These flies work, and these rivers produce. Links are below.
Note that these are all amply-stocked waters that many already visit and about which much information already has been published.
I’ve found that many rivers are sub-par. I track in my fishing journal what fly patterns work on which waters.
So, the links below are a curated summary of flies and rivers. Trust me, I’ve spent many hours checking out various rivers only to find that they suck.
Of course, “your mileage may vary.” There are many flies and rivers out there with which I do not have experience. So much water, so many patterns!
But, I am not linking to waters or flies that have not, over repeated attempts, produced.
So, I’m happy to share what I’ve learned.
- Deerfield: nymphs, dries
- Farmington: nymphs, dries, streamers
- Millers: nymphs
- Swift: nymphs, dries, streamers
- Westfield: nymphs/streamers
DIY FISHING SPOTS
- The Farmington is my favorite. Big browns, great dry-fly action and plenty of room, usually. People hit the “glory pools,” but there are plenty of fish at other spots, if you’re willing to walk
- The Swift River around Rt. 9, including the Y-Pool, and the Hatchery Pipe Area are easy-access areas for which you do not need a guide. The area below Bondsville is productive and faces much less pressure. Legendary angler Gary Metras has a special presentation on winter fly fishing at the Swift, complete with detailed fly recommendations
- The easy-to-access and heavily-stocked Millers River
- The Squannacook’s easily accessible spots and the Peter Bertozzi Area
- The Nissitissit has been hit-or-miss for me but some anglers swear by it
- The Swift River’s East Branch is a hidden gem
- The most beautiful river in Massachusetts, the Westfield East Branch River
- The Quinapoxet River is convenient for many in metro Boston. Two spots in particular are very good
- In southern NH, the Souhegan offers easy access
- For a weekend trip, it’s tough to beat the Connecticut River “Trophy Stretch” in Pittsburg, NH
- The Willimantic offers a fly-fishing only stretch
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15 thoughts on “Best Flies and DIY Spots: Easy Links”
Hey, recently stumbled upon this blog and absolutely love it!
Please don’t take this as a critique: I run an ad-tech company and the clipped 300×250 ad in the right sidebar has been driving me nuts (I’m slightly anal retentive). If you change the ‘padding-left’ attribute to 6px for the
aside id=”custom_html-4″> element, you can center it and it will look a lot better!
Thanks again for the content, can’t tell you how much it’s helped exploring local rivers near Boston.
Appreciate the feedback. Will take a look. FWIW, I just followed the instructions for AdSense and cut and paste whatever code they had generated. Hopefully they will have someone like you on their team one day!
Yeah, it’s the element wrapping the AdSense tag that’s cropping the ad itself, as it’s just too narrow and the padding is too wide. No matter where you put a banner ad, as long as its wrapped in an iFrame it will always retain static dimensions and just crush everything else around it, so usually you have to make some accommodations in your site’s HTML to make sure it’ll play nice. Reason #236 why banners kinda stink.
Oh well, not a big deal, but figured I’d point out an easy fix in case any of your other readers have site-design OCD like me.
Thanks again, slung some streamers on the Deerfield this weekend on recommendations from your site and was able to turn some heart-stopping fish! None in the net unfortunately, but soon enough!
Hey Ben, I tried the Deerfield too this weekend off Zoar Rd. A couple fish were landed in the short time I was there. My friend who was with me broke off 2 large rainbows on back to back casts so don’t feel too bad!
Ashu, I think I ran into you when you guys first got to the river at the pullout about a mile off of Rt. 2. You were the guys from UNH, right? Good to hear you got into some fish!
I moved a BIG brown with a big articulated sculpin in some fast water fishing from that first pullout, but he didn’t hit it unfortunately. In retrospect I was too stubborn and kept fishing huge flies in hopes of landing a whale, and only as the sun was setting did I finally give in and switch to something more digestable, which is when I got an actual hit. Nice mid-sized brown, but he hit at an awkward time in the swing and I couldn’t set it properly.
LMK next time you hit up the Deerfield, love that river, especially now with everything else being kinda blown out.
Yup, that was us! Thanks for suggesting that spot earlier, it was definitely worth it for sure! We were nymphing with pheasant tails and the usual small stuff but further up, it started to look more and more like streamer water. I’ll probably get out on the Deerfield once more this year so I’d like to meet up
Thanks for the plug! F&W shocked the Swift Wednesday from Bench Pool (bottom of stairs) up to the Hemlock Pool, skipped over the Y-Pool and shocked the Bubbler Brook. They stocked Thursday. This is the 3rd shocking they do since June. I haven’t seen results of the shocking on their state’s website. Has anyone? F&W said they would be posting the results. I suspect the state folks, after receiving numerous complaints about stocking, especially in the Swift, are trying to figure out what is happening to the fish they stock: where they are and how many are left. Fished the Y-Pool today. Got 2 of the newly stocked guys on black woolly buggers. All the new stockers have their adipose fins clipped. You can see a white spot on their backs as they cruise here and there. The 3 other trout were all leftovers and were caught on my foam ant pattern (missed about 8 rises to it and dropped a few others on the ant). About 25 folks fishing from the Rt. 9 bridge upstream. Yes, crowded, but there is some room to fit in if you are polite about it.
Thanks for the report!