Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Friday, July 29, 2016

Another Swift Update

"Listen to the sound of the river and you will catch a trout" Irish Proverb

It's drizzling as I write this and I'm hoping that the forecast of rainfall approaching 1 inch doesn't fizzle like a few have over the past month. The Millers is the lowest I've seen it.

But then there's the Swift! It is still fishing very well from the Duck Pond down through Cady Lane and size 16 and 18 soft hackles and pheasant tails have ruled the day. It has always been interesting to me how a large rainbow or brown approaching 3lb will take interest in a tiny fly drifting in the current. We got a good example of that while we were watching a LARGE bow nymphing at Cady Lane. The bow finned above a large weed mat in about 10 inches of water and would make that "sideways tilt" every time he took a drifting nymph. Sometimes he would dig his nose into the weeds and then make that tilt movement again. There was nothing hatching so there must have been some behavioral drift for some species or maybe he was rooting out scuds or.......

As you probably know the Swift flow nosedived on Wednesday from 110 to 50 cfs. The Connecticut River appears to be at a normal flow which will keep the Swift at 50cfs but I've got a feeling that if we don't get the promised rain today we will see the spigot turned on by Tuesday of next week.

At the top of the Post I mentioned soft hackles and how effective they are on the Swift. I believe the key to a good SH is in it's slim, sparse profile. Many commercial flies are too overdressed. Let's face it, most commercial flies come from Asia and these tiers don't fly fish and will never experience how a SH with too much hackle will not get it done on a tailwater like the Swift. You can't blame them because it's how they are taught. It's more like "painting by numbers" as opposed to real painting.

Keep the Soft Hackles simple!

Saturday 7/30 Update - The flow went up to 120 cfs at around Noon on Friday. The fishing is still good below Route 9 and is still uncrowded unlike above Route 9.



Brk Trt said...

Ken, the promised rain will only help the flowers. Less than an inch here.
Your comments on the soft-hackles is dead on. Sparse and a little more sparse.
Let's hope August is kinder and wetter.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the info on the Swift and the other rivers that you cover on your blog, especially the Swift. I've been fly fishing for three years and you have been a game changer when it comes to good info on how to fish this river.

Keep it up.

George K.

Parachute Adams said...

Thank goodness for the Swift this summer. All other streams in my area are pitifully low and slow. I hope the trout find a way to make it. Today's substantial rain event did not materialize, a quarter inch maybe where I live while the weatherman was saying we would get 2. Hopefully things turn around.


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Brk Trt,

A layer of thread, maybe a tiny thorax and one turn of hackle!!!

Sam and Brk Trt,

Seems like the weather predictions for thunderstorms have been off the mark for the last three weeks. The storms show up in Eastern NY but fizzle out by the time they hit trout land!


Glad that you like the blog and find it useful!


lenny tamule said...

Tried out the cdc soft hackle on the farmy today and got a couple Browns with it. Saw a brown at the drive in almost beach itself for something, a sizeable one at that too. The rain started absolutely pouring and fishing in that was a incredibly fun, luckily nabbing a fat 16" brown 5 minutes before thunder. Maybe just maybe if it keeps raining I might find myself somewhere on the EB in the early morning. I looked at the gauge for the first time in a month and saw 16! I knew it was low but that's bananaland!


Millers River Flyfisher said...


I like those low water conditions just like the Swift!

Drove by the EB yesterday. Not a pretty sight. Very little water.


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