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, March 20, 2016

Up And Down The Swift River

"Flyfishing does have its social aspects - on some of our crowded trout streams it can get too social - but esentially it's a solitary, contemplative sport. People are left alone with themselves in beautiful surroundings to try to accomplish something that seems to have genuine value"John Gierach


It was freezing on Friday morning with a days long northwest wind that was trying to create wind knots which are the sole creation of some bad casting. Few were at the PIPE parking lot which is a good thing because it meant that the bait boys would not be there and maybe a bad thing because the hatchery truck hadn't come down the chimney with gifts. Anyway, I started at the run above the gauge (I always tell you where I fish as usual) and ended at the Tree Pool.

I fished that run above the gauge hard and took two smallish bows - nothing like the bigger fish that I saw nymphing a week before. The rig was partridge and orange on top with a swift serendipity below. Each fly took a fish.

I made my way down to the wider section below with the good riffle at it's head (I need a name for this great spot. Any suggestions?) and took the most gorgeous rainbow I ever caught on this river. 16 inches and slim with a dark red stripe, green above and below with an almost yellow (brown trout like) under belly. He (always a "He") took the soft hackle and fought like hell. It ended up making my day and certainly wasn't just dumped into the river!

I could see nothing in the water from the Pipe to the Tree which may be way I saw no trout taken.

Sunday morning and it's time to explore. 10:00 am finds me in Bondsville below the lower dam (Yes, I tell you every time) ready to go. It's freezing again!!

First observation: There's nobody there not even a bait slinger. Second observation: There's next to no litter (bait containers, coffee cups). Conclusion: This place hasn't been stocked. Third observation/feeling: THIS IS GREAT! If I can catch trout here then maybe the are holdovers which would feel so much more rewarding than fishing over a pod of truck trout.

The first 15 minutes were a blank so now I know it's not been stocked. As I swung the flymph (still have them on the brain) towards the tail of the pool I get the TUG. A few minutes later a 14 inch brown came to the net. It was the color that caught me. Dark brown on top with sides that looked like butter that was in the saute pan a bit too long. Freshly stocked?? I don't think so.

More casts as I work downstream. It's after 10am on this first day of Spring but my guides are still icing up in this semi shaded area. Another cast into a calm area across the stream results in a second hit. A 12 inch brown that had been to the same makeup artist as the first came to the net.

What's the story here? Simple, there are holdovers in this river everywhere. They're not ganged up to be exploited but are spread around and you have to find them. Is the lower Swift brown trout land?? Go see for yourself? They will make your day.

I've gotten a lot of emails over the years thanking me for giving locations where I and my clients have done well on the rivers that we fish. I've never named an unstocked stream and never will BUT I will name spots on public water because it's YOUR water. I still fish a few hundred times a year and unless I find myself at the Y Pool (a good spot) or the PIPE we are usually alone. There are those who have read and commented and asked all kinds of questions on this blog about the spots that I fished AND then got mad that I named the spot again AFTER they fished it!!! (yes, it's true) The great rivers of the East, the Catskill Rivers and even our Farmington, have reams of published memories where pool are named. This adds to the legacy of flyfishing. I guess some people don't like that!!

Happy First Day Of Spring!!!

Ken

14 comments:

lenny tamule said...

I fished the Farmington this whole weekend and got one hit that was a brown I fought for about a minute and eventually threw the hook. Everyone I talked to was having a slow go at it as well.

Lenny

Ontherocks said...

Thank you, Ken, for sharing the information that you do. Your blog is a tremendous asset to the fly fishing community.
At the end of the day, the readers need to understand that you provide them with all of the information they need to catch fish: location, technique, fly choice; but at the end of the day they need to go *catch* the fish themselves. If they want solitude, I think you've given plenty (and repeated) information throughout your blog over the years on how to find it.
I, for one, am thankful for the information you provide.

Happy spring to you as well!

-Jaime

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Jaime,

Thank You!!

Lenny,

I guess you have to find a pod of stockers to fish over to catch a lot of trout this time of year anywhere. They claim that there are stocked fish all over the Farmie.

Ken

Josh S. said...

Great to hear the lower swift is doing well. Using two size 18 red soft hackles on Sunday I exceeded 20 trout and had the pipe and below basically to myself from 1:00-6:00PM. Where was everyone? Must have been fresh stockers but it was a great time, they were all in the faster moving water.

