A Fat Swift River Rainbow


One of the more fun recent moments on the Swift involved landing this Fat Albert-esque 17″ rainbow. I was a few hundred yards above the Rt. 9 bridge.

A sudden thunderstorm was rapidly closing in. A wind started to howl, ominous dark clouds were bearing down, and the trees started to sway back and forth. The thunder became louder and louder.

I was walking back to the dirt parking lot, double time. Then, I saw a few fish and decided to make a few final casts. Back into the river.

One fish took. This one. I saw flash and felt an incredible tug. Gary from Easthampton happened to be walking by at the time. “Nice fish,” he said. “I think three pounds.” After some back and forth, and some coaching from Gary, into the net went the fish. The wind was blowing much harder.

Rain started to fall, and so, I took a few quick photos, released the fish, and scrambled out of the river.

The skies opened up 20 yards away from my car. I was walking back with Bill from Ludlow, and we marveled at how big the Swift trout can be. Other rivers have big fish, but the ‘bows in the Swift are unique in terms of size and sheer numbers.

We were drenched in just a few seconds. A good way to end the day.


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8 thoughts on “A Fat Swift River Rainbow

  1. Hey Guys – love the blog, especially the teaching/learning aspects! Looking to get out this Saturday afternoon/evening – given current flows and conditions, where would you recommend? Have experience on Millers and Swift but open to anything. Also open to pond fly fishing for Largies or Smallies. Coming from Walpole, MA. Thanks!

    1. I hear the Millers flows are deathly low right now. And, I've never had good luck at the Westfield during August. So, I'd hit the Swift. I focus mostly on the stretch north of Rt. 9, but it's pretty full of anglers, usually, unless you arrive early (some folks arrive at 4 am or 5 am). Not sure if south of Rt. 9 is less busy, but I hear there are plenty of fish there, too.

    2. Thanks for tips. Ya – Swift is great, but so hard to fool those fish even on the 7x and 9x. If you were to go for Bass on the fly, is there a shore fishing spot you could recommend.

    3. Plenty of bass in Walpole. Haven't fished that way in a couple years, but at least a few of the ponds there have them. The name that comes to mind is Diamond Pond, but that may be wrong. Look around on Google Maps, or you probably already know the ponds around there.

      But just drive to knew of the ponds in town, and take a few casts. If you see other people fishing ask what they are going for. Bass are everywhere. At least a few, if not all, of those blue smudges in Walpole have bass. Good luck!

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