Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Thursday, July 12, 2018

A Swift Morning, And A Word About Freestones

At 6:30 there was NOBODY on the lower Swift which was strange because on Tuesday there were six cars in the lot at 7am. I had been dreaming about gypsy moth flies and wanted to stake my place at Cady Lane with its placid flow and with gypsy moth flies falling into the river but with an empty river I decided to spy on the Tree Pool first. It was odd when I saw a light but steady parade of sulphur like mayfiles floating downstream but any rises were coming from the PIPE Run and not at the Tree Pool. Go to the Pipe. A sulphur nymph did the job, first with a foot long brookie and then with four bows the largest being close to 20 inches that decided to go airborne during a prolonged fight. Funny, but the Pipe has been only so-so for the people that I met in the last week but when you see mayflies sailing through the "tree" go to the fast water above because that's where the feeding fish are!

The first angler arrived, saw the aerial display of that big bow, and that sent me down to my original choice being Cady Lane. On went a Gypsy Moth. I failed the hook set on the first and then took a second which was a bow and a good one. Moths started to hit the water by 8:30 but they didn't seem too active. As Andrew (AKA Falsecast) said they need to be flopping on the water with some movement to get trout excited. These guys were still chilled by the air (52 degrees when I got there) so the action was slower. (Note to self: kill the early start during the Moth Hatch).

I then went to the "top" of Cady to fish the riffle water that only appears when the water is high as it is now. This is a good place and starts just below the Tree Pool and ends as the flow settles out a 100 yards downstream. I took two bows in that water with a PT nymph and had nobody around me. YOU SHOULD FISH THIS SPOT!!

A good Morning!!!!

Freestones in Summer - Take your advice from those who have spent decades fishing freestones in the Summer. Here's the advise: trout feed the most actively between the water temperatures of 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. That doesn't mean that they stop feeding at 66 degrees BUT it means they reduce their feeding needs as the temperature goes above 65. IT'S A SELF REGULATING ENVIRONMENT!!! Go ahead and fish at 75 degrees but you may catch nothing because they have no need to feed actively. Browns have been caught while surface feeding on the Millers over the last 30 years at DUSK or after nightfall when the water temperature is about 70 degrees. Over the decades I have broken off browns on warm Summer evenings and then hooked and caught them again anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours later and retrieved my original fly! Listen to some without that dusk experience and you would think that the trout was going to crawl under a rock and die!!!

Low water temperature does the same thing. When water temperatures drop in Winter trout almost reduce or cease feeding depending on how cold the water is. One former blogger (he had three blogs that sank without a trace) was hellbent on telling me that trout HAD to feed more actively in the Winter to keep their energy levels up to survive the winter. That makes sense if trout were WARM BLOODED and not COLD BLOODED! I still don't think he gets it!!!

Note: Notice that the trout shown in this blog are photographed "in the net" (the net is quickly lifted out of the water for the photo) and then quickly returned to the river. Sometimes one may be hand held but only for a few seconds and only in cold weather. You will not find photos of beached trout laying on the riverside rocks for the photo opportunity!!!!!!!

If you don't use a stomach pump you are doing the trout a favor. Remember, you just caught the trout so you have a good idea what it's been feeding on. Tailwater trout feed on TINY organisms and it takes MANY of these to maintain it's weight. So why rob them of hours of feeding activity, right?????



Parachute Adams said...

It has been a great year fishing, Ken. Props to the DFW for the quality of rainbows they have put in. I haven't been able to fish as much as I'd like, but the times I have been out I have connected with amazing rainbows that fight like steelheads with their power and jumping ability. One last night leaped a full three feet above the water surface with one of the jumps. An amazing thing to see and feel on the fly rod.

I will never understand why anyone would pump the stomach of a trout, the game fish we look to preserve for fishing days ahead. Trout live on a tenuous balance of feeding a bit more than the energy it takes to get what they need. Why take out of them what they have been eating to keep alive?

Along those lines, I do take a few pictures of fish, but first priority for me is get the hook out. Barbless ones make it easy and most times the hook is free in the net before I have to take it out. Long distance releases result much of the time, but I don't care being that made the ultimate job easy for me.

Best Regards, Sam

Falsecast said...

Hi Ken - Sounds like a great morning by the pipe! Thanks to "Anonymous" for posting about using a Chubby on the Swift for the Moth's. Today, I used only a size 12 myself and picked up another Trout Slam and had a good day. I usually don't consider the Swift a good foam pattern river, but it did as well (or better) then my big Elk Hair pattern from yesterday. Rare to be able to do that kind of fishing on the Swift, big flies, 4X and slapping it around, enjoy it while you can. :)

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I have a chubby chernobyl but I can't really throw it with a 3wt DT. Best with a 5wt WF.


50% of my barbless hooks come out in the net. Thant's why I like them.


Anonymous said...

Glad the chubby chernobyl worked for you! I've gotten lots of great information from this blog. Happy to contribute when something works for me (or my daughter). I'll try to remember to give the chubby some movement as others have suggested. Hope to get back to the Swift before the moths are gone. I'll also be looking for the sulfurs too.

Chuck (aka "anonymous")

Millers River Flyfisher said...


By the looks of the eggs masses on the oaks we will have a BIG gypsy moth year NEXT year. Bad for the oaks, good for the trout and us. I'm on the road for the next few days so I may miss the height of this "hatch". Hope that the trout have good memories when I get back!


lenny tamule said...

Stomach pumps and tailing gloves should be outlawed. Their use in catch and release fisheries blow my mind. If people can tail an Atlantic Salmon or steelhead with their bare hands there’s absolutely no need for them.


Gary Cranson said...

On the water at 10AM off at 2PM,water temp 60's air temp 70's. No freestone or tailwater. EB,MB,WM,Swift,Farmington,Hampton Ponds,nope, Atlantic ocean where it meets the west wall and Galilee RI. Fooled the 1st striper of the year with a 3/0 surf candy (my version). Trout fishing is my 1st love, but a trip to the salt every once and awhile is nice.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I agree!


Haven't hit the Salt this year. Maybe in August.


mattk said...

At the swift last 2 days for a few hours only. Some sulphur and slightly whiter fly coming off. Fish taking emergers mostly. Dedicated to the dry i got zero rainbows on the ant (windy today pre storm). I did finally see a firsh take a dead drifting moth...switched up...boom..rainbow finally. Plenty off brookies (smaller) landed too on dries.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


It's been mostly bows with the moth for me so far.


David Powelstock said...

Ken, what's the best way to access the "top of Cady" stretch you mention? From Cady going up or Tree Pool going down? Or from the big path that goes from the parking area down to Cady