I've been fishing the farmington the past two weekends and both times I caught over a half dozen all in the campground section. Didn't get a bite anywhere else where it's supposedly been stocked, I have been seeing rising trout all over though. What's great is the majority of my catch there has been browns, and big at that, which is a nice change. This is my first year on the farmington and i'm pretty impressed thusfar, I saw you mention it in your blog so I figured I check it out and i'm glad I did.

Looking forward to the each branch.

lenny tamule said...

I fished just about everywhere from hogback dam to satans kingdom. Apparently they stocked from the dam to just before whitmore didn't spend much time there. My only hit came in the TMA area. Satans kingdom reminds me of the gorge on the EB.

Lenny

Parachute Adams said...

Hi Ken,

I have to replace the hip boots I have been using the last couple of years, and think it is time to get waders though I tend not to wade too deep. Do you recommend waist type or chest type? Any reasonably priced ones you can recommend as well?

Thanks, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Josh S.

You had a very good day at the Pipe and it was better than any other reports. GOOD DAY!!! I love the Campground Pool on the Farmington. I have spend a weekend camping there and fishing nowhere else. The Farmie is a brown trout river for sure. The Farmington is the best trout river in New England!

Lenny,

I've never fished Satan's Kingdom. Sounds too scary for me (LOL). You're too good to have those results. Timing, karma??? I don't know.

Sam,

Good to hear from You!

I own chest and waist waders. Waist waders are used on the Swift with it's lower flows and on small streams. I would opt for chest high waders which will let you fish without worry on the Millers, EB and the Farmington and rivers like that. Go for LL Bean (I get no fees for this endorsement) because they are of very good construction AND they have a life long guarantee against leaks. If you have a leak you can replace them. Save your receipt. My chest waders and my waist waders are LL Bean. Check their catalog for styles and price. They are guaranteed.

Ken

Parachute Adams said...

Thanks, Ken. I appreciate the advice. I got back into fly fishing and tying in large part thanks to your blog site and enjoy it to no end. I hope I run into you on the river one of these days!

Best Regards, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam,

We will meet one of these days. Looking forward to it!!

Ken

Michael Hagan said...

Fished the Farmington a week ago Sunday (the 13th) and got a few fish, though they didn't come easy. Water was a little high and still awfully cold (low 40s). A couple of guys were centerpinning the Beaver Pool, pretty much monopolizing the whole thing - I was fishing the tail for a bit, but had to be careful casting upstream as the guys standing right at the head of the pool would float their rigs to within a cast away. They were getting into fish, helped I guess by the fact that they were doing 100 yard drifts. First time I have seen this method, and it didn't leave a great taste in my mouth ...

Good to hear about the fish down in Bondsville - may have to check that out tomorrow if I can sneak away from work.

All the Best,
Mike from Andover

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,

I enjoy your blog as it provides many new insights to a new MA angler. One thing I have been exploring recently is the use of poly leaders. Do you have any experience with them and using tippet rings so they last longer? They seem pretty useful to switch quickly from floating to sinking presentations.

Thanks,
Curt

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Michael from Andover,

Fish hogs exist everywhere and at times it's hard to avoid them.

Curt,

So far I've taken on pass on poly leaders as I took a pass on flourocarbon after I realized that it didn't improve my catch rate. I don't believe the sink rates really mean anything because going from a size 12 to a size 16 nymph would most likely improve the sink rate. I want all my leaders to sink so floating qualities will not cut it. I use mono 95% of the time. I really think that we are deluged by clever marketing that promises much but delivers much less.

I love leader rings. They save leaders!!

Ken

lenny tamule said...

More fish at the swift moving into the runs at the swift. Brought in a few in the two hours I was there. Some in the run even rose for midges too.

Lenny

Parachute Adams said...

Ken, I tried out my new waist waders and wading boots from LL Bean today and love them. Caught a couple of trout and lost a few others during the maiden voyage. One of the rainbows netted was shaped like a football and fought like crazy. It was a decent 14"er, but it fought like something much bigger.

One was caught on the Dan Bailey mossback stonefly I been tying that I saw a picture of in Joe Brooks' book I own, the other on a small orange soft hackle.

Regards, Sam