Fishing Report Swift River March 2017

Swift River Update!  This is a first thanks to John Black, Orvis Peabody.  Thanks JOHN!


Hello Anglers!

This is the first Fly fishing report for the TU Nor’ East chapter on fishing conditions happening around the state. Many of the reports will be on Central and Western MA locations where I guide and fish regularly. I hope these reports will be informative and helpful on your next fishing adventure.

Right now the only river that is fishable is the Swift River which is an excellent tailwater in Central MA that runs under the RT 9 bridge on the border of Belchertown/Ware. They have stocked the river recently however with the freezing temperatures the fish have burrowed away in winter holding spots and are tight on the bottom.

A long indicator rig with an indicator and split shot will get you down to the bottom and small midges have still been producing. In the winter-time the midges will shrink in size and I tend to use anything from a #24-26. Luckily with glimpses of spring and the temperatures on the water starting to warm up slightly the midges have grown in size and a size 20-22 will do the trick. Small BWO emergers and nymphs in #18-24 have also been working well.

Winter caddis and little black stoneflies have appeared on the warmer days although they are not prolific enough to have many fish key in on them. The Little black stones tend to only be found in the lower sections of the river. These insects will only hatch when air temperatures hit 40 degrees + and tend to be in the afternoon when the temps during this time of year are the warmest. I would not expect anything to be coming off anytime soon as the weather forecast for the next week or so look rainy and cold. This does not mean the fish will not bite!! Fishing can still be good.

On my trip last week we caught about 3 or 4 fish and most people had not caught anything! That’s because you need to literally scrape the bottom and get the fly on their nose! If you are not getting bottom 2 out of every 10 or so casts than you are not getting to the fish either!

I am hoping by end of March the other rivers will open up and I will be able to explore the plentiful rivers that offer great trout fishing in the spring. Those days are not far away

Here are some photos from my recent outings! I still have trip availabilities for the spring. Contact me for info!

My guided trip on 3/21 .

We were the only ones hooking into fish cause we were fishing the bottom and were getting decent dead drifts and stayed patient. Approach visible fish slowly. Stealthier approaches result in more fish! We hooked roughly a dozen fish and landed 4 or 5 and took advantage of the warm pockets of temperature that were sporadic throughout the day.

Solo outing on 3/20.

Weather was a lot nicer than it is right now. Big fish can still be found that held over from the fall season! Their color tones have adjusted to that of the river bottom so they are easy to miss and a lot more finicky. Slow down your drifts and approach them very slowly or they will get spooked as they are well conditioned after two seasons (Fall/Winter) to anglers and lines disturbing the water.

Swift River CFS: 49

Swift River Temps: 35-39 F

This trip report brought to you by John Black, Orvis Peabody.  Contact John at his cell # 351-201-0688.  John can also be reached through his email at  JEBLACK at Umass . edu

John Black
Orvis Peabody
210 Andover Street
Peabody MA 01960