"Elmer's most favored flies are uncomplicated and impressionistic: a few turns of thread or dubbing can often go a long way"
From Swift River, Ma. The Lost Valley's Tailwater by Christophe Perez in Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine, January/February 2014
I love this low flow on the Swift. It makes you hunt for the trout and stalking is the name of the game. A few posts back I mentioned how the shadow of a person walking along the bank fell on the "thin" water and sent the trout running for cover. The ripples from careless wading will do the same thing and so will your fly line hitting the water when fish are in less than five inches of water. That low water condition is all over the lower Swift (not the pipe or the tree pool of course) and I needed a system to be successful.
First, a 15ft salmon/steelhead leader tapered to 4x with an additional 5ft of 5x was looped to my 2wt Triangle Taper line. Here comes the fun part - This line was mounted to a 10ft 4 WEIGHT Grey's rod!!!!! It's the longest trout rod that I have. Would this rig work?? It worked like a dream. First, the full flex Grey cast that 20ft of leader without a problem. When I put 15 feet of fly line beyond the rod tip everything worked fine - my midge larvae pattern fell on the water like dust!!
Before you say that I'm doing a French/Spanish nymph thing notice that I'm not relying on bead heads to propel my line like they do. Any weighted fly would be dragged through the moss under these conditions. Actually I'm getting sick of bead heads and only fish them when I need to get DOWN. I like flies "in the drift"!
Brook trout were holding in water that barely covered their backs. Bows were holding below them with their backs exposed!! I didn't want to be within 25 ft of these fish and this setup made that possible. I took bows and brookies with a very simple larvae pattern: size 20 to 24 scud hook, brown thread from the bend to the thorax for the body, a few strands of midge flash for a wing stub and finishing with a black head of black thread. Wicked simple, wicked effective.
Soon I'll have some thoughts on rod and line weights. That will be fun.
November has actually been a nice month weather wise and the fishing has been good. We had some good days in December last year which ended when the Ice Age started in January. A 45 degree day in December is like a 45 degree day in April so book a date. Deposits are never required so if the weather turns bad we can cancel. As simple as that!