Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Half Way Through October And Good Fall Patterns


"Angling is extremely time consuming.  That's sort of the whole point"- Thomas McGuane  

One always walks on thin ice when discussing favorite fly patterns.  Just as many of us sound and look like experts by hauling out one trout after another USUALLY right after the stocking truck leaves, the hot fly works because you are fishing exactly where the trout were released. Many times you can test the fly 's effectiveness by just changing the fly with something of the same size. If your success rate stays about the same it's not the fly but your position in the river or your splendid presentation that counts.

But on some occasions a certain fly will work better than all else. It could be weeks or months since the latest stocking but THE PINHEAD gets it done.  It just looks like all the black fly larvae one finds in the Bubbler and below the pipe. This fly starts to really work in October and earns its keep through the Winter.

Area Rivers

The Ware fished well on a short trip (less than 2 hours) with 3 bows in the net with another lost.  As I write the flow is 152 cfs = perfect.

 The EB

This river is seeing more water than is has is decades. (the 80 year average for today is around 80 cfs. The flow right now is 395 which is very fishable.  I've done well and so have others.

The Millers

Then Millers has only been below 400 cfs once this month but Bridge Street, Kempfield and Orcutt are fishable.  It's been great to get into Orcutt again after 2 years of construction activity!!

Move Around

This is a word to some of the Swift anglers who basically fish only one place on that river. Spread out and enjoy the river.  Think of this: most of the C&R anglers are fly fishers but most of the C&R sections on the Swift are really under fished by them.  Now, some of the non fly fishers may say that water is being wasted as a recreational resource and they could be right. 

Maybe we should have a "beat system" as they do in Europe. You want to fish the Swift then you reserve a section of the river. If the section you want is "filled" you get to go to another spot that isn't. That will insure that the crowds will be reduced and people will be introduced to new (to them) areas.

Just a thought


Thursday, October 14, 2021

Sparse Means Sparse - The Way Of The Soft Hackle And Our Rivers

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

— Hunter S. Thompson 

Partridge and Olive

A fellow I know once offered to show me the soft hackle fly collection that he had worked up. I think I must of let go with a slight wince as I looked upon a pile of mismatched hackles all lathered onto hooks. He was particularly proud of the number of hackle turns he could get  onto a hook.  All of this tying gymnastics were a wasted exercise because the game with creating soft hackles is a less is more proposition. The less material the better.  What you don't want is the squashed butterfly effect- way too much material.

                                                                            Partridge and Yellow

First, your hackles should not be so thick and big as to hide the slim body. Two turns is enough. If your sh fly has a thread body and a thorax then you should be able to see them easily. Also keep your dubbed bodies slim too.

The best soft hackles to use across the board are partridge hackles.  They are the thinnest and finest of the soft hackles and a partridge cape will give you three distinct feather colors whereas hen and starling (both good feathers) basically come in one color unless you're into bleaching them which I'm not! Another good hackle is from the woodcock!

The Swift And It's Brookies

So far the Brook Trout are not on their redds as of yet.  Is this late for them?  Well not according to last year where my 10/28/20 post announced that the BT had just arrived and when they do arrive the browns and the bows will be following the brook trout.  

Right now all of the rivers on the Fall list (that I care about) have been stocked at least once.  Go get them!!

Book Me

I still have open dates and the rivers are fine.  Don't wait too long.



Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Long And Short Of It

 "A trout's brain is very small. It is sometimes said that dry-fly fishermen "pit their brains against those of the trout". No-one has ever leveled a bigger insult at us." Dermot Wilson - Fishing The Dry Fly

I've been doing an informal survey of clients and other anglers that I meet. The survey has one question - what length rod do you use and what's the line weight?  

The results were fairly predictable  with a 9 foot 5 weight rod being number #1 and that is even on the diminutive Swift.  When I fish the Swift I will go as short as a  6ft 3 inch 4 weight bamboo (rocket launcher), then to a 7 foot 3 inch Orvis bamboo 4 weight  or my F.E. Thomas 7.5 foot 4 weight. I like these "shorter" rods due to their quick action and great casting properties. And there is no place on the Swift where I can't cast across the river which means that line control and mending will not suffer.  I'm also able to cast into close quarters and I don't leave a lot of flies and tippet in the trees.  When Winter comes I put away the cane (bamboo doesn't like cold weather) and take out the graphite and fiberglass that range from 7 feet to 8 feet. The weight range is from 5 to 6 weight to toss the occasional weighted fly.  Glass is totally overlooked as a material when there is ice in your guides. Glass is a tough ass material whether you are fishing the cold or bushwacking through the brambles or both. 

Where do I fish a 9 foot 5 weight rod ?

On the Millers, the EB and the Ware. I never throw weight with cane because cane doesn't like tungston either.  (Let's face it, bamboo is for REAL FLYFISHING!!!!)  The bigger rivers will require longer rods and somewhat heavier payloads.  You can fish the larger rivers with a short rod but there will be times when you will be under gunned. The solution is to keep that 9 ft 5 wt and get something in the 7 foot something range for the Swift and those thin blue lines.

Book Me

Every river on the Fall list has been stocked except the Swift and  every river is coming down so get out there and fish. Just get ahold of me (email) to schedule a trip!!!


