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.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Remembering Winters Past - 2011- 2112 SALMON And An Update


" I think of fly rods the same way Bill Belichick thinks of position players. Can you play guard AND center? Can you play tight end AND be a long snapper or whatever. Versatility!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've got a closet full of rods but I haven't bought a graphite rod since 2008 because everything that I have works plus I spend too much $$ on bamboo which is great to own and just admire. It's fun to fish with it too!" - From This Blog




Backcast to late August of 2011. Hurricane Irene ran through the area and dumped over 12 inches of rain on a Quabbin Reservoir that was close to capacity. Within a month the "pond" began to overflow and that overflow lasted for six months with a flow of 500 cfs+. The timing was PERFECT because the landlocked salmon were moving out of their summer depths and were looking for moving water to spawn in.

 HUNDREDS of salmon and lake trout went over the spillway and into the Swift, most noticed where the hundreds that went into the Y Pool. That started the BEST Winter season that this river has had in recent memory.

It's New years Day on 2012. I'm there at 7:30 am and I'm not the first but I'm at the end of the Y Pool at waist depth casting a tiny smelt pattern 3/4 quarters downstream and mending the line to swim this pattern. I know what Landlocked Salmon do.  They're like their ATLANTIC cousins (genetically the same fish) and they will rise through the water column if it's what they want. This salmon rose to that tiny streamer when it was only 6 inches below the surface. It measured 26 inches!!! Salmon will do that and it reminded me of New Brunswick Atlantic Salmon fishing. Even more so when I began to get them with soft hackles with the same approach. (Note to Lenny: My 12 and 10 soft hackles worked here. Your bigger soft hackles will work for Steelies)



It was a wild Winter. I saw one angler who had never been to the Swift before mumbling that he he had caught a 24 inch salmon on a # 14 soft hackle. He didn't know about the overflow and thought he was only fishing for trout. We calmed him down and said there's more like that so keep fishing.

My soft hackles and inch long streamers took salmon and so did a 30 inch monster that grabbed a #30 larva pattern (yes - I saw it.!!!). Some scraped the bottom and others fished like me.  We all caught salmon. One kid was screaming that he caught a 2 foot long brown.  I said "that's a salmon" and I think he felt better.  I guided a guy who landed the fish pictured above using the streamer swing. Way to go.

Within 6 months these fish were gone.

High flows will not guarantee salmon. If that were the case the Summer of 1999 would have done it with it's 500+ flows. But it was Summer and the salmon will not be moving out of there cool comfort zone.  Maybe we will see it another year.

Update - Still catching trout on the Swift.  Dress warm and fish tiny flies. The more fish you catch the warmer you will feel.!!!

Ken


14 comments:

Parachute Adams said...

Great story on the salmon, Ken, most especially on a winter night as I read it. Catching those rascals on a fly rod must have been a blast.

I wonder what happened to all of them and if any survive to this day?

A friend of mine who has a house along a brook that runs into the Chicopee River claims that he caught a 24"er in the brook 20 years ago or so. He called it a trout, but my guess is that it was a salmon that got spilled out from Quabbin after a similar big rain event.

It would have had to make its way through Red Bridge pond and over that dam too, but who knows, maybe it could have happened that way.

Regards, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam,

Your friend's fish was either a LL Salmon or a big brown trout. Those wise old browns show up in some strange places.

I'm surprised that they appeared to be gone within a year.

Ken

lenny tamule said...

Thanks for the reassurance Ken! We will see in two weeks if they take exception. It'll be cool to two hand swing for them, hopefully in some light snow. It looks like I started fly fishing 3 years too late! Not like I had a car to drive to the swift back then anyway.

Lenny

Unknown said...

Great to see all them young fishermen down river.Very polite an good fishing edakit.Im a bait guy gave me a different perspective this year catch an release good luck Swift river fly fishermen.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Lenny,

It's never too late as long as you're doing it. I'd drive my junker pickup to the Miramichi River over 35 years ago for a chance at SALMON thinking I should of done this three years before. The thing is I did it and I'll never forget it!!!!!

Ken


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Unknown,
You mean Etiquette, right? Glad you commented. We all fish this river. I think we all love this river.

Bob O said...

That was a winter to remember. The section below the wires at times looked like a little 'Pulaski'. Elbow to elbow. The salmon and lakers were quite willing to put a bend in our rods. And we had a ball.

Ken, I have a couple of questions for you about dry fly hackle. I'm thinking of getting into tying dries. What color hackles should I start with? Are capes or 1/2 capes best to start with ? Thinking sizes 14-22. I've also seen 25 and 100 packs.

Thanks for your input.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob O,

I have saddles that go back 40 years and some are top notch BUT the best deal going are the packages of dry fly hackles such as Whitings Farms. Everything is pre sized so much of the guess work is out. A package of long #18 hackles will tie a hundred dries. Color depends on what pattern you are tying but I seem to use mostly dun (gray) and brown.

Ken

lenny tamule said...

Ken,

Planning on going to the Cascapedia over the summer! Can't wait!

Lenny

Parachute Adams said...

That salmon or trout could have indeed been a brown trout, Ken. As a youngster I caught a nice brown, a plump 14" one, out of that little stream from an undercut bank on a worm. I was proud and took it home where Mom fried it up for my brothers and me along with a couple of eggs. Good times.

Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam,

My Mom did the same thing with the little brookies that I would bring home plus the horned pout and the perch too. I'll never forget it.

Lenny,
The Cascapedia!!!!! No fly fisher has really lived until that first salmon hits! And you will not do it by tight line nymphing!!!!!!!

Ken

lenny tamule said...

Ken,

I fully intend on swinging!

Lenny

Anonymous said...

David Powelstock said....

Thanks for the great post, Ken! I ordered myself a copy of the Farmington guide, and it really is terrific. As a beginning fly fisherman, I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the generosity of folks like you and the authors of that guide who put their love of the sport and eagerness to share it ahead of their egos.

Anonymous said...

The following spring is when I first started fishing the swift was sad to see the salmon go as I did not catch any but I suspect a few large rainbows made the plunge as well. That same spring above Cady lane a big red side bow probably pushing 30 inches scared my brother out of the water as it took a swipe at the streamer he was fishing one of two very large trout I've seen in Mass streams...the other was a brown on the Quinn that honestly could have been 20lbs eating smaller browns during a sulphur event. He hung out for a minute then swam upstream towards the quabbin outflow. I feel lucky just to have seen this fish... I think this spring Ken I'll be focusing more on some of these " marginal" rivers as you have put it... Id love to run across one of those browns that find their way into smaller creeks or catch any trout in an unstocked body of water... Any suggestions on how to find such streams I know there are gems in this state and those are the places that I want to fish more

Paul Fay