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, May 1, 2016

The EB is BACKKKKKK And A Word On Rods

"Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery elements are made for wise men to contemplate and for fools to pass by without consideration" - Isaac Walton


Who would of thought - the EB has never really been a destination until the 3rd week of May when it gets it's TU weekend stocking. Not this year!! This guy I guided just HAD to spend three hours on this river this morning. The result - there are trout all over the place, big slab chunk bows that like to go airborne. Where - as I said, "all over the place". From Chronicle Corner (note: the executive producer of Chronicle Magazine, the TV show that has featured this river a number of times, named this spot just below the Bliss Pool. I'll use the name) downstream through Slant Rock (first turnoff after the quarry) and down to the bend before the gate all produced fish. For some reason the Bliss Pool didn't work. How many? - double digits in three hours with most trout in the 14 to 18 inch range. What did we use? - that's enough information! Just fish this place!!!

RODS - It's the year 2040 and we are at the Y Pool. The angler is deftly casting his 15 foot 1/2oz nymphing rod (it's 2040, ok) and he then sees a trout break the surface 35 or so feet away. "How far" he asks? That's when his rod caddy pulls out the range finder and states "37.5 feet". The angler then says "8 foot 3 weight Sage?". The caddy says " with the 5 mph wind lets do the Orvis 9 ft 4 weight". They use the Orvis and he immediately lines the fish.

Guys - We are going crazy with rod purchases and rod selection!! My friend Joe actually saw a guy on the Swift with a rod in his hand and ANOTHER tucked into his wading belt. A dry fly rod in case of surface action??? Probably. We are drinking the rod manufactures Kool-aide which is not just having a good ALL PURPOSE rod but having a rod for all occasions. That means that they sell more rods which you don't need. What the hell is a nymphing rod anyway? You don't do a lot of casting with it just a lot of "flip, mend, flip again". It's the fly fishing answer to ice jigging for perch and I can do that successfully with a 7 1/2 foot bamboo rod. Two years ago I received a genuine "nymphing rod" as a gift, all 10 ft, 4 weight of it. It worked well but no different than my 9 foot rod or my 8 foot rod. I did use it to catch some rising trout on the EB but was told later by an "expert" that "it's not a dry fly rod". Well, it was that day!!

In short, this is fly fishing and not golf. One good, all purpose rod of medium action between 8 and 9 feet in a 4 weight is all you need for trout fishing be it size 8 conehead buggers or size 32 film fishing. You don't need a set of clubs, I mean a set of rods!

One good rod is all you need.

Ken

26 comments:

DRYFLYGUY said...

Ken, nice post! EB is always good even if the trout aren't working, the scenery is second to none. So I always have a good day regardless while fishing the EB.
Speaking of Chronicle, I've seen the episodes with the EB & love it. Its one of my favorites. I'm actually a Main Streets & Back Roads fan which is part of the show Chronicle, and the guy who originally hosted that was a huge fly fisher by the name of Peter Mohegan. He retired years ago, and I really miss him on the program, because its not the same.

If your looking for a show to watch, next Friday May 6th At 6:30pm on Charlie Moore, he's actually Fly fishing the Housatonic in Lee Ma. on the Catch & release area exactly where I fish. Yes I know he's a bass fisher, and a very little of Charlie goes a very long way, but its nice to see him switch gears & its a great spot.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

DRYFLYGUY,

I LOVE Charlie Moore!!!! He's fly fishing the Housy???? That will be worth watching!!! Thank you for the heads up!

Ken

Parachute Adams said...

Ken,

I probably should get a longer rod, but I still use my 7' glass Fenwick that I bought 40 years ago. Maybe I would do better with upgraded equipment, but I do OK with what I have. Well enough to keep me interested.

Fishing is heating up on the Swift. I did well yesterday using a green rock worm on the Swift below route 9. I learned how to tie it on Youtube and boy did it ever produce yesterday, and not in a small size either, a #14 scud hook.

Regards, Sam

Anonymous said...

Great post. Have to get back to the EB soon I love it's wild beauty. Managed to fish the swift today above rt 9. Definitely Fish around and plenty in the Y pool. Managed to land a few and play a few more. Soft hackles at first then some surface action in the Y pool. SH partridge w/ olive body,very slim. On top was the pissa midge until that broke off, then a 20 generic mayfly emerger poly shuck,olive body black thorax cdc wing angled forward.
Paul Fay

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam,

You and I probably have the same fenwick glass rod. Mine is a fenwick ff70,7 foot, 3 oz for a 5 wt line. I fish it occasionally and will never give it up even though I know that I could get ten times what I paid for it. Bamboo is what I use now but for the Swift it is a very good rod. Glad that you are getting it done on the Swift!! I think that you don't need a longer rod. Bird hunters talk about their favorite shotgun. They feel comfortable with it and they have no reason to change. That's what fly fishing should be.

