Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Updates and My Mistake About The Y-Pool

Last week I said that everything was fine with the Swift because I had heard, from vary reliable sources, that the upper CR had been stocked TWICE. Since I wrote that I have not met anyone who has caught or seen any trout above RT. 9. There is no excuse for this condition. Maybe the DCR has other plans for the area like making it a strolling park or encouraging groups like the 15 or so UMASS types who were actually trying to wade (as in SWIM) in the river Saturday. I don't care what anyone says - this river belongs to fly fishers first!!

The PIPE has fish and it also has a huge population of the rudest bait slingers that you can imagine. They will attempt to crowd you out. The solution is to make this catch and release year round. I was talking to a DWF fellow last week who said the same thing.

Bows, browns and suckers will be what you will be fishing over from the gauge downstream.

The EB is RIGHT NOW and the Millers is almost there. Below 300 cfs in the Bears Den is great, 590 cfs in Erving is almost there. The browns go in May 8 in the CR sections of the Millers.

I don't know if you've noticed but we are in a dry spell. Most measured river flows in MA. are actually below normal for this time of year and it will not be the first time that we had a snowy winter followed by a bone dry spring and summer. We could use some rain.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this information Ken.
I agree the pipe section should be catch and release also.


Anonymous said...

Ken have you ever considered leaving the area? You could do so much better for yourself on a real river instead of the aquarium that is the swift. It seems like you're always complaining about many aspects of the fishing here and you always say that you like to fish the trout when they're hardest to catch. Well those fish on the swift are at no point in the year difficult to catch. Move out west or north man get into real trout fishing.

Jake MacVarish said...

Hey ken, I was the kid that walked in above you guys yesterday. Thanks for the tip about the bows and suckers there! I agree about those spin guys. They literally casting 4 feet from both of your clients on either side! I moved into that spot after you left to target some rising fish and the guy waded through the whole pod like 10 feet from me.. It was unbelievable.

Bob O said...

Ken, I heard today (Sunday pm) from a reliable fellow fisher that the Y pool had been twice stocked. Once with tiger trout. But, most were still holding in one are and had not spread out. Waiting for dry out (this week?) to bring the big truck through... I was down below the pipe section. The bank downstream of the pipe is chaulky white from the "hatchery milk" spilling during high water. The Swift is running at 60 cfs now - seems very low. Planning to fish elsewhere for a while. Tightlines.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob O,

I heard the same story about stocking and the shoreline stain is evidence of the "event" (so are my photos). The 65 cfs flow is actually high then the summer flow of last year.

Good to me you. It's another reason for CR FLYFISHING ONLY!

Anonymous,(it's always anonymous)
"Well those fish on the Swift are at no point in the year difficult to catch".

Hey guys, we have a real expert commenting. That's really quite a statement. Must be the same guy who told me a month ago that the deerfield only ran at 130 cfs for months. Anonymous - don't come back!!

Peter Vong said...

The swift not being stocked right away helped me to realize new waters I never thought to fish. I went to some quite brooks in southern ri yesterday and caught 12 solid browns on hendrickson dries! Had the whole stream to myself! I was a nice day of sight fishing in a stream no wider than 15 feet. Solid!

Josh said...

He (anonymous) obliviously doesn't fish the swift much. Real educated fish with crystal clear slow water.

The EB was fishing great this weekend. Love that river!

Falsecast said...

Hi Guys, -- I hate to say, but there are two reasons I stay away from the Swift in the spring. The first is that the freestones closer to me (I live in Watertown) are fishing very well now. The second reason, unfortunately, is the growing riff (and massive misinformation) between fly fishing at bait. It isn't that I care if someone bait fishes, but I care a lot when someone crowds me out or is rude. I just would rather avoid it and fish elsewhere.

Last week I was at the Quinnie, waded into a big hole that is below a stocking bridge and gets hammered. No joke, I took 45 minutes wading without my rod and cut away about 100yds of mono from the big tree that hangs over the pool. One of the lines was bouncing and there was a Rainbow just finning below the tree, gut hooked and dangling. I released it to die on its own. After 45 mins and my vest bursting with Mono, I waded to head of the pool with my rod and a guy literally walks 20 feet in front of my and lays out a line. I did look a bit frustrated and said (politely) "hey man, I just spent an hour cutting away line and was just about to cast where there is literally nowhere to drift because his line is taught. The answer, without even looking at me, was "sorry bud this river is for everyone, not JUST YOU!"

I just left, but it bothered me. It was obvious his beef was a fly fisher versus bait fishing. I can't emphasize enough that as long as it's legal, fish however you want, but if I hadn't spent 45 mins cleaning up, this guy couldn't have casted. There is a rudeness there that just sort of ruins my day if I have to beef with someone. I'd rather just leave and fish solo somewhere.

