Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Remembering Special Trout

"Many go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after" Henry David Thoreau

Frequent commentator Sam (aka Parachute Adams) asked if I could brighten up this dreary winter with any remembrance of a special trout that I had crossed paths with over the years. There are a few. The brown that took up home right NEXT to the top rock at the Millers upper Trestle Pool. That trout took me four months to catch and I got it on my 40th birthday. Not big but very difficult.

But the one that has the deepest memories goes back over 40 years ago to the Squannacook River. I first encountered that brown in early June when a well placed Blue Quill Dry landed a few feet up from an old log that partially spanned half of this modest river. I saw all two feet of him come up, follow the fly for about a foot until drag set in and then disappear back under the log. I was shaken to say the least because I didn't think that river could hold a trout of that size!!

I carefully fished for that brown over the next two months but didn't see it again until late Summer when it rose again to THE VERY SAME FLY. This time I could feel the point of the hook scrape the mouth of this huge brown but that's as close as I got. I never saw the brown again.

I've caught trout close to the same size but there is something special about the ones that get away. Sometimes I think that if I had landed it it would of lost some of its status.
                                                                            Tied by Elsie Darbee

It's been a snowy week with more on the way BUT it's almost 2 months since the shortest day of the year. Spring is not far away.


Parachute Adams said...

Great stories, Ken. I love it. My memorable trout are those that somehow got away. I have had a couple of beers on this winter's night, but will do my best to relate one memory from last season.

A slow moving part of the lower Swift where I often fish was showing some rises from brookies, some of which came clean out of the water getting the bugs. One particular rise downstream of me looked reachable for me with my little 7' Fenwick so I gave it a go. No dice until I slowly dragged the dry fly back for the pick up.

That was all it took to get the attention of a big rainbow that hit the fly like a bass or a pike, and then the game was on water torn up and mist everywhere from the line stripping through the water as the trout went from left to right.

I mostly use 5X so I can horse them a tad to get the fight over and back in the river to recover, but every time this trout came close to me and the net, off it went again. Knowing his surroundings well it finally dove down and took the line underneath a boulder in the middle. I could feel the trout for a while, but finally the barbless hook came out and it all came back to me.

Not thirty seconds later, a trout, I believe the same one that got away, jumped two feet out of the water next to the opposite bank for no apparent reason. Maybe celebrating that it got away and got rid of the sting of the hook.

Regards, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Excellent!! I can hardly wait until the leaves come out!!


Bob O said...

Great tales, both. Thank you.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob O,

You are welcome!!!


Hibernation said...

Cool Stories Ken! And, I very much appreciate the reminder that we are closer to spring than not!

Anonymous said...


With all this snow do you think we will have a high water spring?


Anonymous said...

Justin Cordonnier
12:38 PM (4 hours ago)

to me
Hi Ken,

I enjoy your blog, and I’ve also used your guide to the Millers River extensively.

The other day you posted about the “other” Swift that runs into the Westfield in Cummington. I went to Google Earth and checked it out; I didn’t really see any obvious access points. Do you have one or two access points you can recommend? Looks like a fun spot for the Spring.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Look for a turn-off on Rt 9 in Cummington for a good spot. Just climb down the embankment to the Swift.

Also look for Shaw Rd and Swift River Road in Cummington which are on the north side of the river in the same town.

The Swift flows under Rt 9 and then hits the EB of the Westfield.

Len said...


Here's a fun question. If you could only have 3 or 4 flies in your box for April, what would they be? I'm new to fly tying. I tied a bunch of the olive nymph that you recommended.



Millers River Flyfisher said...


It depends where I'm fishing!

Buggers, soft hackles, weighted nymphs on the Millers, EB and the Ware Rivers and my year round small selection for the Swift.