Anonymous,

Glad that you landed some at the Y Pool but you lost me on that last fly. My friend Joe W. has been doing good business up there with tradional winged wet flies of all things. Classic quill gordons, march browns, wet hendericksons and the like all around size 14. How knows what these trout want.

Ken

Parachute Adams said...

That is indeed the same Fenwick, Ken. I love it and it performed well yesterday with the real beauties I caught and released. I still have the original Pfleuger reel too. I will never part with both.

Thanks for the knowledge you share on this web site. It is very much appreciated by me and many others.

Regards, Sam

Anonymous said...

Great post Ken,
Went to fishway at Holyoke dam on Friday and saw dozens of people lining the banks and bridges. Many had a trash bag with several large shad. Had no rod, but what a treat to be there. Saw a comment on your last post about a few Atlantic salmon spotted on the Merrimac, and was curious about what your opinion was as to the best dam to spot these beauties. The Holyoke is not open to public yet. Downstream better I guess?
Thanks
Lawncaster

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Lawncaster,

Holyoke would be the place but there are so few of them that you may never see one.

Ken

Andrew said...

Lawncaster,
I live in Andover, MA. Have seen Atlantic salmon on the Merrimack River in the past. But not at the Lawrence Dam. Below the dam (Great Stone Dam) , just downstream of where the Shawsheen River runs into the Merrimack there is a sand bar. The salmon (usually around Mem Day to early June) there have been a few salmon finning near the sand bar. They generally had beat up dorsal fins. Someone told me the salmon are attacked by seals at the mouth of the Merrimack at Plum Island.

To find where this river junction is, look for Sal's pizza. It is near there. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Salvatore's+Restaurant/@42.7045351,-71.1453923,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x5cdd10c97d40a2ae

Not sure if any will be there this spring or not.

Anonymous said...

Ken: While you are correct you can get by with just one rod in the 4/5 range, and I tend to do that, other arrows in my quiver are useful: like a 6 and 7WT for lake fishing and big streamers; a much longer 3wt for tight line nymphing. Of course most of the time its the Indian and not the arrow that makes the difference (but don't ever tell my dear wife)! Besides, without the constant rod churn by manufacturers I wouldn't get to try so many used rods that I wouldn't buy new!

Anonymous said...

On rods: once you have accumulated 6000 assorted flies of which you use maybe two dozen, what is there to throw money away on in fly fishing? Plus, how many rods would the purchase price of a Bass Boat buy? All I would say is that a 9' 4-5 weight does indeed do the job for almost all trout situations. However, a 7' 3 weight is really nice for little wild brookies and I am lusting after one now.
Peter

BobT said...

Your comment about the guy with two rods reminds me of back in the mid-80's on the Swift. My dad and I drove out roughly every other weekend from the Boston suburb's. Almost like clockwork for a few years a sporty looking gent and his wife and bird dog would be at the Swift. They had 4 rigged rods. (Orvis of course) they would take turns fishing various spots and caddy for each other. I often saw one or the other retreating to the bank for a better rod for that particular distance. In many ways I was totally in awe...I was about 15-17 at the time and the thought of having all the finest tackle(4 Graphite Orvis Rods with CFO's) at the ready with custom fitted Marathon waders and a fully stocked vest was something to aspire to compared to my 8ft Fenwick Glass rated for a 6 (I used a 5 because the line was 1/2 price), my Cortland Rimfly all purchased at Spag's. Anyhow it brought back a memory. The guy and his wife were very nice and I miss the bi-weekly event with my dad. I fished the Fenwick Friday with wets in a stocked midcoast stream and had a nice afternoon and fooled a few. I have a few favorite rods, one is 30 years old, the Fenwick is older, and a couple newer-all are utility rods and can fish dry/nymph/streamer set ups-I have purchased a couple rods in the last few years but sold both...they don't feel right and the promise of having more success was just a promise, I fish well with what I am used to.

Parachute Adams said...

Peter, the beautiful brook trout are all throughout the Swift. I caught a couple tonight on a stonefly tied onto a small streamer hook. One was very silvery and around 10", the other about a foot and quite colorful along with being very chunky. Both fought like champs and were released for you to catch. Regards, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob T,

So I thought I was being futuristic when I wrote that!!

I got my Fenwick at Spag's too. There's a place that I miss.

Ken

The Eye on Harvard said...