In short, the issues at the Swift are the same, not bait, but poorly trained or just rude fisherman. Though I agree with Ken this needs to be a ALO C&R water.

I disagree with Anonymous that Swift is easy once the season gets going. That's when I show up, mostly because the other folks are gone.

Let's all remember that fishing is a non contact sport. :)

Millers River Flyfisher said...

It is the same for many stocked rivers in this State. You witness this first hand. CR for all flowing waters!

Peter Vong,
You GET it!!!!!


BobT said...

Seems like not much has changed on the Swift or many other stocked rivers. I started fly rodding in 1983, the Quinapoxet and Swift were both a huge part of my learning. What I did learn is that if you walk a little further - the Quinnie is a great place to do that..the Swift is a little harder to do that on will find a lot of water to yourself. I had all too many experiences near stocking locations that led to quasi-confrontations with rude inconsiderate and ignorant fishermen, both Fly and Gear types. I fish for my fun, to learn a little more to get a little better. Its no longer about numbers but at least an opportunity to fool a fish or two. The quinnie is a great place to walk another hundred yards and leave to jerks to themselves. Recently being re-patriated to the Northeast from Colorado, its different here. The fishing is really really good if you are willing to work a little for it-for some that makes it more satisfying. Out West you deal with a different kind of jerk-a guy making his living as a guide squeezing you out of a hole, rowing his clients within roll cast distance of you comes to do the normal jerks you find fishing everywhere. There is more water to fish but its not necessarily have to define better for yourself.

Anonymous said...

I know they will eventually stock the C&R but I have a question. I have fished the C&R over the years right through the winter. Yes it does get slower and the fish tend to migrate up under the ice but this year was different. I fished all of January and first week of February. You could see fish and if presented right you could catch fish.

That all came to an abrupt halt the second week of February. It was like someone had rotenone the river. Suddenly there was not a fish to bee found above the Rt. 9 bridge. In all my past years I never saw anything like it. Where id all the fish go. It is supposed to be C&R so if someone knows the answer I would certainly like to hear it. One thing is for sure. Nobody will be able to say they are catching holdover fish this year. Now if only the DNR will do their part and stock the C&R section.

Pau N. said...

Have to say that many of the post regarding those that do not fly fish appear to be slanted against them. Remember that many if not most that fish DO NOT fly fish. As long as they obey the rules and are not rude about it I do not have an issue with them as some of you do. All these fisherman contribute to the pool of funds to keep the streams and rivers stocked. I have to say that judging from some of the comments, it appear that some on this site are very arrogant in their statements. I practice catch and release, fly fish and spin fish also. I also try to give another person room and do not intrude. The streams and rivers in the state belong to all, if you have an issue with that then maybe you need to take up another hobby/sport.Sometimes you get a bit over the edge with the comments regarding those that do not fly fish.

BobT said...

Anonymous - the dissappearing fish act used to happen in the late winter all the way back to the 80's. I went to UMASS so I got to sample it weekly back then. I wonder if it has to do with the reservoir turning over in late winter/spring?
Paul N-this is primarily a blog read by fly fishers and written by one so there will be fly fishing bias expected here. I spin fish a little bit-mostly in the salt but I've thrown a Mepps here and there teaching my daughter how to fish. Many fly fishermen are a bit more courteous and catch and release conscious, the reason being in my opinion is they have a lot more time and effort invested in the sport and therefore the resource. I dont think anyone here denies the right of gear fishermen to fish but its kind of sad when you see beer cans and worm containers on the streambank right next to where the stocking truck dumps them in. It would be way more cost effective and economically beneficial to all if some streams were managed for wild trout and or catch and release. The quinnie could be one of those rivers as could a number of others. The West has so-called great fishing because they take it seriously and it is an economic engine for those states. It will never be like that here but look at the Farmington in CT over the last 25 years and what has become of it. The Westfield and Deerfield are pretty good and could be better if managed properly(more catch and release, better flow regimes on the Deerfield). I'd lump the Swift and Quinapoxet and any brook that supports reproduction into that mix.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Paul N.

Thank you for your comment but PLEASE read the posts and comments.

We are talking about fish hogs (the DFW chase them on the Swift) and rude, pushy anglers who are by most observations bait fishers.

If the "streams and rivers in the state belong to all" (your words) why do we have Catch and Release, fly fishing only and catch and release fly fishing only at all?? And NO, I'm not taking up another sport. I'm a fly fisher for TROUT and have been for 45 years and want to EXPAND that sport to include CR on running water in this State. Yes, you can make the statement that most who fish are not fly fishers BUT I make the statement that most fishers of moving water in this state ARE fly fishers and I have data to back it up.

Arrogant?? You do say? We care about and defend a recreation and an environment that you enjoy without being an apologist for crude, wasteful elements.



