All posts by Brian Comfort

River Report 7/3/20

Happy Fourth of July!

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 brian@deerfieldflyshop.com.

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!

The meat rack! These morsels of wholesome goodness from Catching Shadows and hand-tied by Rich Strolis himself are now available at the shop. These flies are highly effective on big trout and bass.

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.

Big flies=decent bass. That’s a seven inch Swingin’ D that this respectable Deerfield River bass inhaled. Sometimes bigger is better.

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.

Carp fishing is really good right now as most of these fish are off the spawn and hungry. The shop’s own Reece McDowell has been finding fish like this on the flats and inspecting a lot of his backing!

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 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

River Report 6/26/20

Summer conditions settle in

Please stop in and say hi. We are open from noon to 5, Tuesday through Sunday. 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.

We could use some rain. With the heat, sun and low water conditions, the Deerfield is fishing like it’s mid to late summer. Please fish upriver–above Charlemont– if you plan on releasing your trout. The temperatures in the lower and middle Deerfield are spiking well past 70 during the day so any trout hooked will likely die.

Good days are still being had, but they may require a little more effort than just a few weeks ago. The main hatches continue to be cahills, sulphurs and caddis. The mayflies often come off right at dark, so don’t leave the river too soon! We just received some new cahill and sulphur patterns as well as a re-supply of our other patterns. The more subtle patterns like sparkle duns and CDC patterns can be really effective in this lower water. Spinners are also working well, even when there are not many dead spinners in the water.

During the day, attractor patterns like humpies and Wulffs and terrestrials like ants and beetles get you into fish. There are also some large stoneflies around, too, so some larger stimulators, PMXs, and Chubby Chernobyls may also do the trick, though I would fish these in deeper or faster moving water. Dropping a nymph off the back is always 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. 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.

The meat rack! These morsels of wholesome goodness from Catching Shadows and hand-tied by Rich Strolis himself are now available at the shop. These flies are highly effective on big trout and bass.

The trout can get very fussy on dry flies, especially in low water. Sometimes you need to change your presentation angle–try a downstream presentation to difficult fish–just be sure to throw in a reach mend or wiggle mend on the cast to get a nice drag free drift. You can also try lengthening your leader. I fish mostly 12 foot leaders to 4X or 5X with an additional two feet of tippet. Going down to 6X and 7x on the tippet is also sometimes necessary.

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. If we ever get a rainy or overcast day again, with some high flows, trout beware!

On the lower Deerfield, the smallmouth bass fishing has really turned on. Give the trout a break and come try for these hardfighting fish. They are some of the best flyrod fish out there! 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! We also have some Swingin’ Ds that will help you lure some monsters up from the deeper water around good structure. Many of the Catching Shadows streamers will work great on the bass too.

Smallmouth fishing on the Connecticut is also very good, with some easy to wade sections behind Turner’s Falls a good place to start. The carp fishing has also been strong on the flats. Patterns like Montana’s hybrid and the Carpnasty will fool these incredible fighters.

This beautiful creature is a young of the year brown trout from the upper Deerfield River, collected by the Mass F and W during their research. It demonstrates that brown trout are indeed spawning successfully on the Deerfield despite adverse conditions created by erratic dam releases.

I would highly recommend leaving the trout in the Westfield and Millers River alone until we get a significant amount of rain. The lower sections of both these rivers support good smallmouth populations though that are well worth a try.

The Swift River is always cold and is actually running higher than average as its release from the Quabbin dam is tied to the levels on the Connecticut–when this is low, more water is released into the Swift to augment flows, or so I’ve been told. 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.

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, Tan/Olive Mops, damselfly nymphs, Natural/Olive Caddis Puppa/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

River Report 6/16/20

Great dry fly action continues!

Please stop in and say hi. We are open from noon to 5, Tuesday through Sunday. 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.

Always wanted to try Euro-style nymph fishing? We received a handful of demo nymphing rods from Echo. Mike and I field tested them yesterday and are happy to report they work! 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. We will loan these rods out if you are interested in giving tight line nymphing a go. Come into the shop to check them out!

The Deerfield River is fishing well, though we could use some more water in the system. With this week’s increase in temperatures coming, and no rain in the immediate forecast, fishing will continue to be best in the early mornings and late evenings. Releases have been short and infrequent. I recommend seeking out this bigger water when you can–just use extra caution if you are wading. The good news is you do not have to wade out far as the fish will often push to the sides when the water comes up.

