The Deerfield River runs for 76 miles from southern Vermont through northwestern Massachusetts to the Connecticut River. The Deerfield River is the Connecticut River’s second longest tributary in Massachusetts and the river’s confluence with the Connecticut is in Greenfield, MA, downstream of Turners Falls. The Deerfield is one of the most heavily used rivers in the country with a dam almost every 7 miles for its entire length. It is important to know water release schedules(if applicable) or water flows for the section of river you are fishing. Water Line Sites are readings at the dam while USGS Sites are normally reading the level further down river. The river tends to fish well up to 1,000cfs. A wading staff is highly recommended.
There are two catch and release areas on the Deerfield River. The first starts below the Fife Brook Dam and ends at the Hoosac Tunnel Bridge. The second starts where Pelham Brook enters the river and ends at Rt. 2. These areas can be accessed by Zoar Rd and there are many obvious access points. Knowledge of the Fife Brook Dam water release schedule is a must. You can visit our Flows page for a direct link click here. Most runs can be fished effectively from shore during high water with sink tip lines and heavily weighted nymphs.
The river along Rt. 2 and through Shelburne provides excellent fishing opportunities. Access and pull offs are noticeable throughout. The river below the #2 Buckland Dam has less access unless you are willing to hike a bit. There is parking around Bardwells Ferry Bridge and there is lots of water to explore around the bridge and up river by hiking up the train tracks or along the Mohawk/Mohican Trail. Access to the river between Bardwells Ferry Bridge and Stillwater bridge is limited. Find Station Road and drive to the end where you can go up or down river. A steep bank must be traversed either way. The Stillwater Bridge area provides good fishing access with a parking lot at the bridge. The areas down river have few access points but one can find good fishing if you are willing to explore a bit.
There is an abundance of Caddis, Mayflies and Stoneflies throughout the river. Caddis Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Stonefly Nymphs, Wooly Buggers and other medium size streamers are good patterns to fish year round on the river. The catch and release areas can provide good winter conditions due to the dam releases preventing the river from freezing. Check our River Reports for updated information.