Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Friday, April 28, 2017

Hendricksons Everyware, AN OPEN DATE 5/5 And A River Update

"There is no more anticipated event in all of eastern fly fishing than the Hendrickson hatch" Thomas Ames Jr. Hatch Guide for New England Streams
                                                                           Folks - I just got a cancellation for Friday, May 5th. First one who claims it gets it!!!!!!  Email Me!!!!!

You could see them before you made it to the river. Pulsing clouds of female Hendricksons, eggs sacs attached, all moving upstream and trout beginning to work the surface. This is what we live for unless we can't stop nymphing. It resulted in fish being caught on CDC emerger surface patterns and a brownish soft hackle that has a yellow egg sack on the tail. Expect the egg carrying females in the evening and newly hatched duns by early afternoon. I am confident that you will find this action all over the Ware.
Water levels are slowly dropping.

By now everywhere has been stocked and some streams have been dropping into the fishable zone except the Millers which is still above 700 cfs. There is some light at the end of the tunnel here because the flow in the Bears Den is only half the flow down in Erving. In short, almost every place is fishable!!!

You folks have made me a every busy guide this year = Thank You!! I still have some slots open from now through June so grab them up.  


Monday, April 24, 2017

The Ware - What A difference A Day Makes

In early May, as the trees begin to leaf out, the first hatches of medium sized mayflies float skyward, led by the Quill Gordon and then, a few days later, the Hendricksons. Thomas Ames Jr. in Hatch Guide For New England Streams

Friday - the weather guys (bunnies) said that the temperatures would make it into the 50's. Try 45 for a high. We did well scoring a triple as far as trout species were concerned. Not a bad day but we expected more. No hatches to speak of.

Saturday - left our first location with my waders covered with Quill Gordon nymphs. After going upstream where we missed some hook ups we went back down to our first place (Church Street) where we ran into an epic hatch of Quill Gordans. My guy went back after we left but I don't have a report from him as of yet BUT the water was covered with freshly hatched dun. We did well before the hatch and after.

Now Sunday - Blue Bird clear skies which I HATE because there were flies on the water BUT nothing was rising. The flies on the water were less than the two previous cloudy days and the trout knew it. They rose to nothing. The few fly fishers that we met did nothing. The place is loaded with trout but they would not cooperate.

The BLAME - not technique, my clients was GOOD when it comes to presentation. A CLEAR blue Bird sky turns things off and that is it.

Note - we did find a few early Henderickons on Sunday. Watch the next few weeks!!

The Ware is prime time water for the early mayfly hatches. You have to see this if you have spent your fly fishing nymphing your brains out.  This is a different game that has been played for a hundred years.
Introduce your self to it.


Friday, April 21, 2017

The Sky Is Falling, Basic Truths And A Millers, Ware And Squannie Report

Some of us have short memories. Some of us always have to feel like we are always short changed. The basic fact is that the stocking this Spring is on an average pace with big rivers like the Millers getting into the game late because of high water. Did some of you FORGET the Spring of 2015 when everything was late? If you want something to worry about then travel back to 1987 when they STOPPED stocking the Millers or back to 2002 when they ceased stocking browns. It was a lot of work to get those decisions reversed.

Don't worry about it. Your favorite river will be stocked. You should go out and fish!!!

Will the Anonymous folks please keep the opinions down especially when it comes to river bashing. You haven't a chance of getting on this blog.

Here are some basic truths that appear to have been lost in the mix:

TRUE - Tenkara style fishing may be the most effective nymphing method ever devised.

TRUE - 5x and even 4x tippet can be used ANYWHERE on the Swift (or any tailwater) and will effectively catch trout with a subsurface fly. 7x or 8x is simply not needed with subsurface presentations.

TRUE - A 4 weight fly rod of 8 to 9 feet and of moderate action may be the perfect dry fly rod. You can cast large flies and the smallest flies without problems. You can beat a stiff wind with it or lay down a delicate cast on a calm glassy pool. Getting deep into the LOW numbers (0, 00, 000) will get you into the land of novelty rods with limited practical use.

