WOW. Its been a long hiatus on the guiding front. So much has happened and Im excited to say that Im back and ready for the 2020 guide season. Ive been busy setting up my ceramic business with my wife and establishing ourselves and now that the studio is balanced I’m ready to hit the rivers again.
Ive spent the last year seeking new water on my own and learning a lot. The Deerfield has always been my go to but the Swift and Westfield River constantly challenge me to adapt and seek out new places. I will always be a streamer fisherman at heart but it’s so important to challenge yourself in other fishing methods. Dry fly fishing, wet flies and yes nymphs, its important to adapt and have a well rounded arsenal when fly fishing.
With the COVID-19 pandemic at our doorstep I want to open up guiding in May. If you want to do some social distancing and hit the rivers give me a shout and look on my website for updated info about what I have to offer.
The Deerfield and Westfield River are in full swing and the getting’s good! Dry fly fishing in the evenings has been stellar on both and the swift has had less traffic. Finally! Go explore some new water! This is the best time of year to do some reconnaissance and scope out those spots you’ve always driven past. The bugs are out the fish are gorging. Life is good.
Its time friends! The Deerfield River is in its prime right now. The other surrounding rivers in western mass are relatively low. Nothing a little rain wont fix but it best to move toward bigger water when the small streams have stressed out fish. Hit the Millers or the Deerfield. The Swift is fishing well but I’ve been fishing from a canoe. Its dry fly season for sure on that river! The bookies are loving it! Oh and try a black ant pattern if you are hitting the swift. Don’t forget to see whats flying in the air around you! As for the Deerfield… streamers all the way baby!
Its been a long and adventurous summer and now I’m back in western Massachusetts ready to catch some trout. Ive spent most of the summer in the Adirondack Mountains catching large mouth bass and tiger musky. So many good stories and a hell of a lot of fish. Lots to tell. Its been a trying summer as well with the death of a childhood friend who passed. Ive pretty much kept my social media to an all time low and spent most of my time outside where I belong. Which is why its taken me so long to come back to the land of blogs, emails, Instagram, Facebook ect.
For those of you who don’t know I’m also an artist and my wife and I have a ceramics business called Tandem Ceramics. This summer was also spent gearing up for a trade show that we did in NY City. It went really well and I had to put down the fly rod and get in the studio. Here’s a link to our website: www.tandemceramics.com
Back to the Adirondacks…This place is where I grew up. The mountains, streams and lakes are in my blood and it feels like home every time I hit the water. I grew up fishing with my dad and brothers near Blue Mountain Lake. I remember fishing the books for brook trout when I was six and driving my boat around the lake at age 13. Fish the places you feel most at home. Where the water makes sense and the fish are plenty. Here are some of the fish we caught in the heart of the Adirondack forest.
Part II: Sharks
Charlottesville South Carolina is a pretty rad town. I spent quite a bit of time down there as well this summer and caught some really cool fish on a flyrod. My first outing was out on a 25ft boat casting to jetties. Im not an ocean fisherman by any means but I love fishing out there. My wife was the first one of us to hook up with something and it was a fifty pound stingray! The rest of us where using bait and fly rods and started to attract some sharks. Catching a shark on a fly rod is hands down one of the coolest things I’ve done. What a rush! By the way, the food in Charlottesville is totally on par with the fishing. So much sea food and BBQ… its downright sinful. My friend Tom and I hit the paddle boards after the boat trip in a fresh / salt water mixed inlet and had some success. Mostly bass and some redfish. Here are some photos of the trip down south!
My schedule is pretty slammed but I have some dates available toward the end of October. Hit me up if you want to go fishing! Oh and its good to be home! Trout time!
Tis the season! Troutland is off to a bang here in Western MA. All the rivers are stocked and at proper (normal) water levels. I’ve been fishing some new water as well as some old on the Deerfield River. So much to explore! I still have some dates open in June and would love to show you the lay of the land out here. June is a perfect time to fish the Deerfield River. Lots of hatches – mayflies, blue winged olives, caddis, moths, grasshoppers. Needless to say, its on in June. Its also a great time of year for half day trips in the evening. If you’ve never been dry fly fishing, now’s the time to get on the water!
The Swift is in full swing. Lots of people though. My advice is to explore other rivers and visit the Swift once everything else warms up, because the Swift stays cold even in the dead of summer! Now is the time to check out other rivers and streams that you’ve driven past and wanted to explore.
The Westfield is looking great right now. Lots of activity on the West Branch and the Middle Branch. Go scope it out! Its one of the most beautiful rivers in Massachusetts and it holds a lot of fish! For the brook trout junkies, look at the brooks that feed into the Westfield on google maps and go exploring! You might find some real honey holes! Bring Yellow or Orange Stimulators and some Parachute Adams dry flies. Small olive buggers with a gold bead head also crush it on this river. Go nuts!
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 email@example.com 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!