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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Midge Heaven And More Conventional Wisdom Exposed And Lost Glasses


The Swift has been very productive especially down below Rt 9 and right now it's a given that you will have sipping trout below the pipe on any given day. This past summer I explained that the phenomenal surface active was the result of the hatchery discharge. This nutrient laden water adds to the insect life and midge species in particular. In fact, it is also reasonable to assume that the midge population might actually come from the hatchery itself and from the settling ponds in particular.

So, what do you use? Soft hackles of course in sizes 16 and 18! No gnarly bead heads unless you want to be picking moss off your fly on every other cast. Just drift these flies two or three inches below the surface in that shallow flow for success.

We fished micro eggs (18 and 20) with success and capped off a good day with an 18 to 20 inch 2 lb plus rainbow that inhaled a size 28 midge larvae. That leads us to the question: "It's Fall. How come you're not fishing streamers?" Answer: there's a hundred trout working the surface and probably double that feeding just a few inches below. They're feeding on small insects so that's what we are using. The Conventional Wisdom says that in the Fall trout want to stock up for the long winter ahead so you begin to hear stories about "put'n on the feed bag" and monster streamers. It just isn't true according to Tom Rosenbauer in his "Secrets of Fall Trout Fishing". Rosenbauer cites that biologists have found that trout feed less in the Fall then they do in May and June. As water temperatures drop the metabolism of trout drops meaning they will require LESS food. There may be a feeding spike in September as the heat of summer begins to wane but once the water drops below 50 degrees feeding decreases.

Trout are opportunists and will generally go for the food source that is most prevalent and the easiest to catch. Small flies on the Swift were the ticket yesterday. Would a streamer have worked? Remember,'bows have been inhaling 2 to 5 inch brookies all summer long so a streamer would of worked but maybe not as well as in June.

I like small flies anyway.

Eye glasses were found by the Pipe. See comments for getting them back.

Kwn

24 comments:

David Dutille said...

I found a pair of prescription eye glasses in a nice casein the water at the pipe on Saturday morning. Call or text me 781-248-0064. Dave

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Dave,

One year I found two sets of prescription glasses at the pipe. It's been a busy year at my Lost and Found Department is open!!

Ken

fischmeister57 said...

Ken,

couldn't agree with you more. While streamers have their time and place, I don't like using them in narrow, shallow streams and prefer to imitate the small stuff that makes up the trout's steady diet.

BTW, what are you using for the collars on those soft hackles? Doesn't look like partridge but soft black hackle? And were you really able to get by with such (comparatively) large flies (16's and 18's)? Of course, my perennial problem with tying small (say, 24's)soft hackles is that even my smallest partridge is too big ...

Thanks,

Herm

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Herm,

That photo has starling collars. I use them and partridge.

I've been using 16 through 18 for most subsurface fishing on the Swift. Presentation is the key. For small sizes strip off some partridge fibers, lay them tip side just over the eye at the desired length and then found back and secure. Bury the butt ends in the thorax material.

Ken

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great day. How are you fishing the eggs and midge larva? Do you use a strike indicator? I ask because the Swift fish seem very quick to spit out a fly. Thanks!

fischmeister57 said...

Thanks Ken, I'll try that with the partridge.

Herm

Millers River Flyfisher said...

We caught no trout while using indicators. Eggs were on the bottom and larvae and soft hackles were in the drift.

Ken

Falsecast said...

Hi Ken - I fished the Swift today for only a couple of hours as I got there at 2pm. It was packed with people just like a weekend. Luckily the river was packed too. I managed a couple of nice Bows and a bunch of Brookies. I was really noticing some nice sized Brookies in the mix.

Quick observation from testing out different colors other than my usual black/brown: The Brookies love this Orange soft hackle, almost one tiny one on every cast, but I can't get the Bows to take it? I switch to a Red Serendipity and bam get the rainbows. I put on a Bright Green soft hackle and nothing took it. My question is are these matching any midges of these colors? I figured the Green would look like BWO if around, but other then October caddis there isn't anything Orange or Red that I know of? You know the river bugs best. Any thoughts? Color really seemed to matter and I happen to have had a few diff colors of the same fly in my box to test it. I have noticed similar color snobbiness with Scuds in summer, but I know Scuds change color.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Falsecast-

The past few weeks the Partridge and Orange and the Grouse and Flash soft hackles in small sizes have worked well. They are generic and represent everything and nothing in particular. The rainbows like them as much as the brook trout. I try to tie mine with the darkest partridge and grouse that I can find and will even use a sharpie(brown) to get it done. Sometimes I use starling. Light colored hackles seem to work best in the summer.

Ken

lenny tamule said...

For whatever reason I do better at the swift with size 20 soft hackles tied on curved caddis hooks than regular hooks almost every time

Lenny

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Lenny,
You have a point. Sometimes I curve a small hook, using my vice, to get the profile that I want. Size 24 is as low as I can get with this method. Otherwise #20 size hooks seem to work well and if you tie a smaller body they work better.

