Winter fishing in the North East? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Winter fishing in the North East?

Dan Emidy
01-23-2008, 02:16 PM
I am new to fly Fishing and i am starting in the winter. I am told it still good to fish in the winter for trout. The waterway i fish the most is a local stream that is stocked every spring. I have been using a #8 Black Wollybugger, #14 Phesant tail #14 green midge thing and a #10 Muddler Minnow. I have only had one hook up and it was on the Wollybugger. I do have an assortment of other flys, but those are what were suggested to me. I am looking for some input.

Also where is the best place to find trout? Riffles, flats, so on?

01-23-2008, 04:10 PM
Only hatches i can think of: little black stone/winter caddis and midges

I have had the most luck in winter with egg patterns and streamers as you mentioned.

Good luck!

01-23-2008, 05:07 PM
Hey Dan,

Most of the streams/rivers where I live (central Ma) are locked in ice right now except for the Swift River in Belchertown which, being a tailwater, is totally ice free and running at a low level. There's been great action over the last month with small (#18), dark emergers. I've seen some taken on the w. buggers that you carry.

Check it out.


Dan Emidy
01-26-2008, 06:56 PM
I went and checked out the river in Belchertown today. I had a lot of fun and i caught my first trout on a fly rod. It was awesome! I met some experienced fishermen and the showed me a lot. One of the guys there saw me catch the fish and told me that it looks like im the one who got hooked, not the fish. I think he was right.
thanks so much,

01-27-2008, 01:04 PM
Congrats on the first trout! The Swift is not easy water to catch fish in so you should feel really good about it.

Winter fishing is pretty slow in general because the fish are cold and don't move very far for a meal. You need to bounce your fly along the bottom and it should move slowly so it stays in the fish's strike zone as long as possible.

As for the best place to find trout, there's a lot of answers to that one:
1. Just after the end of a riffle where the water dumps into a pool.
2. Bends in the river that form pools.
3. In front of and behind boulders, either in riffles or in pools.
4. Along and under undercut banks.
5. In riffles (though not now, only when the water is warmer).
6. In the water just before the start of a riffle.

Basically, you'll find trout wherever there's a drop in the current speed but not somewhere that has no current. It should have a good amount of water that flows next to the spot which equals more food getting washed by the fish.

01-27-2008, 06:58 PM

Good for you.

The advice from the previous post is very worthwhile but the Swift, being a tailwater, changes things a lot. Riffles in the dead of winter are great places to look for trout on the Swift.

Where were you fishing? The section below "the pipe" has been good over the last two months.


01-28-2008, 09:53 AM
A bit off topic....I live just over the Mass border in southwestern NH. I did some exploring in December and came across a nature reserve that the east branch of the Swift River flows through. It is a beautiful spot. I assume Mass fish and game stock this section of the river too. Has anyone fished the east branch of the Swift River which empties into the Quabbin in Petersham? I was thinking of fishing it later this month.

Steve M

Dan Emidy
01-28-2008, 09:55 AM
I was near the where it forks, one half is running, the other part of the fork was frozen. It was kind of wide and there was a foot bridge upstream. I ended up catching him on a #24 nymph. I really liked the place, it was very nice and there was plenty of fishermen there to help me out.

01-28-2008, 06:54 PM
Steve and Dan,

Steve, the East Branch of the Swift is a good spot. It gets stocked and I believe there are runs of landlocks there.

Dan, sounds like you were fishing the "Y" Pool on the main stem below the dam. Good spot that can be difficult.


01-29-2008, 09:32 AM
After several years of mostly focusing on fishing in NH and VT I have turned my attention to Mass, hence my interest in the East branch of the Swift. The Southern New England guide book says that there is a dam just before the Swift enters the Quabbin that prevents the land locked Salmon from moving upstream. Apparently there is a western branch as well that does get a run of landlocked out of the Quabbin. I don't know this first hand because I have not fished either one - yet. I also hope to spend more time on the Deerfield, Miller, and Westfield River this season. All of these are fairly close. I did not realize how many good freshwater fishing locales there was to fish in Mass. Should be fun exploring these spots.

01-29-2008, 03:18 PM

You're right about that dam on the East Branch. I've fished the landlock run on the West Branch of the Swift. 2006 was great with good flows and lots of fish. 2007 was off due to very low flows and a few new beaver dams.

I live and fish on the Millers and it is a great brown trout stream that is REALLY great in the Fall if you like dry fly fishing (who doesn't). Maybe I can give you a tour this Spring.

You said you lived in SW NH. Are you near the Ashuelot? I've passed that river on my way to Brattleboro. Does anyone fish it.


01-29-2008, 05:05 PM
Hi....The Ashuelot is a bit spotty. When you are traveling along 119 toward Brattleboro there are a few good spot. Last fall a friend I got into a few nice browns on #18 midges. In fact my friend caught 1 over 20in. Local governments in concert with a conservation group has done a great job cleaning up the river. 15 years ago a major polluter, a tannery, in winchester finally closed. There is talk of removing a few of the dams. Thanks for the invite. I'd love to hook up with you for some spring fishing on the Miller.

01-30-2008, 03:20 PM
Thanks for the Ashuelot info.
PM me this spring for some time on the Millers.