Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Cold Dreary January

Just an update - The Swift River got a break from the storm of the century with only 8 to 10 inches of snow on Tuesday the 26th. This is far different from Worcester east where you did get the storm of the century. Yes, the Swift is fishable but with some caution: beneath the snow is a blanket of ice which will send you flying if you're not careful. Careful means a that a wading staff pulls double duty as a walking staff. Better yet is a pair of slip on crampons. The other caution is the temperature as of late and especially this Saturday with a high just kissing 20 degrees and a low below zero. Your line will be caked in ice and frozen to your rod. If the reel hits the water it will freeze solid. Last winter I just HAD to get on the Swift one day and I spent every other cast shaking my rod under water to free up the ice. It wasn't worth it.

The frozen photo above is of the Millers in South Royalston about 10 years ago. The nice photo is of the Swift in June 2013, my hand on the handle of a tenkara rod with a rainbow on the other end. Take a short look at the frozen photo. Take a long look at the other. That's where we want to be! In just two months this will be over with!!

Go Pats!!!



Anonymous said...


Didn't you say you were gonna share a new egg pattern after New Years? Hahaha!


Kozman said...

Well Ken, if it makes you feel any better, we are enjoying 50 degree days and sun out here in Montana. Not much shelf ice or snow to speak of, which is extremely rare.

As for fishing in the cold, I've recently started fishing with the Tenkara rod. No fussing with wet line and frozen eyelets. I find it to be pretty effective at a nymphing rig. Only time the hands get wet is when the fish is caught. This has been a vast improvement in the fishing experience for me...especially on the bitter cold days. I found it to be a great way to get my girlfriend into fly fishing as it takes the most difficult task of line management off the table making it an easier learning curve.

Jo Tango said...

Hi Ken, those are some great pictures.

Against my better judgment, I've fished the Upper Swift a few times in Jan. My schedule isn't very flexible, and so, hit snowstorms each time. Have slipped on the ice a few times and have a cracked fly box to prove it. Dangerous!

The only fish I see are at the Y Pool. No fish in the Bubbler arm or south of the Y Pool. Feel fortunate to land rainbows on each outing, but it took a lot of effort, all of which has been a labor of joy for me. Size 32 midges and streamers have been the way to go.

Having said that, it's a beautiful scene out there, with the snow frosting all the trees and coating the ground like one big dollop of whipped cream.

Question: when do midge hatches normally occur on the Swift? Is there water temp and air temp they like to see? Have been on the look-out but haven't run into one yet.

Hope you're well....

Bob O said...

Good news! January is almost history. I'm looking forward to the next day when it may be sunny, still, and sunny. That'll be my cue to venture out for a couple of hours of soft water fishing. The trout are still out there waiting while we dream of warmer weather. Tightlines.

Loved that EB chronicle clip. 20 seconds of great photography.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Good to hear from you!! I was thinking about you when I was in MT. last August.

Tenkara is really catching on especially on the Swift.

Run into any more bears lately?



Next post for sure!


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Midges, or very tiny flies that we call midges, hatch all 12 month of the year on the Swift. There are good hatches of these insects during the winter especially when we have a day when the air temperature gets into the 40's. Water temperature is fairly constant on the Swift so it is less of a factor than air temperature.


Bob O,

Let's hope that the Groundhog puts an end to this winter on Monday.


Kozman said...

I only had black bear encounters this past summer, kinda reminiscent of fishing after dusk on the swift. The water last summer was just awesome...huge snowpack from the winter before resulted in plenty of water late season. Sept was just unbelievable. I'm sure you experience out here was Epic.

This year is going to be vastly different. There is no snowpack on most peaks!!! I forecast a bad fire season and some rivers being closed due to low water by Aug if this keeps up...hopefully Feb and March will make up for it. You have more snow in your backyard then whats on our mountains at the lie!

Well, off to the Madison to do some Tenkara fishing. Have a good weekend on the Swift.