Millers River: Stocked and Ready

I spent two half-days fishing the Millers. The river is at a decent level, and loads of fish were around, both newly-stocked and ones that survived the summer.

I landed dozens each time. It was particularly fun to see some very dark rainbows. I wonder how long it takes for trout to shed their silvery fresh-from-the hatchery look. Some of the rainbows were quite hefty and the browns were about 10″ or so.

It was refreshing to swing streamers. Swinging soft hackles also worked. And, I also tightlined the usual small flies. My last few fish were caught while throw dry-droppers over riffles. Bugs started popping in earnest around 12 noon, and so, I don’t think there’s a rush to get on the water.

Small and very lightly-weighted streamers worked well. When bugs started to get active, #20 Hare’s Ears and soft hackles did well, both on a dead drift and on a rise after the drift. Small nymphs with chartreuse also rocked, which made sense when I stomach pumped one larger fish and saw green Caddis pupae.

A spin fisherman before dawn did well throwing a tremendously big lure (thunk, flop, splash, etc.). Rapala artillery. Then, when the sun rose, the trout wouldn’t take his lure. The fly anglers caught fish all day, switching flies and methods. I think repeatedly throwing a heavy lure will quickly give trout lockjaw and spook a run/pool. Made me grateful that I learned how to fly fish.

It was good to meet Alex from Boston and an angler from Manchester, NH. Gave Alex some of my flies and was glad to pay it forward. Shared with him my thoughts on why tightlining is a great way to fly fish. At one point, the method let me catch fish every second or third cast.

Alex, call Grady or Torrey at UpCountry. They’re tightlining experts. They have a great Euro-nymphing outfit on their web site (link here). They’ve tested all the Euro rods and recommend the Redington Hydrogen if you’re looking for something that won’t kill the budget.

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8 thoughts on “Millers River: Stocked and Ready

  1. One suggestion regarding a long nymphing rod, make sure to balance the weight properly so you are not wearing out your arm trying to keep the rod tip up. I took mine to the Bears den in Taunton and Scott the owner added weight to the reel to balance it out.

    1. That's a great point. The 10' #2 Syndicate rod I just rigged up balances nicely with my reel. The 11' #3 Sage ESN didn't as much. But, I've been too lazy to add lead wire. Also, I'm trying to keep costs low and will be using the same reel for both the 10' and 11'. But, I've gotten used to fishing the 11' #3 a little off balance.

    1. Hey, Troy! I was thinking the same thing. The fish have to go somewhere since the hatcheries have to make room for the younger cohorts. So, I suspect they're really concentrating the fish in the few stockable rivers and the ponds/lakes.

  2. Thanks for the flies and the pointers, Joe! Was great meeting and getting to know you! I will confess I just ordered the New Zealand strike indicator for a more subtle presentation, but as soon as I tire of that I will try my hand at euro nymphing (I see myself trying it out by next spring the latest, looks so fun and incredibly productive).

    1. Indicators have rarely worked for me at the Swift. The fish usually spit out the fly before the indicator moves. You could try it on a few of the faster runs, but even there, it has been hit or miss for me.

    2. Wow great! I was a little skeptical about buying it after reading some mixed reviews but after reading your post I feel much better. I bought with the slower longer runs in mind on the swift, hope I get to try them out this weekend! I'll be getting out there on Saturday again, my fiancé may join as well. I think she prefers the swift but maybe I can convince her to hit the millers with me again.

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