September at the Swift

September at the Swift

A couple of weeks ago I was out at the swift on a Sunday.  September and October are my possibly my favorite months for fly fishing in New England.  I’m especially looking forward to October.  This afternoon, I only had a short amount of time to fish, so I walked to the area down from the hatchery pipe.  The brook trout in this area are finally wising up, and won’t eat just any old dry fly that comes their way.  They see a lot of flies in that area, so presentation and fly selection is key.  Aside from the y-pool, I think the pool down below the hatchery pipe may be one of the most popular spots on the swift river.

When I got there, there was someone fishing the riffles just above the pool.  I’m not really one to criticize anyone’s technique, but this angler was using an bobber indicator and setting the hook like the goal was to rip the trout’s head off.  I’ve never seen anything like it, and I couldn’t help but wonder about the health of the fish after that encounter.  I know we all have that moment of excitement when noticing a strike, but a calm and quick rod lift is all that you really need.  I used to miss half of my strikes when first starting out, because I’d see the strike and pull the fly away from them. (end rant)

I started out my day nymphing the run leading into the pool with the downed tree.  I caught a couple of small brook trout on a size 24 top secret midge, but there wasn’t much action.  I switched to a Size 22 Griffith’s gnat, and tied on a trailing size 30 midge that I tie with black thread and a bit of white or gray CDC for wings.  I tied on about 7″ of tippet through the hook eye of the griffith’s and put the smallest microshot I had above the size 30 to sink the midge in the water column.  I watched the gnat to gauge where my flies were, and sure enough, a rainbow came up and grabbed the size 30.  It was a smaller rainbow than I usually see in this area, probably about 12″.

swift river ma rainbowI kept fishing the dry with the midge for another 30 minutes or so, and then moved upstream into the faster water where I switched to a two nymph rig with split shot. I caught a few huge rainbows in this section, and even saw a good sized brown that was actively dodging all of my presentations.  The fly of the day for me was a tan soft hackle I tie in a size 22-24.   I tie up a ton of these and would consider selling them at very reasonable rates if anyone is interested. You can reach me via email at  Simply put, these flies work, and you’ll soon have people asking what you’re using.  Here are a few more fish I ended up catching that Sunday:

Had trouble getting this one into the net!



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