Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye 2013

This year is up and I hope that it was a good year for all of you especially when it comes to fly fishing for trout!

I spent Sunday, December 29, on the Swift trying to squeeze a few more catches out of my 2013 license. Actually my license acted more like a debit card with insufficient funds - I hooked a bunch of trout but was only able to land one. Anyway, I met some friends and had a good time and it was worth it.

I took the advice from one of the blog's contributors and switched to a pinhead (my fly) and finally got a trout. How did I not fish that fly??

A rafting guide came down the 48cfs flow, one sitting in the raft and three walking/steering the raft along, and then stopped to wade fish below the Tree Pool. First, they didn't need a raft to get to that point and two, how would they feel if another raft came through and they had to move out of the way. Why float this skinny flow?? Answer: Float The Deerfield!

Check out the January/February 2014 issue of EASTERN FLY FISHING MAGAZINE to see a good write up by Christophe Perez on the Swift River. I'm lucky enough to have had the opportunity to contribute to this article as other Swift River regulars did.

I'm beginning to book up for guiding on the EB/Millers/Swift for this Winter and Spring. Drop an email if you are looking for a day on these rivers.

Finally, thank you for reading and contributing over the past year on this blog. After seven seasons this endeavor has not grown old. From what I've been told it's still appreciated. I'm looking forward to 2014!!!!

Thank You,



Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,

Quick question -- what's your preferred type of clothing (both inner and outer layers, gloves, etc) for fishing the Swift in winter?

Thanks again for the blog. Interesting and great fun to read.

Happy New Year,

Bob O said...

Happy New Year Ken. I always look forward to your (and your commentators) contributions. I find this one of the more refreshing fly fishing blogs - in part because it's about waters in my backyard. Thank you. See you on the Swift. Hopefully I'll make it to the Millers and EB in 2014. Tightlines,
Bob O

Millers River Flyfisher said...

I like warm dry clothing that is light weight. There's so much out there I don't know where to begin. I don't know one brand from another.


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Happy new year to you Bob. See you on the Swift soon.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ken-

My name is Justin Hansen- that was myself, my girlfriend and my
Friends. I'm not a guide; I'm just a person that absolutely loves fly fishing and wanted to float the lower swift. My good friend just got back home from military training and he wanted to do some hunting and fishing while he was home. Sorry for trying to show Him a good time.. I saw you at the pipe and didn't want to disturb your fishing so we all got out of the raft and walked it along the shoreline to avoid you. I even said "hi how are
You?" And you didn't even give me a Response. If you had an issue with what I was doing, you can just talk to me I don't bite. Your post implied you had to move out of the way... Truth- you didn't move a muscle. Your post said float the Deerfield- Truth- it's blown out I wanted to explore new water. I'm a very nice
Person- ask anyone in the industry. If
You ever want to float some time ken let me know I'll be more that happy to take you out. Come spring/summer time come to the cape and fish the salt with me.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I'm sure that you are a "very nice person" but that isn't the issue here. You should not be dragging your raft through a skinny water (48 cfs) flow where wading anglers have to move out of the way to let you do your thing. BTW, I didn't hear anything from your party which would not have made the situation any different. Why should I move any closer to the fish that I was working because you needed to squeeze your boat through?

The "blown out" Deerfield has not stopped the Harrison Brothers over the years from working that water. They have told me that they like high water!

In short, why do you want to "float" (tow) a river that is the premier wading river in Massachusetts?? The Swift is a small and intimate river, trout are spooky and we don't need a Queen Mary to make it harder for the wading angler.

You say that you are not a guide. Then why should I ask "anyone in the industry", as you say, about you? Hmmm......

I love the fact that you float the Deerfield. It's a great river for that and your friends/clients will love it. It beats what I saw on Sunday!!

Float the Deerfield and leave the small rivers alone!!!


Tony said...

Ken, be real...any river in the western USA, appalacia or northern territories guides and folks alike float and drift. Its public waters.
P.S. loved your 15 seconds of fame on chronicle.


that guy said...

Hey Ken, I must say respect you as an angler but as far as good decision making justin has never steered me wrong. I was that bass only fisherman until he brodend my outlook on fly fishing as a whole. Not only fly fishing he showed me all different techniques of the game as well as how to be repectful of other anglers. Either you didn't see justin floating the river or you had your nose to high since you are such a nice person. To even question why he would float the river is nonsense. I have never went fishing of any kind with him and not had him put me on fish. (First time on the swift he put me on two fish it was my second time fly fishing ever!)

Gerry said...

