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.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Time Of The Season

"No man ever steps in the same river twice for it's not the same river and he's not the same man" Heraclitus


The first thing that you notice is the increased birdsong in the early morning. And the walk to the Bubbler Arm at 9:00 am was a slog through crusty snow but the walk back was easy through snowball snow. One can actually feel the sun on your face. That's February! We are now two months past the shortest day of the year and although we could get hammered with snowstorms again the worst is OVER.

It was a good few hours working the above mentioned spot. My top fly was a size 18 WD40 with the bottom being either a size 24 or 26 midge larvae. I fished this run s-l-o-w-l-y, blind casting and then casting to visible fish. My 3 rainbows were all over 16 inches and 2 of the 3 took the WD40 while the last bow and the brookies took the tiny midge. BTW, the water temperature was 36 degrees which is about as cold as it gets on this run.

I can also say that I had the place to myself which has been the case for the last two months. The crowd still stops at the Y Pool!!!

Frequent commentator Will (AKA Hibernation), in response to my post on bead chain flies, sent in this photo of a great looking large trout/smallmouth fly called the Ugly Damsel". Backcast to the comments section of the prior post for info on this fly.


We turn the clocks ahead in three weeks!!!

Ken








16 comments:

Parachute Adams said...

You're right, Ken, the sun is noticeably stronger and the days are longer. We are on the other side of the dark season now.

I'd like your opinion on something if I could. For various reasons I fish the lower Swift exclusively and there is a particular run that produced nice rainbows for me all last winter. Not in great numbers mind you, but I seemed to always get a few, and nice ones at that.

This winter the run has produced very few fish though I am using the same Swift flies and the same drift methods. Any ideas as to why this run isn't producing this winter? Maybe the fish aren't in there this year for whatever reason. The water seems lower this year compared to last so maybe they are holed up in some deeper water.

Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Sam,

I've had some runs on the Swift and the Millers go from great to barren for a season and then back to great for no reason. One thing that has to be considered is that this winter is colder and snowier than last year. Two years ago we had the worst winter in memory and there wasn't a trout to be found from the Y Pool to Cady Lane. The theory was that the trout went downstream to seek refuge in deeper water. That may be happening this year.

Ken

Hibernation said...

Thanks for the props/sharing of my fly photo Ken. Try some - it's a really productive fly with a ton of action from that long tail. Hold on though... Fish dont nibble it :)

Question for you on the bubbler arm. How far up can you go? I thought there was a sign about 80-100yds down from the actual bubbler where you were supposed to go no closer to the pump house/bubbler. Last year during summer there were a few times where I'd worked up, and as I was about to work back down, I noticed a guy (not the same guy) fishing up real close to the actual bubbler. Is that ok to do now? Or, was it always and I was just confused - which is not that hard to accomplish (getting me confused :))

Be well
Will

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Will,

There has always been a sign up by the pump house and the fence that said "Go No Further". I haven't been up that close for a few years but as far as I know it's still off limits. Yes, some are fishing the area. I saw one Saturday. I will not fish it until I know for certain.

That is a handsome fly!!!!!

Ken

Vince said...

Ken, thanks for all the insight and regular posts to keep it fishy during these winter months. I have a question regarding the Millers. Is there a reason you don't fish this river in the "offseason"? From what I understand excluding some of the colder weeks, the millers remains open and supposedly is producing fish. While it may not be on fire, I'm getting antsy to get back out there. Thoughts?

tincup said...

I heard 60 degrees on Thursday a real possibility. Might need a road trip chance could be a hatch also.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Vince,

Over the last 30+ years I have fished this river up to the beginning of December but after that I'll wait until late March if the flows are good. This river will ice over and stay frozen for for weeks as evidenced by the deer tracks that you can see cross the river in places. The flows are usually higher too and with water temperatures in the low 30's it's a waste of time. That's what the Swift is for!!!

Bob (Tincup)

Winter caddis at the Y pool for sure!!!!!

Parachute Adams said...

Thanks for your response, Ken, that some stretches do indeed go barren once in a while, and that you have experienced the same. I thought I had forgotten how to catch trout due to recent skunkings. I can think of some deep holes where they may be holed up for the winter.

Regards, Sam

Hibernation said...

Vince

The millers can work all year, but, as Ken noted, it's a tough nut this time of year. The banks can be really tricky with pushed up sheet ice... You can catch, but you want an extra change of clothes near by in case you fall in, and absolutely spikes and a wading staff.

That said, I have historically fished it through October - November should be great pending the year but I tend to be chasing deer with my bow then... March - pending the year - can be great. Two years ago as I recall it was. My biggest fish from the Millers was a 23" brownie, maybe 20~ years ago, and that was right about the first of April.

It's a good river, it's just borderline extremely dangerous during winter, with relatively slow fishing, so not many folks chance it until things break up.
Will

Ben Ehrhardt said...

This is a way off topic thought and I have thrown it out there before, but wanted to bring it up again. I fish the quinapoxet pretty regularly, I have moved from my previous location and am a bit further but still get to fish it quite a bit. I have caught some native Brook trout for sure but honestly have caught maybe a handful of little browns that could be wild...I think a couple for sure, but they stock those suckers pretty small in there sometimes so it's hard to tell. Reading some people talk about the Millers got me thinking about rivers I don't fish as much toward the end of winter. I just want to know what people really think about the quinapoxet holding wild brown trout population...I will say below the dam which you can not fish right now i have certainly caught and seen wild trout. I'm just not sure with all the pressure/poaching/trash above the dam which seems to get worse and worse every year I fish that river, along with drastically low flow can support a real population of wild trout...Like I said before, I have fished that river up and down and I love that river and think it is beautiful. I am afraid that it is deteriorating and so is whatever wild trout population that lived in there. Thanks for letting me rant, I love the blog and would love any feedback.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Ben,

My source, "The Best Trout Streams of Massachusetts" published in 1982, cited limited reproduction of brook and brown trout in the Quinapoxet. Tom Fuller's book " Trout Streams of Southern New England" (1999) cites a "srtong population of stream born brook and brown trout. Conclusion: there are native brookies and browns in that river.

Ken

Mark Boudrieau said...

Ken:
The WD-40 previously mentioned in a post intrigues me. Is this a good year-round fly, or only at certain seasons? I'm off to the Swift next week and will attempt to tie some up. Thanks!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Mark,

Always a good fly!!!!

Ken

Nathan Drawbridge said...

I fish the quinnie regularly, there are deff some spots that hold native brookies and in decent numbers. But it is nowhere near the wild trout river that people make it seem. Mismanagement and extreme pressure mixed with low water conditions has taken its toll on that river. I'm not saying there are wild browns in it anymore, but 99.9% of those little browns are stocked. Now if they got rid of the dam that could change the whole system entirely.

Hibernation said...

The cool thing about the quinnie, is that a few waters near it have great wild brookie fishing - requires homework, but you are mostly alone given most folks in the area want to fish the quinnie, stillwater or wachuset reservoir... I've never tried it this time of year, but I did see a guy walking in with the fly rod about 2 years ago - he was heading in towards the pool below where trout brook dumps in, seems like that would be a great spot this time of year - great depth.

Nathan Drawbridge said...

If your talking about the cable pool itable always holds fish. But your right about the brookies streams if your do your homework central mass can be a gem for natives