02/06/09
Fly Fishing The Deerfield River, Massachusetts

By the time I finish writing about some of the tailwater streams that are supposed to
be great in other part of the East, you are going to be proud of the tailwaters near
Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Of hand southerners may think that a river
in Massachusetts would stay cold enough to support trout year-round. That is not
the case, however. Cold water discharges for tailwaters are necessary for the trout
to survive in many of the streams. That is the case with the Deerfield River. I read
where the local TU chapter has done a good job of getting the officials in charge of
discharges on the several dams on the Deerfield River, to keep the releases such
as to be supportive of keeping the trout in the river alive. It is supposed to have a
good hold over population of both rainbow and brown trout.

The section of the river that is considered good, is below Fife Brook. There is a
dam just above it. There are pools, runs and riffles that are heavily stocked by the
state. There are two catch and release areas on the river that helps the holdover
population.

There are some sizeable hills surrounding the stream and the area is rather nice
and well maintained. Access to the river is excellent. Catching fish is usually no
problem. Angie and I have only fished the stream one time a few years ago for a
period of two days. We were able to catch a lot of trout with several over 12 and a
couple up to 16 inches. That was done simply by stopping at several good looking
areas and fishing. It was during May and we used mostly nymphs.

There were several anglers fishing the tailwater at the time even though it was
during the middle of the week. Although we were warned about the sudden
discharges from the dam, we didn't experience any while we were there. Wading
depends strictly on the area of the stream you are fishing. Some areas provided
decent wading and others didn't.

The Deerfield River seems to be a fine "stocked" trout stream. Would it come up to
most of the Tennessee tailwaters? I would say probably.  Would it come up to the
South Holston River? No, it isn't even in the same category.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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