True - Flex Seal fixes leaky waders!

Here's what Charlie at Evening Sun Fly Shop has to say:

The Squannacook River is running a bit high with clear fishable water.On 4/14/2017 the river was stocked from top to bottom with 2000 brook trout only, ranging in size from 10-13 inches.The fish are starting to take some bugs on the surface and with some soft hackles swung under the surface with a bit of weight on the leader.Retreiving some streamers is working well also,but with a somewhat slower retreive.By the time the sun gets on the water next week we should see some good hatches of Quill Gordons and the Red Quills won't be far behind.Come get "em before the Blue Herons do!!!!

Comment: Brookies only?????????????????????? Never saw that before!!

Fish the Ware River. We had double digit hookups and saw NO FLYFISHERS. We saw three spin fishers. Two of them caught and released their fish!!! What a place!!!!!

UPDATE - Well, the Millers has been stocked with a CFS of over 800 (Erving) and still rising.  BE VERY CAREFUL! Even placid Orcutt will be dangerous. At least it will move the fish around instead of having them stay put as when stocked in low flow conditions or when float stockers dump the majority in certain pools and then go back and fish for them latter. (that's the rumor that was given to me with a wink/wink, nod/nod.)


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter, Tenkara On The MB And River Flows

"There is no more anticipated event in all of eastern fly fishing than the Hendrickson hatch, the first major hatch on many streams" - Thomas Ames Jr. in Hatch Guide For New England Streams

It was only 29 degrees at 6:45 am when I met Brad at the EB parking lot which was we planned to begin our assault on the Middle Branch of the Westfield, also known as the "MB". It may be, mile for mile, the most gorgeous river in Massachusetts that happens to have a paved road near it. It's also the perfect Tenkara river and those rods would be our tool of choice.

I might of just been in a retro mood when I tied on a size 12 Royal Coachman, the product of some daydreaming at the vise, and cast it upstream into a beautiful run. One cast led to another and another and in that first half hour that 40 degree water would give up anything. But then I noticed some insect activity followed by a hard hit. It then took three hits to finally connect, play out a fish and then release it. Brad got into the act with multiple hook ups and fish to his credit.

The bows were BIG, all 15 inches or better and probably too big for a stream like that. Strange, but no brookies were to be found.

We hopscotched up and down the MB for 5 or so hours and then called it a day. I'll be back again soon and will probably, for my own personal fishing, call the MB a "Tenkara Only" river!!

As most of you know our rivers, the Millers being an exception, are right in their historical averages. Some may think that the Farmington is high but this would only be the observation of someone with limited exposure to this river. The decades long averages show that the river flow is close to average BUT there may be a a long term problem on the horizon. The Still Water, a Farmie tributary, is flowing considerably lower than its 65 year median flow. Ditto for the West Branch of the Farmington in Massachusets which feeds the reservoir above our playground. The CFS is only 160 while the 103 YEAR MEDIAN FLOW IS 303!!! The devil is always in the details and the devil says we still have a drought!!  UpCountry says the river is very fishable.

Happy Easter!!!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Time To Fish - Do it!

The Ware River - No other blog can tell you about it!!

Now is the time. Most rivers and streams have been stocked (except for the Millers and and a few others as of 5/13, the Millers being way to high to stock) and the weather is going to be grand over the weekend into next week. The Ware has fish and we had them on but couldn't land them and the major and minor rivers in western Massachusetts got fish this week. The Squannacook and the Quinnie also got theirs. I'll be heading out west of the Connecticut River and fishing Williamsburg's Mill River and then hitting the MB of the Westfield the same day. I can't wait. Try to fish a place that is new to you and you will not regret the experience. For those that enjoy the thin blue line experience Try Willard Brook and Locke Brook in Ashby. I fished the latter 5 decades ago and caught native brookies in a very remote setting.

Try to fish this weekend. I saw hundreds of caddis on the Ware today!!!

Go Fish!!!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Pellet Fly Redux And A Good Strike Indicator

Don't be technique driven.  Just FISH!! It's more fun!  Me
I really don't like this fly BUT there are times on the Swift where it's the only thing that will work for that short 15 minute window when all hell breaks loose. Three years ago I wrote of another way to put these things together where that big, hard body allows enough hook gap to be effective. Here's a better way.

