Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

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.



Anonymous said...

Nice to see a show about one of our local rivers! Just wondering, have you ever fished with a mouse pattern? I have use them in New Hampshire with little success, but never here in MA. I have seen mice on the shores of the Swift and the Millers, and and even some swimming in these rivers, so I wonder if they would work.



thats cool about Chrohicle & the east branch. I watch chronicle, though not as often as I use to. Peter mohigan, an avid fly fisher was the host years ago for Chronicle and a segment on chronicle called main streets & backroads. He's retired from that show now & all good things come to an end. But I'm looking forward to the show.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Ron C.

Any work done at the place that you mentioned would not of effected the fishing downstream. The Millers flow was pretty much NORMAL this Summer and Fall through the catch and release sections. It was an off year.


I've never fished a mouse pattern for trout, only bass with limited success. I guess that it would be a likely pattern during the Summer at night but not as good as when fished during the Summer in Alaska where it is very successful.

I've always wondered how a balsa wood bass popper pattern would work, in smaller sizes, on our trout streams after dark. It may look like a June Bug that hit the water and would be easy pickings for a brown.

I remember an article about 20 years ago about monster rainbows taken in Alaska on bass popper bugs. It worked there so.....


Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,

I am just starting to tie some flies since the fishing season is winding down (I live 2.5 hours away from the Swift, so I don't have many trips left). I was just wondering, what kind of caddis flies do you like to use at the Swift (both dry and nymph). I've seen plenty of caddis hatches in April, but have never had success matching the hatch.

It's cool that they're showing a TV show about the EB. I'll definitely watch that.

Thanks, Jim T.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

I've only found one caddis pattern that has meaning on the river and it's the winter caddis from February into April. Beyond that the caddis is an afterthought throughout the season. Many have success with elk hair caddis patterns BUT the elk hair also represents a mayfly pattern because of it's construction. Soft hackles have been claimed to represent mayfly AND caddis insects. What do the trout think it it is?? Good question. I've seen many more mayfly insects than caddis on this river.

Don't be concerned with caddis hatches. Fish tiny mayfly nymph patterns before the hatch and then fish the hatch afterwards. Don't worry about the "tiny mayfly nymph" patterns. Most are very generic.


Anonymous said...

Hello I would like to know if someone here has fished the quinapoxet with a dry fly. I have never been able to catch anything on them.



Ken, a great segment on Chronicle last evening and you did well. You made fly fishing look easy.

Anyway, a nice segment & interview across the board......Phil

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Thanks and I haven't seen it yet. Not in the viewing area!

David Burke said...

Ken, nice piece on Chronicle last night. Seeing you in the Chesterfield gorge. Makes me want to call in sick later in the week.

On another note, I will we getting some new wading boots over the winter. What are you using? What are others reading this post using?


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Glad that you liked the program!!

I use Cabelas. They seem to work ok.


NHFFO said...

Cabelas new wading boots with the steel non-lace system are excellent, and they carry large sizes.

As for mouse patterns, they work at night on the Swift. Rainbows will attack them with if they leave a "believable" wake. I've had a lot of success on the Swift below Cady Lane with mouse patterns at night, particularly a wiggle lemming.

Bob Meyer said...

I found a link to the chronicle episode
Ken is on right before the 2 minute mark
As for wading boots, I have the Korkers boa (steel non-lace) boots and love them.
I've been fishing the Millers upper C&R this fall. Good fishing with a size 16 bwo nymph.

Davd said...

Wondering what other rivers you hit?
I am in the same area and have enjoyed trying new spots. I understand you like the unpredictable flows of the Deerfield but I have had great luck both at low water and releases. I have hit the Hoosic, Housatonic is on the list, I have not hit the other sections of Westfield in a while ( tend to stick to the C&R of EB) I have tried the Farmington close to the reservoir but would love any pointers.