Most of my fishing on the EB has been through the stretch you describe. I'm interested in your thoughts about fishing from the bottom of that section above the Knightville dam, heading upstream following along the Corps of Engineers road and well below indian hollow. Have you had much success there? Certainly much more sun and slower water in parts but lots of back casting room. Haven't seen much discussion in your archives about this section. Thanks for all the great support you give to us readers. TC

Millers River Flyfisher said...

TC,

The short answer is no. Hikes parts of it last summer with Christophe Perez, the Eastern Flyfishing Magazine writer, but did not fish it. So many places to go!!! Maybe this year.

Ken

Falsecast said...

I was at the swift in the rain yesterday and only saw 2 or 3 other people above route 9. I usually avoid the Y pool, but it was empty so went in and left it empty a couple of hours later?? Tons of fish around, but finicky. I took a few Brookies with one of Ken's hot spot's I bought last year fished through the spawning suckers. 3 Bows in the Y pool with an 18 Griffith's gnat. When leaving I saw a huge pod of rainbows that swim right by my car parked below rte 9, occasionally gulping at debris on the surface. This morning confirmed what I thought it was....fresh stocking.

I am not a fan of Charlie Moore, he's funny, but the fishing is boring. I do look forward to watching him try to cast a fly :) I am not happy he is at an area that I fish often and rarely see a lot of people, however.

Anonymous said...

The two rod look I've seen my last few trips into Mass. at the Squannacook River was a guy with both a fly rod and a spinning rod. What the hell is up with that? Good report Ken. My TU is going to the Deerfield next weekend, and I'm bound to head for the gorge!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Falsecast,

I like Moore because I think he is funny. I don't think he will bring lots of his audience to the Housy. It's not a spinner bait venue. It may be funny to watch him match the hatch!!

Annonymous,

A fly rod and a spinning rod? Maybe he's in transition, from spinner to fly and not the other way around!

Ken

BobT said...

I have fished all over the country and other than on a saltwater boat - I've never seen a spin/fly two rod set up. I am not a purist about fly fishing in a general sense but for a trout stream I am a 100% fly fishing purist. That look would be unsettling to me ....

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob T,

I agree it is weird but he's at least got a fly rod. Maybe he can be saved!!

Ken

Anonymous said...

I was at the Y Pool last sunday with 2 rods. I had my 5 wt with me as well as a tenkara rod I just acquired attached to my sling pack. Messed around with the tenkara rod for a little while and definitely need some practice with it. I'm glad I had my 5 wt with me thou!

Dwight Galler said...

Ken,
I like the discussion on rods. I started with a orvis green mountain starter package and learned and caught hundreds of trout on that rod. I then "grew up" and bought a couple $400-600 orvis rods and sorry to say, they fished like uncooked spaghetti ((but the trident made a hell of a hull for a submarine). Actually, the Trident was a decent rod but discontinued.

Last year I was choosing some flies at the Natick Outdoor Store (great shop btw) and noticed a stack of Twin Forks rods all priced around 150. The clerk said they were a great rod and so I bought one. 8'6", im6 graphite for 5 wt. Seriously? I could not be happier, it casts beautifully and it's all i use.

Mike from Andover said...

Hi Ken,

I've noticed a few strange things about the MA stocking this year - streams that usually get brookies got browns instead, some places got brookies instead of 'bows, etc. Locally, the Shawsheen which is just down the street from me usually gets 2-3 loads of trout (bows and browns), and it can fish well for at least a month or so, and I've caught trout there as late as August. This year, it was stocked way back on March 25, and that has been it. I emailed the Northeast regional office, and this is what they responded:

"The Shawsheen river will be stocked again soon. It should have been done almost two weeks ago, but due to truck breakdowns , we are behind schedule."

This probably applies to some other NE waters as well. Thought some of the other trout fishermen up here on the North Shore would be interested.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Dwight,

I boiught a Green Mountain Oris rod back in 1992. Still have it and I remember the Trident ads with a nuclear submarine being pictured. I never casted one. Frankly there is little difference in rods from the $200 to $500 plus range especially if you are fishing within 30 feet as most of us do.

Mike from Andover,
Your not the first to notice this. I think there may be a difference in what they say they are stocking and what is REALLY stocked!

Ken

tincup said...

Mike thanks for that I live northeast by 2 miles from the shawsheen fish it often I was in florida when it was stocked. Heard it was a blood bath for 2 days. Still been able to find a few trout between all the fall fish and chubs. Thank God for the shad in the Merrimack because it has kept me going. Must say I am using a spinning rod until the water lowers. thanks for doing the checking it will help in the months ahead to find fish rising to hatches in the evening. I thought like u we were getting left behind. AFTER ALL BAKER HAD TO STOCK JAMAICA POND IN BOSTON.