The sulphur hatch can be very productive in the late evening, often just before or at dark. Sparkle duns in 14 to 18 and spinners in 14 and 16 are working well. Caddis in tan and olive in a size 14 still abound, and we are seeing more and more Yellow Sallies in 12 to 16. Some bigger stones are also around. Light Cahills in size 12 to 14 are still very much on the menu and I suspect that we will be seeing more and more Cream Cahills–you can use any Light Cahill pattern for these, just go down to 14s and 16s. Spinners have become more important so make sure you have a good collection of rusty spinners from 12 to 18 and some lighter colored spinners in 14 and 16. We have a good selection in stock right now including some shop tied spinners specifically for the sulphurs that have been successfully field tested since the hatch began! March Browns are still around as well as BWOs on cloudy cooler days.

Beautiful browns beget big grins! Shop customer Ben Woodard with a Deerfield brown caught on a sulphur dry fly.

The trout can get very fussy on dry flies, especially in low water. Sometimes you need to change your presentation angle–try a downstream presentation to difficult fish–just be sure to throw in a reach mend or wiggle mend on the cast to get a nice drag free drift. You can also try lengthening your leader. I fish mostly 12 foot leaders to 4X or 5X with an additional two feet of tippet. Going down to 6X and 7x on the tippet is also sometimes necessary.

Water temps in the lower river are starting to get too high for catch and release trout fishing except in the very early morning and at dark. The smallmouth fishing is really turning on though, with smaller streamers and crawfish patterns fooling nice smallies. Try topwater sliders and poppers in the mornings and evenings and fish the deeper holes with good cover during the day. The Connecticut River also has some great smallmouth fishing and access points in Turners Falls are always a good bet. The carp fishing can be great, particularly on the flats in the Connecticut, but the shop’s resident warmwater guru Reece cautions that some are on are on the spawn and spawning carp rarely take a fly.

In the upper river, water temperatures are still great for trout. When the trout are not rising, nymphs continue to work, especially pheasant tails in sizes 12-14, hare’s ears in the same sizes, bigger stoneflies like Pat’s Rubber Legs and Buggy Stones, and caddis larvae and pupae in size 14, both in olive and tan. Working some smaller size 16 nymphs that imitate sulfurs (smaller copper johns and pheasant tails will work) is a good idea. Also, we are seeing a lot of craneflies and other big bugs like that so mop flies as well as crane fly and damselfly nymhs will be effective as well. At low water, smaller streamers like wolly buggers and small sculpins will work. In the bigger water during the release you can try throwing bigger streamers including articulated ones like Headbangers and D and Ds, especially in the early mornings and late evenings.

The trout are used to looking up for a meal now so prospecting with attractors and terrestrials is a good idea, even more so when a nymph is dropped off the back. My go to rig for this on area rivers, from mid-May to October, is a big humpy in 10 or 12 with a size 12 pheasant tail dropped off the bend of the hook. Royal Wulffs, Stimulators, big caddis–basically any bushy dry fly will work and for terrestrials ants and beetles are always a good bet along with smaller Chubby Chernobyls.

Wild brown trout can be found throughout the Deerfield, but especially in the upper section above Charlemont. For the past three years Mass F and W has been clipping the adipose fin of stocked brown trout above the Route 2 bridge west of the town of Charlemont by the campground. So if you find a brown above here with an adipose fin intact, it is very likely stream bred and wild. Please take extra care when handling and releasing these fish.

The Millers River is getting lower and warmer. I would recommend only fishing here in the early mornings and late evenings or on cloudy, colder days. That said, the fishing can still be good with caddis, sulphurs and cahills still hatching strong. Terrestrials are good as well. The smallmouth fishing, particularly on the lower part of the river, is fantastic. The same tactics and flies mentioned above for the lower Deerfield apply here.

The Westfield is quite low. I think the sweet spot here is 100 to 500 cfs and we are in the 60s. If you intend to release fish, I would fish somewhere else. But if you must, fish early mornings and late evenings. If we ever get a decent push of rain, this river will come back into play.

The Swift River is always cold and is actually running higher than average as its release from the Quabbin dam is tied to the levels on the Connecticut–when this is low, more water is released into the Swift to augment flows, or so I’ve been told. 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.

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, Tan/Olive Mops, damselfly nymphs, Natural/Olive Caddis Puppa/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, 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

River Report 6/8/20

We are open to the public again!

