Tuesday, June 26, 2012

flloating the deerfield

sam and i had a great float on the deerfield river in massachusetts last week. we signed on with harrison anglers, run by the brothers, tom and dan, who operate several drifts boats on the deerfield daily. dan was our guide and he had to work pretty hard to turn the day around after a slow start in the morning ... after the water from the dam release caught up with us and we switched to stripping streamers, the fish cooperated and the afternoon was great!
we lost count after a while, (always a good sign), but on the way home we figured between the two of us we caught more than fifteen, probably less than 20 good, energetic and feisty rainbows. most were wild fish which the guide could identify at a glance from the stocked fish the state provides..

at one point around 2:00, sam caught three good fish in 5 minutes, anchored in the same spot. the front of the boat is usually the best seat.
the deerfield drains a huge area, from stratton mouintain in vermont to the connecticut river in shelburne falls. there are, i think, 9 flood control dams along the way and on the +/- 10 miles that we floated, not a single private residence and only one state campground with camping and one with some cabins. aside from the tubers, kayakers, and rafters, it was a very remote and wild seeming river.
'good shoulders' on this one ...
i caught my share though

beautiful, healthy fish ...
we got out and walked for a minute while dan ran the rapids. it wasn't dangerous, but i think there must have been some insurance issue.

and dan discussed the 'tube hatch' with us, a novel theory to me. he says if the fish are just lounging around and not eating, when a raft or tuber goes by they get all excited and defensive, and hit your fly with a vengeance, which, in fact, seemed to be the case. we caught fish while folks were floating all around us.
probably more pictures than you needed to get the idea but i have to put them somewhere where i can find em when i need them ... harrison anglers; you can't go wrong.

1 comment:

Brian O. said...

Looks a great time! I was rafting that river in one of those blue rafts with my son's Boy Scout Troop a few weeks ago! We saw the fishing frames and I was a little jealous, wishing I could be fishing. Our guide knew the outfitter/guides and talked about two brothers who used to guide whitewater rafts and now run fishing expeditions--small world!

I did a complete summersault out of the raft at the Zor Gap rapid and was glad to have a helmet and PFD. I managed to hang on to the raft the entire time, which surprised our guide, but letting go seemed like a really bad idea! The rafting company has a photographer stationed so you can buy photos later and they show me two legs straight up in the air! You were smart to walk around and avoid joining the "swim team".