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, November 14, 2016

Mops To The Rescue, Indian Summer On The Swift And The Swift Flow

" More than half of the intense enjoyment of fly fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings, the satisfaction felt from being in the open air, the new lease on life secured thereby, and the many, many pleasant recollections of all one has seen, heard and done". Anonymous but it sounds like Maclean


It was a cold windy day last Friday on the Millers. The air temperature never kissed 50 degrees, the water temperature never got above 44 degrees, the wind would send your 4wt back into your face (that actually happened) but my client Mike and I soldiered on. It was a story of light hits, three at the Bridge Pool and the same at Orcutt but no trout. The river was jumping and lowering 50cfs all day (not the 200 cfs of last week) which added to the confusion.

We went down to Erving Center (those who read this blog or have my Millers Guide know where that is, others who read other publications DON"T) and I decided to strap on a Mop Fly. Within 20 minutes we hooked two bows and landed one and I began to think that maybe that fly should of gotten more playing time even when I knew that Mike and I like the classic swing and drift. You fish this fly up close and deep. It doesn't seem to work on the swing. What is weird is that some don't like this fly but will fish squirmy wormies without a second thought. The Mop, in natural colors, looks like a big aquatic insect and behaves like one too. Enough said!!

Now for a lecture! Indian Summer is not described correctly by the weather bunnies and their male counterparts on the news. THEY say that it's in October when the leaves are in full color and the temperatures are warm. WRONG! Indian Summer is an OLD New England term used to described the warm weather that occurs AFTER the leaves are down. I'm an old New Englander so believe me! We had those conditions yesterday (Sunday) and today and the fishing on the Swift was sublime. I worked a quite spot on the lower Swift and had a great morning swinging #16 and #18 partridge and Oranges and then experimenting on the smallest fly that I could cast and land a bragging size trout on. Good fish came to the net down to size 22 but size 24 only brought the junior varsity to the net. It was a mix of bows and brookies with a few of the brookies in the 12 inch range - a great fish for this river


I noticed today that the Swift flow shot up like a rocket at mid day to the 115cfs range. Is that really necessary? The Swift has had a low flow in the Fall for the last 5 years and we have seen hundreds of brookies on their skinny water redds. What will happen when we have a 300% increase in the flow over a few hours? We know that sharp increases in flow do no good to aquatic environments especially a small stream like the Swift. Were redds and eggs washed away? Did anyone take that possibility into consideration? Does the Connecticut River really NEED that flow increase at the expense of the Swift fishery? All good questions.

Ken





26 comments:

tincup said...

total off comment but how does one determine what size fly line to use on a new 3 piece bamboo. (Which I was just given its old needs to be reworked) I have a 3 piece which uses 4 to 5 line and a heavy 2 piece which uses a 7 wt. I put the 3 and 4 on it and it didn't cast like my other 3 piece. It will be a nice winter project but the only way would to cast each line. Or is their a bend index chart or something like that. thanks ken or your followers

Parachute Adams said...

Ken,

A shame to hear about the increased flow on the Swift right after the brook trout redds had been established. Hopefully enough will stay intact to keep that special fishery going. Each and every one are gems.

Regards, Sam

Thomas Muir said...

Hi Ken,

Could you please send me the millers fly fishing guide? Thank you.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Tincup,

Seems that it may be a 5wt through the process of elimination. Check out some of the online forums that deal with bamboo rods. Those guys answer a lot of questions.

Sam,

Rain is in the forecast today. Maybe that will lower the release.

Ken

Bruce said...

Ken,

Do you think using a tippet ring to connect the leader to the tippet will spook the fish on the Millers especially on a sunny day? (added reflection caused by the shiny ring) Bruce

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bruce,

Thanks for the question.

The short answer is no. First, the tippet ring is too far away from the fly to do that. Second, it is too small to have a negative effect. Third, some of these rings are not that shiny but have a matte finish on them. Fourth, If they don't spook trout on the Swift or the EB, which are gin clear, why would they be a concern on the Millers? Fifth, beads and mylar stuff are shiny and attract fish so why would they (rings) spook fish? That's the long answer.

