Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Swift - All Is Well

I remember making a comment to a neighbor of mine when I lived in Athol that SPRING didn't really arrive until the DPW flushed their hydrants in late April/early May. A short scouting trip to the Swift today was slowed down for that activity on Bay Rd. Spring is really here and the weirdness of the Swift has passed. There are trout and the flow is down to what this small, placid tailwater is meant for. And the trout have begun to move around so you don't have to stack up from the Pipe to the Tree Pool to feel the "tug". The tug is everywhere.

Now we will start talking about the EB and the Millers.

The EB has settled down but I don't believe that the CR Gorge section is stocked and probably will not be until mid May. There will be trout moving downstream from ABOVE which may provide some relief but the action is at least two weeks away. If I'm wrong let me know but you probably will not!!

The Bears Den of the Millers is starting to almost look placid but in Erving/Wendell Depot it's another story. We will watch this.

Guys, don't get too antsy. We have 6 to 7 months of the Millers and the EB to look forward to. Think of those Summer evening rises. They are right around the corner!!


Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Trout Are There: Fish Deep/4/27= It's at 66 cfs!!!!!

Forget about having trout swim around your boots at the Y Pool. Forget about seeing dozens of trout all over the place below the Pipe. The trout are there BUT you have to FISH for them and you have to fish DEEP. If you are not fishing DEEP in this current (215 cfs) you will do nothing. My guys on Sunday landed 4 but hooked another 8 to 10 and my friend Brad, a true Tenkara disciple, skinned the section after we left. (Note: Tenkara lines fish DEEP, they work in this heavy current). Scuds and bead headed small flies seemed to work best.

The above RT 9 section will improve. The socking was sparse but it will get better, The trout are beginning to move around above and below the Pipe. Things will get better.

Now, what happened at 11:00 am on Saturday morning on the Swift? A milky gray plump of filthy charged out of the PIPE from the hatchery. It covered the right side of the flow from the Pipe through the Tree Pool to the extent that you couldn't see the bottom on the river. It went on for the 15 minutes that I saw it and who knows how look afterwards.

Now, over the years I have seen an occasional "tint" to the outflow especially during low flows but this was obscene! Now I know we are not talking about paper mill waste of waste from plastic industries. This was trout "poop" but the trout hatchery that I worked for a few years ago had it's discharge measured on a regular basis. A discharge like that would of gotten us into trouble.

To the Hatchery Manager: get smart, don't do things that don't look right and if you HAVE to do them EXPLAIN the event BEFORE you do it. Don't say that you do this all of the time because in thirty years I've never seen a mess like this.

Photo attached.


P.S. the Swift dropped like a rock Monday from 215 to 66 cfs. PERFECT!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Mid Week Trip To The Swift

A Wednesday trip to the Swift below Route 9 did not show the pods of trout from the previous week. You could make them out here and there (kind of) but they are certainly scattered which is a good thing. Maybe more will be there within the next few days but I'll bet that they will not. I want to bet on the upper CR to be stocked but I will wait until Las Vegas chimes in. It better be!!!

The Millers and the EB - the Millers is around 1500cfs. Wait till the first week in May. The EB , in the Gorge section, is less than the gauge is reading but not a lot less. Get brave and follow RT 9 and find a place off the highway. Hint: wait until May 15 or so.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Swift Update

There are fish in the Swift except in the regionally famous CR section above Rt 9. Rumor has it that the DCR doesn't want a stocking truck up there until the ground dries out. The access points have been dry for a while. Maybe DCR doesn't like having a regionally famous trout stream. Maybe they like the litter dropping day hikers which seem to be overwhelming the place the last few years. In any event they have taken CR to a new level. If there are no fish then you can't keep them.

I guided Friday and Saturday below RT 9 and my guys were the only ones to catch trout. It took a while to figure it out but the rainbows were not hanging out in the usual mid stream spots but were resting in the calm water out of that 200 cfs flow. Swift Serendipities, small SJW's and size 18 turkey tops drifted right over their heads did the trick. It was a sight fishing experience!


Monday, April 13, 2015

How About An Update The Millers And The EB

As I write the Millers at Erving (the Bridge Street Pool) is running at 2470 cfs and trending UP.

As I write the Bears Den section of the Millers is running at 1430 cfs and has leveled OFF.

Some of this high water MAY be the result of the (maybe) hold back of water for the local party called the River Rat Canoe Race. I think that they didn't hold water back BECAUSE the flow was high enough. The stream gauges indicate this. This is very high water and the fishing will be tough. Wait a week and check the gauges on this site.

As I write the EB BELOW the Huntington Dam in running at 1110 cfs. Now, this doesn't mean that the CR section is roaring. They could hold water back and fill the flood pond and then, after the high water event(s), release water which will drain the flood pond and show a high flow below the dam BUT the CR will be PERFECT. How can you tell if the flow in the CR is good?

