River Report 7/31

Still Mid-Summer Conditions!

We are open Friday, from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday 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 brian@deerfieldflyshop.com.

On August 8, FFF-certified casting instructor Jim Dowd will lead a free beginner’s casting clinic from 9 to 11 am. Please call or email to pre-register for the class, which is limited to 6 people.

Do you like watching hard-fighting fish destroy topwater flies? So do we.

Join us on Saturday, August 15, 2020, to learn more about fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass. The Deerfield Fly Shop Bass Clinic will cover all aspects of fishing for these warmwater beasts–the perfect antidote to the mid-summer trout doldrums. The morning session will cover all the basics of fly fishing for bass, from habitat and behavior to the flies and gear you need to the techniques you will use getting the fly to the fish and the fish to the net. Then we will head outside where FFF certified casting instructor Jim Dowd will show us the primary casts you will want in your arsenal. Then it’s game on as we hit the water and put all this knowledge to use for a few hours.

Fee for the clinic is $150. Call the shop at 413-397-3665 or email brian@deerfieldflyshop.com to reserve your spot now! The class will be limited to eight. DFS guide and proprietor of the Handmade Angler Jay Aylward and DFS owner Brian Comfort along with the aforementioned Jim Dowd will lead the clinic.

Not much to report since the last update as conditions remain similar and what’s needed to catch fish remains similar! We could use a bunch more rain and a break from this heat. But until then, early mornings and evenings remain your best bet for trout. I would also target faster moving water and deeper water.

The good news is larger attractor patterns are working, with Chubby Chernobyls, PMXs and Stimulators doing well along with Humpies, beetles and ants. Hatches have largely tapered off, though some evenings you may run into some sulphurs or smaller caddis and Isos are still around.

I got out tagging fish last week on the Upper Deerfield with Adam Kautza from Mass Fish and Wildlife. We found many wild browns like this one, further proving that the river has a healthy population of wild brown trout. Check out the Deerfield Watershed chapter of Trout Unlimited for the great work they are doing to preserve and protect this incredible fishery.

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 topwater bite is going strong all day, but especially in the mornings and evenings. Largemouth fishing on area lakes and ponds also continues to be solid. 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. For other subsurface flies black has been a good color. All of the Catching Shadows streamers will work great on the bass too.

The carp fishing continues to excel, as anyone who follows Reece’s Instagram feed is well aware! 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.

Shop guide and proprietor of the Handmade Angler Jay Aylward tied these gorgeous Hawg Goblins for the shop. The largemouth bite is on and these beasts will get some big ones to commit!

I would avoid the Millers and Westfield right now for trout, unless you intend on keeping your catch. Water temperatures are too high for trout to survive catch and release fishing. The Millers has great smallmouth fishing throughout, and the lower Westfield also has decent smallie fishing.

The Swift is fishing well right now as it remains the coldest of our area rivers. Sulphurs are hatching in the evenings. During the day, eggs and worms can fool these selective trout as can beetles and ants.

Guided trips and lessons available. Call us at 413-397-3665 or email brian@deerfieldflyshop.com.

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 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

For Miller’s River in Erving here

For Miller’s River Bear’s Den area here

For East Branch of the Westfield here

Deerfield River Fishing Report

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