Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, November 2, 2015

Follow The Leader And A Squannacook Thank You

Two clients and I were moving in closer to casting range of a group of spawning brookies in the long flat below the gauge. Our steps were small with no ripples in the water. Just then a fly fisher came walking down the path to the Pipe. His shadow hit the water for a second and those brookies scattered. At a 46cfs flow that is all that it takes for trout to sound the alarm. These conditions have caused me to lengthen my leaders. My 9ft leaders became 12ft leaders and my 12 ft leaders have become 15ft leaders. They're still tipped with 5x for subsurface action which the trout don't seem to mind and the fly line (the real culprit when it comes to spooking trout) is far enough away to be of no concern. Now I'm working 20 ft plus leaders into the mix. Don't get brave and think that you have to build these from scratch because you don't. I bought a 9 ft 1x leader, cut off a foot of tippet to make it 8 ft. Then I attached 5ft of 3x, 4ft of 4x and then 3ft of 5x. I built in a 12 inch "sighter" of florescent yellow backing material into one of them but haven't bothered using it since they work well without them.

My next step will be to go buy some 16ft, 1x salmon leaders so I can take this game to its limit. This is a "Swift Rig" or pond rig as long as the wind isn't blowing.

The Swift has been fishing great and the Millers has just started to come down from last Wednesday's rain. The rains moved the EB trout out of their pods to the point where some very skilled fishermen got totally blanked this past weekend. Some questioned whether the river was actually stocked!! I referred them to this blog. Anyway, hit the EB this week and the Millers too because the flows will be good (sub 400 cfs on the Millers by Wednesday) and the weather great.

Charlie from Evening Sun gave me a call to tell me of the readers of this blog who have come in to tell him that the Squannie is receiving some good press instead of no press at all. He appreciates this uptick in interest. Also, I've been getting a very good amount of comments and emails about a lot of our rivers especially the Stillwater. KEEP IT COMING!!!!!!!

Charlie and I will be hitting the Squannacook or the EB this month if we can somehow find the time.

Keep fishing!!!




PhilKen, nice post! "Keep'em coming"
Just an FYI, this month's eastern fly fishing magazine had a great article about the evening Sun Fly Shop as well as the Swann, so stop by a magazine store & check it out if you get the chance.

Anyway, well done............Phil

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I subscribe to the magazine. Is the article in a new issue?

WrongDay said...

I saw you on the EB with a client Friday morning about 9am. I was driving a little further down the river. I was curious to see if you were getting any action because I caught nothing until about 11:30 when I picked up a 14" brown and a small rainbow. I'd never fished the river when it was that high and I couldn't wade into the spots that normally produce fish. I tried the pockets of slower water on the river edge and the deep slower runs down the middle but couldn't really figure out where they were or what they wanted. Tried buggers, Y2K, san juans. Caught the brown on a prince and the bow on a 20 incher, so I guess they were looking for more natural nymphs. Most of the time I felt clueless as to what to fish with or where to fish in those conditions. Your comment on your blog about good fishermen getting blanked made me feel a lot better. Were you able to figure them out? Bill

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Wrong Day

Started with the flow at 621 cfs and ended up with two bows both on streamers that were weighted. The pods of fish got flushed out which is a good thing.


The Eye on Harvard said...

Despite the reports of Browns coming out of the Squannacook, I hooked up today with a beautiful dark 12"+ rainbow. Deep dark and as purple as the SJ worm I caught it with. Caught in the fast water, I first had an exciting "leaf strike" which on the backside was a big meaty dragonfly nymph. I used a bead headed black nymph in lieu of small shot to get the SJ to bounce the bottom and hooked up on SJW. Hard to tell if it was encouraged by the bead head or not.

Bob O said...

Ken, Your leader designs sound almost like a "Euro" nymphing rig. I've been using something similar for a couple of years. I have 20 feet of 10# yellow amnesia as the butt from the flyline, to which I tie in about 15" of red/yellow jan siman 'sighter' material, to that I tie 6x fluoro tippet of whatever length necessary (usually 6 to 9 feet). Not very scientific build but it's quite effective. A 10 ft rod, and a small split shot allows me good accessibility to most faster runs of the Swift. It's a great set up to keep contact with the fly while upstream fishing pocket water, and drifting soft hackles. Sometimes I'll tie in a midge emerger dropper somewhere above the shot (but it tangles - even if it's only 5" long). I find my fly line seldom leaves my reel.