Phase two has started in Massachusetts as of this morning and we are allowed to once again have customers in the shop with precautions including wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing. So please stop in and say hi. We are open from noon to 5, Tuesday through Sunday. 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.

The Deerfield River continues to fish well, with consistent dry fly action in the mornings and evenings. Caddis in tan and olive in a size 14 still abound, and we are seeing more and more Yellow Sallies in 12 to 16. Some bigger stones are also around. Sulphurs in 14 and 16 and Light Cahills in 12 and 14 are the most abundant evening hatches and have been providing great surface activity into dark. Spinners have become more important so make sure you have a good collection of rusty spinners from 12 to 18 and some lighter colored spinners in 14 and 16. We have a good selection in stock right now including some shop tied spinners specifically for the sulphurs that have been successfully field tested all week long! March Browns are still around as well as BWOs on cloudy cooler days.

Sulphur spinners are here and becoming an important part of the diet of Deerfield River trout. Stop by the shop to stock up on them!

Flows remain on the lower side in the Deerfield, making for ideal wading conditions but with the bright sun and heat, sometimes midday has been tough. We could use some rain and it looks like we may get some this week. Look for cloudy days and the edges of the day for the best fishing.

Water temps in the lower river are hitting the high 60s so keep an eye on that when targeting trout, but game on for smallmouth bass. Weighted, jig style streamers will help you find some smallies. Shad are still around but that run is starting to wane. In area ponds, the largemouth feed is on pretty good, including an improving surface bite in the evenings.

In the upper river, water temperatures are still great for trout. When the trout are not rising, nymphs continue to work, especially pheasant tails in sizes 12-14, hare’s ears in the same sizes, bigger stoneflies like Pat’s Rubber Legs and Buggy Stones, and caddis larvae and pupae in size 14, both in olive and tan. Working some smaller size 16 nymphs that imitate sulfurs (smaller copper johns and pheasant tails will work) is a good idea. At low water, smaller streamers like wolly buggers and small sculpins will work. In the bigger water during the release you can try throwing bigger streamers including articulated ones like Headbangers and D and Ds, especially in the early mornings and late evenings.

The trout are used to looking up for a meal now so prospecting with attractors and terrestrials is a good idea, even more so when a nymph is dropped off the back. My go to rig for this on area rivers, from mid-May to October, is a big humpy in 10 or 12 with a size 12 pheasant tail dropped off the bend of the hook. Royal Wulffs, Stimulators, big caddis–basically any bushy dry fly will work and for terrestrials ants and beetles are always a good bet along with smaller Chubby Chernobyls.

Wild brown trout can be found throughout the Deerfield, but especially in the upper section above Charlemont. For the past three years Mass F and W has been clipping the adipose fin of stocked brown trout above the Route 2 bridge west of the town of Charlemont by the campground. So if you find a brown above here with an adipose fin intact, it is very likely stream bred and wild. Please take extra care when handling and releasing these fish.

The Millers River is getting lower and warmer. I would recommend only fishing here in the early mornings and late evenings or on cloudy, colder days. That said, the fishing can still be good with caddis, sulphurs and cahills still hatching strong. The smallmouth fishing, particularly on the lower part of the river, is fantastic this time of year and throughout the summer.

The Westfield continues to fish well and is at decent water levels and holding in there temperature wise. Again, avoid fishing the middle of hot sunny days. The same nymphs as above will produce as will smaller streamers. And of course be on the lookout for caddis and mayfly hatches.

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, Tan/Olive Mops, Natural/Olive Caddis Puppa/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, 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

River Report 5/30/20

The Deerfield River lit up this week with dry fly action. Especially on the upper river, reports of dense caddis hatches came in all week, with focused activity in the evenings. Try standard patterns like elk hair caddis in 14 and 16 but if they are not working sometimes you need a fly that will sit a bit lower in the surface film. Also, try pulling your dry fly under the surface at the end of the drift and letting it swing or swing soft hackles. Look also for March Browns (Sizes 12 to 14) and the lighter colored mayflies like Cahills (12 to 14), Pale Evening Duns (14-16) and Sulphurs (14 to 16 to start, smaller as the hatch progresses) to start appearing throughout the system.

Flows remain on the lower side in the Deerfield, making for ideal wading conditions but with the bright sun and heat, sometimes midday has been tough. Look for cloudy days and the edges of the day for the best fishing. Water temps in the lower river are hitting the high 60s so keep an eye on that when targeting trout but game on for shad, which are abundant throughout the lower river, and smallmouth bass, which are starting to get on their beds. In the upper river, water temperatures are perfect for trout.

