I planned on traveling to the Millers on Saturday, but decided to take a detour and ended up fishing the Squannacook River. This stream has been on my radar for a few years, but I haven’t been able to pry myself away from the streams in western mass. I live in the Boston area, so the proximity to this river is appealing. While driving down route 2, I thought of the Squannacook, and decided to save myself driving time and go check it out.
I arrived at the Bertozzi wildlife management area in Groton, and pulled into the dirt parking lot. It’s a short walk down to the stream, and I was happy to see that the flows seemed to be at a good level. The water was surprisingly cold. When I arrived, there were a few other fly fishermen in the area. One was fishing the pool to my left, and another was upstream in the riffle section. I decided to fish the lower riffle area, and had minimal luck. I tied on a stone fly imitation with a flashy midge as the dropper. I had one nice take and a short fight with a decent sized fish.
After fishing the sections to the left, I decided to move up stream over the small waterfall. Here there is a slower moving section of water that is a bit deeper than the area below the falls. I tight lined this stretch with a two nymph set up. I remembered a fly that I have found to work in darker freestone streams, and that fly did the trick here as well. I hooked a brown and quickly brought it to my net. Not a monster brown trout by any means, but I was happy not to be skunked on my first trip to the Squannacook.
After a few hours of fishing, I was ready to call it a day. The Squannacook river is tricky because the water is dark and it’s a freestone with many loose boulders. You have to be mindful of your step, and I almost tumbled into the river a few times. There are a lot of water features to be aware of and the depths change quickly. I’d recommend having studs on your boots, or carrying a wading staff. I put these cheap wading boot studs on my boots last spring, and haven’t regretted it! My guess is that this steam gets hit hard by catch and keep fisherman after a stocking. It was stocked a month before I fished it, and it seemed like the fishing had slowed down. Fishing the Squannacook reminds me a lot of the Quinapoxet River in Holden, MA. It has a neighborhood stream atmosphere, and seems to draw a lot of attention after a stocking. If I lived closer, I’d probably be at this stream regularly, but for me it’s worth the extra commute time to go to a more western stream with a larger population of holdover and wild trout.