Rosemary and the kid's went to see her mom and sister in DC this weekend (yes, my wife is amazing - she drove to DC with 2 2 and 3/4 year olds!!!)... So, after very busy work days the past few, I took this AM and shot out to the closest consistent year round trout fishery - the swift river in Belchertown. This stream can be maddening. It recieves massive pressure daily thanks to the fly fishing only and catch and release rules (in it's upper section), and becuase it flows out of the quabbin reservoir... which means even on a 15 degree January day, the water is rarely below 36 - at least up towards the bottom release dam.
As a result of all that pressure, and very sterile environment, the stream has some really picky trout, that seem to enjoy smaller flies all the time. The good news though, is that small midges and scud patterns always work... and in the summer terrestrials become a welcome change of pace. There are a few hatches, and the sulfer hatch in particular can be pretty darn good... Your just not going to see as wide a variety of life here as you would on a freestone.
Any way, I managed to get out today and had a blast. I caught several... but the "most fun" were the fish pictured here which all "fell" for prototype scud's i've been tinkering with in natural hares mask and a funky combo of yellow and orange dubbing.
These three all came from the stretch shown below. I didnt check the gauge, but it felt lower than normal... I am wondering if they lowered the flow to reduce flooding odds downstream since there has been a lot of snow melt recently and solid rains as well... you can sense how clear it is though when looking at this picture. that log that is seen under water on the first pic is 2 feet down... and looks like its 2 inches down!
The section to the right of this log was my buggaboo today. I caught one there on a big scud with a flourecent yellow belly (no kidding - saw it in a recent fly fishing mag and so far, every time I've come to the swift I've caught a fish on it - despite being about 2X larger than any scud you would find here!)... But I must have missed 5 more. Well, in reality, I missed the same 1-2 fish about 5X... but it was super fun to try and catch em!
This is the view upstream. You can barely see the "powerline" pool (really a run). I love fishing hoppers there in the summer.
It was a long and cold winter here. Many deer died, at the hands of coyotes... or said better, coy-wolves... given the "eastern" coyotes we have here are actually a wolf coyote hybrid. This deer was either killed on the gravel bar, or a coyote dragged this part of the carcas here... given how much there is... I'd say it died in this spot. Nature is amazing... beautiful and calm 1 minute, life and death the next.
Tomorrow I'm hoping to get out on the trails finally...