Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, November 9, 2015

2015: Rating The Three Rivers

It's time to rate the three rivers: the EB, the Millers and the Swift as we do every year. Ok, the season isn't over yet but with the clocks being turned back our time on the water has been greatly reduced. It is a time to reflect at bit. Now, this is not a popularity contest nor does it pit one river against another. The best way to describe this exercise is to compare each river to what it has been historically. Did this season measure up to or exceed the previous seasons or was it an off year. I think I have enough years on the three to have fun with this. Here it is:

Third Place is the Swift: "What, are you crazy?? It's the F'n Swift you're talking about!!!". Yes, I can hear it now from the devotees but shake off the amnesia and think back to last Winter and Spring. Winter was always a productive time on this river but not 2015. The trout were GONE, period! Nor was the Spring with a steady 220 cfs flow that made it a playground for the bait boys. Then the State appeared to forget that the river existed and stocking was delayed or all we got was a handout while places like Jamaica Pond got photo opt stockings. Finally July and it's regulation changes came around and everything was nice but not nice enough to make up for the worst seasonal start that I've ever witnessed. It could of been better.

Second Place is the Millers: A great start for this river occurred last Spring as the flows stayed manageable and the trout were willing. And then Spring rolled into Summer that the Millers was still getting it done. Evenings were great and I was hoping that we would not be hit by a Summer flood that would blow the river out for a month. Instead the watershed got slammed by a brutal drought. Yes, I still had some surface action in late July and early August but by then I decided to give the place a break. It's fishing well now as the reports coming to me indicate. Overall it was a better year then most over the last five years. It was a good year on the Millers.

FIRST PLACE IS THE EB: This place just never stopped producing this season even when you take out the Fall stockings. Last May I predicted that the overload of brook trout stocked that month would croak by mid July but that wasn't the case. They rose to the fly right through August. Bows and browns stayed for the Summer too. It was not the epic year of 2009 but it wasn't far off. It was my favorite place to be in 2015.


BobT said...

I totally agree. The EB always seems to be my favorite good fishing or bad.My perspective is mostly limited from the gate on down to the lower gate. In between, lots of water to yourself, no tubes or rafts and a variety of water. I always thought it held up better in the summers than it sometimes gets credit for. I did find some fish above the bridge last week, I wish I hadn't waited until DLS to check it out but its a long drive for me and I just have to make the best of the time I have. I will be looking at other sections next spring. It's a total sleeper in the Northeast(but not to the readers and your clients I assume) and its ok by me to keep it that way. I love the Millers too but it has a much higher beta when it comes to rain or drought although I have never not caught fish in high water there. I still have more days on the Swift than any river in the northeast although very few over the last 20 years. I fished it 3-4 days a week at least 8 months of the year for four years when in college. I do go back there but I just don't like it that much. It has nothing to do with the fishing-its challenging and often requires the same or better acumen to be successful but the retarded way its managed, the fierce pressure it has on it and the damn hatchery and its impact on that section of the stream. Its not that its bad, but I have fished extensively in the other two rivers plus the farmington, housy, deerfield, the white mountains, the catskills and 7 of the last 8 years I lived out west...its just not my cup of tea.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob T,

I feel the same way about. When I go to the Swift I look for places that are not swamped by anglers. Places where you can study the section that you are on and knowing that the game changes day to day instead of working the tired old same techniques. Some like the the "same old same old" which teaches you nothing.

I have so many fond memories of the EB. Evenings of dry fly fishing instead of the bead headed monotony that is sadly becoming this endeavor (my opinion). And forget the crazy catches you get after the stocking truck leaves. It's how you catch them and not how many you catch. Count the Millers in this group.


Josh S. said...


I tried to forget about the rough start the swift had, and I almost did until I read about it here haha. There was nothing for a good while.

EB had another great year, countless great days. You know it's great when all the days you've spent get mixed together in your memories.

Thanks again for the blog, I love checking in daily.

BobT said...

Both the Millers and EB have a ton of interesting water. I thank you for sharing your guide to the Millers many years ago. My dad had told me Ted Williams fished it when I was a kid but on the hundreds of trips out to the Deerfield we took in the 80's and 90's we never saw more than a handful of fishermen on it-so never gave it a fair try. I did end up trying it on my own about 15 years back and ended up loving it. After deciding that it was worth my time and stumbling onto your blog- the guide you put together made it a little easier to find water. I think there are other rivers in MA that are somewhat overlooked once the stocking trucks leave-the Housy up stream of the Pike, the Hoosic, some tribs to the Deerfield and Housy.

No Meio Do Atlântico said...

Guys don't forget some amazing action happening right now on some ponds close to Boston...
Been fishing one of them every afternoon that I can and it's dry fly extreme, fish rising everywhere in the shallow water of the pond, and 2 ft from shore.
Midges are hatching good on the ponds, get your midge dries and get some big lake fish.
Rui Machado

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Glad that you like the blog.


We forget about how good lakes and ponds are at this time of year. You didn't! Thank you for the comment.