River Report 8/28/20

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.

Don’t forget that this weekend is the Massachusetts state tax holiday! No tax on any purchases Saturday and Sunday at the shop.

We have finally gotten some cooler temperatures with more to come in the forecast. The intense rain that battered this area yesterday only gave a modest bump to river flows that has already dissipated. The good news is more rain is on the way–if it comes, coupled with the cooler temperatures, the fishing should improve dramatically across the region.

The best trout fishing is still on the upper Deerfield (above the town of Charlemont) and the Swift. On the Deerfield, we have seen hatches of Tricos some mornings, but terrestrials and attractors have been the most consistent producers up top. Hoppers are a great choice, with Chubby Chernobyls, PMXs and more traditional hopper patterns all doing well. I will often drop an ant pattern in size 12-14 off the back of my hopper if I am seeing fish come up to look at the big bug but not committing.

Look for ant hatches this time of year. They come in swarms, often on muggy days, and when they arrive they often blanket the surface of the water and the trout go nuts for them. The fish can key in on size and color, so make sure you have patterns in both black and cinnamon from 14 to 20.

On the cooler, overcast days BWOs are definitely a possibility and as September gets here, look for Isos as well as caddis in 14s through 20s.

Nymphing, as always, is working. Bigger stonefly patterns like Pat’s Rubber Legs, coupled with a smaller fly like a size 16 red Copper John, have been working. The usual suspects like pheasant tails, Frenchies, Princes, Hares Ears and Zug Bugs have also been effective. Try soft hackles a swell, either dead drifted or on the swing. Orange is a good color.

The middle section of the Deerfield in the Shelburne Falls area should be at fishable temperatures for trout again soon if not already. The dry fly action in this area in the fall can be really great.

The Swift is fishing great now. We have seen BWOs and still some Sulphurs hatching in the lower stretches. Small Frenchies and orange soft hackles have been effective here. Attractors are effective as well, with hoppers, ants and beetles working at times.

Area freestones like the Westfield and Green are still far too low, but the temperatures are getting back into the sixties on the cooler days. Check the flows and if they start to get back into normal range a visit to one of these streams could prove fruitful.

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 will improve with the cooler temperatures. Water temps are now in the mid 70s which should get the smallies feeding more aggressively again. The Connecticut is loaded with small shad so try white streamers from 3 to 6 inches in length. 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 is still going strong. Look to the flats of the Connecticut River, the canal in Turner’s Falls or the flats of lakes and ponds for these hard fighting fish. Montana Hybrids and Carpnastys have been getting it done.

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

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