Where did they go? My guess is that the trout, faced with the coldest and snowiest winter on record, headed into deeper water a few miles below or succumbed to the elements.


Anonymous said...

Ken great job with this blog. What I got out of this is that Ken is speaking of the dinks that litter, think that they own the river, and catch over their limit in the non-cr sections. I know plenty of spin guys that have a lot of respect for the rivers and others, wether it be fly or spin. Ken is right the entire Swift should be C&R only along with a handful of other rivers/streams. If people only showed some respect to others and the waterways we would all be better off!

Dave D said...

All I know is that I fished the swift for the first time today may 6 2015. Above rt 9. What a cool river. I'm from NH and am used to big rocks, over hanging trees, falls, deep cut bends etc... The Swift in this section is a new challenge that all who are local should relish despite any crowding that occurs. smooth bottom, cold water, site fishing, lots of casting room and for Christ's sake a groomed trail with steps and benches. I didn't catch anything but tried. Asked a few other guys for tips who were accommodating. from what I read online is that you need to 'know' the river to catch fish and I look forward to that challenge. I decided to quit at 11am and reeled in my line just as I saw a pack of about 25 nice rainbows swim by. they looked like they were on a mission to get somewhere. I couldn't get my fly in front of them and I swear they turned and laughed at me. NOT next time!

Anonymous said...


How about pressing MA F&G to install a dam fish passage on the Quinnie at the confluence with the reservoir?
Implement a catch n release section on the lower 3 miles.
It would become an incredible fall fishery.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Dave D.

That's the Swift! Good water and lots of good natured fishermen unless they are bait fishermen. They, for the most part, are not good natured. Not all of them are like that but the majority are. It's the experience of years here which draws that conclusion. Are there bait fishers who want to step up and correct this? Probably not. We will make is CR, no bait allowed, in the future!!


Anonymous said...

I don't think the Quinapoxet is really in Kens area, got to get the central Ma TU guys on this effort, there used to be a ladder there I think but not since I was a kid if there was one.

Mike from Andover said...


On a business trip (again) so fishing vicariously through the blog. Up in S. NH last weekend on a designated wild trout stream (barbless hooks, strict C&R) - there were not one but TWO dads with SUVs full of kids ranging in age from it looked like 2-15, with spin cast gear, buckets, worms etc. Wondered what the kid's were thinking, as there are large orange signs posting the special regs all over the place (I'm assuming that at least the older ones could read). Point is, the bait chuckers start early. I might have said something but the dads looked a little "rough" to me and I was looking for solitude on the stream (which I did find downstream a bit, along with a few brookies), not a fist fight.

I was on the Mass conservation website and apparently they have started the feasibility study to take down the Quinnie dam - with project manager assigned and a budget and everything. These things take time, but sometimes progress can be made. I was surprised by the number of projects they have going on (including removal of two dams here in Andover on the Shawsheen).

Falsecast said...

Anonymous and Bob T, Good news on the Quinnie! I spoke with a DCR Ranger the other day who said the dam removal is happening and they are interviewing contactors now. He also said it will be free flow to the res, but didn't know how they were going to do it. No fish ladders. Now if they can just get a minimal summer flow...

I am always conscious that this is Ken's blog about the Miller/Swift/EB, but the I took 6 fish and 2 monster 19/20 inchers in the Nissitissit today. These rivers are fishing well right now. Had the whole FFO section to myself. Worth a try now if you've never been and want to try a new spot.

Paul N - I respect your post and comments. I should have been clearer. I was trying to highlight that the issue is about rude fisherman period, regardless how someone chooses to fish.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Used to fish the Quinnie and Wachusett Res. when I lived in Sterling years ago. That fish ladder NEVER worked!!! Taking that dam down should make the Quinnie a very good land locked salmon stream like the Stillwater a few miles away.


Paul N. said...

Just a follow-up to some comments I posted regarding the Fly fishing crowd vs. bait /spincast group:Having seen both groups I can say that there are plenty rude fisherman to go around no matter what group. I have run into rude bait fishers, along with FF , some who won't even say hello and look at you like you have 3 eyes when you ask how the fishing is... and don't say that there aren't any like this.. I've met them. Also, to all the folks reading this who are a proponent of FFO/ C&R, has anyone put forward a plan to teach the kids how to FF ? Maybe have a day devoted to older FF showing them the benefits and how to FF? I know there is a "take a kid fishing" day but what about this?

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Paul N,

I've seen many more rude bait anglers than rude fly fishers. Fly fishers are in the vast minority here. I also don't have problems engaging other angler regardless of how they fish. Maybe it's you.

TU chapters have been teaching kids forever about fly fishing. This is not a solution but a feel good exercise. The solution is to eliminate bait fishing from running waters, at least from the State's major trout rivers.