Its the beginning of Spring, the snow is melting and its 55 degrees with a cloudy sky… perfect right? You gear up, get out of the house and head to your favorite river. Except the conditions are less than ideal. The water is dirty and cloudy. Damn… What now?
Its time to throw some big flashy flies. When the water is cloudy look at the banks. A lot of the time the banks of the Deerfield don’t have a lot of sediment clouding them up from run off. This is where a good amount of the fish are. They move to the banks where they can more easily access a meal. Often I will see fish resting by the banks just trying to get away from the murky water.
When fishing in Murky water your goal is to get the trouts’ attention. Use streamers with flash with a white tail anything that could entice predator trout like big browns to strike. Fish for hold over browns this time of year and look at the banks. Are there bugs hitting the surface by the rocks or weeds? Even if you don’t see a rise throw a stimulator or a parachute dry toward the banks. Usually a fish will go for it.
Look for bends in the river where the flow moves to one side or the other leaving a pool where the sediment has a place to settle. You can find this where there is fast current on one side. Dead drifting is your friend in this situation. I usually drop an olive bugger with some flash and let it work its way to the bottom. A few quick strips and let it sink down again. This is a killer strategy for catching big fish at the end of March.
Catch the river before the melt or three or four days after. Its always a more productive fishing day when you can see the flow levels and take the time to check. Here’s the Deerfield River’s water flow and release schedule. Zoar whitewater uses this and its a gem I check religiously!
Iv’e started reserving dates for the Spring! There where a healthy amount of hold over fish this year and its lookin’ good! Hit me up if you want to fly fish the Deerfield, Westfield or Swift Rivers. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a date!
One big rainbow from last spring caught on the East Branch on the Westfield. Happy faces on the water.
Also, the weather is great and the fish are getting somewhat active. One thing to always keep in mind this time of year is snow melt. It may be 60 degrees outside but that snowy run off will effect the water temperature dramatically and the fishing will drop off. Plan to go out several days after the melt and the fish will be less lethargic and easier to convince.
The Swift has been really solid this winter. No otters and no complaints from this fisherman. I caught this brook trout on one of my favorite bends on a big olive bugger. The Deerfield has also been productive in some stretches. It can be dangerous to wade but the hold over brown trout are ready to hit streamers! See you out there!
This winter is a good one. It hasn’t been to cold and with moderate snowfall the rivers seem to be healthy and happy.
The Swift it on right now. There are LARGE hold-over fish kicking around cruising up and down the river. A little advice…go for a hike south of RT 9, trust me Its worth it. This time of year is a great time to go streamer fishing on the Swift. Work the banks and work them slow. Watch the river and cast into faster moving water . Sight fishing is the name of the game on the Swift and with little debris on the surface, you can see almost everything in the water this time of year.
I headed out there this past Sunday and fished for four hours or so. Lots of activity. I walked down to some of my favorite large pools and looked for areas with the most current. I love the underwater vegetation on the Swift. It breathes as you fish around it. Sometimes I feel like Im at the ocean and the current is moving beneath my legs.
Several brown trout hit and a large rainbow. Good times on the Swift.
The Deerfield has got some snow! Its a different world the further you travel up to Vermont. Fish with a buddy If you do decide to bare the elements and be a badass. Its also worth the trip. Few fish up there hitting right now but the ones that strike are amazing. I a big rainbow right after the snow storm a couple weeks ago on a streamer. Beautiful river!
ps: Hit me up if you want to secure a date in May. Its never to early to plan out a guided fishing adventure! • email@example.com
Well its been one amazing year guiding on the Deerfield, Westfield and Swift Rivers. Check out my guide highlights to see whats been going on this year on these rivers! So many great people catching so many beautiful fish.
The Swift is in really good shape right now. Perfect water level, plenty of fish and lots of flies to choose from. I always see guys tying these microscopic flies on 9x tippet… come on now. There are some wonderful bends on this river where you can spice it up and throw streamers and dry flies. For those who read this blog nymphing is not my cup of tea. If thats your idea of fun on a river than by all means have at it. Ill be downriver…
I took a client out on the Swift not to long ago and had a great time sight fishing. So many brookies and the rainbows didn’t dissapoint either.There is an amazing flying ant hatch that will be on for the next two weeks. Bring some black or amber ant patterns and get in on the madness. Its gonna be epic. There are plenty of days to get outside and experience this wonderful river. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.northriveranglers.com to book a guided wading trip. See you out there!
I recently had one of those epic days that took me to new places. I’ve been exploring the Deerfield River this Fall with a fresh pair of eyes. There are a lot of places to catch amazing fish on this river. The northern stretches of the Deerfield are wild with untamed terrain. Sharp rocks, steep banks and a lot to see. Bring a friend if you go, no cell service and lots of places to get into trouble. This fall is a great time to explore. Whether its the Deerfield or any other river. The cold temperatures offer a unique opportunity to hike in and experience something new. Even if you get skunked, its a learning experience. Thats half the fun.
There are a lot of blue winged olives and ants kicking around the surface of the water. Dry fly time! The streamer fishing is on par as well. Big flies for big fish. The swift is solid right now as well. Get out and experience this wonderful time of year!
This is a great time to fish the Deerfield and the Swift. The East Branch of the Westfield is unfortunately still out of commission and shouldn’t really be fished. What do I mean by really? The fish are there but they are stressed and hiding along the banks or at the bottom of few pools that still exist in the gorge. Try exploring new territory this Fall and find some new water. Trust me its worth exploring the many rivers and streams western Massachusetts has to offer. Guided wading trips NOW through DECEMBER. Hit me up if you want to catch some fish!