A Warm and Breezy March day at the Swift

A Warm and Breezy March day at the Swift

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to go fish the Swift river for the day.  I focused my efforts in the catch and release area above RT 9, and caught several rainbows and hooked one big brook trout that escaped me as I was bringing it in.

Swift River Ma Rainbow TroutWhile I prefer to fish below the bridge, the fishing regulations currently make the river open to catch and keep from the RT 9 bridge to Cady Lane.  The catch and release regulations only apply from July 1-December 31 in this section, and the river seems to be running low on fish until you get to the area where the hatchery pipe enters the river.  The hatchery pipe area always seems to be loaded more with anglers than fish, so I try to avoid it unless it’s a quiet day.  Since it was March 8, and the temperatures were at 55 degrees, the Swift was packed!

Out of all the trout caught, there was one I was particularly happy about.  I’ve seen this trout many times and it holds in a very specific stretch of water underneath an overhanging tree.  It has a definitive red stripe along it’s side, and I’ve tried to convince it to take a fly a few times.   I assume it is the same fish every time, but it’s possible there’s a look alike. This stretch of water is tricky to fish because there is almost no casting room, and the tree hangs about 4 feet above the small hole where the fish holds.  Too much arch to your cast, and you’re tree bound.   Not to mention the water is crystal clear, and the fish can see you from a mile away.

I walked by this stretch and almost considered not even casting to the fish there.  Later in the day, I was making my way downstream and thought I’d give it a try.  I kneeled down on one knee, made a bow and arrow like cast to flip the rig upstream and somehow managed a perfect drift.  On the very first cast, and the fish was on! (It took my favorite fall fly which I believe tends to work on crisp 50 degree days)  I quickly brought it to the net, released it, and felt a sense of relief and surprise.  It’s been said a million times, but presentation is so crucial.  While it can be easy to succumb to feelings of pride; I always leave those moments feeling like a lucky dog.  And may we all have our day.

Swift River rainbow trout catch and release
The Treehugger himself

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