Your comments about watercraft on the Swift from the dam down to beyond Cady Lane are spot-on. It is hard for me to use civil terms in describing the intellect of anybody rafting, kayaking or canoeing that stretch of water. Just the fact that at 48cfs flow you need to drag the craft through shallow riffles, around anglers and through/around blow-downs should give anybody with any sense a clue that this might not be the appropriate way to fish that stretch of river. Based on the contrary comments, it looks like logic has little bearing on the conversation. As George Bernard Shaw said, "I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it." The same can be said for discussions with blog trolls.
Happy 2014 and I look forward to seeing you on the water.
PS Yes, it is a free country and you are free to do stupid things in public places. It doesn't mean that other people can't exercise their First Amendment Rights and call you out for being a nitwit.

flyfisher1000 said...

Happy your blog..have learned a lot.. and I love the millers as it is my fav river.... I gotta say....Gerry has it "spot-on"....people who read this blog..we are not saying that you cant float the swift...its just that certain areas shouldn't be floated...USE COMMON SENSE !! I think it should be a law that stipulates a river must be at least 20 feet wide to float....then pull out...go around....put back in....SIMPLE...

flyfisher1000 said...

oh.....and you're supposed to "float-a-river".....not sled or skid a river...poor fishy eggs!!!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

OK!! The policy of this blog is to not accept comments from "Anonymous" posters. It's always the same with you guys - start name calling and then run. And it's always the pro rafting guys. So, your comments will be deleted. Also kids, try to spell correctly and take sentence construction seriously.

Gerry says it all for me!! Gerry is a well respected guide and he does voice a majority opinion about this subject as seen before on this blog.

Justin, I believe all of your friends that you are a good kid so tell them to get over it. As far as your rafting/flyfishing hobby goes:I wish you the best.

The Deerfield is a great place for what you do but the special regulation section of the Swift isn't. It's true that it's a public waterway but many waterways have craft restrictions so this isn't new stuff here.

Imagine you parking your raft below the hatchery pool, jumping out to fish that run and have a flotilla of 15 year olds come splashing down the river on inflatable pool toys and making YOU move. (this happens every year and I don't move for them either. I can cut them some slack because they don't know shit about what I'm doing. Others should). BTW, I've never heard of you or seen you before.

I've heard that the Harrison Brothers have had very good success floating below Red Bridge in the Winter. It's a good place with minimal wading areas. In fact, I've always liked the idea of extending the "no boats" regulations above RT 9 down to Red Bridge. In fact, I've wanted to extend the C&R, fly fishing only regulations all the way down to Cady Lane. It's the primary form of fishing in that section anyway. It's easy to say that 90% of the recreation below RT 9 is done by wading fly fishers. We are the majority.

Your friends comments - I got the same response 25 years ago when my TU Chapter won C&R regs on the Millers. The "Hook and Bullet" boys sang the same vile song as your friends. Some things never change.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Since when do I have to start being "diplomatic" on my blog. If you don't like it then start your own blog.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Ron C.

The upper and Lower Millers have been a destination for at least one well known flyfishing rafting company for a number of years now.
Other rafting outfitters have been there too. One guide told me that it's a great place to drift until it gets too "boney" (shallow). Some rivers can be floated, some really shouldn't like rivers that flow at 50cfs.


gerrys said...


Thanks again for another great year of blogging on your behalf! I hope to get out with you this year if the flows work out! Rather than just taking me on a bad fishing experience you the honorable and right thing and cancelled. Unfortunately for me you were booked up so I am hoping to get out with you this year. I will be in touch soon.

All the best,

Gerry S.

Joe said...

Hi Ken,

Was out on the Swift Sunday before Christmas (along with half the flyfishers in Mass.). The fish seemed keyed in on something very particular - especially the rainbow that hung out 3 ft below me and moved up and down stream all day with me picking off what I kicked up with my wading boots. One old timer came by (said he fishes the Swift 200 days+ a year) and nailed a Rainbow - he said they were eating "Sows"? Is that the Scuds you keep referng to? Also - can you recommend any store sold versions of the flies on your site for those of us who don't tie their own flies. Happy Fishing in 2014.

Joe Smith

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Gerry S.

Good to hear from you. Have a good 2014 and this year we WILL make it out.


"Sows" are scuds. Fly shop scuds seem too bushy to me. Mine are slim. The Evening Sun Fly Shop started to sell some of my patterns last Spring. this fly shop is in Pepperell Ma.


tincup said...

Last yr you did an outstanding sunday presentation at sun fly shop. I couldn't stay because of a bad hip but the section I got thru was great and very helpful. Any plans for this yr. I really enjoy this blog, get to visit the swift,millers a couple of times a yr. A 2half hour drive but worth it because of the help from this web page. Thanks again for all the help. Chucks shop is really good for people learning also

millerbrown said...


Charlie usually asks me to do a presentation every other year. If you want me there this year you can ask Charlie I guess.