When the trout are not rising, nymphs continue to work, especially pheasant tails in sizes 12-14, hare’s ears in the same sizes, bigger stoneflies like Pat’s Rubber Legs and Buggy Stones, and caddis larvae and pupae in size 14, both in olive and tan. Working some smaller size 16 nymphs that imitate sulfurs (smaller copper johns and pheasant tails will work) is a good idea as they become active even before we start seeing the adults. The usual suspect streamers will work as well. When the water comes up, the junk–mop flies and squirmies–can be very effective.

The Millers River is at ideal wading levels and it is fishing really well right now. Look for caddis in the mornings and afternoons and mayflies at dusk, especially as the river continues to drop. I even ran into a decent flying ant hatch the other night and took many fish on a size 18 ant pattern. When ants are around, trout can’t seem to resist them. Size 14 on the caddis and light mayflies in 12 to 14, with Light Cahill patterns and lighter colored parachutes likely to be successful.

The Westfield continues to fish well and is at prime water levels. The same nymphs as above will produce as will smaller streamers. A shop customer reports that squirmies are still hooking bigger rainbows too. And of course be on the lookout for caddis and mayfly hatches.

Guided trips and lessons available. The shop is open for curbside service starting Tuesday through Sunday noon to 5 pm and by appointment. Call us at 413-397-3665 or email brian@deerfieldflyshop.com and we will try to get you what you need!

Dries: Midges, tan and olive Caddis 14-16, BWO 16-20, Light Cahill 12-14, March Brown 12-14, Sulphurs 14-16

Nymphs: Pat’s Rubber Legs,  Golden or Black Terminator Stone 8-12,14-18, Pheasant Tail Nymphs 12-18, Frenchies 12-16, Tan/Olive Mops, Natural/Olive Caddis Puppa/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, 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

River Report 5/24/20

Joe and Jase getting in done this week!

What an unbelievable Memorial Day Weekend! Our sincerest thanks and respect to all who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms we do.

This warmth and sunshine feels great, but it will affect when you should fish. Target mornings and late afternoon into the evenings to avoid the sunniest part of the day, which has made the fish a bit more wary. These midday fish can still be caught, but you are going to have to work for them. The flows throughout the Deerfield are much lower in general than last week, which makes for much improved wading opportunities. Hendricksons are winding down but can still be found, especially further upriver. Expect to see March Browns and Pale Evening Duns in the coming weeks. Caddis are abundant throughout the system. When the trout are not rising, nymphs continue to work, especially pheasant tails in sizes 12-14, hare’s ears in the same sizes, bigger stoneflies like Pat’s Rubber Legs and Buggy Stones, and caddis larvae and pupae in size 14, both in olive and tan. The usual suspect streamers will work as well. When the water comes up, mop flies can be very effective.

Though the Millers River is a touch on the high side of ideal wading conditions, it is fishing really well right now. Look for caddis in the mornings and afternoons and mayflies at dusk, especially as the river continues to drop. Size 14 on the caddis and light mayflies in 12 to 14, with Light Cahill patterns and lighter colored parachutes likely to be successful.

The Westfield continues to fish well, though some reports are trickling in that the gorge section of the East Branch has been hit pretty hard. Try some different sections above or below the gorge or the other branches for some solitude and less harassed fish. The same nymphs as above will produce as will smaller streamers.

This is a great time of year to target other species, too, particularly in the lower Deerfield. I haven’t heard any reports yet but expect shad will enter the lower D on their yearly spawning migration any day now if they aren’t there already. Smallmouth bass will start to bed up in anticipation of their spawn over the next few weeks on the lower D and also in the lower sections of the Millers, where some true hogs will come up from the Connecticut River.

Guided trips and lessons available, and we will start floating the river again next week! The shop is open for curbside starting Monday! I will be here all next week from noon to 5, Monday through Sunday. If you can’t make it in then, call us at 413-397-3665 and we will try to get you what you need!

Dries: Midges, tan and olive Caddis 14-16, BWO 16-20, Hendrickson’s 12-14, Light Cahill 12-14, March Brown 12-14

Nymphs: Pat’s Rubber Legs,  Golden or Black Terminator Stone 8-12,14-18, Pheasant Tail Nymphs 12-18, Frenchies 12-16, Tan/Olive Mops, Natural/Olive Caddis Puppa/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, 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