"Learning is the fountain of youth. No matter how old you are you mustn't stop growing" - 365 Tao, Daily Meditations
This is the time of year that things get weird on the Swift. As most of you know I do most of my fishing below Rt 9 instead of the C&R section above the bridge because the water is just more interesting and less crowded. Except for this last week of the year when it seems that everyone and their uncle is hitting the Pipe section BEFORE the regulations change to allow the keeping of fish. The conventional wisdom is that the bait boys will wipe the place out in a week which is always an exaggeration. They will catch some but not enough to make a difference. One problem that they will have is that those trout have been in the river for at least three months and will not the gullible stockers that you find in the Spring when poaching really occurs. There will be fish down there in January unless it gets really cold and the trout head to deeper water downstream. Yes, it should be C&R all year to end the confusion and to put an end to poaching.
This is the time of year when I find myself going above Rt 9. First, the Y Pool may be the only place in Massachusetts where you'll find rising trout from now through March and if you have a sunny day with the temperatures in the 40's those Winter Caddis will start doing their thing. Second, the water temperature coming out of the bubbler arm will be the warmest water in the river through the Winter and many times that will attract the trout.
Bring scuds around a size 16 tied below a size 16 partridge and orange. I was using that setup on Friday the 23rd just below the arched bridge. I took 4 from the bridge down to the Y Pool and then another 2 in the arm above.
Another good winter fly is my old Hot Spot, a fly that was invented on the Swift,for the Swift. Sizes 20 to 24 work the best when just drifted through any likely holding water.
AFTER CHRISTMAS - Today (Tuesday 12/27) started balmy but the wind picked up above RT 9 just to remind us what season it is. I took 2 bows and a brookie below the bridge and then went upstream (bubbler) where all of the trout had lock jaw except one good bow. On my way back down there was a guy in the spot I vacated 2 hours before. He had 2 bows on at once and then took another. IT IS A GOOD SPOT! I believe that some of those Y Pool rainbows just want some riffle water to hang out in since that spot took the most fish in the two days that I was there. It doesn't look like much of a place but the trout are there. Again, the scuds ruled the day at least for me.
My friend Bill said that he saw two vehicles towed out of the PIPE section yesterday. Anyone who went DOWN by the GAUGE needed help getting out because of the ice. Park above that spot along the dirt road to be safe. Also, ITS PACKED with fly fishers as I predicted.