deerfieldDeerfield River

The Deerfield River is a tail water that originates in Vermont and flows into Massachusetts. The river is fairly large averaging around 1000 cubic feet per second depending on dam releases. There are times when wading is easier at lower flows generally in the evening and morning. Floating in a raft or pontoon boat is a great way to experience all sections of this river.

This is a twelve month river and fishes well all year. Most productive months are April through December. January, February, and March will produce lower numbers of fish but these are the months when larger wild browns are an everyday occurrence. There are both wild brown trout and wild rainbow trout reproducing in the watershed, along with a huge number of holdover stocked fish.

While the upper reaches of the Deerfield river hold trout species only, the lower river offers opportunities for all three species of trout, smallmouth bass and nice runs of American Shad during the summer months. From Shelburne Falls down stream the dam releases seem to be less dramatic and usually come up and down less than the upper river.

At any given time throughout the year there are opportunities to catch fish on nymphs, streamers, or dry flies on the Deerfield. Even in the dead of winter there are trout rising in certain places on the river. The tail water dams keep the river cool in the summer and a little warmer in the winter. One quality about this watershed is that it produces quality fish all year round. It is not uncommon to fish all day without seeing any other anglers.

swiftSwift River

The Swift River discharges through the base of Windsor Dam of the Quabbin Reservoir. From this point downstream to Rt 9, the Swift is a catch and release, fly fishing only, tailwater fishery. Cold water from the Quabbin allows this river to be an excellent year-round trout fishery.

It is well stocked with rainbows, brook, and brown trout. The immediate area at the “Y” Pool, is one of a few spots where dry fly fishing can be had year round. Clear water is the norm with shallow flat pools, joined by riffles, and runs that lead into a few deeper pools. The first large pool below the dam is led by a shallow gravely riffle flowing into it. You can find many large fish cruising the pool and backwaters of the spillway section. Fishing here can produce a picture perfect trout, found feeding on the edges of the far banks.

Downstream from the pool’s end, the Swift is lined with trees that provide shade. Trout are found here throughout the year and are very noticeable in the heat of the summer. From the Rt 9 bridge south, the characteristics of the river remain much the same as the areas above the bridge, with the inclusion of deeper and slower pools.

greenGreen River

The Green River is a tributary of the Deerfield River in northwestern Massachusetts. The Green River is a popular river for wild trout, especially wild browns. Mostly pocket water and riffles, the Green has occasional pools that hold surprisingly large trout. Green River Road follows the river and several pieces of state property provide good access. This is a productive and pretty river to fish.

northNorth River

The North River and its west and east branches in Shelburne and Colrain are worth a visit. Like the Green River, these runs are not large, and they become increasingly smaller as you travel upstream, but each offers a pleasant mixture of free-flowing riffles, short rapids, pocket water, and pools of various depths. There is some interesting water here that holds some large brown and rainbow trout.

millersMillers River

The Millers River originates in Ashburnham and winds its way westward to the Connecticut River in Erving. The Millers is one of the best, least known streams in Western Massachusetts. Years ago, it was considered the best trout stream in the state until pollution took its toll. Luckily the river is back in good shape. It has rainbow trout and some brown trout with plenty of holdovers. This is a wild and beautiful river.

connecticutConnecticut River

The Connecticut River is the largest river in New England, flowing south from the Connecticut Lakes in northern New Hampshire, through Western Massachusetts and central Connecticut. The river holds native brook trout, rainbow trout, large brown trout, shad, small-mouth bass, striped bass, carp, catfish, American eel, and several other species of game fish. Landlocked salmon make their way into the river during spring spawning runs of bait fish and during their fall spawn. Two tail-water dams provide cold river water for miles downstream making summer fishing on the Connecticut River excellent.