Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

This Years Favorite Fly (So Far), Your Comments And A River Update

"There's always a hot new fly. Precious few of these patterns are genuine breakthroughs destined to last for a hundred years, but more often they're idle comments on existing traditions, explorations of half-baked theories, attempts to use new and interesting materials to impress other tiers or excuses to rename old patterns. The results are often pointless fads like the craze in some pretentious restaurants of plopping fried quail eggs on everything and calling sandwiches panninis." -John Gierach

As many of you know I have been hooked on soft hackle flies for a longggg time. Next to the dry fly it is my favorite fly style and favorite method of fishing. Nothing says fly fishing for trout more than the cast,swing and mend of this style. Next to the dry fly it is the best representation of the insect form, rising and drifting to the surface to be taken by a trout. Dredging the bottom with some shiny, nondescript, graceless excuse for a fly suspended beneath a miniature lobster buoy sends me in the other direction!

It's the Partridge and Olive that seems to be getting it done this Spring and it's been getting it done on trout streams for 400 years! A good mayfly imitation? Yes. How about caddis? Excellent choice. Is it better than the Partridge and Orange of last year? Well, so far it is although I think that the Orange works better in the Fall.

They are also fun to tie and fun to fish. Maybe that will be my subsurface fly for the rest of the year and why not? Fun to tie, fun to fish and trout like them.

Your Comments - I took a look at the comments section of this blog for the last two or so weeks and found over two dozen individual reports on local streams and rivers from you guys. THANK YOU!!! Along with my reports on rivers I think we can justly say that this blog is the top choice for fly fishing news in central New England!!! Keep it coming!!

The Rivers - Two weeks ago we had cold, damp weather for a week but no downpours. This week it's cold mornings that may touch 60 degrees by mid afternoon. The result - cooler than normal flows that are in PERFECT shape everywhere. No late May heat waves in sight so get out there.

The Ware has been hot and my previous post will give you some launch points.

The EB is perfect right now but will get crowded by Friday thanks to TU. It may get stocked today for that event.

The Swift is a mystery at least around the Pipe area. I haven't seen more than two fly fishers there at one time this season. The bait boys have vanished too. It's the same story as last year BUT last year the snow melt made the Swift the only fishable place around and it had no fish. This year I can say that I haven't missed it that much since every other place is fishing well. I've caught fish there but it's not easy. Cady Lane has been a blast. Hint: try Bondsville.

The Millers is loaded with trout and the flow has been fishable over the past few weeks. Hint: try showing up around 3pm and fishing to after 8pm in late May. You want dry fly action, right??

Tie some soft hackles!!!!



Anonymous said...

Good morning ken funny you post about the partridge and olive. Yesterday spent the day at Wendel depot and those fish could not resist this fly! I lost my only two I had and switched to the orange version although it took the largest fish of the day this pattern induced far less strikes
Paul Fay

The Eye on Harvard said...

Thanks Ken for the great support you and your readers give to folks like me who have to take a hours drive to get to your home waters. Fished the Millers Saturday afternoon from the upper trestle pool in Wendell down through Kempfield. Caught a scant mix of browns and rainbows and a wee smallie all on nymphs below the riffles or tails of pools. Saw a good number of fly fishers (6-7) that afternoon and a family of spinner fishers who were raving about their morning on the Ware throwing spoons. Despite the warm temps didn't see any surface action at all and couldn't raise one to the top, maybe I left too early (6ish). As for Bondsville, looking at the maps, There looks like three impassible dams and it looks like good pocket water between the first two, but are you talking about fishing below the most downstream dam? Or does the state sprinkle the dams upstream too? Thanks again to everyone for the reports!

mw said...

Had a good day in the Farmington yesterday, started fishing about noon green #16 caddis hatch was building at church and a few fish were working them. At 2pm went upstream found a good spot and was happy to find a good hatch of hedricksons with a few cahills mixed in. About 4:30 went back downstream and the caddis still had a few fish on top. Went back upstream and got a few more on hendrickson spinners before heading home. Didn't get any big browns like at the beginning of the hatch, my catch yesterday was all browns 12-16 inches.
Last Friday had a real lucky day on swift - fished upstream most of the morning with spinners and found a few fish pretty well spread out, low double catch maybe. Rainbows all 15-16, couple browns around 14 and brookies 8-12. Went downstream to hatchery pool and there was no one in sight, unusual. There were small brookies taking naturals, tied on a midge for a few casts. Just about the time they reved up some machinery at the hatchery bigger rainbows and brookies showed up and started sipping. At first I thought it was pellet residue or something, when I looked carefully, however it definitely looked like a bug they were taking and they were ignoring the midge I had on. Checked the water and found a few #24 bwos so tied one on and got refusals. Checked water again and found a #24 winged ant with a pretty fat body. Tied one on and it worked.
Turns out I drive right over the ware near the airport on my way to the swift and have kind of halfheartedly checked it out a few times but I can't really figure out how to fish it. Didn't see much activity near the bridge. Walked up and down stream a bit but it looks kind of deep to wade in most areas. Both times I checked it out I continued on to swift and had luck. I mean to stick to it at some point in the future, but first I've got to tie up some soft hackles! (maybe I should hire you for a half day to show me how someday)
Thanks for the great posts Ken - best fishing reports I know of - Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Partridge and olive has been doing well on all stretches of the miller's the last few days. I suspect you've seen the same ken, hence the post. I like putting some floatant on them and dead drifting over rising trout at times. Other times they want em swinging and moving just under the surface. Soft hackles always work! It's fun to figure out how the trout want them on any given evening.


