Swift River

Swift River
The Millers - Experience the best brown trout fly fishing in Massachusetts. This river only gets better as the Summer rolls on with Autumn being prime time!! Day long trips or "Evening Rise" excursions are available. There are over forty miles of river and I will take you to the "best" sections. I have over twenty years of experience on my "home" river. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe the EB. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go when I want to catch trout!! After a trip you will too whether it's surface or subsurface action that you like. If it's a wilderness experience that you're looking for then let me take you to the "EB". The Swift - Let's "de-mystify" this river. 20 trout days, year round, are not uncommon on this river. It's technique and fly selection that counts. I can introduce you to that experience. "Dry Fly 101 - Dry fly fishing is the "soul" of fly fishing. The "fly fishing schools" will "scan" this method but I teach the classic upstream approach in depth. In over forty years of fly fishing I have caught more trout on a dry fly than with all other methods. I teach this method on "a river" so you can carry it forward season after season. RATES Full Day (7am-1pm) $150 per per person, $225 for two (lunch included) Evening Rise -(5:30 till dusk) $90 per person, $155 for two Dry Fly 101 - $60 for 3 hours

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!

Ken


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you like to fish this fly? with of without weight? It looks like a relatively easy tie, and I think i'll tie a few.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Weight depends on the flow and with the flow at 50cfs it means without weight unless you happen to be at a deeper hole like below the Pipe. This is an easy adjustment with micro-shot - put it on and take it off.

You are right. It's an easy tie!
Ken

Anonymous said...

Since this is a tying post, I have a different question about tying. Do you like to tie your scuds with weight, or without it? I was thinking about tying some over the winter, because I've had some great success with them, but I've never tied them before. Also, what material do you use on the top of the scud?

Thanks, Scott

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Scott,

I tie with and without weight to suit the conditions but I always want my scuds to be near the bottom.

I use simple plastic strips cut from zip lock bags for the shell. I used to use the special strips that are sold but found that they didn't make a difference to the trout.

The body material makes the difference. I use olive Australian Possum because it is sooo buggy and I have a life long supply of it. Any buggy material would work, I guess, but I like the possum.

Ken

Tincup said...

lReal love this page and the improvements to my stream fishing. With that said can someone direct me to a webpage or shop that carries an assortment of hooks needed for the swift mainly taking size 20 thru 32 thanks again

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Tincup,

I have used Fly Shack hooks for the past four years and these hooks are the best value out there. First, 100 hooks for 7 bucks is a deal. Second, they carry sizes up to 26(and maybe smaller) and third, I've never lost a trout due to hook failure. The eyes are closed, the points are sharp, the steel is strong. There are a lot of "designer" or "boutique" hooks out there but they don't add any real value to justify their price.

Like I said, I've never lost a trout on the Swift or anywhere else because of these hooks.

Ken

zerosleep said...

well, won't be sneaking off to the swift after work until spring. I'll see you next year in the spring!

-Ven

Anonymous said...

Ken,
Do you ever fish size 32 dry midges? I've never actually fished with one that small, although I own a few. They seem impossible to see, but I've heard they are deadly on the Swift. Just wondering how you like to fish them.
Thanks, John E.

Tincup said...

Thanks for. The information never fished with 32 but saw a person catch many fish or say hook ups that. Why. I was looking for a supplier. The sight u sent me to only goes to 26.

Brendan said...

As far as I can tell, the TMC 518 hook is no longer available, meaning 32 hooks are tough/impossible to find. If someone knows otherwise, please set me straight. I'd love to know where I can get my hands on more 32s. There are a handful of other companies that make hooks down to size 28 or 30 and a quick google search can help you find 'em.

I've caught plenty of fish on these tiny flies, but calling them "deadly" might be pushing it. Trout feeding on small midges (the bugs are often smaller than 32 in the winter) are usually very demanding, requiring good drifts and delicate (8x or 9x) tippet. Perhaps in more capable hands than mine they can be deadly, but I always find it to be the toughest of challenges. The difficulty is the appeal though. If I just wanted to catch fish, I'd wander away from the risers and nymph, and be almost certain to hook more.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't a size 32 hook limit hooking ability? With ire small gap? Is a size 28 more effective?

John

Millers River Flyfisher said...

John,

I think the answer would be yes.

Ken

Millers River Flyfisher said...

THIS JUST IN: I have a guiding opening for this Monday, Nov. 11 due to a cancellation. First to EMAIL me gets it. The Swift, Millers or the EB. Pick one!

Ken

Brendan said...

The TMC 518 had an extra wide gap and a straight eye making it possible to hook a fish with a size 32. A size 28 definitely has better (but still not great) hooking and holding power, and a size 20 still even more (and so on). A fly tied on a 28 is two or three times larger than a fly tied on a 32 though, which is a huge difference in the eye of the trout. So fishing a 28 will get you fewer strikes, but you'll hook and land a higher percentage than when fishing a 32. (It's the same type of decision we make when we decide between 7x and 8x tippet.) Tying flies short, thin, and sparse on a 28 might help fool fish that are feeding on size 32 (or smaller) midges and still provide good hooking power. Given the lack of 32s on the market, this seems to be the only available approach for matching the midge hatch on the Swift.