Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Friday, December 12, 2014

Two Good Swift River Flies

Two flies to think about as we wind this year down and get ready for a long winter. I've written about them before but they are good flies that do well during the dark season.

The Hot Spot - Very simple and very effective. That light contrasting mid section is a beacon to trout and this pattern has been getting it done for close to ten years. A Swift River staple.

The Swift Serendipity - I dumped the deer hair and went with white turkey flats clipped short. With red kevlar thread, that has that nice waxy surface, it is a great fly.

Notice something with these two flies: a short section of contrasting color is something that they have in common. Same thing with the subsurface version of the RS2 fly, a very popular pattern!!!

A few short weeks to go before we wrap up this season. It's been a good season!!!



Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting these Ken.
What dubbing colors do you use on the hotspot?


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Dark brown and dark olive with beaver or rabbit as the dubbing.


Thank you. That is very thoughtful of you. Hoping that you have a Merry Christmas and someday we will get to fish together.


Falsecast said...

I fished the swift for the first time in a month. I went from 1-4 today and couldn't raise a fish. I only fished above 9, though. I did find some Bows that were cruising a sipping a few off the top, but not much activity.

I fished a small green scud with a Serendipity as a trailer. Didn't see the Brookies around either. I was a bit thick with a 5X leader I had on the rod and was too cold (or lazy)to change to my usual 6X leader to 7X tippet so I just hung some 6X off the back. Could have been part of the problem. It was not happening today, but good to get out there. I was surprised at how many folks were on the water.

Happy Holidays!

Anonymous said...

Do you fish the serendipity with split shot?


Mark O said...

Hi Ken,
Thanks for your blog, I've been following it for a while now and always enjoy the content.

Could you please let me know which hook and size you prefer for the above patterns.

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I fish it in fast water so I will mostly use micro shot about 15 inches above the fly.

Mark O,

Sizes 18 down to 24 seem to work well for me. I've tied size 26 in these patterns and they worked too.


Jo Tango said...

hi ken, would love to get your thoughts on fly rod size for the Pipe section of the Swift. i make do with my 3 wt., but have been advised by a kind fellow angler that the 00 wt. is the way to go. your thoughts?

Millers River Flyfisher said...

0 and 00 rods have found there way onto the Swift especially around the PIPE where I seem to see them. The best fly fisher on the Swift uses them and he catches lots of trout with sizes 30 and 32. Are they essential to success on the Swift?

My set up is a 10 ft. rod and a 3 wt.line for the Swift. 00 rods are SHORT and when I'm fishing subsurface I want the extra length for line control. It also helps when I'm fishing on the surface. I've never lost a trout on a size 28 or smaller fly because I was fishing this rod. I load this rod with a 4wt line for fishing the EB. It works fine.

I like to keep it simple and try not to create too many options that are not worthwhile.


Jo Tango said...

ken, thank you for the reply. really helpful. yes, i saw Dan Trela land a monster trout on a 00 rod and a dry fly. he truly is a pro.

like you, i fish a long 3 wt.: an 11' in fact. like you, it lets me fish sub-surface and up top. so, sounds like i'm in good company and, for now, will stick to what i have and has worked well on all types of water. i'm trying to keep things simple and economical.

thank you for the reply!

Bob O said...

Joe, I concur with Ken on rod length and weight. I submit you'll do OK with your 3 wt. The extra length is always helpful, and is my preference as I primarily do upstream euro-style nymphing. Nonetheless you can get by with a high sticked 8.5 footer. The Swift water is skinny enough and the fish so used to humans that, especially in broken water, you can fish right over them without distubing their feeding pattern. This is true upstream in the "bubbler ditch" as well as down by the Pipe.

Brendan said...

I started fishing the Swift years ago with a fast-action 8.5' 4wt. It worked fine in most situations, particularly when nymphing, and I caught lots of fish. I've worked my way through a couple of rods down to a 7.5' 0 wt (just got it). I had been doing alright with a slow-action 2wt, but felt like I was still breaking off too many fish on the hookset when fishing small dry flies on 8x and 9x tippet. If you want to fish tippet that light, the ultralight rods offer an advantage, but if your nymphing, the short length may be a disadvantage. Different tools for different style of fishing.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


All good points.

I guess I'm looking for the lightest and longest rod for this river, something that allows both effective nymphing and fine tippet surface fishing. In the past I found that softer, longer rods in the light weights (3wt) saved tippets when fishing the surface with tiny dries. They also worked well with line control when I decided to switch quickly to subsurface fishing.

To each his own! It makes for great sport and great conversation!


Troy Holt said...


What are you're favorite terrestrials for the Swift? If you ever fish them...

I am restocking some boxes now. I have had luck on beetles, but wondered if there are any other that are worth tying.

Merry Christmas!

Thanks, Troy

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Any terrestrial that works on New England rivers will work on the Swift. I carry some ants and will even use them at times.