It’s been a challenging winter, and I’m very much looking forward to spring. Apologies for my lack of posting. Call it a combination of acclimating to a new job, family obligations, and a generally tough winter for fishing.
I made it out many times, but slow days and skunkings kept me from writing posts. I’ll make it up by sharing my favorite fly to fish on the Swift!
Most of my winter outings have been spent on the Farmington and Swift. Most outings have been under four-fish days, and with one or two exceptions, all outings have yielded less than five fish to hand for the day.
The Farmington finally seems to be heating up. My last trip brought seven fish to hand, with the nicer specimens slipping the hook before hitting the net. My last trip there was a couple weeks ago, and nymphs were most productive for me despite a handful of Caddis coming off the water.
The Swift has provided for a few fun outings when I couldn’t make the drive down to the Farmy, but Swift fishing since the waters rose has been challenging to say the least.
The Swift is a relatively featureless river, meaning that high water makes access very challenging. It basically becomes a ditch and any flows over 350 CFS makes wading and access pretty challenging. Add the usual Swift traffic, and I’ve found shared access to decent holes to be particularly challenging.
When the salmon in the river were the talk of the town, this was probably the most frustrating time to fish the Swift with such high-flow access challenges. Still, there were some great days on the water with beautiful fish to hand. Below are some of the salmon I was lucky enough to take on both streamers and nymphs.
I’d promised to unveil a fly that I love to fish on the Swift. This has produced well on other rivers as well. Try any color combinations that you like, I certainly have my favorites.
The principle is a simple scud without the scud backing that I personally find frustrating to work with. I call it the Burn Back Scud (real creative, I know)…. It’s just a dubbing tail, a thick dubbing noodle body, burned with a lighter over the top to lay flat, and coated in resin to get a flat-back scud effect.
I then pick the legs out with a bodkin to give it a buggier look. The picture below is one of my earliest editions; it used beads and a thinner dubbing noodle. Funny enough, I looked through all my pictures and can’t find a new version. Guess I still keep this pattern pretty secret. Think you’ll get the idea…. If you have questions, reach out through Instagram and maybe you’ll find me in a sharing mood!
Striper migration is well on its way. Trout, both stockies and holdovers, are starting to chew less selectively again as our water temps begin to rise. Hope all reading this find some time to get out and enjoy this changing weather soon!