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.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Pinheads to the Rescue, A Swift Update And Tippet Size Revisited

"Soon after I embraced the sport of fly fishing I became convinced that I should never be able to enjoy it if I had to rely on the cooperation of the fish"- Sparse Grey Hackle



I think that I may have gotten into a bit of a rut with my soft hackle fishing. My clients were still catching trout on them but this Saturday some obviously feed trout would have nothing to do with them. We even threw the dreaded SJW at them because it had worked so well for Bill. No dice.


That's when I changed directions and pulled out some size 24 pinheads. One client then took 2 trout in 3 casts and the trout couldn't get enough of them. Now, one of my clients had a 5x leader on that was now chopped back to 4x. Time for an experiment: tie the #24 pinhead to the 4x and see what happens. You guessed it - we got trout!! As my July 8, 2015 post on the subject stated, the need for ultra light leaders on subsurface presentation is way over stated and dangerous for the tout with long battles between the angler and the trout. (please read the comments section for this post)


The Gauge Run on the Swift is now loaded with rainbows which seem to be going through a spawning ritual.Female bows are flipping on their side and attempting to make a redd. We've seen this activity over the years but no 3 inch baby bows are being caught. The area around the Pipe is loaded with everything especially browns. I'm being told that these are browns moving upstream to spawn but they are certainly acting like stocked fish. If they are on a spawning run why have they stopped at the Pipe. There's also a uniform size to the group which spells "stocked recently".

We have 3 or 4 days of rainy weather coming up. Let's hope we get enough.

Ken

11 comments:

Kevin K said...

Hi Ken,
Same for me with the soft hackles lately. Today had some luck swinging unweighted nymphs in runs near the gauge. I landed a big bow when he turned downstream and went after a 4" brookie I was landing. Couldn't tell if he hooked the nymph, the dropper (22 zebra midge) but in the net everyone was tangled up. Not sure if this was territorial behavior or feeding on a distressed small fish, but very cool!

The Eye on Harvard said...

Hello Ken,

It was tough going last week for soft hackles for me too but a small size 20 green/olive sparkle ice dub caddis nymph seemed to get the most action for me down below Cady Lane. Can you share your pin head recipe? The photo is a little fuzzy. Looks like brown/olive dub body, wire wrapped abdomen and a peacock hurl thorax. Am I close?

TC

fischmeister57 said...

Hi Ken,

as I mentioned in a previous comment, your Pinhead is a great little fly!

But I was surprised to hear that #24 worked on 4X tippet. I wonder if that tactic works on wary, veteran trout in frequently fished stretches like the Y and the Pipe.

Even though I subscribe to the view of fishing the heaviest tippet I can get away with, I get the impression that really tiny flies tied to thicker tippets look unnatural, they kind of stick straight out from the tippet instead dangling freely. I've had experiences in the past where when I went to a lighter tippet my catch-rate improved - it seemed to make a difference. And so I have to confess that I fish 7X and 8X tippets a lot, notably in crystal-clear, heavily fished waters, but I assure you I don't overplay the fish. If I let them make their initial run, I can usually get them in fairly quickly, and if I lose them, I lose them.

Just my 2 cents worth,

Herm

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Herm,

The 4x looked heavy and out of place but it still worked. I know guys who fish 5x on size 30 flies (see July 8 2015 post on this blog) and still catch many fish. We were fishing the usual hard hit places too!

TC,

That's pretty close.

Ken

fischmeister57 said...

Ken,

could you refresh my memory of where in the past blogs you talk about the Pinheads?
I found it once but can't remember in what year and month. I seem to recall the body is just thread with wire (like Zebras) ...

Thanks,

Herm

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Herm,

Go to the search bar at the top left of the home page and type in pinheads. Hit enter.

Ken

Anonymous said...

Ken,
It was good to see you on Sunday! How did you guys do after I left, get any of the big browns? Fished from the dam down to the big pool before the flat water, got one bow and a few nice brookies. Things got real interesting after lunch till around 3 down by the industrial park! There were tons of brookies and landed an nice 12 inch and fat male in full colors and a good amount more on AuSable Wulffs and ants. Had a real big fish break me off while using a big hopper!
Phil

YellowstoneBound said...

With regard to small flies on larger tippet, I've fished size 22 zebra midges on 3X tippet on the Canyon section of the Henry's Fork and have caught many large and well educated trout. So yes, I agree and can attest to this working. I've found that when I see a fish refuse a fly its more than likely fly choice or micro-drag and not tippet size...

Millers River Flyfisher said...

YellowstoneBound,

Thank you for helping to dispel the conventional wisdom about tippet size and conventional wisdom.

Phil,

We did well with browns/bows and brookies by the pipe but things were slow down in Bondsville. Glad to see that you did well.

Ken

lenny tamule said...

Ken,

Searched through the blog to find posts on the pinhead but can't seem to find a recipe. Other than the gold wire I can't make anything out for sure from the photo.

Also, the Farmington trout seem to have dealt with the drought pretty well. Caught an 18" brown that had an elastomer tag on it. Normally I would've taken a picture but I nabbed him on 6x because I ran out of 5x. A memory none the less.

Lenny

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,
Long time reader, first time poster. I had a great time above and below the pipe this past Monday on a size 4 gray/brown mouse pattern that I fished subsurface like I would a streamer. Those big bows went crazy for it.

Thanks for providing this excellent resource for all the western mass fly fisherpersons out there!

-M