Monday, October 19, 2015
A Good Swift Weekend, Bad Fish Handling And The Squannacook
Take away the Pine needles and the leaves and this weekend could of been epic but it was pretty good none the less. On Saturday Phil and I "found" a legendary school of trout that only a few regulars know about. Bruisers that rip 30 feet of line off your reel before popping the 6x kind of bruisers! Don't think I'm telling you the location. The Swift is small enough so you can find it yourself. No hints either.
Alex and his dad Tom had a good morning as Alex caught his first trout on a fly. In fact he caught his first 6 trout on a fly which may have made him the top gun on the Swift yesterday. It was a good time.
Later on during the afternoon while guiding I witnesses the worst fish handling scene in recent memory. This guy lands a large rainbow, drops it out of his net onto the rocks and begins to take pictures at different angles, then picks the fish up in a head lock for the traditional "head shot" (I think there was a selfie included). I'm about to leave my clients and walk up to this guy when he puts the fish back in the water and tries to revive it. I can see his attempt at resuscitation is going badly because the fish is going belly up. Finally he stops working the fish and I assume that it survived because it didn't float downstream although it may have died later. All told this trout was out of the water for 5 minutes easily. A word to those who should know better. 1. Land the trout in the net. 2. Unhook the trout while it's in the net. If you have to grab the trout do so while it's in the net with the net between you and the fish. 3. Take one good photo while the fish is in the net and release the fish. One minute tops!
I was talking to Charlie of The Evening Sun Fly Shop recently about the Squannacook River. The water is low but the fishing is good and if we get rain it will be better was his summary. This river is of special interest to me BECAUSE it's the place that I learned to fly fish decades ago. I caught my first trout on a dry here. I caught my first trout on a dry that I tied here. I learned the classic upstream approach for dries and wets here. I learned to " high stick" and "Czech nymph" here before the techniques were named. But most of all I learned that trout season does not end on the 4th of July but lasts all Summer if you know when and where to go.
I love this river and have been away too long. This river needs some good will. Years ago a sports writer from the Fitchburg Sentinel would write about this river weekly. Now nobody does. Starting (hopefully) next month and picking it up next Spring I'll be working this river and comparing places and events to what it was like years ago. It will be fun.
P.S. People say that the Bertozzi area on the Squanni is crowded. It was crowded 40 years ago too!!!
Posted by Millers River Flyfisher at 6:18 AM
Labels: guided fly fishing trips on the Swift River, guided fly fishing trips on th East Branch of the Westfield River, Guided fly fishing trips on the Miller River