Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB
Fly Fishing The Millers - With over 30 years of fly fishing this river I will claim more knowledge and fish caught than anyone. There are over 40 miles of river and I will take you to the best sections and if you want to sections that never see another angler. Don't be fooled by those who say the Millers is a Spring and Fall river. I'll show you how to have great Summer action. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe this river. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go to catch trout. After a trip you will too!! Solitude and trout IS the EB. The Swift - 20 trout days are not uncommon on this river if you know what to do and use. I'll show the way and you catch the trout. RATES - Full Day (6 hours) = $150.00 for one, $225 for two (lunch included). Half Day (three hours) $90.00 for one, $155.00 for two. Beginners Class - 3 hours ffor $90.00, all use of rods lines, reels included.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Favorite Styles Of Fly Fishing

For this form of fishing (with a sunken fly) the rod is no longer a shooting machine but a receiving post, with super-sensitive antennae, capable of registering immediately the slightest reaction of the fish to the fly - Charles Ritz, A Fly Fisher's Life


First off, I hate weight!! Be it wire or beads (really hate beads) I try my best to avoid it. Granted, there are times when it is necessary especially in the cold, deep flows of early Spring when nothing is hatching. When fishing the EB or the Millers under these conditions the weight is built into the fly. When fishing the Swift it is almost NEVER built in but attached in the form of a micro shot a foot or more above the fly. Why is that? Most of my Swift fishing is done below Rt. 9 where the river is more fertile and produces more weed beds than above Rt. 9. Weighted flies will pick up weeds. When fishing a fly and shot combo it's the micro shot that will pick up weeds as the fly rides just above the weeds which is where you want it. When fishing the Swift I'm almost always fishing some kind of emerging pattern micro shot or not. If I see surface activity starting it's easy to ditch the shot and fish the fly higher in the water than yanking off the bead head for something more sensible.

Second, I don't like bottom dredging but know that it has it's time and place. This includes high sticking and/or Czech nymphing. I find both forms to be situational: a nice run that's within 10 feet of me requires the above approach but I wouldn't apply the same technique to most situations like I've seen over the past few years. Remember, you spent big bucks for that long, lightweight casting machine and I don't believe it was meant to be used like an ice fishing jigging rod!

Third, I live for the Dry Fly! In 2009 I fished the EB from Memorial Day through Labor Day without going subsurface once and did very well and it's been pretty much the same since then. The same goes for the Millers. In fact, I enjoy dry fly fishing on the EB and the Millers (and the Squannacook) more than on the Swift. Why is that? The Swift, especially below the Pipe, has rising trout all year long and I've done well with tiny flies but I know that I'm floating over MANY rising trout on every cast. Many will refuse my dry on every cast for one reason or another but then one takes it. One gets the feeling that its more of a game of chance or whether or not you got there before anyone else did to have the best position. On freestones you are not going to have the concentrations of fish like the Swift. It's going to be YOU vs.THE TROUT and you have to not screw up the cast or drift because some dumb brookie two feet below that wise old brown isn't going to save the day for you. It's a different game and I like it! My favorite dry fly stretch on the Swift is_________. Not lots of fish but enough to keep me occupied.

Ken

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ken, thanks for the post. What are your thoughts on streamers on the Swift? I've had quite productive days using a large articulated olive bugger in faster water and landed my biggest trout on Thursday using this method.
Also is the Millers still in play this time of year? I've had trouble finding the fish (or getting their attention)
Thanks and happy fishing

Parachute Adams said...

Ken, do you use a strike indicator when fishing sub surface? If so what is the best kind to use.

Thanks, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,

Streamers will work more now than 10 years ago with all the small brookies that are all over the place. You have maybe heard of or experienced hooking a 2 or 3 inch brookie only to have it grabbed by a rainbow over the last few years. I have some small (size 12) marabou streamers that I've used on the EB this Fall with success but they haven't been tied on for the Swift yet. Just can't get away from those micro insect gulping bows!!

The Millers is flowing ok (300cfs) but that water temperature is dropping. Try the Kempfield section for best results right now.

Ken

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam,
"do you use a strike indicator when fishing sub surface?" Answer = No

" If so what's the best kind to use?" Answer = None

I don't use indicators hardly at all but.....Seriously, use the smallest adjustable indicator that you can find. I don't like yarn indicators at all and I've seen the smaller size N.Z. ones SINK. Small plastic balls (you know the name, I do few product endorsements) in WHITE seem to work ok and white isn't a crazy color that scares fish.Last Summer I was in that gun/fishing shop up at the corner of RT 9 and Rt 202 and they had a bucket of red and white plastic bobbers that kids use for bait fishing. They had some that were TINY so I bought some. They work well as indicators and are easily adjustable.

The only spot where I use indicators is on the Bubbler Arm above the Y Pool and only in the deeper sections upstream. The only indicators that I use are homemade. One is a small piece of cork threaded onto the leader using a sewing needle and another is an indicator made from CDC feathers. That one works well and it doesn't scare trout because it's a FEATHER from a duck. Search my blog for instructions on making it. The neat thing about both materials is if you get them caught in a tree they are biodegradable. The best indicator that I've heard of (but haven't tried) is the guy who takes a twig, bends it until to splinters, and then runs the leader into the splintered section. He may be a GENIUS!!

Ken

Anonymous said...

It takes an amazing angler to nymph without an indicator. You clearly know what you are doing!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,

That's the way fly fishers used to do it. Really not hard at all.

Falsecast said...

Anonymous and Ken - Regarding indicators, I learned to nymph with a short line style, no indicator and I agree I like to avoid it whenever I can. I also agree with Ken that it isn't that hard to fish without one and you'll get a better feel for the weight and presentation.

On certain rivers like the Housy or Millers or EB, I do use them in spring, but not as much for noting the strike, but instead to position the fly far away or in rough choppy water. I cast a long line, do multiple big "western" mends that will rip up the water (it doesn't effect the fish) and swing it 20 or 30 feet below me, always mending. All I am using the indicator for is the create a right angle on the heavily weighted (spring flows) double nymph rig. This is very effective for Hendrickson hatch and can allow you to cover a ton of water from one position. Obviously fish the water right in front of you before casting over it, but I guess I am just pointing out that there is more "value" to indicators beyond indicating. :)

Hate the bobbers that have the name Ken wont mention. Kink up the line, slide and cause bad tangles.

Rubber band types seem to always break right when you run out of rubber bands or just crumble in your hands.

Sticky foam gunks up your line, isn't adjustable and worst off all often ends up on the bank. I admit, I use these stickies on the Swift at times.

I used the toothpick style. You can fill your pockets with regular tooth picks and use your forceps to break off the top. I bet many of you have had the humiliating experience of trying to get the nymphing right and then a trout just eats the indicator right in front of you :) Hope this was helpful.


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Falsecast,

Good comments as usual!!!

Ken

Anonymous said...

How are you doing Ken? I was wondering, I haven't lived in Mass for very long and the only time I fished the Swift was at the Y pool which I didn't really like because it was packed. After reading your blog I've decided I want to try it another time but when people talk about below Rt. 9 they mean the Y pool? and also, when you say the Pipe, where is that Pipe. Could you shed some topography knowledge?

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,
If you fished the Y Pool you know that it is NOT below Rt.9 The Y Pool is ABOVE RT.9.

To the PIPE:
Take River Rd. off of RT 9 (1/4 mile east of the Swift River bridge) and then take the 3rd dirt turn off on the right across from a large iron gate. Go 200 yards down the dirt road and you are now upstream from the PIPE.

Ken