Happy Fourth everyone! Hope you all can get out and celebrate the holiday and maybe do a little fishing as well. We are open today, Friday, from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday the Fourth from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 3 and Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 5 pm. I am often here at other hours so call us at 413-397-3665 if you need something at times outside of our posted hours. Also, we are still more than happy to do curbside service if you prefer. Just give us a call or email [email protected].
We needed some rain desperately and that’s just what we got this week! Along with some cooler temperatures, the rain has injected some energy back into local rivers. The main hatches are still cahills in 12-14, sulphurs in 16 and caddis in 14 to 18 (tan and olive are the best colors). We are also seeing more Isonychias, as well as healthy smatterings of yellow sallies in 14 to 16 and some much larger stones dropping eggs in the evenings.
The best dry fly action is at dusk and into dark. Bring a headlamp and be prepared to stay til 9:30 or so if you want the most consistent activity on sulphurs and caddis. Early mornings also see some bugs hatching and the occasional sulphur spinner fall. During the day and into the late afternoon/early evening, larger attracters and terrestrials have been producing. Try humpies, beetles, ants, PMXs and Stimulators. As always, a nymph dropped off the back doubles your chances!
Nymphing is always effective on the Deerfield and especially so right now. Pat’s Rubber legs and larger golden stones are doing very well as are the usual suspects: pheasant tails, prince nymphs, hare’s ears, caddis larvae and caddis pupae. With the increased Isonychia activity, adding zug bugs in 12 and 14 and Stalcup’s gilled nymphs in 14s into your rotation is a good idea.
This is a good time of year to try tightline nymphing techniques as the trout tend to burrow down into deeper holes and faster water. They are still feeding on nymphs throughout the day but the takes can be very subtle. Tightline techniques will help you get your fly down to the fish and also register these soft takes. Jig style nymphs like Frenchie’s and Walt’s worms are designed to get down quick and dirty and the inverted hook decreases snags. We have a number of tightline nymphing rods available at the shop for FREE DEMOS. We have Echo’s top end Shadow X in a 10’6″ 3 weight and their mid-range Shadow II in a 10′ 2 weight and 10’6″ four weights. Stop in to pick one up for a day and give it a try on the river.
When the water is up on the Deerfield, try throwing some bigger streamers, both single hook and articulated. We stocked up on some great patterns from Rich Strolis at Catching Shadows that are proven big brown catchers. At lower water try smaller streamers like the single hook flies Rich tied for us or concentrate on the deeper holes with big flies. Sometimes you’ll find a nice surprise! As always with streamer fishing, vary your retrieve and mix up flies by size, profile and color until the fish tell you what’s working.
On the lower Deerfield and the Connecticut River, the smallmouth bass fishing continues to be solid. The rain has rejuvenated the bass too! The topwater bite is going strong all day, but especially in the mornings and evenings. We just received an assortment of poppers and sliders at the shop that will get the job done up top! Chartreuse has been a good color on these. We also have some Swingin’ Ds that will help you lure some monsters up from the deeper water around good structure. All of the Catching Shadows streamers will work great on the bass too.
The carp fishing has started to heat up further as most of these fish are off the spawn now. Look for flats in the major rivers and try a fly like the Carpnasty or Montana’s Hybrid to get into these wily, hard-fighting fish.
This push of water should bring the Westfield River back to life for a bit in the Gorge area. I would still stick to early mornings and evenings for the best action with the least impact on the fish. The tactics and flies discussed above should do well here too.
I would still avoid fishing the Millers for trout. Though some may argue otherwise, I feel this river is really a spring/fall deal as it just warms up too much. There are simply better places to catch trout right now that have less potential to harm the fish. The bass fishing, on the other hand, can be great here, particularly down lower where it nears the Connecticut.
The Swift River is always cold and is actually running higher than average. Reports say the sulphur hatch on the Swift is on fire right now, which gives anglers an opportunity to put away the tiny 28s and 30s and throw huge, by Swift standards, 16 and 18 sulphurs! Ants and beetles are also a good bet on the Swift this time of year. And of course, the tiny stuff will get it done both on top and subsurface.
Guided trips and lessons available. Call us at 413-397-3665 or email [email protected].
Dries: Midges, tan and olive Caddis 14-16, BWO 16-20, Light Cahill 12-14, March Brown 12-14, Sulphurs 14-16, Humpies 10-12, Royal Wulffs 10-12, Stimulators 10-16, Yellow sallies 14-16, beetles, and ants.
Nymphs: Pat’s Rubber Legs, Golden or Black Terminator Stone 8-12, hares’ ears 12-18, Pheasant Tail Nymphs 12-18, Frenchies 12-16, Zug Bugs 12-14, Stalcup’s Gilled Nymph 14, Tan/Olive Mops, damselfly nymphs, 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, Mini Headbangers, Alter Egos, Silly Rabbits, Complex Twist Bugger, Heisenberg Baby Bow/Cowboy/White 6, Sculpin Bunny, Black/Brown Rubber Bugger 4, Olive and Gold/White Mini Drunk & Disorderly.
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