Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, June 28, 2015

New Places And Old Places

A New Place - I've never written about the Middle Branch of the Westfield and not because it doesn't deserve attention. It is a beautiful mountain stream that rises in the eastern Berkshires, flows for miles along a seldom traveled country road, is impounded by a very deep reservoir and then spills into the Main Branch in Huntington. My friend took rainbows out of this small stream that were unusually fat and broad shouldered and just seemed to look different in size and color than a hatchery bow. Hmmm...

I don't expect the hordes to descend on this place because of it's remoteness plus there is so much water to fish. And don't trust the flow gauge on Middle Branch. It's located BELOW the dam so you don't see the impact of high water events. To get a better picture check out the flow on the West Branch. As I write the Westfield watershed is getting hammered by rain but things will be very fishable in 48 hours. I plan to be there!

An Old Place - The lower C&R of the Millers ends at the bridge in Erving Center. It is seldom fished, taking second fiddle to the Kempfield section upstream. This is a great spot with lots of trout (I saw two stockings here this Spring) but it comes with a warning: it may be the most difficult section to wade on this river. When the flow is over 400 I go elsewhere. I love this place when the flow is 250 or lower and I'll have it to myself on most occasions. It's great dry fly water too!!

We needed the rain and now we have it. As I've said many times the EB rises quickly and falls quickly. If it's at flood stage on the day you plan to fish then hit the Swift or another river that isn't blown out. The Millers has been so good as of late that I don't feel too bad with rising waters. It will stay up for a week or more which means I'll fish other rivers.

Go Fish!!!


Monday, June 22, 2015

The Swift - A Sublime Evening

The EB and the Millers have been working well but what about the Swift? It's fine!!

6 hits and 3 landed on a size 18 pheasant tail which seemed to work for the sulphur hatch that never seemed to get going this evening. The Tree Pool has lots of fish and few fishermen especially in the evening when I was there. Lenny, a client and friend, worked the lower end with a good brown to net. There were 2 other fly fishers but they left by 5:30pm.

The pheasant tail was at the business end of a size 6x tippet and I spent about an hour and a half casting upstream and letting the sunken fly drift downstream in the Gordon Catskill tradition. Many don't realize that people like Theodore Gordon fished their sunken flies upstream instead of across and down. An upstream cast gives you the perfect drift. You see the line/leader STOP. You catch trout that way on a river like the Swift.

A perfect Summer evening on the Swift. There will be many more!! We are lucky to have GOOD trout fishing that is only an hour away for most of us. I've fished from New Brunswick for Atlantic Salmon to Montana for trout. I still say that we live a good spot.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer - Book An Evening Trip

This my favorite time of the year. The evenings are long and with the occasional rainy day to keep the rivers flowing the fishing is great. So far this season we have not been beaten up by the extremes like heat and drought. Things got dicey with low water in May but that was corrected in June. Both the Millers and the EB are in the low 200's - PERFECT.

The Millers has been producing especially the very top of Orcutt. Swinging soft hackles or hi-sticking nymphs all work. Funny thing about the bridge being out - we have more parking! I'm also thinking that when they begin to rebuild the bridge it may muck up the area for a season or two or worse- change it completely. We will see.

Early morning is a good time to hit the EB. Because of the steep terrain much of the river's northern bank stays in the shadows well past 10 am making the morning last longer. It is also prime dry fly water. I've found that using a large dry (pick your favorite) during the day and then switching down to mimic what's hatching as evening rolls in just seems to work

The lower Swift will(hopefully) get it's early July stocking which should keep us fishing through the Fall. Some of the best dry fly action I've had over the years has been on the Swift during the Summer. The action can last all day but the evening is best with the kayak crowd usually gone by then.

We have two great months coming up before we swing into that other season which is too early to mention right now.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Y Pool Revisited

The Y Pool has trout. Not the epic amounts of the spring/early summers of the last decade but enough to keep you guessing and busy. My client missed 6 this morning, all on dries with the last 4 being "almost" fooled on ants and beetles.

The sad part is that the stretch from the Y Pool down to the bench by the stairway has nothing or nothing that I could see. The Pipe was the typical Pipe with a scattering of bows and brookies. I finally gave my 5ft 9 inch 3 wt glass rod it's maiden voyage working little 15-20 foot casts for an hour. I took 2 bows and two brookies on an 18 sulphur soft hackle. The verdict: Yes, you can cast into tight spots but it's still a novelty rod. I'll give it a second look when I get around to it.

July 1st marks the change in regulations below RT 9 with the traditional stocking. Maybe some of those fish will end up above the bridge!

The Millers and the EB have been doing well. My guys spent an hour and a half working the riffles at the head of the Orcutt Pool at 11am of all times and hooked up with about a half dozen trout with one large brown breaking free. Size 14 Australian Possum bead heads did the trick.

Water levels are great and you should be out there!!!!!!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June - So Far, So Good And Some Open Dates

The 2 inch plus rainfall of last week was a shot in the arm for local rivers. The EB shot up like a rocket and then dropped like a rock in two days. The Millers is STILL dropping but is in prime shape for the next week at least. The "thin blue lines" got pumped up by that rainfall and now have good flows under a green canopy - perfect.

Believe it or not - I have not fished the Swift in over two weeks and I'm hearing some strange stories about the place especially above RT 9 as being "devoid" of fish. Maybe my spies will report in or maybe I'll tear myself away from the EB and check it out myself.

OPEN DATES - I have two open EVENING dates available. One for Wednesday June 24 and Thursday June 25 for the 5-8 pm slot. First to grab one by EMAIL gets it. No phone calls.

Go Fish!


Friday, June 5, 2015

EB And Millers Update

The rain of Tuesday changed the picture for two of my favorite rivers. The Millers began to rise on Tuesday and continued to rise through Thursday night. The lower CR is still too high to have any safe fun but the Bears Den has gotten into fly fishing range and is a real possibility this weekend.

The EB peaked at 1100 cfs late Tuesday and is now in the low 200's. Perfect conditions for the weekend and for good results today. Fish this river this weekend OR if you can get a Monday/Tuesday next week you will be in prime conditions and have most of the place to yourself.

Oh yes, the Swift!!! There are trout there but not that easy. Fish hard and smart!!


Monday, June 1, 2015

The Millers Evening Guys

Hit the early evening on any summer evening and you may be alone or you may be with some who are a kindred spirit on this river. They know, like you, that the daytime, bankers hours end around Memorial day and KNOW that the evening is the time to fish for those browns that this river is known for. They are quite, patient and are good to be around. Join this group, watch and listen for any advice that you can get. Join this club!!!

The rivers are doing well and this day or so of rain will keep it going.

Summer fly fishing is upon us. No need to hang up the waders for the fall stocking. If you feel that way then read another blog!!