They’re here! Reliable reports have been trickling in that Hendricksons are hatching on the Deerfield. While there have not been many fish rising to them, I expect that will change over the next few days. And while the Hendrickson hatch can be a bit spotty on the D, it does mark the beginning of what us usually an excellent stretch of fishing in western Mass!
The recent deluge has area rivers very high as of today, Friday, but freestones like the North, Green and Westfield should drop quickly and there should be some yo-yoing of the dams that present good opportunities to wade fish the Deerfield.
Generally, further downstream will have more consistent hatches and more rising fish. But there can be epic days up in the Fife section as well. Dark and Light Hendricksons in 12 to 16 as well as Klinkhammer style flies in 12 to 14 in tan and brown should work up top. Regardless of the surface activity, you can bet that the fish are chomping on nymphs underneath. A size 12 Pheasant Tail is an excellent choice to match the Hendrickson nymph. Expect some Quill Gordons to be mixed in (usually a bit smaller, size 14 to 16) and for this Hare’s Ear parachutes up top or hare’s ears or copper johns can get it done down below. There may be some mahogany duns as well. Smaller caddis have been pretty abundant, especially tan ones in about an 18. I would expect tan and olive caddis in slightly larger sizes should start appearing soon too. We just got in 100s of dozens of flies so we have you covered!
Because our initial offering in May filled up so quickly, we will be offering another Women’s Fly Fishing Retreat on July 9 and 10. The cost will be $300 and this should fill quickly as well. We will also be offering a series of beginner and intermediate casting clinics in April and May taught by master casting instructor Jim Dowd. See our Classes/Seminars page for more info.
Don’t neglect streamers as they will still produce, particularly in higher water. I like to vary up colors and sizes until I hit upon what seems to be working. Trout will be more aggressive and willing to chase down a big meal as the water temps are now solidly in the 50s and as they continue to rise into the 60s.
Pike fishing on the Connecticut River remains strong. Look for the smallmouth bite to improve there and also in the lower reaches of the Deerfield and Miller’s Rivers as some bigger smallies move out of the Connecticut in advance of spawning in the next several weeks. Ponds should be coming to life as well with largemouth bass looking to pack some calories before their spawn.
This is a great time of year to be a fly angler in western Massachusetts! Get on out there if you can!
Guided trips and lessons available. Call us at 413-397-3665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dries: Light Hendrickson 14-16, Dark Hendrickson 12-14, Quill Gordon 14, Parachute Hare’s Ear 12-16, Midges, Parachute Adams 10 to 14; Parachute Mahogany Dun 16-18; Elk Hair Caddis tan and Olive 14 to 18, Sedgehammer 14-16.
Nymphs: Pat’s Rubber Legs, Golden or Black Terminator Stone 8-12, eggs, hares’ ears in natural and black 10-14, Pheasant Tail Nymphs 12-18, Frenchies 12-16, Tan/Olive Mops, Squirmies, Natural/Olive Caddis Pupae/Larvae 12-16, Red/Copper Johns 12-16, Sexy Walt 12-16.
Streamers: Woolly Buggers Olive/Black 6-10, White/Olive Sculpzilla 8,Bank Robber 2, Ice Picks, Heisenberg Baby Bow/Cowboy/White 6, Sculpin Bunny, Black/Brown Rubber Bugger 4, Black, white and olive Zonkers.
Water Flows for Fife Brook Dam can be found here
Water release schedule for the next day is posted after 5pm. Check again before you head to the river. Minimum Flow 130 CFS (Cubic Feet/Second). Ideal for wading and Dry Fly Action. Normal Release 800-1,000 CFS
Dam release for the #2 Dam in Buckland can be found here
For Miller’s River in Erving here
For Miller’s River Bear’s Den area here
For East Branch of the Westfield here