Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, December 12, 2016

Like Day And Night - Two Trips To The Swift

"Creeps and idiots cannot conceal themselves for long on a fishing trip" - John Gierach

Even a guide gets a day off and this past Friday was that day. It was a chance to workout a new bamboo rod and spend three hours working out Swift River rainbows, hopefully.

I got to the Pipe parking lot at 8am and was surprised to see that I was the only one there. When I left at 11 I was the only one there! Usually Fridays require a tee time reservation but this was different. Did I make a beeline to the Pipe to stake a claim to that real estate? Nope, I started at the gauge where I found rainbows working the riffles above the Gauge Pool. I took one in 5 inches of water with the old partridge/orange which christened the rod.

I worked the Gauge Pool and took two more bows in the second set of riffles and then played with the bows that were patrolling the brookie redds further downstream. Almost all of the brook trout have finished up with this annual dance and will find winter quarters below Cady Lane. It was a good year for them!!

While fishing this section I noticed that I didn't see one angler heading downstream and when I rounded the turn I saw an empty Pipe. Nature abhors a vacuum so it was my duty to fill that spot and I did. 15 minutes and 5 bows later I worked the top of the Tree Pool with another two in the net. Then back to the Pipe for one more and then I called it a day.

NOW FORWARD CAST TO SUNDAY MORNING - It was only 8 degrees at 8:30 so I didn't expect anyone for a while but the fleet sailed in and that the parking lot was about full by noon.

There were no bows working the riffles above the gauge and the fish in the Gauge Pool were not interested. Ditto for the riffles downstream and when we worked our way down to the Pipe we saw lots of people but very few trout being caught. What hits we got were halfhearted passes at the fly with no urgency displayed. The water temperature was 45 degrees which is fine for this year so who knows.

Now, there's a reason why I placed that quote at the top of the post. On Sunday morning we all had the misfortune to be exposed to the worst behavior that I've seen in 25 years of fishing this stretch. Angler 1 was working the Pipe from the shore when this "fly fisherman" (angler 2) walks right up in front of him and starts fishing. Angler 1 politely says something and angler 2 verbally explodes with not just your usual gutter obscenities but actual verbal threats of physical harm. It was a borderline criminal act.

I've never seen this creep before and it would be hard to describe him but I could hear him a 100 yards away. Keep your eye out for anyone who seems erratic.



Robert Bolivar said...

The Y-pool was equally as vacant on Friday. I don't usually fish upstream but the lack of cars in the lot, lured me in. The wind was brutal coming off the dam, but the fishing was decent. Saw two other anglers working the bubbler run and downstream areas that were more sheltered from the wind.

I was also out on Sunday working the areas just upstream of the Pipe. Brookies were still hungry.

Gabriel El Sebae said...

Back in the late summer I may have had a similar run in with angler 2. He was fishing below the pipe, closer to the tree pool. I quietly got in and started on the pool right at the end of the tree pool. He got out and started cursing me and calling me every name in the book, then walked the trail downstream. We could all hear him shouting as he disappeared. A first and a last for this sort of encounter. Poor sportsmanship, let alone comradery!

TROUT said...

I've seen a few rude people down by the pipe. It's true that two people can comfortably fish both sides of the pipe at the same time, but you should always ask before fishing across from someone. The other day, two guys were fishing the opposing sides of the pipe, and another guy came downstream from the bend and starting fishing the pipe from the center of the river! Three is way too many people for fishing the same 5 foot stretch.

There are so many better spots that take a little searching to find. I certainly don't mind if everyone crowds around the pipe and Y-pool. It means more river for me.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


We hear you.


I usually take my clients around the Pipe because of the crowds. One guy offered his spot so that is why we were there. That was after fishing water upstream that was basically unfished. I tell my guys that if there's nobody there go fish it and catch a few like I did on Friday but people like to camp out there and it can soon be a mob scene and not fly fishing!


tincup said...

Wow how true is that quote from John Gierach, to see the true colors of an individual is to fish, hunt, or play golf with an individual the cream always come to the top. You said again, that u were trying out another BAMBOO rod. ONE CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH BAMBOO RODS. Have u ever built one? Thinking of doing one this winter, their is class that start with the raw bamboo clume and also the company u get some of your hooks from Fly Shack sells blanks. Any suggestions would be appreciated, have made several fiberglass carbon rods in the past and really love the feel of bamboo. Merry Christmas and Happy holiday to U and all who make up this forum.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

tincup (Bob),

Many blanks come from China but the best china blanks come from ZHU BAMBOO RODS. They also sell rods for a low price. I just bought one, a 7 ft, 4wt with 2 TIPS for about $160.00. The blanks are a good deal. You can find these on amazon.

Merry Christmas and a great 2017 to you, pal!!


Falsecast said...

While we all love the Swift and what it has to offer, it does have a heaping helping of rude anglers. I definitely include us fly guys in the category.

Early in the season I worked my to one of the few non redds on that run that gets killed during the brookie spawn in between the TU bank improvements on the flats between the two benches above rte 9. A guy comes in and is walking right on the redds right at me. I made a polite comment about the Redds (keeping in mind one was right behind me right up against the bank) and he apologized, adjusted and walked right at me. I indicated I couldn't really back up because of the big redd right behind me, so he brushed by in front almost touching, walked 10 feet down stream and began stripping line out and casting directly in the deeper water in front of me. I looked at him and said "do you think it's a big tight for 2 people and he pulled up his line. 2 seconds later I see what I think is him casting at me, as in to hook me, but I realize he is now casting into redd directly behind me. I said "hey, I have a solution for this problem, man" and I just walked away angrily, but without saying anything.

By the time I got out of the river and looked back he had already slid into my position and wouldn't make any eye contact. :) Essentially, the definition of getting muscled out. I always try to lose people and, as Ken points out often, some people go to only fish ONE pool or run because that's all they know. So they just get it no matter what. This guys didn't say anything, but either had no idea for etiquette or just thought that's the way it's done?? Sort of crazy if you ask me, but I would say that the "culture" above rte 9 is probably permanently that way now because it's been tolerated.

Parachute Adams said...

Thanks for the heads up, Falsecast, about above Route 9. I might fish there some day, but for the near future I will stick with the unpopular areas.


james douglas said...

Any concern that folks tramping about the river are stepping on brook trout redds?