Simple - The EB (above the gauge) has a flow that is DOUBLE the combined flows of the West and Middle Branches. It's like that year round. So, go to the West Branch gauge site, write down the flow reading and then go to the Middle Branch site and do the same. The West and Middle Branches should have a combined flow close to equaling the EB. Now, I said that the EB was running at 1110 cfs. The WB is running at 664 and the MB is at 375. Combined that's at 1039 cfs which says that the EB flow isn't effected by the dam. This simple calculation always works. Observation: I feel that the EB fishes well below 600 cfs and we are a ways from that.

The Millers and the EB will be fine by late April if we don't get clobbered by rain. Hint maybe you should try the Middle Branch. You may be surprised.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Ok,2:30 Friday afternoon and the Swift has not received any of OUR trout YTD. There's a bunch on locations of flowing water out in the Berkshires that are getting their share BUT NOT THE SWIFT which has more casts per season than any of these other locations. I don't get it. The Swift is the PLACE. Why will you not stock it?? Do you have a problem with Swift River Fly Fishers? Do you have a problem with the ONLY wade accessible 12 month trout fishery that brings in god knows how many out of state anglers every year??

Answer Us. I have thousands of page views a month and you are not responding or doing anything. I can't answer for you. Respond to this Blog and give the reasons. And don't say that you can't get into the CR section when you know you can stock below RT 9.

We are waiting.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Still Winter In Those Hills And A Millers Presentation.And The Need For A Reel

This was going to be the last 50 degree day until this weekend so I decided to visit a vein of a major artery out in the "Hidden Hills", that section between Rt 20 and Rt 2 west of the Connecticut River. It was going to be a chance to work this new 5'9" 3 wt. fiberglass rod but I decided to use the veteran instead of the rookie. The veteran being my 6'bamboo which had been sending me subliminal messages this past week that it needed to be fished. The rookie will make the lineup later!

It wasn't 50 degrees where I was and the terrain looked like the tail of a retreating glacier. Foot thick slabs of ice hung from both shores of this little stream and the woods still had a blanket of snow. In fact I didn't even see drops of water dripping from the overhanging ice. It's still Winter here!!

Fished for an hour working some brookie flies that I believe resulted in one "tap". That was it but it was good to visit this place. In three weeks.....

Took a detour to check out the EB. The ice barricade is still there and the road below is a bobsled run. In three weeks....

I'm doing a slide presentation on the Millers River for the Western Ma. Fly Fishers on Monday, April 20th at the Ludlow Elks. A 45 minute fly tying demo by Dan Trella starts at 7pm and then I'm right after that. It's free!!


P.S. A friend of mine has a need for a Loomis Syncrotech 678 fly reel. He is in NEED. If you have one contact me and we will go from there. KEN

Friday, April 3, 2015

To The DFW - What's Up With The Swift?????

Hmm... I don't get it. I can see where some of those kettle ponds on the Cape will get some early stockings. They are either ice free or close to it by now but why is the DFW stocking Berkshire area ponds but not the ice free, very fishable Swift River??? Just this past Sunday I saw ice fishermen on a number of ponds out Berkshire way. Not catering to the Spring fishing season are you. And why are you stocking the tranquil(Ha) Deerfield, roller costing along at 1000cfs to 3000cfs on a daily basis, but not the Swift at a steady 200cfs??


This River got national exposure a year ago in a national magazine but why does Otis Lake gets trout first????? I guess you don't want to PROMOTE Massachusetts fly fishing? I thought that you would jump at the chance to promote a gem like the Swift. A New York fly fisher that I know was dismayed at the condition of the Swift this past week!!

STOCK THIS RIVER!! You can do it. The hatchery is right next door. You have hundreds (actually more) of license holding fly fishers who are chomping at the bit to fish this wonderful resource. GET IT DONE!!!!!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Lower Millers Again - You Should Fish It! (And Above The Bears Den)

This is a refresher course on the Lower and Upper Millers.

Over the years I've written about those last 5 miles of the Millers where it does it's best disappearing act - from the Bridge Street Pool to Millers Falls.The Bridge Street Pool is a classic. Great choppy riffles moving into a glide and then a pool of swimming hole proportions. I holds trout for a long time and you will not be disappointed.

The Bridge Street Pool is the gateway to unfished water - I'm not kidding!! In 30 years I've never seen anyone else there except those that I've brought there. The fast water is FAST and the pools are large. One can catch good sized browns here with rainbows thrown in. In late May through mid June this place is home to oversized smallmouth (2+ pounds). Rumor has it that they come up from the Connecticut River to spawn. I can't verify that BUT all of the BIG smallies I've caught or caught by people that I've guided have been caught in May and June.

There are two good season long feeder streams that refresh this section, Mormon Hollow Brook and Lyons Brook. Both hold the real thing in their upper reaches.

The Bears Den - For most anglers this section begins 200 yards above Rezendes and ends 200 yards below that property. Go to S. Royalston, drive down the road past Pete & Henry's till the end. Suit up and head to the river. This is about a half mile ABOVE the CR section BUT the place is a great place to fish. You will see why when you get there.

These places are seldom fished even though I've been waving the pom-poms for them for years.

If you want to cut to the chase and learn all of the best places in one leisurely trip just let me know. I guide there!!

We will be fishing everywhere soon. Count on it!!