Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Above Route 9, The EB And The Brookies

'The real truth is, convincing a fish to strike is like playing string with a cat: The exact size and color of the string is probably less important than how you wiggle it... And little cats are easier to fool than big ones" - John Gierach



It was late Tuesday afternoon and the first thing that I noticed as I walked upstream of Route 9 was that the water had dropped. A quick look at the neat phone app that I have confirmed it. This was a concern that I had for this Fall: the high (120 cfs) flow would disrupt the brookie spawning. A flow in the low 40's, like the last few years, would be great and those were great spawning years.

A few notes -

This was the first time since April that I gone above Route 9 on the Swift since the fishing experience BELOW Route 9 was so off-the-charts great!!!

The brookie run is late this year and that may be because of the higher flow or the warmer water temperatures. There are certainly fewer fish on the redds this year (it pays to have a nine year old blog as a data base) at this time. I'm sure that this will improve since November is the best month on the Swift for spawning brookies. BTW, I've seen more spawning brook trout below Rt 9 so far.

It's been a month since we've seen rainbows going through their spawning ritual on the Swift. This is a fruitless exercise because they've been doing it for years and we never catch 3 inch bows like we do with the brook trout. The 5 inch bows we caught last Summer were escapees.

As I was walking up to the Y Pool I saw an angler wading right down through prime spawning gravel. Luckily the trout were far and few between but we will see this scene unfold as soon as the trout REALLY begin to dig their redds. Stay away from the gravel and stop scrambling eggs!!! Walk on weeds and bottom debris which spawning trout avoid. In fact, try to avoid fishing anywhere between the deflector wings. This is a great spot for taking some great pictures of dozens of trout.

I fished the bubbler arm for 45 minutes and took 4 bows and 2 brookies on a size 18 egg pattern in a howling gale. It was sight fishing with no nest building action going on. I was actually able to stand on the bank, hide behind a tree and roll cast out there. It's times like this when a double taper comes in handy.

The EB got stocked in Chesterfield on Tuesday and that will mean the Gorge section. They reported that the fish were browns which is ok with me. Here's what to expect: it will be either feast or famine as the fish will be holding in the stocking points until we get a higher flow. Let's hope for a higher flow!!!



TROUT said...

I try to warn others about walking in the prime stretches for spawning, but I still see people wading into those areas too.

I often wonder if stretches of the river should be cordoned off this time of year with some stakes and rope. It'd take one afternoon and prevent new comers from trampling all over the redds, or pulling fish out of spawning areas. Much like sea turtle nest sanctuaries. Even simpler would be a small sign to stake into the ground.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I never leaned to restricting areas but I like the signage idea. It's a bit of education instead of ropes and stakes. Just walk and stand on weeds and debris and we've won the battle. This is a real concern above RT 9 but not a problem below due to spawning gravel that is very close to weed beds. One can actually target marauding rainbows that seem to hang out below the brookies.


Anonymous said...


I agree that the brook trout run seems to be behind the last two years. Higher flows and higher water temperatures are the only difference.


Falsecast said...

I love the idea of a sign at entrance to Rte 9 that educates people about spawning times and gravel.

I, personally, don't mind some restrictions and if they didn't stock and shut off the water above Rte 9 for 3 or 4 months to protect the spawning Brookies, I think it would pay dividends all year. I haven't been there in a while as I am taking some time to check out different spots on the Miller's.

On Wed I went to the Miller's and, for the first time, fished in the town of Erving. It looks like nice pocket water from right above the bridge all the way as far as I could see. Is that so? I took 3 nice Bows right below the bridge and then nothing at all further down. Went back up to Wendell and took a few more with with a couple of those small Browns in the mix. My SJW didn't do anything, but a thin beadhead bugger did the trick.