The fish were laughing at me today [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: The fish were laughing at me today

John Desjardins
08-07-2001, 10:01 PM
I spent today chasing trout & smallmouth around central Mass. It was one of those days that Dorf could have dreamed up.

I started out by the railroad bridge on the Miller's river in Erving. A nice deep pool with a fish occassionally rising splashily to large mayflies. At first I was fishing confidently, and caught a small smallmouth, followed up by a 15" rainbow, the the fun began. After replacing the fly the bow destroyed I looked at my backcast and saw my fly box floating away fifty feet downstream. Leaving the rod on a rock I ran after the box and just as I reached it tripped and went for swim #1. This was an omen of things to come. Enjoying the cooling effect of the water I started fishing again and lost the last of the tan extended body comparaduns that the fish liked on a hookset. After that nothing worked, and I proceeded to chase the rises around the pool until I fell in a second time and decided it was time for lunch.

After lunch I headed over to the Swift river, below route nine. One step into the river and I wished I had put on the neoprenes, rather than wet wading. I waded out to the center and started fishing the edges and got one bite, but suffered from a numb brain among other parts and couldn't set the hook. After I dropped the fly box in the water again I realized that I wasn't going to catch anything while out in the water. I was ready to give up and started to walk back to the car. Along the way I caught a brookie and then spotted one of those nice swift river fish that taunts you by repeatedly coming up and inspecting your fly and saying "Fake". Nothing I did would get this fish to bite. I switched flies from a #18 to a #22 went to 7.5X Fluro carbon, and even tried the opposite and tried a meaty mouthfull of a helegramite and still nothing worked on this fish. Finally I gave up. next time I'll get him.

08-08-2001, 12:02 PM

I live in West Boylston and have done some fishing on the Swift River. I have experienced the same thing. Was that fish feeding on something so small you could not even see what it was feeding on. This old timer I know calls that the fisherman's curse. ;-)


08-10-2001, 05:53 AM
John, have to rub this in...I had posted this on ffsw yesterday Spent the day out on the Swift yesterday. :D

What a fantastic day on the Swift today, got there around 9 am, was greeted
with the loud sound of water from the parking lot...WATER RUNNING...YES!
Spent an hour or so messing around with the wild brookies in the bubbler, lotsa
nice little guys released for another day. Y pool had one person in it all
morning, I jumped in and started casting dries, man i'll tell you I ain't never
seen so many fish go to look at a fly, turn away, then turn back and look again
in my life! Finally got a nice 16"er on a size 18 BWO, niiiice fish! Water level
dropped some around noontime. Left the Y pool at 2pm, went down to the
hatchery and I couldn't buy even a bump down there! Went upriver to another
spot that someone-Joe? told me about and pulled a nice 10" wild brookie, 3-4
small wild brookies, 8-10 mini rainbows between 2"-7", and a monster 14" bow
outta that pool. I nearly sh!! when I hooked that last fish as all the other ones
in the pool were all small, and I hadn't expected anything bigger I was
shocked by the amount of fish in that pool! This area was no bigger than
20x15' across.
Today was another 3wt day, perfect size rod for the areas I fished, and some
of these guys on dries were a hoot! I lost the biggest fish of the day to a 8x
tippet break, he was easily a 2lb-15-16" rainbow, that was a bummer but it
was good for a few heart races when he took the fly and did 2 nice tail walks.
No browns hooked today, but saw lotsa big ones!
It was a real pleasant day on the water, temp was 54 deg in the water so
once you got in above your knees it really cooled you down. The entire lower
river was covered in fog this afternoon, at times I had to strain to see the
strike indicator only 20' away. It seemed that the water level came up again
this afternoon so that probably caused the fog. Niiice and cool
Saw the smallest mayfly in my life today too, it landed on my hand as I was
going into the river, size 28, reddish/maroon eyes and grey colored
wings/body-think it was blue wing olive but so small I couldn't tell! Neat! Gotta
try tying one of them

John Desjardins
08-10-2001, 08:49 AM

Although it was my first thought, I don't think that going to a small fly was the issue. I got more follows with the size 18, than with the 22 of the same pattern, a blue dun midge with a goose biot body & CDC wing. Switching to a BWO might have kicked the odds in my favor.

I was fishing at Wachusett in West Boyslton last saturday with my son until we got chased off by an afternooon rain. He was in an exploring mood so we covered a lot of ground and found a spot that may be good for smallmouth on the fly. Send me an e-mail if your interested and I'll give you the details.


I saw your post on FFSW and realized how close I had been to success until I went to a smaller size fly. A little dfferent body color was needed. By the time that I got to the Swift, my time on the water was limited and I tempted hypothermia by wet wading. Next time I'll spend a full day and wear the waders. It's surprising how how many people rush by the bubbler stream on the way to the honey hole ;).

08-10-2001, 11:47 AM
I like wet wading there too. On a day like yesterday it's welcomed! But last week when it was cooler I spent 7 hours standing in the river and came out shivering and my legs were beet red :) It's interesting that I musta have smartened alot of fish down by the hatchery, as last week I must have pulled 30 fish outta there, and this week I think I could have chucked my entire fly box at them and they wouldn't have tried to eat it. Move away a bunch and slammed them :D