Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, April 10, 2016

River Update And What's Up With The Millers?

"The solution to any problem - work, love, money, whatever - is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be" John Gierach

OK, by now most every river,stream and brook that is on the stocking list has gotten stocked and most will get a second or third helping by Memorial Day. Now we just have to get the rivers to behave. Newcomers to the area may look at the flows for the Millers and say "What the F???? I know we've had rain but 1700 cfs?" Veterans of the Millers will say "High spike in the flow in early April - must be RIVER RAT WEEKEND. And that's what it is. Flows are held back at Birch Hill and released at once early on the designated Saturday morning. The flow supports the mad dash canoe event that supports the carnival/party atmosphere in Athol and Orange. Without additional rain the river will begin to drop in a few days and be normal in a week or so. What's "normal"??? I like 500 cfs and below. At 500 cfs it is a high sticking ballgame where a long rod, a short leader and a heavy nymph will improve your chances. Just have the leader beyond the rod tip, flip upstream, drift, repeat. It's as boring as watching grass grow but you'll catch something. But what if you want to cast further? Well you can BUT a heavy flow will drag on your floating line and keep your weighted offering too high in the current regardless of how much mending you do. Back in the day (1970's) we used to fish full sinking lines like a Cortland Wet Cell 2 in a 5 or 6wt, a short leader and a weighted fly. You could do the in close high stick thing and then cast out 20 ft and cut through the current to get into the zone. Those lines saved the day on many occasions even though you have to "adjust" (read:hard to cast) your casting rhythm. Some trout guys thumb their noses at these lines but then use them while chasing stripers. I still carry one with me just in case...

The EB - I believe there is a canoe race coming up on this river next weekend but the flows will only be effected BELOW the Knightville dam. Things were high above the Gorge on Friday but will settle down without additional rain. Is it fishable? Probably. I'll be there this week to find out.

The Swift - Well, I was going to go to the Bubbler or the Pipe and chose the Pipe. Next to nobody there and no fly caught fish were seen. My friend Lenny hit the Bubbler and killed them (figuratively speaking). Such is life.

P.S. Yeah HIBERNATION - The top photo may be the run on the lower Millers that you commented about recently.



Anonymous said...

So that's why the flow went crazy on the Millers for no apparent reason!!

I'll keep that in mind for next year.

Pat C.

Gary Cranson said...

River Update

West Branch Westfield River, On the water today at 7am, 26 degrees, ice in the guides, wind, but a warm April sun, god help me I love it.

The Eye on Harvard said...

The flow downstream of Knightville was pretty high today (up the banks) where it meets the Middle Branch, but didn't lay eyes on the EB. Went to the Middle Branch above Littleville Dam and had a fine day. We were the only fly fishers all day, 3-4 spin fishers came and went and a bait slinger went home with an empty bucket. We however picked up meaty clone bows spread out in all the right places on a deep prince nymph and a partridge and olive in the shallow waters. I was surprised to see absolutely zero small bait fish or any fish for that matter that didn't come off a truck. The river was still falling, but they were holding back a lot of water at the dam as the upper reservoir parking lot was completely flooded out (and the gate closed). With all that deep water downstream, are the smaller fishing waiting for something like the water temp to change to come out of hiding or are they waiting for the nymphs to hatch? Great looking water, but the nymphs were still clinging to the wee little rock homes.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I was there Friday with very high water and yes, a closed gate going down to Littleville which is where I wanted to fish. May get there via the river this week.
BTW, it was snowing hard there Friday!


Hibernation said...


It looks familiar, pretty much right where the rocky high gradient section after the bridge pool terminates correct?


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Correct I believe!

Anonymous said...

I hooked up only a few times at the pipe there's a pod of 3-4 20' below the pipe and that's it really. Suckers are there now, and there are a decent amount of bows at the Cady Lane sign and even some below. Those guys have been making it rain when they feel like it but I think they're stockies they move around a lot and are skiddish