Sunday, October 3, 2021

Fishing A Top Fall Fly, Watch Where You Wade And Something Good To Eat

                " The two best times to fish is when it's raining and when it's not" - Patrick F. McManus

My Partridge and Magic has been selling well  over the last month. Remember, this is the soft hackle that appears to have a yellow body until it gets wet and that's when it turns this wonderful light orange which is almost translucent.  It worked again on a second trip to the EB.  You can order them from me on my website by ordering the Partridge and Orange and then sending me an email saying you want the Partridge and Magic instead.  They are all the same price and the same size as the P&O.

Booking the Ware, Swift and the Millers.

The Ware and the Swift should be stocked this week and the Millers got their fish last week. Pick a river and we will hit it.

Scrambling Eggs

Watch where you are wading whether or not you are fishing the Swift or our numerous "thin blue lines". Clean gravel in fairly shallow water is off limits to us because this is where trout spawn.  If you wade in the river wade in the weeds, the muck, the leaf litter or on plain sand. And after the spawning is done and the trout go to who knows where, continue to stay off the redds until around February.

Stir Fry And My Ugly Feet

When I'm not fly fishing or fly tying I'm cooking
and that's the way it is and this September saw me getting reintroduced to Stir Fry and those wonderful Asian spices. It also gets me away from the charcoal and gas stoves for a bit and do some REAL indoor cooking.

(should of gotten a pedicure for that photo!!)

The Flyfishers Guide to the Millers

There is real only ONE GUIDE TO THE MILLERS and you can get it right here. (it's on the web but I have it at my finger tips.) I published this downloaded Guide 15 years ago and have given it away for the last 12 years or so. It has dozens of pages with dozens of photos and descriptions of the best pools and runs. Believe me, nothing comes close.  Just email me and I'll send it right out.


Friday, October 1, 2021

Doing The EB

 " Fly-fishing is a magic way to recapture the rapture of solitude without the pangs of loneliness." - John D. Voelker

My plan was to spend two hours on the EB Thursday
 to check out this wonderful river. It just got some fish to play with and I can say that they are there.  I didn't catch a boatload as in the past but enough to keep me excited over that short period. One was taken on a new type of scud that I've come up with and one was dropped. A reliable mini bugger took another with another dropped. A Rat's Nest, your typical easy to tie guide fly nailed the last.  My friend Brad did the same numbers with streamers but then headed down to Les's Pool after I left.  He probably did well.

It was good to fish this beautiful river and NOT catch 40 to 50 trout in a morning.  Why? Because you know that you are fishing fresh stockers that were not spread out at stocking or have not left their stocking point.  In short you had to fish for them and that is OK.  All were rainbows (of course) and between a foot long and 14 inches.

Go get them!!!

Book Me

The Millers has been stocked, the EB has been stocked!!! Time to get out and fish these rivers and not just the same old spots. Contact me if you want to get off the beaten path.  


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Hmmm.....What's this all about?

 "Nothing grows faster than a fish from when it's hooked until it gets away." 

 So, I did my check of the Ma. DFW stocking page fully expecting to see some activity in the last week of September (because they said stocking would start then) but was greeted with the notice that stocking was to be delayed because high water temperatures.

STOP RIGHT THERE!!!!  What high water temperatures??? I fish and visit a good sample of the major rivers in this state, the Swift, the Ware, the Millers and the EB (Westfield East Branch and as of last week they were all in good shape temperature wise.  And they are a good sample of our rivers statewide. 

The Swift, being a tailwater, is a no brainer.  It's been 58 to 60 degrees since June. It should have new fish.  The Ware water temperature has been under 70 degrees for over a week, and trending downward, and the Millers and EB were at 64 degrees at mid morning last week.

It could be stated that this Fall has the best conditions in a number of years because of the higher than average flows in all rivers.  High flows mean water tables are fully charged and are releasing cooler water into the rivers.

Personally, I wish we didn't have to stock the above rivers.  What's wrong with propagating a trout that could stand a chance of making it through the Summer(like browns).  I support the Fall season because it is a last chance for the average flyfisher to get some licks in before Old Man Winter steals the show.  Why are we missing out on these good conditions??


Thursday, September 23, 2021

What To Look For And What Not To Look For

 I fish because I love to.  Because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly. - Robert Travers

Still time to order your Fall flies, especially the Partridge and Magic

Notice - someone found a lanyard loaded with tippet near the Y Pool on Friday, 9/24. Describe the lanyard and the range of tippet sizes then contact me via email.  Ken

Notice - Lanyard owner found 9/25!!!!

The Swift is beginning to change as I write.  Brookies are starting to group up for their Autumn trip upstream and so are the browns. In a week or so the clonebows will be dumped in. Remember, the browns and the Brookies are the real prize on this river.  In my not-so-humble-opinion a 14 inch brook trout in worth more than an 18 inch rainbow.  Why? Because bows of that size are commonly stocked but a 14+ brookie is fairly rare and a large Swift Brown is a fish for the season!(Yes, the Swift holds 20 inch brook trout and 15lb browns!!!)

Look for the browns below shallow riffles where the brookies are spawning.                                                           

Don't bother hoping that this year will be a repeat of 2018 when Quabbin overflowed and the LL Salmon entered the river. It appears that even with all this rain there will be no overflow this Fall, hence no salmon unless we get many inches of rain quickly.

All the rivers are in perfect shape and should remain that way so book a trip for October or November (the best months)!!! The Millers, Ware, EB and the Swift await you!!