First - take a sewing needle and jab it into a piece of cork that will make the "pellet" AFTER you run 6 inches of 3x tippet through the eye of the needle.

Second - run the needle through the cork carrying the 3x through the cork. Take both ends of the 3x and tie TWO overhand knots to secure the cork to the 3x. (no glue required!

Third - Take the 3x with the cork fastened to it and tie it to the hook shank on both ends.

Fourth - cut off the loose ends and you are DONE. You have a Swift River God foresaken pellet fly that will have PLENTY of hook gap that many of the traditional flies do not have. Plus you can use this as an indicator below the pellet with small nymphs.

I had one old pellet fly with me Saturday far below the Pipe when the tail end of this "hatch" brought dozens of trout to the surface. I missed 3 that couldn't hook themselves before one broke it off. I needed a better fly!!!!

No real rain in sight for the week and temperatures in the 60's and 70's. Can you spell Quill Gordons and Hendricksons???? IT'S SPRING IN MASSACHUSETTS!!!

P.S. I like using the artificial cork found in many wine bottles. It cuts and shapes easily. Some of the wine isn't bad either!!!


Friday, April 7, 2017

April Downpours,This Weekend And Evening Trips

"If I only had fish to capture my fishing trips would have ended long ago. - Zane Grey

The Millers at 3510 cfs, the EB at 1220, Quinnie at 684, the Squannacook at 851, the Ware at 1230 AND THE SWIFT AT 54 CFS. Everything is at or near flood stage so where are you going to fish? One could hike down to the Farmie (like everyone else) or ply the ponds and lakes that are stocked and ready to go or hit the Swift. May I suggest that you pry yourself away from the usual haunts like the Pipe and the Y Pool and take a ride to Bondsville. This spot fished very well last year in the early Spring and any reasonable sunken fly will get it done. It's been stocked twice already so if you haven't put a bend in a fly rod this year then I would check out Bondsville.

As I write the Swift flow out of Quabbin is at 54 cfs while the flow coming in on the Swift's East Branch is over 400 cfs. With that and every brook and rill flowing into the "pond" Quabbin got over the 90% capacity level this past week. Good news but no safeguard against a bone crushing drought that could strike again. As I've said before I've seen wet, snowy winters turn into dry, dusty summers and no freestone stream needs that.

One of the most popular guided trips that I provide are my evening three hour trips. Want a good intro to a river that you can build upon? Are you tired of paying Montana/Colorado prices in Massachusetts? If the answer is "YES" then contact me. We have great trout fishing in Western and Central Ma and I guide on five of those river. Want to brush up on technique or are brand new to fly fishing? Just contact me!!


Monday, April 3, 2017

The Grouse And Flash and a River Update

"Things fishermen know about trout aren't facts but articles of faith" - John Gierach

Nick Yardley invented this fly, Thomas Ames sang its praises and it's been a staple with me for a decade. And like so many effective flies it is just dirt simple to tie. Yardley said that it is a great emerging caddis imitation but it works when caddis are nowhere to be seen.

hook - sizes 12 through 18

body - mylar from the bend wrapped forward to behind the eye

thorax - buggy olive material such as Australian possum

hackle - I use partridge instead of grouse (pretty much the same thing)

This has worked very well in sizes 16 through 18 on the Swift ALL SUMMER LONG!!!

The Rivers - we are going to get hammered with rain by mid week and that will raise the rivers for a few days. The Millers will take it's annual flood hit this weekend with that canoe race scheduled for Saturday April 8th. HINT - they start holding water back at the Birch Hill dam in Royalston by mid week to insure a flood release on Saturday which means that much of the river from Wednesday through Friday may actually be at BELOW NORMAL flow. Keep an eye on the flow gauge found on this site to be sure. It appears that the Winchendon section is the only spot stocked on this river so far and the DFW may wait until the race release is history before the rest of the river gets it's fish. Now it's a good time to check for holdovers.