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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