Erik said...

Thanks again for all this amazing information. I have been taking your advice and exclusively use olive and patridge or orange and partridge tenkara style. I have settle in on a size 16. What size did you find the most successful? I like to keep it as simple as possible and limit by fly choices.

Thanks! I really enjoy your blog


Bob O said...

Soft hackles are becoming a favorite of mine. Being a subsurface fisher, I have also become partial to the Gold Ribbed Hares Ear, which, in addition to being dead drifted (not necessarily below a bobber), may be swung as it concludes its downstream drift, and lifted much like the soft hackle. Both these types of flies are effective throughout the drift with and without imparted movement. Each is a simple tie. For the GRHE I've found turkey biot an effective wing case material - which can be colored with a permanent marker. Alternately a wine red mylar wing case will provide flash in darker water - for stockers.

This year I've visted a couple of CT locations (not the Housy or Farmington) which are within a hour's drive. The first is Scantic River Falls Park in Hazardville, the second is the Salmon River TMA in East Hampton. The latter is a beautiful well stocked freestone stream (a kind of mini EB). Both warm considerably in the summer but provide good spring/fall action. There are plenty of other locations worth exploring.

Hibernation said...

Good stuff Ken. I've not been on a major stream or river this year sadly, but, I can say that wild trout streams are fishing fantastic this year. On many nameless streams, broadly stated - between 495 and Amherst, mostly north of the pike have been awesome. So, if you are willing to get some prickers in your skin and bushwhack, you can have some amazing fishing for brookies and wild browns (depending the stream).

Hopefully I can hit Bearsden or the depot area tomorrow... I'm itchy to get on "big" water for a change up.


Parachute Adams said...

I really like the soft hackles, Ken. For fishing sub surface, it has been a while since I tied on a traditional nymph pattern.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Thank you for your update on the Farmie and the Swift. Fish the Ware!! It's good. Check the previous post for locations.

Fish below the last dam.

Bob O,

Thank you!!!!


size 12 to 16 gets it done.


Try some cdc under the hackle if you want them to float low and in the film.

Ontherocks said...

Bob O., love your comment. I caught a smallie with a gold-ribbed hare's ear fly on a swing while fishing the Bridge St pool on the Millers two weeks ago. I had been nymphing (tandem setup with a pheasant tail and GRHE on point) in the high fast water with good success but had quickly tired of that technique and was heading for the tail out of the pool to strip some streamers. I finished my last drift and tucked the rod under my arm to get my wading stick and make it back to slower water. While the rod was tucked under my arm, I suddenly felt a tug and quickly realized a fish was on. I brought a smallmouth bass to the net and it happened, really, while the fly (it took the GRHE) was swinging and straightening out downstream of me. Quite a surprise, but am glad to hear you've had similar success. It was all new to me as I thought a swinging nymph was a busted presentation!

Ontherocks said...

Also, for all readers: I fished the bridge st pool on Tuesday morning, May 10th. I had a conversation with a fly fisherman who was leaving the parking area and I believe I found his fly box. If you can describe the box, please email Ken and he can forward you my info. Describe the box and tell me which cap I was wearing (it was relevant to our conversation) and I will get your fly box back to you.

Hibernation said...

Man - millers was fishing well yesterday prior to the T storm. Fish slashing emergers from 5PM on made for great fun with takes on soft hackles/small nymphs/emergers swung. There were also occasional giant may fly's. I couldnt catch one, but they looked close in size to a Hex, so for giggles I tried one and caught one brown on a hex dry - pretty fun to catch a trout on a 2" long mayfly :)

Anonymous said...

At the Bridge St pool on the Miller's yesterday fishing the Millers for the first time. One other angler. Me from Boston. Tom a local. Usual banter. He stayed about an hour. As he was leaving he gave me a nice new olive colored wholly bugger. He said, "Try this. The fish in this river always go for them." I did and caught a couple of nice browns. You can meet some really nice people on a river. Looking forward to coming back.

Anonymous said...

Hello Ken, is there a site that you use to check the flow for the rivers or you use the waterdata site? I'm trying to figure out how the Millers look for this weekend because as far as I can tell is low. Thanks.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous from Boston - a very good experience!! Typical Millers fly fishers!!

Anonymous - My site has the flow data for the rivers that I cover and you can get all the rivers in the country there too. I'll save you some time - the Millers flow will be FINE!!


Falsecast said...

Hi Ken - I fished your Miller's today from the Trestle to the riffles opposite the parking lot. 3 cars when I arrived, 10 when I left. I got about 4 or 5 nice Rainbows, all 15+, one wild Brookie, Smallie and asucker fish. It is interesting since I've only caught Browns on the Miller's in the past. There were huge, black Stonefly nymphs crawling in the shallow water. I bet they'll be a huge hatch in the next couple of days. I took 2 big Bows on a huge Kaufman's Stone nymph fished deep, the rest on the Hendrickson trailer. Not many rises before I left at 6, but certainly a lot of fish, and people out there on a 75 degree Saturday.