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.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Cold Millers Morning, Working The Swift, The Last Word on Mops And Felt Soles Are Back


'My fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power" - Robert Traver



I love Black Friday because I suspect, along with Thanksgiving merriment,that it does keep the number of anglers down somewhat. A morning with an air temperature of 35 degrees and a water temperature of 38 will do the same thing and that was Friday morning on the Millers. The flow was an inviting 190 cfs which is perfect for fishing Erving Center and I still had Mop Flies on the brain so off I went.

I've done a complete 180 on this fly. From a POS to Perfect Imitation is my opinion. It is the perfect hellgrammite and leech imitation and will be a standard with me on the Millers (a big hellgrammite river) going forward. I tie it in somber, natural colors (gray body, dark brown back and head). None of that day glow nonsense for me. I'll throw that neon stuff into the SWJ, squirmy wormy junk draw!! Which begs the question: Why do the detractors of the Mop still fish that other stuff that doesn't represent ANYTHING on this planet let alone a trout stream???


Get a gray car wash mop at Walmart ($6.00), a size 8 scud hook (use scud hooks for this fly. They give the fly more action instead of the less lively longer shank hooks), some brown or black marabou for the thorax and a brown or black sharpie and you are in business.

How did I do? I took 3 good bows in an hour and a half. One was over 20 inches and when he hit I actually thought I was snagged. I was about to throw a rollcast to dislodge the fly when the "snag" began to swim off! I don't like throwing weight with bamboo so my old TFO 4wt got called into action. At one point I didn't think the rod could stand the strain of that fish in mid current but after a few minutes he was in the net!




The Brookies are still at it on the Swift but I think the "run" may have peaked. It will NOT be over in a week as some say but will continue into mid December just like last the last few years. The rainbows will be going nowhere. Squeeze the last few hours out of your 2016 license and get out there!

Good news on the equipment front. Vermont has lifted it's ban on felt soled boots and for good reason. The ban was enacted to stop the spread of Didymo, the noxious diatom that was supposed to befoul our rivers. Well, it appears that didymo has been everywhere FOREVER (it's native) and has gone into the occasional bloom stage due to climate change and not to felt soles. (10 years ago an aquatic biologist told me the same thing. He was certainly a minority opinion back then!)

I like felt but changed over to studs which I don't think live up to expectations. Let's hope that the other states lift the felt ban.

Ken





16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Ok, I'm convinced. I'll tie up some Mops for next spring.

GW

BobT said...

+1 for felt. I was in MT in early October. My old Orvis side zip brogues finally gave out mid stream...the bottom of one of my soles pealed completely off...yipes! Went into West to find a pair-Bud Lilly's was bought by a new owner and they were having a blowout on everything so I picked up a pair of Simms felts at 50% off. I do love them compared to rubber/studs they are so far superior and to not have to overthink every step you take provides a welcome sense of security. I have a feeling rubber will go mostly away shortly..I do like them for trudging through snow or walking a beach but thats all.
Mop fly??? it sure looks fishy its likely I'll do a couple for "experimental" purposes only!!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

BobT,

I agree that rubber may make an early exit. My rubber/stud soles never gave me the confidence that I used to have on a river when I wore felt. Maybe the best combo would be felt and studs for the icy conditions of Winter.

Ken

Bob O said...

I've fabbed my own studded felt soles simply by using hex head sheet metal screws of such a length that they penetrate the felt and sole, but do not extend through the boot to compromse the feet of my waders. Just the regular plated steel type are sufficient. They are excellent in all seasons. One drawback to wet felt is that snow tends to cake on the sole when walking the shore. The screws in the soles tame slippery traction.

Anonymous said...

i love felt while in the river but getting to the river in felt is another matter.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob O,

Do you use a adhesive for this?

Anonymous,

Pine needles and ice on any slope is tough with felt but that is on rare occasions.

Ken

Bob O said...

Ken

Generally I don't use adhesive. When I apply the machine screw "studs", it is on a generic felt soled wading boot.

As I have had the same pair of boot for some years, a while back the soles themselves began to come unglued, like I was walking with flippers. I let them dry completely, scuffed up the rubber sub sole, generously applied flexible rubber contact cement to both the rubber and felt and clamped them back together. Once dry I put in new screws and have been off and wading since.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob O,

Thank you!!!

Ken

BobT said...

BobO I probably could have done the same to squeeze another season or two out of mine-that barge cement or shoe goo can double the life of most boots when judiciously applied...but the damn rubber sole was gone by the time I realized I had a problem...I was lucky to get out of the river and had a long walk to the car with essentially one boot..plus they were getting uncomfortable and broken down...it was time they were about 5 yrs old.
I definitely recommend putting in some sheet metal screws in either felts or rubber soles they really are mandatory for rubber soles. I have used the size 8 ,3/8" KoldKutter screws for years...you get a bag of 250 or so for less then the price of 25 of the "official" kind. I never needed to glue them unless the holes I put them in were previously used. They lasted me about a full season then I'd swap them for another set. Malinda's fly shop sells them but you can also find them on the web with a quick search-great time of year to go over all this stuff.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

BobT,

I like the fact that you will source these screws and buy in bulk instead of getting soaked by the fly fishing industry. I've heard that one place is selling the "tails" for mop flies and that some people are actually buying them.

We should all try to be inventive. My example of using FLEX SHIELD to patch leaky waders is an example.

Ken

BobT said...

There are many ways to be creative, not only for the sake of saving money but we are a pretty susceptible bunch when it comes to doctrine or group think. I learned some of it from my father and grandparents who always "figured stuff out" . There are some things you can't swap out and other things you prefer not to swap out...but when it fits its a good thing. Things that particularly come to mind is flourocarbon. We really take it on the nose as a group on that one and its often just fine to look outside of Rio, Umpqua, Orvis, SciAngler...peronally I stopped using flouro an only have mono now but sometimes we get gear happy and, although I think its partially a stage of fly fishing that most of us go through...I certainly did , now I've settled in to using whatever the heck I want...most of my rods and reels average 20 yrs old or more, not all but you'll see old Pleuger and Hardy's reels picked up at flea market's more than you will see the the latest in synthetic composite drag that will stop an 8" brookie cold... I have a soft spot for some of the earlier carbon fiber vs. the tendinitis inducing super fast industrial strength weaponized graphite sticks that have become popular of late with a department of defense budget price tag to go with them. I wont look down on you if you have it or like that stuff...I just don't care that much ..what I do care about is learning and trying new ideas out and having fun.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

BobT,

I think we went to the same school together. "industrial strength weaponized graphite sticks with a department of defense budget price tag..." A priceless comment!!!!!!!

Ken

Francesco Pellizzari said...

Regarding flex shield.....my experience is the paint can version using a paint brush is the best way to apply the stuff without mess, and to control where and how much goes where it is needed. Also, vacuume cleaner and dryer lint make for interesting dubbing material.....and don't pass up road kill for material either!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Chico,

Good point on the flex shield

Dryer lint - never tried that

Road Kill - I draw the line there!

Ken

Bill/Tully said...

Your suggestions of folks to fish below Rte 9 on the Swift are being heard! More cars in more places below the bridge than in the Y Pool parking lot today. And still room for all.

TROUT said...

I was at the Swift yesterday. Man, it was packed for a Thursday! I guess that's what the warm weather will do.

Honestly, it was a little too crowded for my tastes, but I managed to find one of my lesser known go-to spots unoccupied.