Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Predicting The Millers, The Swift Temperature And A Good Winter Fly


Fishing experts, in my experience, fall into two camps. The first are those who explain what works and fails in great detail - but only afterwards. The second are masters of the selective prediction, able to describe in excruciating detail why a fish will be at a certain place and what fly and technique will take fish, predictions that are spot-on about one time out of 10, at which point they'll say "See, I told you so!" Both techniques are used by stockbrokers, sports bettors, weather forecasters, medical practitioners, tabloid psychics and others. We experts are a large and proud lot; we're just not trustworthy.- Tim May

As I write this the Millers is flowing at 112 cfs in Erving and about 70 cfs in the Bears Den (South Royalston). It appears that the Millers watershed got some much needed relief from this drizzly weekend which MAY be enough for a stocking this week (or maybe not). We have a stretch of dry weather coming up until this next weekend where we are expecting 3/4 of an inch. Hopefully that will put us over the top in time for the Columbus Day end-of-the-Fall-stocking.

There has been talk of the higher than normal water temperatures on the Swift. All Summer long the Swift ran between 55 and 60 degrees. Then on 9/24 it spiked to 69 degrees. This was most likely due to the start of the seasonal "turnover" in Quabbin where warm surface water begins to mix with cool water from below. Add in a VERY windy 9/24, 9/25 and the mix was in!! Things are beginning to adjust as the temp yesterday was 66 degrees. It should keep coming down. It hasn't stopped the trout from providing sport or the BWO from hatching in mass!!

BTW, I looked over my blog entries from last October and noticed that the brookie spawning run was already underway. We are definitely behind last year at this time. Maybe it's the water temperature or maybe it's the higher flows. I'm concerned about the flows because the massive spawning activity we've seen in the last five years has been in approximately 50 cfs flows and not 120 cfs that we have now. Time will tell

The Swift Serendipity was cobbled together about 10 years ago when I took a well known fly and ditched the deer hair wing and replaced it with turkey flats to get it to sink quicker. I changed the body to a material that I use on my Partridge and Orange soft hackles to give it that waxy appearance when wet. It makes all the difference! It's also a fly that really shines in the Fall and Winter but seems to be just so-so during the Spring and Summer. Sizes 18 through 22 do the trick. I've just tied a dozen which should hold us for a while.




Falsecast said...

I haven't been out in a while. The drought got me down, sort of sick of going to one river, plus the Striper fishing on the bay side of the canal has been pretty awesome.

Excited to get back to the Swift and especially curious about this years Brookie spawn for the same reasons Ken mentioned. I am really excited about the last 5 years with the Brookies on the Swift. Could be better if for no other reason than the higher water will stop one of the biggest killers of trout eggs on the river, us :)

I mentioned this to Ken the last time I saw him so I believe he is in agreement that we've all seen people trample right through huge redds. I am sure we all have accidentally done some stomping too. What I see is that many anglers simply walk to a spot in the most direct manner even if over redds. I would encourage the readers of this blog to, politely and with kindness, remind anyone who might simply not know they are doing it. The bubbler arm has a lot of spawning activity and vulnerable to almost any wading. There is a reason much of northern new england has a closed fall season.

Happy Fall, hoping for this hurricane to douse us!

Nathan Drawbridge said...

Video of Cady lane is on the

Andrew said...

See that both the Swift and Green were stocked yesterday, along with a number of ponds:

Falsecast, where do you fish by the Canal? Every morning I've been up before sunrise fly fishing for albies at the other end of the Canal. Between Mass Maritime ship (Kennedy) and Hog Island. Some albies, also some stripers.

Good tip about watching out for the redds.

Bill/Tully said...

Had a beautiful fall afternoon above Athol Twist Drill on the Millers today. Cool water, cloudy, nice wading level about 1/2 mile up. And caught a nice 12"ish brown trout as well. First trout on the Millers since July! Odd, no bass were evident?

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Good work Bill!!!! I did a non fishing visit to the Millers today and the flow is fine. And I've never caught a bass above the Twist Drill dam, EVER!!!


Good point as usual. Below route 9 you can walk on the light green weeds and never disturb a spawning bed because trout don't spawn in weeds. They need pure gravel. Above route 9 the weeds are scarce and the gravel is everywhere and some dopes will walk right through the beds. Maybe we should just leave some of these places alone until February alone until the eggs hatch.


Parachute Adams said...

Latest reports, Ken, have us getting rain out of this storm come this weekend. Hopefully true, and Godspeed for those getting hit before it gets here.

I love that Serendipity midge. Thanks for the ideas on flies to tie as always. Days are so short now, but I got out for an hour or so after work, and caught a beautiful brook trout during the brief time allowed now. It hit a parachute adams, but with an olive dubbed body instead of the usual musk rat gray.

Best Regards, Sam

Falsecast said...

Andrew - Scusset Harbor, Sandwich - lots of big fish staging and probably heading your way right now. Go get em because they'll all be gone soon!

Millers River Flyfisher said...


They are dopes and you're a coward for hiding under "anonymous". Get lost!


lenny tamule said...

Finally checked out Bondsville and it's a cool spot. Worked it downstream pretty well with a friend from the dam to a ways down. Caught a bunch of brookies and some suckers. Fished it thouroughly too and no rainbows, so I'm not too sure if they even stocked the place. Not even spin guys I talked to caught anything, but maybe someone had better luck than us. The ware river confluence is sweet water too, but we only caught smallies and fallfish. Anyways it was fun to check out a new place with promising water.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


You really did some exploring! The DFW claimed to have stocked the Swift in Palmer on Monday with rainbows and just below the dam is a logical spot. BTW, any spawning brook trout or browns can only go as far as the dam so it is a good place to be this Fall!


Anonymous said...

Hello everybody,

I am pretty much self taught by reading and watching videos and have been fly fishing for about 3 years now. There are things that are harder to learn on your own, like, how the heck does a redd looks like in the water. I saw some pictures online but I don't recall seeing them on the water, probably just missed them. I'll keep an eye on them this year and will try to walk through the weeds when possible but if anybody have more tips on how to detect them that would be great.