Ken

Bruce said...

Ken,

Thank you for your learned response. I have garnered a ton of info from your blog. I also want to thank Bob B. for the help he gave me on the Millers recently. Ken, many of your readers are truly generous people---- a trait that is sometime lacking in our world today. Thank you, both of you, again. Bruce

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bruce,

Thank you!!! We share advice and especially locations on this site and that is really lacking in this media.

Ken

james douglas said...

Increased flows on the Swift should have no impact on the spawning brookies. They are products of freestone environments where flows go up and down all the time.

What the Swift does have is a much more gentle environment in terms of water temps and minimum flows - you are not going to have the freezing that happens on many freestone streams and even in the most severe droughts the Swift will have flows and favorable water temps when other streams will not.

If anything the occasional flush of water is going to beneficial to purging the stream of accumulated fine sediments that can impact the ability of trout eggs to survive.

In the river that I fish most often there was a dramatic increase in the numbers of trout for the first three years after Irene in particular and the biologist on that river felt that the flood had the beneficial effect of flushing the river of sediments that had become imbedded within the stream.

I spent the weekend watching brook trout spawning in a variety of habitats on this particular river - slow flats that don't look like spawning habitat (but have upwelling spring water that brookies crave), tail outs of runs and little spring flows that one can jump across without getting wet. Brookies are very adaptable. A brief increase in flow is frankly nothing to be concerned about.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

James,

All good points but I am concerned about a 70 cfs surge of water over just a few hours. That's not nearly normal for a river like the Swift. The brookies seemed to be late this year and I believe that it MAY be the result of the 115 cfs flows that we had through much of this Fall. The last five years we have had 40-50 cfs flows during the spawning season. Time will tell!

Ken

tincup said...

the roach river in the north west end of spenser bay moosehead lake increase the flow every year the 5 or 6 of September. It is to get the salmon and brookies out of the lake they keep this flow constant until they close the season last day of the season. And because of the Dam control at the first roach pond they keep this level the same through the spawning cycle. And I have been told this has gone on for years more than I am old. A old fart at 65. So in order to get the most out of natural reproduction they control the flow.

Anonymous said...

Tincup

If there's no marking on the rod, I don't have the link, but google "bamboo common cents" and you will find a paper with a neat way to get an idea on the weight line for the rod. Another shortcut would be to weigh the rod, and try a line 1 heavier than the rod in oz. i.e. if the rod is 4.6 oz, try a 5wt, for a 7oz rod try an 8wt. Just someplace to start, but casting it is the only way to tell. And the # of pieces (2 vs 3) doesn't really have a bearing on line weight.

Joe

tincup said...

joe and ken thanks for the help on the line I have got friends to give me to try lines 2 thru 7 but also different lines of the same number cast different. A shop in maine said I can try several. So I guess that would be the one to get it too my feel

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Tincup,

You are welcome. If that rod is a 7wt let's work it out on Joppa next Summer!!

Ken

Anonymous said...

Beautiful day on the Millers at Rezendez in Athol on Monday. Sunny and maybe it hit 60, but I doubt it. There were two of us there trying our luck, without any results. There were a few insects about beyond midges and mozzies. A few that that looked like BWO and some small light colored mayflies. Fish were not interested. I saw two rises in four hours. Flailed away with woolly buggers, partridge and orange, nymphs, and BWO. No hits. I was wondering if the Supermoon was in effect. Oh well. Maybe my last outing of the year, and that stretch of river is very beautiful so no complaints here.
Peter

Anonymous said...

I am heading to quaboag river for the first time tomorrow. Any recommendations on flies or location?

-Rich

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Rich,

Not from me but maybe some readers will chime in.

Ken

Anonymous said...