Ken

Parachute Adams said...

Ken, do you use dry or wet fly / nymph hooks for those small soft hackles? I ask being you want them to float only a few inches below the surface.

Thanks, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam,
"float only a few inches below the surface". That's a good one!!

Seriously, I only use light wire (dry hooks) or scud hooks if I want a different profile for my soft hackles. Fly position is controlled by mending or a tight line.

Ken

Parachute Adams said...

Haha! I should have said "drift". I tied up a few #16's tonight on scud hooks. I am not sure my skills will let me tie any much smaller, but I will give it a go! I appreciate what I learn from you on your web site. Thanks!

J Kon said...

Ken,

Meaning to ask you this for quite some time...After a stocking of the Miller's River I was surprised to be catching "stockies" after only a day or two well below the railroad trestle in the Kempfield pool. Do they find their way down there so fast or do they actually dump some in at the pool. Doesn't look like that would be an easy task. Thanks.

Mike C said...

I have a question for the readers of this blig. I looks like we are going to get some rain tonight. I am looking to hit my local river (the Qunnipoxet) tomorrow. After a rain storm what type of water do you look to fish. Should I still be focused on using small flies?

Thanks,
Mike

Millers River Flyfisher said...

J Kon,

Don't be surprised. Stockies will move around and if the Fall stocking was like the Spring brown stocking they were floated down the river and stocked there. We've caught browns a few miles below that at the Bridge St. Pool. Browns are not stocked there but the will work their way down stream.

Mike C.

I don't know what you mean by "small flies" but I would work size 12 to 16 soft hackles and have some WB's incase the flow really jumps.

Ken

BobT said...

Mike C-
After a rain it really depends on how the river is level-wise. The Quinnie can go up fast but come down equally fast. If its running off color and high then I would hit the edges hard with nymphs, sjw's, and egg flys-even a wooley bugger. I would not be adverse to trailing any of those with a wet fly, a sunk ant or a pt. For nymphs-my high water reliable's are prince's, hare's ears and stones with a slightly smaller trailing fly-the usual stuff works but probably in a larger size like 10-12-I want the fish to notice the big fly in off color water-if they are going to feed they are being opportunistic and not particularly picky. A sunk ant is a good trailer this time of year for me. I don't know if there are a whole lot of ants still around but the trout that have been in the river know what they are and they will hit it if they dont like the big one. I had one of my best fall/winter days fishing the Willamantic in a December snowstorm on the way back from NYC with a black ant trailing a hare's ear. I used that rig many fall's since then with surprising success. Sometimes it doesn't work but more often than not it does.
An alternate strategy I use especially in fall is to run streamers along the edges. My favorites are the old Gartside soft hackle streamers(one of the better flys ever in my opinion) in yellow or white, or a white marabou muddler. White seems to be a very good fall color for me.
If the river is not running high just a little off color I like fishing the likely spots in the river using larger wets (both winged and soft hackles are worth a shot)and small streamers in yellow and white.

Falsecast said...

Hi Ken - Fished the Swift today and took a lot of really nice Brookies. I know it's been talked about a lot, but there are a ton of nice sized Brookies in there. More than ever. I wonder if we'll have more holdovers now that there is so much steak for the Bows and Browns to eat?

Mike C- I might see you at the Quinnie after the rain. Depending on how much rain, I find that SJW's work very well. I don't usually use the super small stuff on the Quinnie, but try some big dries if the water gets choppy.

Mike C said...

I was thinking midge's and small nymphs people seem to always recommend for fall fishing. I Thanks for the advice.

Mike

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Falsecast,

The big fish have been eating the little fish on the Swift especially this year but the brookies more numerous and BIGGER this year. The best of both worlds for the fly fisher.

Ken

Mike C said...

Guys thanks for all the recommendations. I am still trying to figure this river out (The Qunnie). I tried soft hackles, nymphs, buggers not even a missed strike. The water levels looked good but I wonder how much the fish had moved from their low water hideouts.

I tried to hit both the pools and the faster areas with lots of boulders (which make up much of the area I have been trying). There was some insect activity I saw a few light colored may flies and even one larger rust colored one. So I tried to use soft hackles in those colors.

Falsecast you don't happen to drive a Honda Fit do you?

Falsecast said...

Nope, I have blue Subaru Outback. I didn't make it over there yesterday, but the Quinnie can be tough this time of year. It really shines in spring. River Road gets pounded with people too. Try taking a long walk to the Oxbow.

Mike C said...

Falsecast,
Thanks for the advice. I usually try to walk fairly far. I'll fish the stuff close to the access but then I will try to walk and find more remote places. Though I haven't found many on the Quinnie.

Mike