Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB
Fly Fishing The Millers - With over 30 years of fly fishing this river I will claim more knowledge and fish caught than anyone. There are over 40 miles of river and I will take you to the best sections and if you want to sections that never see another angler. Don't be fooled by those who say the Millers is a Spring and Fall river. I'll show you how to have great Summer action. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe this river. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go to catch trout. After a trip you will too!! Solitude and trout IS the EB. The Swift - 20 trout days are not uncommon on this river if you know what to do and use. I'll show the way and you catch the trout. RATES - Full Day (6 hours) = $150.00 for one, $225 for two (lunch included). Half Day (three hours) $90.00 for one, $155.00 for two. Beginners Class - 3 hours ffor $90.00, all use of rods lines, reels included.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Millers On Memorial Day Weekend


The gauge in S. Royalston read 400 cfs at 10 pm Friday night and 400 again at 4:30 Saturday morning. The cloudbursts that hit my neck of the woods overnight spared the Millers Watershed and although a I would have liked hitting the lower river THAT flow was still too high.

Off to The Bears Den!

We had "brown trout skies" (overcast) when I met Brad at Pete and Henry's at 7am and then drove down the short road along the river to our destination - the stretch upstream from the trestle which includes that big beautiful pool and the riffles above. That's where I took "the brown". If any brown could be considered a "native" it would be this fish. First, it was almost black instead of brown, a sign of spending considerable time in the Millers. Second, ALL fins were intact especially the pectorals that were as large as oars. Third, it was about 16 inches which is the largest brown that I've caught in this section that fits the above description. That's important because I've caught more 4 to 8 inch browns in this section than anywhere else on this river. The DFW doesn't stock 4 inch browns in the Millers. This is an area that holds native browns!!

We spent 3 hours working that part of the river and did OK with the chunky hatchery browns (no rainbows). Then I took Brad to the Bears Den epicenter - Rezendes. We took a short upstream hike to the riffles below the trestle, found a somewhat safe section to cross the river and then fished downstream through that beautiful piece of water until we were across from Paul's house. The place is full of browns and not a rainbow to be found.

One note about crossing that section of river. At 400 cfs it is an adventure and I will recommend it only for those with a wading staff sturdy legs. I was at my limit in a few places.

Now let's stop here and let me ask the question - where was everyone?? This is Memorial Day weekend and all day long we saw only 3 people in the water and one going in as we were leaving after 7 hours. It was almost as empty as it was 20 years ago. Yes, the flow was a bit high but still wadable and it is loaded with browns.

As I write the flow is still at 400 but it will come down. You have no excuses!!

Ken

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

What flies did you catch your browns on?

What is the water level - waist deep or deeper?

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,

Answer #1 - It didn't matter what fly I used. It's presentation that counts.

Answer #2 - It depends where I'm standing.

No more anonymous comments. I started that rule a few years ago but have let it slip lately. Name yourself with a google handle or give your first name and the city were you live.

Ken

Dan said...

Cresent St. Has been a good spot for me the last two weeks; dead drifting wooly buggers!

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Did you see any surface feeding, or we're you able to coax any up?

Thanks,

Michael from Winchester

Bob O said...

Awesome report Ken. I look forward to exploring the Millers. Sounds like you hit it at just the right time. Congrats.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Dan,

Cresent St. has the best long set of riffles on the Millers and you know that the pond behind the dam must winter over some browns.

Michael,

I saw only two fish surface feed on the Millers Saturday. A very few caddis were bouncing around and if we stayed long we may have seen more.

Bob O,

Good to here from you again. I'm just waiting for the lower Millers to calm down a bit. It will this week if it stops raining.

Ken

Chris from Warwick said...

I've been on the Bearsden section 4 times since browns were supposedly and apparently stocked and I haven't seen another fisherman yet. The question in my mind isn't where was everyone on the weekend but where are the guys who stocked the fish? They know where they put them, ergo...
I should go on and say that I fish that section of river a lot and in my times there have run into other fishermen less than a dozen times in the last 5 years. And 2 of those times were bling casters.
I fish mostly weekdays as I prefer the quietness of having no crowds. But with Ken's report, perhaps weekends are not as bad as one would assume.

Mike from Andover said...

Ken,

Thanks for the report - gotta get out to the Bear's Den this weekend. Great to see the wild browns - I fished the "Quinnie" a couple weeks back - lower section - and besides 3 "chunk-bows" I was pleasently surprised with 3 wild browns - these were 6-8" jewels, bright red spots and perfect in every way. I had caught one or two total on previous outings - really great to see the wild fish. If we keep beating the drum for special regs and protected water maybe this could become a more common occurance in the not-too-distant future.

Gin Clear said...

Great report and good to hear about the native browns in that section, Ken. We stayed local (15 min drive instead of an hr drive to the Millers) and fished for warmwater this weekend.

I really love the Bear's Den and usually access it from the Millers TU parking area. Never been to the other side. Are there advantages to fishing from south side of the Millers?

Thanks for the update. Need to hit the Millers soon!

Falsecast said...

