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, January 3, 2016

First Trip Of 2016 - From The Gauge To The Pipe

"Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up" Arnold Gingrich, 1969



It was cold and dark at 6:45 am when I drove past the Y Pool lot - one vehicle! Then I pulled into the PIPE lot - 4 vehicles. No matter. I knew where everyone would be and I would take the census later. I took my time rigging up because my spot (see title of post) was empty (of course!) which gave me the time to work a "New" soft hackle fly. This is a slimmed down or "reduced" pattern with a brightly colored thorax. That hot color - hot orange, hot red and hot yellow, hot green has been ignored in the past on Soft hackles. Believe me, I've looked hard but found only a few online photos that came close to it. The vast majority of thoraxes out there are basically natural colors. Great colors for most of the year but I wanted something bright for winter fishing. The bodies are almost nonexistent, Just one layer of thread back even to the point. Some have no body short of the hook shank. This gives you the opportunity to tie a smaller fly on a larger hook which means better holding power.

I picked three bows up quickly while losing one that went airborne. I worked my way down stream taking a leftover brookie in the process. This stretch isn't loaded with fish but the satisfaction of fishing it can't be beat!!

Finally I worked my way down to the PIPE. I noticed that more people were leaving than arriving but it was still a surprise to see only two anglers there. One fly fishing and the other flinging a lure. Where are all the bait boys that we were told to expect??


I goofed around down there for a half an hour hooking three and landing one and then decided to go back upstream. Twenty minutes later I saw the last two anglers leaving. Now I could assess the bait boy damage. I tied on my version of a McPhail Buzzer as the bottom fly and all hell broke loose. I took about a dozen in less than an hour with #20 working the best tied to 5x. The trout ignored the soft hackle and only wanted that larva/pupae imitation.

I used to tie this fly exactly to McPhail's instructions and it was very effective but I've reduced this down to basic elements and it works fine plus you can tie them in a minute without breathing hard. I'll be tying some at Charlies in February!!!

I then hoofed it back to the vehicle, broke out my pocket butane stove and heated up a bowl of spiced up tomato soup to go along a giant chicken sandwich and then paid a visit to the upper Swift where I saw a few hardy souls and no trout taken in the hour that I walked around. One word of note: Bill R. mentioned that there is a movement afoot to close the upper Swift (above RT 9) at dusk which will put an end to the brave souls who night fish up there. If any of you know more than I've just said please drop me a line.

Don't listen to those who say the lower river is fished out. It isn't!!!

Ken



14 comments:

lenny tamule said...

All the bait guys were there today, flanking me both sides at the pipe. I experienced a similar result as you did with the soft hackle and slim fly as the dropper. It was real slow until I put on the size 26. Messed around at the vise and tied up hot spot soft hackles and they caught two, but softies weren't really on the menu today

Lenny

Parachute Adams said...

Congrats on the great day and thanks for the heads up on what they were hitting. That is what I will be tying on the next chance I get to fish up there.

Regards, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Lenny,

Things are starting to cool down which will slow done nymph (mayfly) activity. Now we go to scuds and larva/pupae. Were the bait boys catching anything? Saw only one on Saturday.

Ken

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam,

Thanks and don't forget the scuds either!

Ken

Parachute Adams said...

Appreciate the reminder on the scuds, Ken. I have some small ones tied up that look pretty good. I'm glad to hear the fish are still hitting now that winter has set in to some degree.

Regards, Sam

lenny tamule said...

They caught some, one guy could only catch 6" dinks other than that they didn't do that well. In the morning one fly fisher said something to a bait guy about the limit and then the bait guy went off about how they're going to come every day and clean the pipe out but of all the bait slingers there only a few actually caught some that I saw and I was there at 730. A lot of them didnt have any patience and kept bouncing around.

Lenny

Mike C said...

Ken,
What size scuds do you typically bring to the Swift?

I have been studying the picture of the scud on your pages. I am guessing the recipe.

Dubbing: brown?
Rib: Thin copper wire
Shellback: Crystal flash?

Mike

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Mike C.

My scuds are size 14 and 16. Sometimes 18 but not often.

Dubbing - olive Australian possum (real fur and not the synthetic blend stuff) If you don't have the real stuff then olive rabbit or beaver dubbed LOOSELY will do.

Shellback - very thin plastic cut from a clear and very thin plastic bag like a lunch bag or from a food storage bag. Cut it as thin as you can. This thin stuff will show the dubbing underneath better than the stuff you're supposed to use. You cannot cut this stuff too thin. It will work!

Rib - very thin copper wire

Some of my pictures appear to have crystal flash but that's the photo and not the way I tie these things.

Have fun!

Ken

Mike C said...

Thanks Ken
I will tie some up with rabbit. I don't have opossum but I will look for it.

Mike

Parachute Adams said...

Ken, you may have posted about this before, but do you do any good with streamers? I like tying them once in a while versus the tiny flies. Easier on my aging eyes.

With regard to scuds or sow bugs, I learned that plastic bag method from a Jim Misiura video I found on youtube and it works darn well. He also ties wings for dry flies out of plastic grocery bags, but I can't seem to make that one work.

Regards, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam,

I don't fish streamers often. Mostly small marabou ones when I do.

The great fly tier John Betts used plastic bag material for wings. Something to do with "going with the grain or warp of the plastic. Maybe for spinner wings but that's it.

Ken

Anonymous said...

Hello Ken, I have noticed that you seem to fish the Swift much more than the EB or the Millers. Is there a reason for this or you just like the Swift better? I am trying to decide where to fish this weekend if I gather courage to endure the cold weather. Thanks.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,

Not exactly! From May through October I fish/guide on the EB and the Millers as much as the Swift UNLESS the other two rivers are blown out with high water or too low and warm. In the winter the EB and the Millers can be frozen over. Not the Swift. You should get the picture!

This weekend - the Millers is way too high and I've never had much success on the EB after early December although the flow is good right now.

Ken

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ken. The Swift it is. Temperature seems really nice but big chance of rain.