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.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Starling Soft Hackles Revisited



I got my first starling feathers a 100 years ago for the expressed reason of tying up some wet flies and and something called a soft hackle fly (S.H. were not too popular back then. The feathers, all loose, got lost or thrown out or turned to dust over the years. Somehow they reentered the picture for me over the last two months. They accomplish two things for me. First,they give me a supply of smaller S.H. feathers which grouse or partridge do not do. Second, they are of a darker color which I really like as opposed to the light gray color that you find on other birds.

No loose feathers this time - they only come in full skins. Now, if you have a BB gun you can harvest one yourself. They are non-native to North America and from the best of my knowledge there is no closed season and with a worldwide population in the hundreds of MILLIONS your one bird will not be missed.

We should be seeing some signs of Spring by now but not this year. Usually someone is bragging about a crocus being spied along some south facing flower bed. It will be a while for that. Instead we will slog on through this weekend storm and then brace ourselves for another storm by mid week.

Think Spring!

Ken

13 comments:

Jo Tango said...

"Think Spring!"

Amen to that. I have noticed that the daylight period is getting longer and the sun seems warmer. We are turning the corner, Ken.

Perhaps I will see you on the "Upper Westfield" in a few weeks?

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Jo,

The days (sunlight) have lengthened by about 1.5 hours with the afternoons having about an hour more of sunlight. Some years we see some sap lines out by now but not this year with this weather pattern. Let's hope that Spring explodes upon us by DST (March 8th)

Ken

Anonymous said...

Jo,
"In a few weeks?" Good luck with that one! Based on the snow pack, the continued weather pattern and the lasting effects it will have on run off and stocking trucks gaining access to majors rivers, I suspect we will be at least 3 weeks behind schedule this year in MA. Best early season bets will be the Swift and the Nissi. The Upper Westfield, Millers? Deerfield??? FUGGETABOUT IT!

Jo Tango said...

Anon., good to know.

Have been hitting the Upper Swift periodically; last time, not a fish in sight at all and Ken thinks perhaps the otters are swimming about.

Quinapoxet I've read also is a tailwater--does that fish well in the early season? Thanks!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Jo,

The Quinnie is not a tailwater and the otters MAY be a reason for the lack of trout. There may be a number of reasons.

Anonymous,

Don't be so sure of late stocking dates. We've seen this scene before - heavy snows and cold but a Spring that arrives and by the 3rd week of April all is well. We used to have (maybe before you were born) an opening day when most trout were stocked before the 3rd Saturday in April (opening day) come hell or high water. By May things were perfect even if April waters were at near flood level. My experience says this: Don't worry about high Spring flows. Worry about low Summer flows.

Ken

Anonymous said...

Lets hope your right Ken. The good news is that the biggest snow pack this year is more in eastern than western MA.

And yes, I do recall Opening Day. I have very fond memories from my youth of fishing on many Opening Days. The night before Opening Day felt much like Christmas Eve!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,
I've had Marvelous luck with size 22 and 24 soft hackles on both the swift and farmington this winter. While grouse can provide some of the feathers for 22's (from the shoulder of the wing) the 24's worked really well with starling. Fun stuff. Now if the wind and snow would only stop....Bill

Bob O said...

New look to the site today. Just trying to keep us on our toes? .. Otters can clear a pool of trout pretty quickly. I encountered a mom and two pups at the Tree pool one summer morning. She surfaced about five feet from me with a 14 inch rainbow flopping in her mouth. Startled she dived and shared her harvest with her pups on the other bank. Beautiful to watch. But, over time, hard on the fish population.

tincup said...

like the new look thought it was snow blindness. On a serious note if you take a starling make sure u salt it down or use borax. And put it in a separate bag. Do not mix with your other feathers materials because sometime they have fleas that can wipe out a collection of material. Wouldn't have them this time of year due to cold but present in spring summer.

Mike from Andover said...

Ken, like the new look for the site (and the Trout Land title)!

Jo, looked back on my logs -
February 18, 2012, hit the Quinnie between the Mill St. and Rt 38 bridge - 5 wild brookies and a holdover rainbow to show for the effort, with 2 brookies and 2 'bows on 2/23/12 - I remember a small black CJ was the ticket (imitating the black stoneflies that were active). Lately been seeing some beautiful small wild browns from the Q as well. Give it a try this spring you will have fun!

Anonymous said...

Starlings can be had for free but you need a license and not during shotgun season (for your own safety).

From Fish and Wildlife Regs . . .

OPEN HUNTING SEASONS
The following species may be taken
year-round (except during shotgun
deer season) BY LICENSED HUNTERS with
no daily or seasonal bag limit: English
sparrow, flying squirrel, red squirrel,
chipmunk, porcupine, skunk, starling,
weasel, woodchuck.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,

I'll remember those regulations the next time I go chipmunk hunting.

Ken

Falsecast said...

Jo Tango - Quinnie is my local river and a favorite in the spring and late fall, in between it gets hot and low. It's a beautiful river, but a really a small stream. Lots of Brookies and in spring they stock big bows and medium browns.

It's not a tailwater, however, it flows, inefficiently from the top and down a 50 concrete spillway from the Quinnepoxet Reservoir. Actually has a negative effect as that water can be 80 degrees in summer. Happy to point you to any number of good places to go there if you want.

I haven't been out since December and am ready for spring too.