Good People - Good Water - Good Fish
I left Rhode Island late in the evening after a night in torrential rain at my Rhode Island campsite and slept in a seedy motel outside Farmington, Connecticut. The following day I drive up roads following the crazy beautiful winding Farmington River across to the Massachusetts side of the Farmington. My career commitments made me not stop and fish the Farmington, but I drove all the spots I researched, which gave me a complete picture of the area. The Farmington has to be one of the best rivers I have ever seen.
I stopped into a coffee shop to do my conference calls with my mask on, it is May 2021, and Covid is still on. Just outside the coffee shop is another trout stream. I researched the East Branch Housatonic River, but there was no time to fish again.
After work, I drove to my campsite Mohawk Trail Campground (42.63823, -72.93628). I was hoping this would be the best campsite as my site is right on the Cold River; I was not disappointed. The campground was almost empty, with it being the early season and Covid still in place.
The Cold River has large boulders and clear water. Locals and state forest rangers informed me that a big flood took a lot of trout cover away, and recent rain flushed the stock trout from the stream three weeks ago downstream to the Deerfield River. However, I fished my first evening in what should have been good trout water into silence. After releasing so many other good fish while traveling in the Northeast, I wanted a trout dinner.
I got some advice from a park ranger on fishing the Deerfield River, the Cadilac of rivers in the area. The Deerfield is a tailwater fishery with many dams. The water generation is consistent and starts in the late morning, with water level drops again in the evening. The following day I drove up to the dam, Lower Reservoir Bear Swamp, around 9 am, just before a day's conference calls. I fished just downstream with no luck. The river was starting to rise, and I had no chance. I felt out of my element as Deerfield is a wide river, and it could take several days to figure it out, which I didn't have as I was working during the day. However, in the following days, I did see serval cars where I was fishing, so I knew it was a good spot.
On my last day, as I was getting very nervous about not catching a trout in Massachusetts, I researched and decided to fish above the Lower Reservoir Bear Swamp, hoping the river would be smaller. The place is Dunbar Brook Trailhead below Deerfield River Reservoir. Unfortunately, I had a two-hour break between meetings and a 20-minute drive to Dunbar Brook around noon. So I've primarily been doing my calls in a pullout on the Deerfield River (Sunpike Rest Area 42.63599, -72.90589) with significant bandwidth near Charlemont, even though I never fished the spot.
Dunbar Brook parking lot (42.70429, -72.95017) was perfect as there was not a single soul there, plus there was a trail down to the Deerfield. Following the path while climbing over trees and large boulders, I arrived at the river. It was just like a Colorado stream. Clearwater with colored granite boulders, tall pines, and mountains peering up.
Once in the river, I was at home as the river was not as comprehensive as the lower sections, and large boulders created holes. I found two holes right away. I laid my Yellow Stimulator and Red Copper John into the cold water with lots of boulder climbing. The water was deep in narrow channels, there had to be a trout, and there was! I nailed a good size brown trout on my red nymph!
I caught two more fish, a Brook, and another Brown, before heading back down to my rest stop to start up work again.