Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The End Of March - Just Like The Old Days And Some Practical Advice

Took a walk down to the PIPE today and saw one flyfisher who said that he had a zero and didn't see a trout. Two others before him had the same tale. I've seen this guy at the EB and he can catch trout so if he can't bring something to the net.....

This season is reminding me of the days when Massachusetts had an opening day of the third Saturday in April. You couldn't fish and the conditions in late March just seemed to be full of snow, ice and cold weather. Things would break and break hard by mid April and it was a given that the Saturday BEFORE opening day would be in the 70's and Quill Gordons would fill the air. One week later it would be wet, cold and the streams would be in flood condition. I remember fishing one small stream that I would never mention on opening day while standing in knee deep snow.

Maybe we've been in a warm spell of a decade or so. Five years ago I was taking trout on dries on the Millers on the last weekend of March. Actually this season may reset things, even for the Swift.

Lee Wulff, one of the original great thinkers concerning trout and salmon fishing, had this to say about reels and rods. He once mentioned that the greatest advancement in fly reel design was NOT the disc drag but the EXPOSED RIM! The exposed rim gave you instant, adjustable drag control by just applying pressure with your FINGER. You could let go and free spool or break off 1X quickly by finger pressure. He was sooo right and you didn't have the additional weight of disc components added to your reel. He was writing about trout fishing and not blue water stuff of course but wait a minute. He landed a sailfish on a single action S/A reel so all bets are off!!!!

Lee on Rods - Wulff said that the second most important "drag" component that a fly fisher has is the FLY ROD. A rod creates drag by resisting a fish's run by BENDING (it's a lever) and then releasing the bend when the fish slowed down. The line going through the guides is also creating addition drag and that will tire the trout. Allowing the rod to work as a drag and backing this up with a good click and pawl reel all that you need on a trout stream. No real reason to worry about busting tippets if you know what you're doing and click and pawl reels sound sooo great when a trout does rip line!!! Skeptical?? Then how does Tenkara work without a reel? It's a long limber rod that absorbs the runs and dashes of a trout!!!



Anonymous said...

Ken, by any chance do you know if the trout are back in the C&R section? I know they were not present for a while.

Either way, the stocking trucks should be rollin' in a few weeks (or even days?!), so the there should be fish back soon. Last year I went on the 20th of April to the upper Swift, and it still hadn't been stocked. Hopefully sooner this year!


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Scott and Everyone,

Any updates from the DFW will be on their webswite posted on Fridays.

The upper Swift is the same as it's been since January.

Same for the below RT9.

Find an open brook and see if you can catch a native!


Josh said...

I fished from the pipe down to cady lane yesterday and didnt see or catch anything. That water is powerful right now.

Anonymous said...

I spent 3 hours above, below and at the Pipe on Friday afternoon. I even walked the bank above all the usual spots and did not see a single fish.

Wading 200cfs Swift is very different then 40 cfs.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


We are on the cusp of the Spring stocking schedule. The only rivers that I mention when it comes to stocking is the Millers Brown Trout stocking on the first two weekends of May and only because I worked hard to get these stockings in the first place. It's personal to me. That's why I mention them and to get volunteers to help out. As far as regular stocking goes you should go to the DFW website on Fridays to see where trout are stocked. Hint: stocking will not be extended beyond the end of May. It may very well be condensed between now and then. Maybe that means not too far beyond last year. Read into that what you like!!

Stay tuned!


Falsecast said...

Hi Ken - Hope you had a nice winter and I look forward to seeing you on the water this spring.

What kind of help are you looking for those first 2 weeks of May? I might be an available hand.

Unrelated comment: I tried Tenkara for the first time last summer. I was always very cynical of it as a Patagonia "marketing" thing and I must say it didn't change my thinking. I could see it cool if you were backpacking (really light telescopic rod, etc.) or if you just want to learn a weird thing, but an accomplished Nymph fisherman can do so much more with a real fly rod. Am I missing something here? I don't want to sound harsh or snotty, but I guess I just don't get it.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


The DFW puts browns into the bears den and lower CR on the first two weeks of May. They work with the Millers TU guys to run buckets and also float stock. This started in 2003. I don't here any noises from the local chapter about the event. In fact, I don't know if this group is really active. Their most recent website page gives a notice for their Oct. 2014 meeting. If anyone knows anything let me know.

Tenkara - I find it a very good way of fishing small streams like the Swift or smaller like mountain brooks. Because there is no floating fly line you have almost no drag hence no mending. No fly line splashdowns and no line trailing in the water. How many times have we seen a fly rod and reel fisherman fishing the Swift with just three feet of fly line beyond the rod tip and just the leader in the water?? With Tenkara it's all leader! It's a minimalist approach too which I like.
I too don't like Patagonia getting
it's grubby fingers into Tenkara. It is a marketing strategy for sure. I'd buy my Tenkara rods elsewhere.
Falsecast - your opinions are always welcome here!


Anonymous said...

Ken, Do you know if they stock browns outside the C&R areas in the millers. Last year we caught several browns in a spot in Orange in early May. We were a fair distance away from the lower C&R water.

Thanks, Eric

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Browns are stocked in the two C&R sections of the Millers BUT the starting points are ABOVE the C&R zones. In the Bears Den browns are stocked below Pete & Henry's restaurant around the WWTP which is about a half mile before the START of the CR at the railroad trestle. Access is the main reason.

Browns are stocked at the Bridge (Holtshire Rd.) just below Orcutt Brook which is about 3/4 of a mile ABOVE the start of the lower CR. Now, the browns, over the years, have migrated above and below the CR zones. I've caught them down by the Bridge Pool in Farley and in the lower Millers.

Browns should be stocked EVERYWHERE on the Millers. It's a brown trout river. The reasons for only stocking them in and around the CR don't hold water.


Scott M said...

Millers C&R Areas are set to be stocked with Browns on May 8th, both sections. Anyone interested in helping out with stocking should meet at the Holtshire Rd Bridge/RT 2A at 8:30AM, and 1:15PM at Pete & Henry's


Scott M
TU 725