This is rig is primarily used for subsurface, upstream approaches, in faster water. I find this style to be a lot of fun, very responsive to strikes. It does not lend itself to dry fly fishing or flat water.



Yes, what ever is the newest issue is I guess. I just read eastern Fly fishing on Saturday at B&N.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob O,

Years ago I read of some limestone anglers down in PA who built out 20 foot leaders for those spooky trout. I use mine to drift and swing small flies in shallow water like below the gauge at the Swift also using a 10 foot rod. Unlike the euro guys I'm not using weighted flies.

It's funny but one can read about long, long leaders 20 or more years ago that were not "named". Then marketing gets it's teeth into it and you have Euro,
French, and Spanish. Let's here it for the boys in New Zealand who have been using 15 + foot leaders for years and wouldn't think of allowing a "New Zealand Leader System".


Falsecast said...

Mike C and Anonymous -- I went to the Stillwater today and it was super low and lots of leaves accumulated at the basin. No fish. Didn't see any Salmon.

I couldn't agree with you more about how gross it gets in that skinny water on the Stillwater. It turned me off too. I refused to cast and just watched them while people walk in and snag.

Now at the basin before the run I feel I bit different about it. The fish are just staging and at least bite the fly. You don't have the yahoo's with the surf caster either. The few times I've hit it you have to wade way out as far as you can go on the spit at the end of the trail until there is some water depth and cast as long as you can using bright streamers. If the Salmon are there you often just see subtle disturbances on the surface if calm. Finished at the Quinnie and took one Brown near River Rd, but was really low, slow and leafy too. Need some water.

Nice picture of Charlie in that magazine too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks falsecast, appreciate the intel and reports.

Mike C said...

How far down can you wade? I figured once you got to the split you had to play by reservoir rules not river rules. In the river it is possible to find fish that will still take a fly. In my limited experience those are the fish that are fresh and are just in holding locations as they make their way up river.

Thanks for the discussion on leaders. It is really something I haven't played with enough. When do you choose between a 9 foot and a 12 foot leader? What do you like for upstream sub surface vs. downstream?


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Mike C,

My main length now is 12 ft out of the bag with extra tippet length for the Swift. I'll be going longer with these low flows. My EB and Millers 4wts average out to 12 feet unless the water is very high and then I go short down to 5 or 6 feet.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Saw the Charlie/Nissi article in Eastern. Check out the cover. It's Lawrence Brook, at Doans Falls in Royalston. A tributary of the Millers!


Falsecast said...

Rules? You may be correct about the Res vs The River, but I don't know and plead ignorant. :) You have to basically wade out as far as you can. The right hand side is very muddy/silty and you can see the river channel on the left and then it gradually gets too deep.

Not to digress, but I believe I posted this experience a couple of years ago on Ken's blog. I am sure most EPO's are nice people, but... I walked up to an EPO, who was doing nothing but trying to write license tickets in the lot, and told him about the surf casters and snaggers that were downstream in the woods and I was chewed out by him. Quotes from him like "are you a biologist?" and "I am sick of hearing from fly fisherman on this topic, it's LEGAL to fish with worms and treble hooks for these fish, I hope they catch a lot, get over it". My only point was that it would be nice if the state protected this run. It was a useless effort to communicate with him so if an EPO wants to write me a ticket for going too far in the basin, I can live with it.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

25-30 years ago the MDC, the controlling body for Wachusett, said that reservoir regulations didn't take effect until you reached the railroad trestle.

Snagging is a violation and that EPO should done something instead of raking on you. Next time get the badge #.


Anonymous said...

False cast,
I had the opposite experience with an EPO on Sunday at the still. I were talking and he brought up that he thought the fall run there should be fly fishing C&R. And unethical some of the bait guys can be. Seemed like a good guy.

lenny tamule said...

That EPO clearly hates his job. I don't know how well the success rate of the spawning run is but not having it FFO C&R is lunacy. If their numbers start to decline then the snaggers probably won't even understand why and will bitch and moan there are no more salmon. I only saw one bait guy there yesterday and he was on the bridge a lot of fly guys it was good to see