Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Friday, May 16, 2014

Update - EB and the Millers And Damselflies

The EB has been GREAT! And it's going to get better because we are entering the damselfly season. Around the end of May and certainly by early June we will see the damselfly emergence. Consider a warm sunny day on this river. By noon you will start to see trout activity VERY close to shore and that is because this quick swimming nymph is ready to head towards the shoreline (or rocks and limbs close to shore) to emerge. The trout follow this nymph and will intercept them in very shallow water. The chase can be very abrupt and noisy and sometimes if you are ten feet out in the river the noisy action will be BEHIND you. This happened to an angler that I was guiding on the Millers a few years ago. Standing ten feet out from the grassy island at the head of the Millers Kempfield Pool this angler almost jumped out of his waders by the very noisy hit right behind him. We changed flies and took browns in VERY shallow water where the browns were chasing damsels.

The Millers has lots of damsels. The EB is loaded with them. I've seen HUNDREDS who had just emerged and were drying their wings in just a few hundred yards of river. It's incredible how a 3/4 inch nymph can become an inch+ long winged insect but it happens.

It's the nymph that we are interested in. Although it doesn't really look like a damselfly nymph this pattern works: Tie an olive wooley bugger in a size 12 with clipped or undersized hackle. For added effect tie on a set of bead chain at the head. The nymphs have BIG eyes and the bead chain will get this fly down.

I actually saw a Millers brown land it's head on the shore trying to grab one of these morsels.

The Millers is calming down with the Bears Den at a very fishable level and the lower C&R right behind.

Go Fish



Millers River Flyfisher said...

6:00 am 5/17 update - The Millers, EB and even the Swift are spiking right now. The Millers and the Swift will stay high for a while. The EB will start dropping 24 hours after the rain ends - it always does. You should find fishable water by Tuesday 5/20. That will not help those TU'ers who are at the EB for their annual sleepover this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Had a great time camping at the EB with TU this weekend. Was into fish all day Friday. Saturday was mostly a bust because of the flow but I was still able to take two right along the bank (as did many others). Sunday was great again as you were able to cross the river at the campground and move around into fishable water. Amazing how fast that water drops.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Fished the EB tonight with a flow around 560 fs. You are right about the EB dropping quickly.

Zillions of caddis and some henderikson spinners but scarce risers. Took some subsurface and then one on a bushy stone imitation on the surface. Fished only the riffles/fast water and left the pools alone. It was nice!


Anonymous said...

Well, I had my first trip of the season to the EB today. I arrived promptly at 7:30am only to have a local guide w/ client pull in as I was suiting up. I grabbed my gear and hit the water. Over the next 90 minutes I picked up 2 rainbows and a very nice brown. As nice as it was to be on the river again, all I saw and heard were the sights of cars and trucks continually rolling by and the sounds of car doors slamming. I could not believe this was the same river I've fished for the past 15 years where seldom I might see one or two people on the river during a work day. At 10am, with air temps rising, I went back to my truck to dump the fleece only to find 8 cars in just the one pull off. Flows were good, the weather was great but the river was packed with guys jockeying for every run and pool. Being experienced in fishing the river helped. I picked my spots, managed to mostly get away from the crowds and found quite a few fish. But it was clearly not the same as I've known it for many years past.
Congratulations, the word is finally out on the EB or as I now aptly will call it the Swift River West.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


A lot of people (and the organizations that they belong to) don't realize that 20% of the Millers Watershed is in New Hampshire! It is an area made up of brooks, ponds and swamps that holds a lot of water that takes a while to drain.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Looks like you picked a day where some group had an outing because I spent a day there last week and saw nobody and was there Monday evening and saw two and that is usually the case season after season. You get swimming crowds and hikers on hot
summer weekends but they are a memory a half mile below the gorge.

Guess you were unlucky.


Millers River Flyfisher said...

To: You know who you are!!

What's your problem? First, the story that you tried to publish on this blog, using your google tag name and then the same sad story under "anonymous" about the EB being overrun with flyfishers on a Tuesday is so extreme as to be unbelievable. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and just said that you may have encountered a fly fishing group and that encounter was unlucky for you BECAUSE I've NEVER encountered that experience on a weekday on the EB!!!

Then you come back with the UNPUBLISHED comment (my decision) about how they were all newcomers to the EB and learned about it "online" (you meant my blog I guess). Then you take a shot at me because I only live 15 minutes from this river and can fish it often and poor you live 2.5 hrs away (tough) and can't fish it often. Then comes the veiled accusation that I'm just using the EB for commercial gain.

Get this straight:
1. I guide less than 1% of the fly fishers who fish this river during the year and that is a stretch. I guide many BUT there are many more who fish it without me.
2. You went from blaming me for overcrowding because of my blog to strewn whisky bottles that you had to pick up. Get real!!!
3. If you have a gripe about me causing overcrowding on the EB then why don't you write about it ON YOUR OWN FLY FISHING BLOG instead of mine. YOU HAVE A BLOG SO USE IT and keep your negative wild stories to yourself.

I have your unpublished comments.

Don't come back!!!


joe smith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
joe smith said...

Hi Ken - Swift still looks well above average flows - do you think it will be ok to fish this weekend?

Thanks - Joe.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Yes, fish the swift!!!! It's high but still fishable.

Kozman said...

I fished the EB when I was in MA visiting last week. It was at its best. Caught many rainbows on a fishskull streamer hybrid pattern and on caddis flies. I only saw a few other fishermen while I was there. Not sure why anyone would complain about this stream getting overrun...if they only compare it to streams like the Swift and its population of fishermen, they would eat their words about the crowds on the EB. We are still experiencing runoff out here in Montana so the EB was a nice diversion for me until that all passes. However, yellowstone park opens to fishing this weekend so the famous Firehole river is going to be my respite until the rivers get in shape again. Tight lines all and don't ignore the EB...its a Massachusetts gem.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Good to hear from you again and I'm glad that the EB was good to you and YES, I don't know why anyone would complain about it. Such is life.

Two years in the Big Sky State and you've survived the grizzlies!! If I make it out that way someday I'll look you up!


Myles Smith said...

Hi Ken,

Long time reader, first time commenter.

What's the best USGS gauge to watch for the EB? Is the the Westfield at Knightville? Concerned seeing the flooding in Chicopee tonight about conditions for tomorrow.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Knightville is the one unless they're holding back water. then go to the WB gauge. There is no dam to hold water. If the wb is high then the EB will be too regardless of what the gauge says.

We had local, heavy storms last night but the EB and the Millers were not effected.

Go Fishing!!