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.

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Chilly Start To A Good Sunday And more Conventional Wisdom Debunked

There doesn't have to be a thousand fish in a river. let me locate a good one and I'll get a thousand dreams out of him before I catch him and if I catch him I'll turn him loose. Jim Deren, Proprietor of the legendary Angler's Roost.


Weather Underground said that the temperature would hit 60 on Sunday which meant that there would be a jump of 38 degrees from 7:30 to mid day. "Good Luck" I thought to myself as I rubbed the seasons first ice from the guides. The lower Swift River (below RT 9) is a shaded river, a joy to fish during the heat of Summer, unlike the beach conditions found above RT 9, but a chilly place during the dark months. The reverse is true during the Winter where a 35 degree day is pleasant as you cast for trout chasing winter caddis at the Y Pool.

The short trip today was to work out a 6 foot bamboo rod with a 2 wt line and catch some trout in the 1.5 hours that I had. I did both as the little rod laid out short casts, long casts and everything in between. Again it was the #16 partridge and orange that did the trick and those rainbows could not subdue that cane rod. Will I start using this rod more than I have? Yes, but it's short length will make it a Swift River rod and only when the river is flowing low. It will not see the Millers or the EB but it will see the Middle Branch next Spring.

Now for the myth killing segment of this blog. Conventional Wisdom, almost always wrong, states that you fly fishers better get to the PIPE before New Years Day (the regulation change) because the bait boys will clean the place out in no time. This nugget has survived from year to year despite little or no evidence. If you would like EVIDENCE that this is garbage then take a stroll through the past years that have been carefully recorded on this blog. You will see that fish were caught throughout the Winter in this section. Here's what happens below RT 9 in the Winter:

1.The bait guys clobber the trout in the SPRING and not in January. The Spring trout are freshly stocked and DUMB. The January trout have been in the river since they were stocked either in October or July. They have wised up as witness to the equation that 10% of the fly fishermen catch 90% of the trout right up to New Years Eve. And now we are expected to believe that worms and powerbait suddenly become more successful? Hardly! It's true that bait fishermen who stand by the PIPE will catch fish just like fly fishermen do because that's the EASIEST spot on the whole river. Not a lot of skill required.

2. I've gone down to that section in early January and have seen NOBODY fishing and only a few tracks along the shore but I could see trout! I've never seen the "blood stained snow" that is always mentioned.

3. Last year was the first year that I remember the parking area being plowed. I will not tempt fate by trying to go in there if the snow is deep. I'll drive around to the other side and walk across the field if the flow allows me to cross over. That said it's easy to park in the Y Pool lot and go upstream.

4. 250 CFS is very fishable above RT 9 but a torrent down by the Gauge and the Pipe. We have had a few winter torrents in the past 10 years. Best to go upstream.

Last winter sucked above and below RT 9. Maybe the same thing will happen this year or maybe the lower section will be good as in some seasons past. One thing is for sure: the same old story will be circulated again next year.

Ken


18 comments:

Su Qi said...

hi Ken, it snowed already on the swift?

lenny tamule said...

You're rifht about the pipe outflow being the easiest on the River and it kind of baffles me how one can be entertained for hours not budging from it. Where's the fun in that?

Lenny

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Su Qi,

No snow on the Swift yet. Don't say things like that (LOL)!!

Lenny,
You are so right! Especially when you hear talk about fly selection!! My wife, who never fished before, caught her first trout at the PIPE. What ever floats your boat....

Ken

Terry said...

I say we do a forced march 15 or 20 fly fishers in waders and walk arm in arm scaring the fish upwards of route 9 for the winter. Crazy thought?

Su Qi said...

ha ha, I saw the snow in your pics and wondering if it snowed. hope we do not get much white stuff this year. I plan to fish swift a few times after the new year. hope to see you around. Thank you for all the wonderful works!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Terry,

Crazy thought!

Ken

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Su Qi,

Five or so year old photos of the Swift in Winter. It will happen soon enough.

Hope to meet you on the Swift some time soon!

Ken

lenny tamule said...

Terry, I like it!

Lenny

David Dutille said...

Being my first year on the Swift, I've hear a lot of 'stories' about Jan 1, including the great bloody massacre. Ken Elmer, the voice of reason. I'll check it out to see for myself if my corolla can handle it!

Anonymous said...

I've fished the swift for about 5 years now and have learned one thing if any. I never sweat the crowds I never worry about the bait boys, I always always always find a small corner to work some sippers. I would also like to touch on the subject Ken brought up about the trout from July and October being hip to the bait groove. It is my personal belief that trout become in tune with feeding on aquatic insects and natural forage very quickly and I've seen this proven true on my "home" waters of the squanny and quinny. These rivers get hammered by the bait boys and I used to think I had about a week after stocking to get my fishing in before the rivers got fished clean. But the fish are always there and people using flies usually do the catching(and releasing!)
Paul Fay

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Paul,

That was true on the Squannacook decades ago too.

Ken

Anonymous said...

Terry, that's genius!

You organize, I'm there lol

-Scott

Patrick Maloney said...

Ken,

For those of us that have not yet taken the jump and started tying our own flies would you have any recommendations on where to acquire some of the flies that you like to use? I've found some of the flies that you refer to hear and there but I've yet to find a place that consistently has a good supply of soft hackles and some of the smaller midge patterns.

Thanks,

Pat

Mike C said...

Guys thanks for the great discussion...I come over here to read take 5 minutes away from work and it just gets me looking forward to the next trip. I am trying to convince myself tomorrow is a good day for the Swift.

Mike

No Meio Do Atlântico said...

There are a couple places on the squannacook where I found trout all summer long on big articulated streamers, you just have to be conscious that you should not fish during the heat of the day, just get there really early in the morning before the water gets hit by the sun and you should get at least 1 or 2 holdovers. Worked for me all summer :)
And when the water warms up with the sun just find your way to one of the small streams that feed the Squannacook and get some beautiful wild brookies.
Rui Machado

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Rui,

YOU GET IT!! I wish that some of the fly shops in the greater Boston area knew what you know. Don't forget spring and summer evenings on this river for risers and sippers!!

Pat,
Charlie at Evening Sun Fly Shop will get you on to some smaller sizes. He may have of my patterns in the correct (18-20) sizes. Always start with a #16 soft hackle if you have it. Size 14 will do it too!!!

David Dutille said...

Pat (asking question about where to 'acquire' flies for the Swift),

I am just starting to tie and producing some beasts, but I will get better.

Dan Trela (you'll have to look up his number) in Ware hooked me up with a nice selection recently and in the 45 minutes I had to fish I netted 6 nice ones. He has a nifty shop out of his house only a few minutes from the river. Neat as a pin and with all the right stuff for the Swift.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

David,

Dan is a good guy. Lots of knowledge and an excellent fly fisher!!

Ken