Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Guiding - An Evolution And A River Update And The Farmington

"In the long run, fishermen are better company than most. If nothing else, most of them don't feel obligated to fill up normal moments of silence with meaningless chatter." - John Gierach

When I first started guiding it seemed that I was being hired by people just like myself - hardcore, 200 days-on-the-river types that had to get the lowdown on new water. I really enjoyed their company and still do as they still make up a significant portion of my business but my business has evolved and is now reaching a wider audience - beginners and families.

My "beginner sessions" began about three years ago with the banner on my website advertising these classes. So many people want to taste this sport but are thrown back by the high cost of classes and the high cost of equipment which doesn't seem like a wise investment if you just want to try it out. Three hours of instruction at a VERY reasonable price and free use of all fly fishing equipment makes more sense. I can say that the vast majority of beginners have never caught a trout on a fly until our first trip!!
What's really cool is the fact that I see them on the river a month later and sometimes for years after. Now they ARE fly fishers!!

The last two years have seen a huge increase in family members wanting to learn fly fishing. Fathers and sons, husbands and wives, fathers and daughters,boyfriends and girlfriends, mothers and sons and grandparents and grandchildren and so on. Many first trout on a fly are caught on these days. I remember one young man who fished with baitcasting gear before our session and had never fly fished before. He was using my gear and after landing his first fly caught trout, a 16 inch bow, immediately took a photo of the rod and reel so he would remember the brand when he ordered it later in the day!!!!

So, if you want to try this wonderful past time just contact me.

The Swift came down and the Millers went up (somewhat). The Swift is down to 45 cfs which is my favorite level and I hope it stays there especially for the Fall spawning season. It's my opinion that the brookies prefer a 6 inch deep riffle instead of a 16 inch deep riffle. It also makes for easier going down in Cady Lane.

The Millers is in the 80's (cfs, not temperature) which is a start. Did the trout survive? Yes, some of those browns made it through and I'll start working that river once the flows stay above 100 cfs. What we need is some steady rain to last a day or so and not these hit or miss thunderstorms that flood one watershed and leave the next dry as dust.\

The Farmington - Go to my comments section to read about the alert!!

Ants - It's mid August so don't leave home without them!!!!!



Anonymous said...


Very good post. We learned a lot on our short time with you on the Swift River. You do a great job putting all of this in very simple terms. We have returned and have caught trout. Thank you!


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Very happy to see that you have continued to fish the Swift!


Mike from Andover said...

Ken, thought your readers might want to know, since many fish the Farmington - I got an email this morning from CT Fish & Game - thermal refuges have been established at mouths of Farmington tributaries from New Hartford to Farmington - these areas are off limits to fishing until September 15, or further notice due to warm temps and low flows. We still have the Swift (and White Mountain brookies)!

Francesco Pellizzari said...

Ken and readers, any recommendations for a good smallmouth river....if we want too give the trout a break?

Thanks Chico

Anonymous said...

Francesco, It's been several years - but the Chicopee River, from the damn in Wilbraham (not Red Bridge, but the smaller dam by the iron bridge downstream by Rt 20 used to be superb Smallie water. Fron the damn release area downstream about 500 yards or so (to an area behind the Elks grounds) is awesome. Just be cognizant of any water releases from the dam..... thinking minimal lately given the low water..... and even when normal flow its not a big release that's extremely dangerous, but can make wading a bigger challenge.

In any event, wooly buggers and dark bugs drifted low in the water column, either riffles or slower deeper (3-5 feet) and you'll be into Smallies of all sizes. Occasionally to a pound or even a little bigger. But loaded (again years ago...) with fish that are hungry and competitive there. I have seen several really nice fish cruising at times...very nice size and assume they may be Smallies too.

Not sure how close you are to Wilbraham, but may be worth an exploratory visit.

Jim M

lenny tamule said...

The lower Deerfield around the I91 Bridge in Stillwater is a good place to go for smallies


Parachute Adams said...

I did pretty well with the brookies today using a #8 stimulator dry fly, Ken. A big fly, but the brookies hit it and I had a good time with it on the Bondsville section.

I saw a big trout rising and threw the same fly into its zone, but no take. I was surprised being the fly was right there amongst the tangle of branches where I last saw it rise. Had it hit I have no idea how I would have brought it in.

Brookies are becoming quite colorful with their fall spawn colors starting up. What a gift they are in this stream. The whole river is a gift.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I would go to the Millers River on the lower end from the Kempfield section to the Bridge Street Pool and then beyond. There are lots of 6 to 10 inch smallies but there are some that get into the 2 to 3 lb range if you fish deep. Another place would be Wachusett Resevoir which I know like the back of my hand from YEARS of fishing it under the guidance of my grandfather who caught MONSTER bass and trout there. It's not a river but it has big smallies and some large mouth bass.


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Good answers on the Smallie question. I've always thought about that Chicopee River near the Elks Club.


The thing to remember with the Bondsville brookies or any of the trout down there is that they can only run as far as the dam during the spawning run.