year things stayed at 50 cfs for months at a time with only a bump in the flow in late Summer. It was very manageable. That 50 cfs flow also kept the tuber traffic at a minimum and it seemed to create some very steady and lengthy fly hatches right through the Summer. And of course, there are many trout!!! I'll be there all Winter.

All rivers are good and all rivers should have friends and be protected.


Friday, November 1, 2013

The "Dark Time" Is Here And My Favorite Swift Fly for 2013

It happens Sunday morning at 2:am as it does every year. We turn the clocks back and evening fishing, as we like it, comes to an end. The Dark Time is here and we have to put up with it until March. I hate this moment because it puts a simple pleasure of someone (me)to an end: evening fishing. November and some of December will give us some glorious days with warm temperatures and willing trout BUT it will condense the traffic on some streams (Swift) to a 7-4 schedule and my evening trips to the EB are gone until Spring. I should stop complaining because I am old enough to remember when ALL FISHING ended on the last day of February and didn't start again until the 3rd Saturday in April. Now I'll fish right through the Winter on the Swift which makes me grateful for living close by to this wonderful stream but as I fish these coming months I'll be thinking of Spring, those balmy days, those rising trout.....

Anyone who has followed this blog will remember the Hot Spot, a personal favorite, which continues to catch many Swift river trout. But I like to play with ideas and in doing so made up with another fly that worked very well over the past year and a half.

First, I am sold on the theory that trout like some contrast in the color makeup of a fly. The Hot Spot proved this but this fly, using the same theory, seems to work better. I call it the Turkey Top.

Second, It looks like another fly that has a foam "bubble" tied into the top of the fly. I admit that but I wanted to tie something quickly and in good numbers and this fly does it. The foam part doesn't seem to make a difference and it's easy to tie in quantity.

Hook - size 18-22 scud hook (choose your brand) Experiment with this. Use any size you want.
Body - olive/brown rabbit dubbing tied in fairly loose
Wing cap - a strip of WHITE turkey flat or any white feather material. I like turkey because I have a mountain of it!

That's it! No science required. It fooled Swift trout all season long and I believe it always will. From the Bubbler to the Pipe it catches trout! If you look closely the rainbow in the photo has one in its lower left jaw.

Now, off to a weekend on the Millers and the EB before Winter sets in!