Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

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!!!


Johnson From Accounting said...

Now we're talking! Nice report, Ken. Happy Easter!

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Johnson From Accounting,

Happy Easter to you and more reports on the way!


Bob O said...

Happy Easter Ken, to you and your family. I always enjoy your postings. Keep up the good work. Thank you.
Bob O

Gabriel El Sebae said...

Happy easter Ken! The EB was producing today in the deeper/slower pools on a picket pin and Catskill flies in the film. Couldn't have been a better morning to fish!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,

I hope all is well! I'm curious if you have any evening Tenkara trips available?

Please let me know.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Bob O,

Thank you!!!


Excellent. That is VERY good news!!!


I just emailed you with openings!


Parachute Adams said...

Ken, something about the Royal Coachman, I just have to tie them once in a while. I love the way they look and no doubt about it they will catch trout when the water is warm enough for them to look upwards. Not sure what the trout see in them as they look up, but they will get hits.

Parachute klinkhammers connected me with a few trout after Easter dinner with my family. A dead drifted wooly bugger too.

Regards, Sam

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I was fishing a wet version of the fly, casting quarterly upstream or just upstream and then hi-sticking as the fly drifted across from me and then letting it rise at the end of the cast. Before I'm found guilty of some form of euro-nymphing by someone (not you Sam) let me state that I was using a sunken fly technique favored by Theodore Gordon, the father of American dry fly fishing, and a method used by me as a young kid drowning worms. The more things change the more they stay the same!!!


Len said...

Hi Ken. What cfs is safe for wading at South Royalston on the Millers? I've been watching it drop and am eager to check it out. Thanks.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


400 cfs is safe for most BUT it hasn't been stocked yet so good luck. Check the Ma DFW stocking sight for updates.


Patrick Maloney said...


What are your thoughts on the lack of stocking out this way so far this year? Is this due to high water on most of the stocked rivers? Each branch of the Westfield has been stocked ONCE and was done further up in the hilltowns but nothing in the Westfield or Russell area. I was at the Cape this weekend and it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Nickerson State Park has been stocked ~25 times between the 3 ponds within the borders, Cliff Pond 12 times by itself. Also no tiger trout this way while every pond in Nickerson was stocked with tigers.

joe smith said...

Hi Ken - was at Y-Pool Sunday morning. Got five rainbows, all on #12 Grouse and Orange. Mostly swung behind a wooly bugger. Seems that fly catches fish no matter how you present it. Wondering how you like to fish it? ...Thx - Joe

Millers River Flyfisher said...

So the P&O SH bear the wooley bugger. Glad to hear that!!!!!!! I mostly swing that fly alone. It's a killer!!

Pat Maloney,

What lack of stocking? Many mid sized river have gotten fish. Waters have been VERY high this Spring and you don't want to have very high water for success. All branches of the Westfield are high (except the Middle) so stocking will be delayed. It's the same EVERY year for the big rivers. The Millers hasn't been stocked as of 4/14 because it's in flood stage. Be calm. Your favorite rivers will get trout!!


Nathan Drawbridge said...

I have to agree with Pat. Mainly in reference to the Quinine. It's been stocked once and a weak stocking at that. The current water levels are perfect for that river

Millers River Flyfisher said...


The Ware was stocked in March and on 4/12, I believe, and it was a weak stocking also but then it got stocked yesterday over its total length. Pat mentioned that no fish were stocked in the Westfield in Russell but then it got stocked yesterday. The Nissi didn't get stocked until yesterday. The Millers hasn't been stocked at all BUT it will. Don't worry!!!!


Johnson From Accounting said...

Fished the MB for a few hours on the way back from Albany. Wonderful body of water and perfect for tenkara, as Ken mentioned. Tried a few spots but found no sign of fish. Hope for better luck next time.

Anonymous said...

@Patrick Maloney, there are some tigers in the swift. Caught a
tiger in the pipe about a week and a half ago