Guiding Highlights of 2015 • Happy New Year!

What a year! Thanks for all the support in making 2015 a year to remember. So many great highlights in my guiding adventures on the Westfield and Deerfield river. Here are some great moments from the past season to get you pumped for the next one. Thanks again for following and supporting my love to teach others how to catch fish! See you in 2016!

Swift River • Its almost over

This past Sunday I headed down to the Swift for a bit. I found myself feeling the first real chill of December with the high being around 38 degrees. The brookies have checked out for the season. They had a good run but retreated downriver for the winter. Still lots of rainbows around and even some browns. I was using a fly that I created for the Swift that is a hybrid of a soft hackle stonefly with a little bit of copper for the abdomen and olive dubbing for the thorax. Throw in some dyed elk hair for a little tail and voila. This little beauty can fool some big fish on the Swift. The overfished pretentious trout that can be found in the “Y” pool don’t really dig it but I don’t really dig them either. Win-win. As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, overfished spots are not my destination. Sight fishing is my game. I want to see my fly and usually stay away from the size 22 flies with a strike indicator. Say what you will about the success rate of strike indicators. But lets be honest – its a bobber. A sleek, agile bobber but a bobber non the less.

If you’re going to use a strike indicator for those picky fish check out the New Zealand Strike Indicator. There’s no other way in my opinion. This thing is so well designed and easy to use its silly. Here is a link to check it out: https://vimeo.com/63412360  

Anyway, several swift bows took my hybrid design and I had a blast catching these hogs. Three where pushing 18 inches and I saw a swift river monster brown cruising around. One day. The catch and release close date is upon us and soon the swift will be flooded with people catching and keeping all that they can. Above RT 9 will be the only safe haven. It was a great season and its not totally over yet! Keep fishing.

Cheers,

Grant

Swift River Update

I headed out to the Swift river today to do a little pre-birthday fly fishing. It was 56 degrees on the Swift and the fish were everywhere. Oh, and so were the fisherman. I had to get away from the crowds so I headed to some of my favorite spots that not to many people know about. The brook trout population is solid right now. Lots of brookies ranging into the 12 inch mark. I hooked up with some amazing rainbows that went for my custom stonefly-bugger hybrid. Its a  strange fly but it does the trick. The water level is a little low but the fish don’t seam to mind. Above Rt 9 is a little like a circus. So many different characters all going after the same fish. Its a little disheartening seeing so many people casting at petrified trout but there are worse things I guess. I recommend having your own adventure and hiking downstream where the water is a little more exciting with fallen trees and eager brook trout. I landed sixteen fish today so all around a pretty phenomenal outing.

What made this trip a particularly good was catching the trio. I always love it when I catch brookies, rainbows and browns together. What a great thing. I also saw a school of some of the largest brown trout I’ve ever seen. In 18 years of fly fishing these hogs took it. One of them could have been 10 lbs. Unfortunately I spooked the school and they took off… Dammit.  I won’t say where I was but there are some true monsters in the Swift. These fish are incredibly smart and picky. You are most likely to see them at dusk charging at small brookies. If you do see one just watch it for a little while to see what the fish’s temperament is. Is it hitting small flies on the surface? Is the fish aggressively attacking small brookies? Plan your attack! If you see that the fish is after bait fish – throw on a streamer and hold on. Keep searching and you might hook up with one. As for me Ill tell you when I do. Keep fishing, the seasons not over yet!!!

Cheers,

Grant

 

Floyd VA • Burkes Fork

During the week of Thanksgiving my wife and I headed down to Floyd Virginia, one of our favorite places in the world. We lived there for two years before relocating to Western Mass. I managed to sneak away with some friends of mine to Burkes Fork for some post Thanksgiving fly fishing.  Burkes Fork is a small river that meanders through various open cow pastures. Shadowing the river is Buffalo Mountain, which can be seen from almost anywhere on the fields. Its a beautiful spot. The fishing can be hit or miss depending on the time of year or the amount of rainfall in any given week. We lucked out and caught it on a good day. Native browns and rainbows all day long. If you haven’t been to Floyd VA make the trip its a great small town based around mountain music, craft goods, good music and great people. Oh and the fishing’s not bad either… So much to be thankful for.

Cheers,

Grant