Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Big Brookies, A Change In Spawning Habitat, And Treble Hooks

"We do have to think seriously about conservation now, although it is chilling to realize there are catch-and-release fishermen alive today who don't know how to clean and cook a fish" - John Gierach

The brook trout are bigger this year on the Swift and there are more of them. Client Ray took two that were over a foot long yesterday on a size 16 partridge and orange swung along the bottom in six inches of water. The P&O did a great job and the bows and brookies accounting for all 18 fish (6 bows, 12 brookies). We covered water from the Tree Pool all the way up to the Bubbler Run and took fish everywhere. It was a good day.

Now for some disturbing observations. First, one of the PRIME spawning runs of the last few years seems to be out of commission and that is the riffle and gravel runs below the Duck Pond. Last year at this time it provided the best fishing, especially for bows who followed the brookies upstream to the vast gravel/spawning beds in the area. That has changed this year. I was there scouting in early October and noticed the gravel was mostly buried in weeds that were not there last year. There were no brookies either. Forward cast into mid November and the place is barren with nothing but weed growth over what was once clean gravel.

What causes this? Rapid weed growth is usually the result of an increased nutrient load in the river. Looks like a bit of study by the DFW and TU is in order. It is also a reality check for the hand wringers who don't like people fishing over brookies in the Fall. The LOSS OF HABITAT is ALWAYS the culprit!

NOTICE : I found an interesting rig at the Pipe lot Monday morning. It was a tiny treble hook embedded in a hunk of power bait!!!  The leader was still attached and it was light, maybe around 4x, and could of been used with a fly rod.

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!!! This is OUR river at least till January 1st when we are forced to share it. Until then, turn them in!!!!!!  800-632-8075 is the number!


The Eye on Harvard said...

I've been checking out that section over the past month below the duckpond and indeed the riffle was virtually empty save a handful of brookies along the edges. However in the gravel below a half dozen brookies have carved out a few redds clearing the gravel in the thin cover of new weeds. Fortunately for them maybe a single rainbow or two were sighted below the logjam at the bottom of the turn leaving them to their autumnal business. Nothing like the frenzy last November. Size 22 olive scuds were the ticket as the P&O was of no interest to the brookies there. Maybe the micro greens that have popped up in the gravel are harboring a new food source?


David h said...

Was at the Swift Saturday morning. Lots of rainbows hanging out at the pipe more than I've seen in a while. Went down to Cady in search of some browns and noticed lots of very tiny brookies maybe an inch long or so swimming around. Babies? Decided to walk along the weeds when I got a huge scare. A big brown came out of the weeds as I took a step. This fish was so big I thought it was a beaver! When it shot out the weeds all confused it paused for a minute and I could tell it was a big brown. Tossed a streamer around after that but only got a decent brookie. Cold but overall a nice day

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Micro greens will have scuds and such but at the expense of spawning habitat. There may be a problem here.

David H,

I think you saw HIM or one like HIM!!!!!


Ross Dominique Jr said...

Had a blast at sunrise this morning fishing the tree pool and the run below the pipe. Landed plenty of rainbows but broke off 2 browns and saw a few more swimming through. All between 12 and 16 inches. Your RS2 sparkle pattern is quite a fish slayer, Ken!

Anonymous said...

I’m looking to get out tomorrow morning, thinking Swift or EB. Thoughts on which and what’s been working?

Anonymous said...

Very few spawning brook trout this year in the spot I fished on Sunday. Last year it was like an aquarium. I am not familiar with the duck pond but it could be the same place. However, even the clean gravel did not have fish. Definitely different to last year.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


If you've been reading this blog you know the answer = The Swift!!!


I've seen spawning fish on clean gravel as exspected but not below the Duck Pond. I haven't scouted the flats below the Y Pool yet. That will be interesting.


Gary Cranson said...

Fished the EB yesterday arriving at noon,35 degrees, snow, sleet, cold, could be my last wet wade of the year but I doubt it. 2nd cast, bang a nice bow on the swing, 2 more rainbow trout (same method) then a surprise a great fight with a decent brown brought to the net. 1 more bow then I looked at my watch it was 3 and getting colder so time to find a warm jeep. Oh they were all fooled with a #10 black bugger in the middle of the water column on the swing, I had the river to myself and will be back soon, as there is ice starting to form on some of the pools. oh by the way Mr. Elmer that brown was nothing like that monster you had in your hands, nice job.

Millers River Flyfisher said...



And on the EB where you caught trout that have been there since May!!!!! Think I'll try it Thursday since I'll be out of town for a week after that.