TL:DR: The Millers River is great for new anglers. For the “best flies,” read below and click here.
If you’re new to fly fishing, the Millers is a good choice. There are many easy-to-pick spots with convenient access. The river is heavily stocked in the spring and gets a dose, usually, in the fall, too. There are many spots published online (see below). You don’t need a guide.
But, do track the river’s flows, as they are highly variable. Here is a chart of water flows since November: It went from between 60 cfs to 3,000 cfs. I prefer anywhere from 80 cfs to 400 cfs.
I’ve been there when it’s running high, and it’s downright dangerous. When there’s a drought, as was the case last summer, the water is skinny and hot. So, timing is key.
Also, the river heats up quickly, and so, I tend to avoid it once the summer sun really kicks in. I want to give the trout a break.
I tend to nymph the Millers and have repeated success with anchor flies such as Frenchies, Walt’s/Sexy Walt’s, and Perdigones.
For dropper or trailer flies, I go with small Pheasant Tails, Pheasant Tail Variants, or a Caddis Emerger.
Honestly, I’ve never found the fish at the Millers to be that picky. I’ve had good luck throwing streamers, wets and dry-droppers, too, with all sorts of flies.
The Millers River Fishermen’s Association has a guide (more here). It is extremely good. Moreover, the Millers River Trout Unlimited chapter has some really good suggestions for access points (link here).
Here are locations that consistently work for me:
HOLTSHIRE BRIDGE (map coordinates)
This is a major stocking spot. Easy parking and easy access. When flows are “normal,” trout are there just below the head of the run and at a deep seam next to the fast water if you fish it from the north side of the river. They’re also in the slower bubbly water at the bottom of the run. I’ve had good luck with tightlining, as well as fishing wets and dries. Mass DFW tends to stock this early in the spring. And, if flows are right, they seem to stock in time for Memorial Day and Columbus Day. The schedule is here.
BEARSDEN (map coordinates)
You go down a dirt road and eventually find a dirt lot. When you park and go towards the river, you’ll see a very nice pool there, next to the red house. I’ve landed brown trout there during some afternoon hatches. It’s wonderful to see trout rising and sipping. There’s nice water both above and below the pool. I’ve been the only angler there when I’ve fished this area. You can spend many outings exploring the vicinity. It’s very pretty.
WENDELL DEPOT (map coordinates)
There is a small dirt lot where you can park. You can then choose to go downriver and fish a large pool. Since there have been quite a few anglers there when I’ve gone, I usually choose to go up river. There’s great water for both dries and nymphs. Some spots are really ideal for tightline nymphing, as there are long runs with some good seams. One memorable autumn day, I landed quite a few browns and rainbows on dries and induced takes with nymphs. The river conditions and flows were perfect.
So, I hope these suggestions get you out there. The Millers is a great river. Have fun!
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