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, December 5, 2016

Big Bows, The Brookies Of The Swift And Some Open Dates.

"I don't get competitive fly fishing. There's always someone who wants to take a wonderful pastime that we dream about and spend hours pursuing and then turn it into a contest with teams no less. I guess competitive sex is next! " Anonymous




As I write this we are getting our first December snow but it will not be enough to keep us off the Swift which has been fishing very well with rainbows going through the spawning ritual (a futile exercise) and the brookies beginning to wrap up their annual party. It's been a very good Autumn that has had a lot of browns and big bows in the mix. I've seen this one rainbow that is possibly near 24 inches long. I've seen him twice, once with a client and one other angler has seen him too. This is the beauty of this diminutive tailwater; you get to see everything!!!!

We had a great year fishing to this river's brook trout from early Spring right up into December. You could actually follow the spawning run from Cady Lane upstream in October. There were more LARGE brook trout in the mix too with several topping 20 inches. I doubt if there is ANY river in New England that can claim that!!!


The old reliable partridge and orange has been my favorite fly this Autumn with the grouse and flash taking some memorable fish. I have a stable of Winter flies but I'll ride that soft hackle horse for as long as I can!

We have 26 more days left on our licenses so lets use them up. If you need to know a new place or need to brush up on technique just shoot me an email.

Ken







16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ken,

Those rainbows act like they really want to spawn. Wouldn't it be something to be catching 2 inch rainbows in the nex few years.

J.C.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

JC,

It would be something. If that happened we should reexamine the stocking program. The bait boys will not like it BUT real fly fishers would!!!! The bows may not be as big and as on demand as they are but they would be NATIVE and that would make the Swift really unique!!! Keep your hopes up but not that "up".

Ken

YellowstoneBound said...

Its not likely that the rainbows will spawn. And even if they did, they wouldn't be native. Native is a very specific classification and can only be applied to a species or subspecies that evolved in a particular region or watershed. All rainbow trout are native to streams that flow into the Pacific, and most rainbows that we encounter by way of stocking programs in the US have their origin in the McCloud watershed in California. I know it sounds petty and overly picky, but the differences between wild (which stream-born rainbows would be) and native are quite important in the conservation and restoration movements.

Now having said that, it would be great to develop some truly wild fisheries in our fair commonwealth, but as Ken has suggested, the "bait boys" would be opposed to the management practices that such a goal would require.

If anybody is interested in how Rainbows came to such prevalence in our artificial fisheries, I cannot recommend highly enough "A Wholly Synthetic Fish" by Anders Halverson. A fascinating, if not sobering book.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Yellowstone,

First, "A Wholly Synthetic Fish" is a good read. Second, let me change "native" to WILD so I can include the browns in the Swift and the Farmington and the browns in Montana and the rainbows in New Zealand and everywhere else that we find non native reproducing populations of game fish that were purposely introduced and that anglers enjoy fishing for.

(It's been said that the McCloud strain was chosen over other strains of rainbows because it had less of a tendency to "run" to the ocean. More of a home boy I guess.)

Ken

TROUT said...

Anyone know why the rainbows can't reproduce? In the smoky mountains, they stopped stocking rainbows in the 1970s, and they are now a non-native wild species in the park.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

TROUT,

After a century of being hatchery livestock they might not be able to get it done in the wild although it appears that they are trying. I know of 2 Massachusetts streams that have identified, reproducing rainbows. Maybe there's another somewhere.

Ken

BobT said...

Its always been my understanding that stocked rainbows in MA were considered sterile or infertile. I do not know the whys but I do recall my dad having a conversation with Joe Bergin 20 some years ago discussing it. Many years have gone by and I am sure Joe has since retired but a call to DFW might yield an answer.

TROUT said...

I'm sure it's related to the trout they are stocking. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd even want reproducing rainbows, as they might start to compete too much with the native brookies.

Andrew said...

MA DF&W swaps stocked fish with other states. They have swapped landlocked salmon from MA with tiger muskies from NJ. for several years.

Wonder if MA DF&W could obtain some wild rainbow trout fertilized eggs from NY State (there has been a wild breeding population of rainbows in the upper Delaware for >120 years) in return for some MA land locked salmon. Or wild Delaware Browns. They have managed to live and breed in the Delaware for a long time.

