River Report 9/12/20

Bring on the fall! Cooler temperatures have the rivers heading into prime fall conditions. A little rain would help but at least the water is cooling down. Look for the fishing to keep improving as we get deeper into September.

The best trout fishing is still on the upper Deerfield from Shelburne Falls upstream and the Swift. On the Deerfield, we have seen hatches of Tricos some mornings (spinner patterns in 20 to 24 are usually most effective) and BWOs (18 to 20) on the cloudier cooler days. Look for Isonychias in 12 to 14 the afternoons with spinner falls into dusk as well. Cahills should be making a resurgence again soon in about a size 14. Tan and olive caddis are always on the menu, from 14 to 18. October caddis should be around as well, so big caddis patterns are good for searching up top and larger nymphs with some orange in them can be killer this time of year.

There are some exciting things coming up at the shop, including some specialty technique clinics and some fly tying events, so stay tuned to our website, Facebook, Instagram and newsletter for announcements to come!

Also, our friend Cynthia Harkness at Fearless Fly Fishing is hosting a screening of the latest Patagonia film Public Trust, which explores the challenges and dangers facing the 640 million acres of public land so valuable to us as anglers and outdoors folks. The viewing is September 28 at 7 pm. It is free, but donations to the US Women’s Fly Fishing Team, so they can compete in Norway next year, are accepted and encouraged. Contact Cynthia directly at czharkness@gmail.com to RSVP for the film and learn how to donate to the women’s team. Cynthia is also hosting a trip to North Carolina to fish the Smokies for trout that has a few openings left so contact her for that if you are interested as well!

Terrestrials and attractors continue to fish well. 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.

Shop regular Justin Tyler had to work hard for it but got this tank of a smallie on the Connecticut

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.

Nymphing, as always, is working. Bigger stonefly patterns like Pat’s Rubber Legs, coupled with a smaller fly to imitate the bwos like a size 18 or 20 pheasant tail, can get it done. 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 Swift is still fishing well. BWOs and midges will be the best bets for hatches. 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.

Reece celebrated Labor Day by working this solid pike!

On the lower Deerfield and the Connecticut River, smallie fishing has been tough but should improve with the cooler temperatures. Water temps are now in the low 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.

Pike fishing is back in play with these cooler temperatures and will only get better as the fall progresses. Reece got into a nice pike (see picture) on the Connecticut with a large black bucktail game changer streamer. Look for them in deeper water along drop offs and channels. Stop and go retrieve on the fly. Reece reminds us to be sure to have the proper gear: a big net, wire or heavy fluoro bite guards, long nosed pliers, at least an eight weight rod. Despite their ornery look, these are fragile fish and we are still at the very high end of their comfort zone. Get them in as quick as you can, handle them with care and send them back to get even bigger and meaner!

The carp fishing is still going strong and should be solid all month. 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 14-18, Orange caddis 12, BWO 18-22, Light Cahill 14, Isos 12-14, 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