I was at the Housatonic for 2 great days. All browns, a couple 16+ inchers and a few wild fish including some with par marks. I had a bug trifecta on Sat with a couple on BWO's in the overcast morning, a bunch on Hendrickson nymphs and Hare's ear and then dry fly action on Green caddis in the late pm. Lots of fish and good strong takes. Tough wading and bit dangerous in spots. I did take a dunking which can happen there.

I don't got the Bearsden often, but when I do I park at the dead end on Bearsden road and hike in. I find the access tough, lots of rock hoping, but that big pool at the bottom of the trail that goes to the right has been good before. Is that the Rendez pool? I caught a nicely colored brookie in there once. The only I other place I've been is that big pool upstream from the RR trestle. Still some touch casting and deep water around the boulders. Any other suggestions. Might have to get out there this week.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Falsecast,

Good to hear from you again. Rezendes Pool is right next to the red house that is on the banks of the Millers. If the description doesn't match what I described then you may be further downstream near the Gorge Pool. Follow the power lines on Gulf RD. and take a left and follow the lines further. You are at Rezendes.

Good news about the Housey!

Ken

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Chris from Warwick,

First, the browns were not supposedly stocked, they were stocked and we caught them. The fault for not having more people there may be with the local TU Chapter who doesn't know how to promote an event like this like we did 10 years ago. Could it be that this chapter is more concerned with social projects and nonsense like beaver wars than improving and promoting the fishery. I had to contact the DFW to find out if the local chapter was actually helping with the brown stocking. The chapter kept it a secret. I had volunteers from most of the Ma. chapters show up to help back in the day. That is not what's happening now.

It also bothers me that this chapter refuses to use the old traditional names for Millers pools/runs. McKensie's pool was named back in 2004 by someone who doesn't even fly fish. Back in the 1930's and 1940's it was called the Gorge Pool according to Rodney Flagg and the late Bob Roleau. That's what my research found before I wrote my Millers Fly Fishing Guide. I respect tradition. These guys don't.

Ken

Chris from Warwick said...

Ken,

I said, "since browns were supposedly and apparently stocked", apparently being the key word. I also caught browns. My comments were aimed at the guys who stocked them not fishing them.

I'm not complaining, I love having this river to myself.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Gin Clear,

As I mentioned in my Millers Fly Fishing Guide it is always better to fish on the inside elbow of a curving pool like rezendes.

First, the outside section is almost always too deep to wade and you are going to be backed up against trees and such. Rezendes has a sandbar at the outflow of Gulf Brook but that is it. Go upstream and cross over where it's safe and you will have excellent casting room and excellent drift lies. It's from that area that I caught numerous browns over the weekend. Don't cross over and you are at a disadvantage. You can fish the entire section with good wading if you cross over. Also you have excellent presentation possibilities to work the 1st and 2nd runs below Rezendes. The drawback: you have to hike upstream and cross over to get to your vehicle (big deal) That's the best way to catch trout in this section and have fun doing it.

Ken

Ken

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Chris from Warwick,

I get where you are coming from. We agree on this.

Ken

Chris from Warwick said...

I'm beginning to think that Ma Nature is against us flyfishermen who want to get on the Millers in Erving. Every time the river gets just about where we want it, she cries us a river.

joe smith said...

Hi Ken - myself and a buddy hit the Swift last Sunday night. Woked mostly at the Y-Pool - i had no luck, but my buddy caught a real nice Rainbow on a baby brown-trout looking streamer- which I got a kick out of as the other guys there were working Size 32s I think. Before we left we fished the section just below Rt9 bridge and I finally got into one on my 2 nymph set - but it ended as a "long release" :(

Would you say it's a little easier to catch fish on the Miller's than Swift in general? I base this on the fact that even though you can sight-fish on the Swift - unless you have the perfect presentation and semi-perfect fly, you wil not hook up. Where as on the Millers, though you rarely see the fish - just working good water ends up in more hookups.

Thanks - Joe.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Joe,

The Swift is the most difficult fly fishing stream in Massachusetts. A gin clear tailwater that breeds a population of tiny insects and you know the rest. Freestones like the Millers are less demanding although they can be difficult at times especially in the low water Fall conditions.

I know someone that does well on streamers on the Swift. It's something different and that may be the trick.

Ken

Mike from Andover said...

Ken,
Hit the EB on Sunday - yes, there were a lot of fishermen there, as might be expected since it is the weekend, prime time, and a beautiful New England Spring day to boot. Had to move around a bit to find a spot to ourselves but one thing that river has is plenty of great water (I don't get how some people can gripe like they own the river to themselves - it is state water, stocked by the state, and if you have a licence you can fish it along with everyone else). Had my best day ever there - 5 'bows, 3 browns and a very toothsome and angry-looking brookie came to the net, most on a Hatch's Emerger. Got a bonus of an early "bikini hatch" right next to the hole I was having the most success in! It is a 2-hour haul for me to get out there so may not fish it again this year (too much water, not enough time), but if I lived close it would probably rank up there as one of my favorite rivers. Hope to get out to Bearsden next weekend if the water levels hold.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Mike,

Let's face it, the EB is a great place that's enjoyed by everyone and that's a great thing. I was there Sunday and will be back this week. June is critical. A long hot dry spell could hurt this river. Normal rain and some cloudy cool days will help it.

Ken