For the quaboag, try the route 20 bridge on the Brimfield/Palmer line. A few holdover trout, good bass and plenty of fallfish. A couple of weeks ago a school of about 500 shiners were cruising about. Does anyone know if that is natural? Or did someone put them there?

BobT said...

Ken I was living in Colorado when the massive floods hit about 3 years ago. One of my favorite rivers was the Big Thompson. An amazing fishery anyhow after all subsided DFW employees and fishermen alike were shocked to find fish still in the river-google the pictures and you will understand why its shocking. All of the fish in that river are wild there is no stocking...post flood fish were definitely displaced and lost to being stranded etc but many still made it through. My point is a bump of the magnitude you are talking about has little effect on most fish in my experience-they adapt pretty well. In the old days during runoff I would fish the Millers regularly(as I did in Colorado). Within 3 feet of the bank...thats where they go!

Gabriel El Sebae said...

Hi Rich. I like the Quabog river right in the center of Warren. A good spot to start at is Bridge st. Park on the side of Manning St and you shouldn't have any issues. Anywhere up or downstream should lend you trout. I also like just under the reservoir/dam that historically powered the mills on South Street. You can park on the weekends or after business hours in a lot on south street across from the mills which gives you excellent access to a nice bend in the river with nice pockets downstream as well.

You'll have to pay attention to what's happening on the river but I have had excellent dry fly fishing this time last year with caddis, gnats, and BWOs between 14-20, as well as big hits on wulffs in the 10-14 range in some of the faster water. Buggers work reliably as do seasonal soft hackles.

I haven't fished the bog since Spring do to the drought so let us all know how it goes!

Cheers,
Gabe

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob T,

Thank you again for your comments.

I'm not talking about trout survival but the effects of a man made release that is 3 times the normal flow that we have experienced during this brook trout recovery over the past 5 years. I'm talking about the redds and eggs that that have to deal with this flow! Thankfully the flow, as of this writing, has been reduced. It is accepted that high water NATURAL events will adversely effect spawning results. Why not on the Swift. Increasing the flow by almost 300 percent could do that. It's the successful spawning that I'm worried about. The brook trout fishery on the Swift is what I'm concerned about. Has anyone considered the effect of dumping water into the Connecticut and its effect on spawning brookies??

Time will tell!

Ken

No Meio Do Atlântico said...

Fishing in deep water ponds is heating up, for people around boston you guys don't need to drive 2 hours to have amazing fishing, Concord MA has 2 good trout pond.
Use midges size 16 thru 20, and the really hot fly for me this year has been an extended vernille body with white cdc has a wing.
Give it a try you won't be disappointed.
Good luck out there
If anyone wants to join me, I will be at White pond any weekend after 1 or 2
Rui Machado

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Rich,

Glad that you you got some REAL advice about where to fish as opposed to the usual run-a-round about temperatures, GPS locations and techniques. This blog has fans that will direct you to good places from the start. I am glad that you are a reader!!!

Ken

BobT said...

I hear you Ken...When I fished the Swift on an almost daily basis in college, I recall they released water every day in the summer then it dropped at about 3pm...not totally sure about the time but it would run at 125 then drop to 50 in the afternoon..there were brookies but not as many as there probably are right now.

The Eye on Harvard said...

Latest news yesterday reported that the Quabbin is at a 10 year low and at about 80% normal capacity. They may want to rethink the increased flow to the Connecticut.

tincup said...

kEN yes if you and the wife are coming to the island I hope its for two weeks if not we need to do a couple of trips. Cant use that rod cuz I think its a 2 0 3 weight . I have a 4 5 weight 3 piece. And a great 7 weight which is a streamer rod which was given to me 25yrs ago from a 80 year old moosehead roach river fisher which I promised to pass on when I know it time. A great story, which could be a great tell in the winter time. As to say bamboo how did you get it. ALSO THE SMALL FISH WHICH WERE ALL OVER ISLAND WILL ALL BE DOUBLE THE SIZE NEXT YEAR. sO YES WE WILL FISH AGAIN Bob