Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, February 27, 2017

Spring Was Here And Then......Spawning Bows

"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago" Zane Grey

On Saturday morning the temperature crossed 60 degrees for the third day in a row which isn't bad for late February. In fact, it was above 50 degrees since early in the week which brought the hordes out to the Swift throughout the week. " I couldn't find a place to park" was the lament from Bill about conditions at the Pipe on Tuesday and Thursday. That was not the case on
Saturday morning as Bill and Joe were the ONLY ones working that section!!!

Word has it that the hot fly for the week was the Henderickson nymph, a bit early but it worked!!

One thing of interest on that Saturday morning was the spawning behavior of rainbows above and below the Pipe. Nest digging was observed just above the pump house and down below the Pipe. (the accompanying photo is of a 16 inch bow caught in the act).

This is the time of year for wild bows to spawn and that urge is still in play for the hatchery fish but it is a useless exercise because THESE rainbows are (they say) sterile. "Triploid" bows are sterile bows that can be stocked over native bows providing increased numbers WITHOUT deluding the native gene pool. Sounds like a good idea except why is this done on the Swift where there are no stream born rainbows? One would think that it would be great to have reproducing bows to join with the brook trout and browns. Just thinking out loud..

I've made an effort to devote more energy to caddis imitations this year and have become intrigued with using plastic beads (No. 11 seed beads to be exact) to represent the larva stage of this insect. The olive color should work and if need be I'll switch to a bright green color.

It's 24 degrees at 5:00am as I write this. Winter is back!!!



Anonymous said...


I saw that same rainbow behavior last week and on occasion through the Fall. Too bad there are no results.


Michael Maglothin said...


Likewise, I saw the behavior above the pipe during the Fall, with both bows and Brookies interestingly 'intermingling' over reds. If anyone needs to hatchery manager's contact info, let me know--I agree, spawning bow strain is interesting concept.


Al Borelli said...

Al Borelli

Maybe you would have some insight on a bow i caught on the swift last fall.
It was no bigger than 7 inches and had defined parr marks
maybe he was put in, but i would like to the he was born in there. i figure hundreds of those rainbows try to spawn every year, Maybe a few do make something happen

see you out there

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I saw those last year and I also thought that they might be stream born BUT they were all the same size (5 to 7 inches) with none smaller. That is evidence of a hatchery release (most likely an accident) instead of natural reproduction. The brookies, on the other hand, are caught from 2 inches right up past 7 inches which show different age classes. If we start seeing 3 inch bows that will be another story!!!


Bob O said...

I have heard similar anecdotes that, after loading up stocking trucks with trout, the stragglers, of which there are always a few, escape as the raceways are flushed down the Pipe. This accounts for the smaller rainbow parr in the Swift.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob O,

I bet you may remember December of 2007 when thousands of 7-8 inches rainbows were seen around the Pipe. "Clouds of trout" was the best description and an accidental release for sure!!


Mark Boudrieau said...

Ken went to Swift on Monday and saw some odd behavior I thought might be spawning above the pipe. Saw some beautiful fish below rt 9 as well. Good advice on Cady to stay out of the green! It was treacherous.

Just Me said...

Have you been out to the gorge on the Westfield this spring? The knighthood dam seems high today but I know that river goes down quickly.


Millers River Flyfisher said...


Far too early for the EB of the Westfield River. Wait to late April.


Didn't you read the post that you are commenting on????? Old news by now!!!