Ben Ehrhardt knows well the Quinapoxet, and I’m glad he is willing to write some guest posts to share his knowledge. Thank you, Ben, for your insights and generosity! Here is his first post:
The Quinapoxet is a wonderful river that doesn’t get fished too hard (except for right after stocking), and it holds trout all year long. It does get warm and low in the summer, but there are deep holes that the trout hold in. There are native brookies all throughout this river and tales of wild browns, but I think they are mostly gone.
Once the river gets stocked and the fish spread out, this river offers miles of productive fly fishing. The spots highlighted in an earlier blog post on this site are all very productive. IMO, the stretch above the dam at Wachusett at the end of River Road in West Boylston, and the confluence of Trout Brook and the Quinapoxet in Holden, are two of the better spots.
If you park where River Road enters Wachusett, you can fish above or below the dam. Below the dam follows the Wachusett Reservoir rules. It opens when the Reservoir does and closes at the end of November.
Below the dam, you can catch salmon and huge reservoir trout, the water there is pumped in from Quabbin, and it stays cool all summer. Fall can be fantastic there if you hit it right.
Above the dam is open all year, and you can follow the river down River Road or cross the river and hike along the rail trail. There is a nice spot about a quarter mile down River Road, with some nice stretches of water and a nice pool above the stretch. If you follow the river up to the Route 190 bridge, there are cold springs that dump into the river and keep it cool all summer. There are brookies that hold up there in the summer along with stocked trout.
The other area I want to mention now is the Trout Brook/Quinapoxet confluence. There is a pull-off spot along Trout Brook in Holden. Just follow the brook down to the Quinapoxet and you will see a deep pool with a down tree in it. Trout hold in that pool all year long.
After fishing the pool you can head up or downstream. Both are very productive with nice pools and stretches perfect for nymphing. If you head downstream you will soon reach another productive pool, and about a half mile down, there is a walking bridge that goes over the river. Starting at this bridge and down is some of the best fishing in this river. There are nice runs for nymphing and for swinging streamers.
There are many other productive spots all along this river, and I can highlight some more later, but the above two spots are worth checking out early in the year.
Your typical pheasant tails and hare’s ears (sizes 14 to 18) will produce, along with stoneflies and some soft hackles. Also, don’t be afraid to throw a black or olive bugger. A secret weapon on this river is a leech pattern in almost any color. I’m not sure why but the trout love these, especially a squirrel leech in black.