The snow has finally stuck and most of the rivers here in Western Massachusetts have mellowed out. The fish have begun their lathargic feeding pace and its time to slow down and regroup – tie some flies and sip on some bullet rye whiskey by a warm fire. Maybe in two weeks…
The Swift is still on. I headed out there last weekend and had one of the more productive days I’ve had in a while. This time of year is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of patience and moving around to find the larger rainbows that are still eager to take a fly. If you’re going to head out this month bring the right gear. Just a little discomfort can make your trip miserable if you don’t plan accordingly.
The trout are also very picky this time of year. I find that most of the fish in the Swift go for flies with brighter colors in the winter months. Orange cone headed flies and anything with some red or pink tends to get their attention. The brook trout especially dig those patterns, they are hard to find but worth the search. If you tie your own flies get creative and tie up some Wet Red Tags with a gold beaded head. Soft hackle is your best friend on this river especially olive hackle. Grouse flies work as well, use orange and pink floss for the body and you’ll do just fine.
We have some more time to play on this river before the freeze of winter sets in. Lets make the most of it. See you out there!