Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Monday, May 22, 2017

Wild???,The Wonderful Snowshoe Hare And The EB

“There are people in my life who sometimes worry about me when I go off into the fields and streams, not realizing that the country is a calm, gracious, forgiving place and that the real dangers are found in the civilization you have to pass through to get there." John Gierach


I've been getting a lot of buzz lately from what appears to be some very extreme reports of NATIVE TROUT being caught. Now, I'm not talking about the brookies in the Swift or brookies in tucked away rills out in the foothills but in heavily stocked rivers.

First off, there are reports of catches of native brookies in the EB. This is right after the DFW stocked the river with BROOK TROUT. I've heard of NO brook trout caught in the EB prior to last weeks' stocking.

                                                                                             NOT SO NATIVE BROOKIE
Native Reproducing trout are a rarity for that river.

The same wild tales of native browns are coming out of the Farmington River in Connecticut. It lead one popular site to state that just because your brown doesn't have a clipped adipose fin and/or an elastomer tag DOESN'T mean it's native because the State threw in 10,000 tagged fish AND 30,000 untagged fish. Your beautiful untagged brown most likely was not born in the river but born in a tiny hatchery box.

Don't spread rumors about native trout. That will only lead the "enemy" to say we don't need habitat protection because the natives are doing fine!!

SNOWSHOE HARE - There may not be another buoyant dry fly material better than this and that includes deer hare and good old CDC. It's MADE to shed moisture, is unbelievably rugged and can be worked down to the tiny sizes (I saw Dan Trella of Swift River fame tie a size 30 (that's right) dry with this material. I don't go to that extreme but will work it into size 10 through 16 and feel good about the results.

The sad thing is that this material seems to be joined to the hip with the USUAL, a ghastly creation that looks more like dryer lint lathered onto a hook instead of something approaching a disciplined approach to fly tying. It works because snowshoe fur FLOATS.  We can do better.

My size 16 emerger works fine with a floss body, natural fur thorax (your choice but possum works great), snowshoe for the wing and a turn or two of dubbing behind the eye.

The Traditional Caddis wing of elk can be replaced with snowshoe especially in the smaller sizes AND can be colored with a sharpie to get the shade that you want without ruining its floating abilities.

I've even dyed the hares feet to get the shade that I'm looking for without killing the float!!

I love working with natural materials. They seem to work hand in hand with the art of fly tying and the art of presenting the fly.

The EB - Fish it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Unknown said...

Speaking of brookies I recieved a kayak from my dear wife to fish from. Last Sunday (yesterday) I put in on the swift to explore and fish from. WOW! What a different peespective it lent to seeing what is there. The amount of brook trout in that river is absolutely astonishing. I was able to fish areas heretofore impossible waiding. Lost count and how many brook trout I caught yesterday. I found areas I would have never found before and we'll go back to. Now I know how many of us have been standing in the Swift River fishing and here comes the kayak or two or three and I get all ruffled and upset. Yesterday I didn't realize how far I traveled I made it up to Cady Lane and said to myself after passing a guide and student now I'm the kayak polution lol. Anyway it was an amazing trip and absolutely gorgeous and afforded me a new vision of the layout of the river as well as what's in it and where. All my best guys see you out there. Jonathan Hall

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I bet you didn't cause a problem like some of the other kayakers do. I've gone downstream from the boat launch and it is amazing down there. Big fish too!!!


Hibernation said...

Gotta bust you Ken :)

The Usual is anything but ghastly. It's a thing of pure beauty. Simple to the max, floats, but is just as happy to catch fish on the swing, dangle or stripped back.

We can do prettier... But we are not going to exceed the fish catching ability... Just equal it :)

(Like I said, just busting you and kidding around. I do LOVE the Usual, and basically all of Fran Betters creations, so I guess it's a little serious. Without being face to face I'm just worried the sly smile and laughter I'm typing with is not getting through - hence my attempt to clarify that I'm kidding around.)

Millers River Flyfisher said...


To each his own!! I respect your judgement!!! I like the Haystack but not that hair ball!!


GW said...


I like that caddis!


The Eye on Harvard said...

Ken, I've been following your reports on the Ware and wonder have you fished down stream at Three rivers? At the confluence of the Chicopee, Quaboag and Ware? Looking at google maps it looks promising. Just trying to broaden my horizons. I've read some reports of fishing the Ware near the treatment plant which is just upstream of this union.


Anonymous said...

In my collection I have one of those hairballs that Fran tied for me and it sure ain't pretty, but man do they produce fish everywhere. Haven't seen any need to "improve" that ingenious pattern, even though Art Lee has some nice modifications he tied back in the day.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


The "hairballs" catch fish but I wouldn't frame one. You have a true example of a legendary fly craftsman to be treasured for sure. And Art Lee is one of my heroes.

Eye, I don't know that section down by Three Rivers. They even stock the Chicopee down there.


bigmster127 said...

the millers river is coming down pretty good now. and the rainbows are hitting very hard jumping and fighting like crazy. caught 8 beautiful rainbows tonite and one 5 inch bass.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I wouldn't call it "down pretty good now". Over 800 cfs is still pretty high.