"There are no dams on it, and it runs clear, cold and clean for most of the year.This attribute attracts trout from the main stem and other branches when the water levels there are high and roiled in the spring, and again in the summer when the other waters can warm to dangerous levels. And many an angler gasps at the size of the trout encountered." Tom Fuller - Trout Streams Of Southern New England
Of the three Westfield Branches the EB gets the glory (catch and release designation will do that) while the other two branches, the Middle and the West become undeserving handmaidens. One trip to the West Branch (WB) will change your mind. It is a wild and beautiful trout stream, period.
Let's compare it in size to the EB. The EB has a watershed covering 161 square miles, the WB only 94 square miles. The decades old average flow for the EB for today is 237 cfs, the WB is at 130 cfs.
One may think that the WB is much smaller then it's bigger sister BUT it fishes like a big river. First, it is nestled in a steep valley so it's not as broad and wide as the EB is in many places. Second, It doesn't have miles of riffles but has miles of beautiful flats with good depth to them. In between are POOLS that will make your mouth water!!! In the two mile section that I fished yesterday and today there was more deep holding water than the EB has from the Gorge down to it's two mile marker. I'm not kidding!!! Also, in these two days I saw only two other flyfishers!!! I was truly fishing alone!!
The fishing - Sunday I had six hits, broke off two BIG fish and just lost the other four. So I went back today, walked down a trail to this neat double pool that ran for 200 yards and took three good bows on a hornberg which was the fly that got the hits yesterday. Then the rain came and it was time to say goodbye and plan my next trip to the West Branch!
If the EB is getting a bit crowded for you on weekends then take a trip to the West Branch. Perfect water and solitude!