Expect LL salmon might do v. nicely in some of their lakes and drinking reservoirs (such as Pepacton) that have large smelt and/or sawbelly populations.

http://thedelawareriverclub.com/what-we-fish-for/

Would rather see some wild strains of 'Bows or Browns that naturally reproduce than have more Tiger Muskies introduced to our Commonwealth.

Falsecast said...

There are wild Rainbows in northern Vermont. Vermont has the most limestone influenced streams in NE, from what I understand. I believe the Deerfield benefits from that too. These were originally stocked, but somehow the strain stuck. They spawn in the spring, as Rainbows should, however.

In my opinion, I think the most intriguing thing would be to stop stocking Rainbows in the Swift, at least for a couple of years just to see what the impact would be on the Brookies and Browns. I'd like to see them put in a lot of Brown trout parr in the same one year age class as that years brookies and not put in large Browns. Odds are they'd grow at about the same rate, but in time some big, wild browns should begin to appear, don't you think? Maybe they'd have a better chance of spawning and a wild strain would come out of it. There also would be a chance for wild Tiger's due to uniformity of the substrate, constant water temps, relatively limited spawning area, and potentially 2 fall spawners in close proximity. What a cool, all wild fishery that would be? If it didn't happen, then they can always go back to the current stocking regimen.

I know that I am in the minority in this opinion. I'd probably also close the river above rte 9 during stocking too :)

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Andrew,
It appears, with a bit of internet searching, that most stocked rainbows are sterile.

I don't thing that stopping the rainbow stocking would improve the brookie situation on the Swift since that population has been growing despite the stocking of rainbows. As for browns they seem to take up quarters in areas that seem to suit them such as Cady Lane which seems to have the greatest population of that species. Wouldn't brown trout parr compete with brook trout parr? I think so.

Many questions here.

Ken

P.S. I'd like to see the possibility of LL salmon being introduced into Littleville Lake (8o feet deep and it has smelt) which has the Middle Branch of the Westfield flowing into it!

BobT said...

some day ...not in my lifetime maybe state fisheries managers will "get it" but probably not..It seems to me the best trout fishing is in a state or states that do not stock(MT). granted conditions are far better out there but particularly in the berkshires there is loads of suitable habitat for sustainable wild, non stocked fisheries. the housy-due to pcb contamination- was not stocked for many years yet held onto a population of reproducing brownies...there are a gazillion brookie streams throughout new england..the bait crowd basically pillages the stocked fisheries and a byproduct of that is the taking of naturally reproducing brookies and brownies which is a shame. i'd propose the legal harvest of stocked rainbow trout and catch and release of brown trout and brookies statewide as a way to maybe meet the needs of everyone..

Anonymous said...

Regarding Landlocks in Littleville, there was a limited stocking many many years ago and I remember Wardens checking peoples fish stringers for salmon mistaken for Brown Trout.
Recently I have brought the Stocking of Landlocks up with the MDFW and they poo poo it as Littleville is considered too small a waterbody.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,

You broke my heart but at least I know that someone feels the same way. BTW, New Jersey has two deep lakes (80 to 100 feet deep) that has one the same size as Littleville and the other that is only 100 acres but they are both managed as LL salmon fisheries (at least they were). Goggle them. Maybe it's not the size but the forage base that concerns MA DFW people. Or maybe it's something else!

Sometimes we have to press these guys!

Ken

Anonymous said...

Ken: I am continuously dismayed by some of the attitudes of MDFW regarding fisheries. I think they can be pretty lazy in their focus on hatchery stocked fish. Littleville IMO would be an excellent choice to try a Landlocked Salmon Fishery. What do they have to lose?
Also, if a native population of Browns is established in a fishery, why not try the trout management program that CT has for the Farmington? I know it costs money, but hey it sure supports a recreational $$$ economy in the area of the river. I know I sure spend money down there for licenses, food, etc.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Anonymous,

65% of the trout stocked by Connecticut and New York are browns. Here in Ma it's about 25% browns with 2/3 rainbows. Their reasoning is that people want big fish and rainbows grow quicker. They seem to be scared of the bait boys squawking about smaller fish. Fly fishers are the ones that should be catered to because we make up the vast majority of hours spent fishing moving water. Bait slingers and hardware tossers seem to prefer lakes and ponds.

More browns for the Millers and the Housey. They last longer!!!

Ken