Fly Fishing for Rainbow Trout on the Deerfield River | S17 E06


♪birds chirping Woo hoo wow Boat honk ♪relaxing country music ♪ (VO Chris) For anyone who lives
in New England. Fall is one of nature’s
special gifts. Every autumn the rolling hills
of Western Mass light up with brilliant colors
saturating the landscape. With a patchwork of amber,
crimson, and gold. Fall also happens to be
a spectacular season for fishing the rivers
and streams. That trace the valleys as they
flow from the Berkshires to the Connecticut River. With the cooling waters the trout look to take advantage of the final fly hatches as they venture out of their
pockets and riffles to feed before winter’s bite
sets in. I had been looking forward to
once again fishing the Deerfield river. For a fall fly fishing excursion with good friend and guide
Chris Jackson of Chris Jackson Fly Fishing. I’ve fished and filmed before
with Chris and we set out after Hurricane
Irene back in 2012. After Irene, many believed the
fishing would never be the same again. But nature has a tendency to
bounce back against all odds. Now 8 years after the hurricane the river has adapted to
many changes and has left few traces of
what became known as a hundred year flood. With anticipation growing with
each glimpse of the river I met up with Chris Jackson
for another trip down this hidden paradise
any angler would appreciate. Hey guys welcome to another
episode of On The Water’s Angling
Adventure Chris Megan today
with Chris Jackson, old friend
of mine. We fished together going back we tried to fish during the
hurricane and most of this area got
washed out during the big hurricane back.
Was that Irene? I’m trying to -That was Irene. Irene came through here A lot of the roads we were
fishing kind of actually collapsed down
into the banking. -Oh my god that was the craziest
thing. I really thought that our
guiding careers were over on the river. All the guides were concerned
because we lost all this infrastructure and the river
dramatically changed. I mean holes we used to fish
were filled in. New holes were carved and
we were like. What happened to the fish? (Host) And that wasn’t like a
50 year high that year. That was like a hundred or
a hundred and fifty year. It was three feet shy of the
500 year flood mark. So it was a flood of historic
proportions. -That way well we got good water
today I’m back fishing the Deerfield
River Fall just started. Chris what are we gonna do to
start out. We’re gonna start out with
indicators we’ll see how it goes and
you got to be ready to change tactics as you’re guiding
through the day. So we’re gonna start out
with the old reliable indicator fishing and move on from
there. -Well guys we’ve got the best
of the best. We’re gonna push off
right now. We’re gonna start
heading down river. I know we got a little bit
of water to cover. ♪ relaxed acoustic music ♪ -This is gonna be I think we did this last time. -I think we did the exact same
thing. -The exact same thing. -We got a camera guy in the boat
right now. Fortunately he’s a little
lighter but I think I might be a little heavier Chris. So Chris when we throw here it’s
gonna be one of these kind of throwing it back
here at 10 o’clock. -I’ll give you a quick demo. Absolutely. -So basically we’re gonna
throw it out there. Kind of high stick it along. And when it gets even to my
position perpendicular just gonna do a little mend. -A little upstream mend
and that. I’m just gonna track it. That’s the deal. -Ok perfect. I’ll tell you what that white
indicator seems to just blend right in
with the bubbles so. – It blends right in so
these spooky fish they don’t even mind that
white indicator. That’s kind of why I put it on. -I’ll tell you what
when that white indicator gets in with the bubble. -It’s hard to see it. This is a tough time of day with
the little white indicator. -I’ll tell you what you look
away from your indicator for a second and. -That’s when you get the bite. First spot zero. -I don’t know if I missed any
spots or -No no. All the spots that are
right next to the road get a lot of pressure. ♪uplifting country music ♪ -Coming from Cape Cod it’s just
such a different scenery. -Yeah. -And I remember the first time
I came out here your hard pressed to believe
that this is in New England and Massachusetts. It’s just so different
the contour. And everything about it. ♪♪♪ -Set! -There he is. -Just like that! Nice Chris! -Two for two. I made the first
cast in there. I wasn’t ready you were saying
it was gonna pick up a little bit down here. -Yeah. Oh! Came off! So really stick it to them
on the hookset. So we’re using barbless hooks. The flies that I tie I
go barbless and they’re really sharp. But you’ve got to stick them
on the hookset. ♪♪♪ That’s funny I have a boulder
coming up I call it the lucky boulder and typically
from that point down we’re almost to it. It’s usually llike the
demarcation line for a big pod of fish. I like to have it six inches
over the bottom. -What’s the name of this fly? -It’s a mop fly. -And it looks like you can
see it from a country mile. -You can see it from a country
mile and they go nutty for it. -And throw now? All the way to
the bank? -All the way to the bank. A little further over? -No that’s perfect! Set! There he is good job! It’s interesting they were more
upriver the other day but you know different day
they find a different locale. -I’ve not even been on
the reel. I’m just gonna keep walking
them right up to you. -There he is! -Oh look at that! -Nice! -That looks like a wild fish too! -Now do they clip it on the
stocked? They clip that. – I mean most of the stocked
fish will be missing some fins. And that’s not always the case
but this fish. -This fish looks perfect.
Doesn’t it? -Yeah and the smaller ones tend
to have smaller mouths than the hatchery fish
that looks like 100% wild fish. Right there to me. There you go dude. Sweet. Awesome. Good way to
start Chris. ♪country music ♪♪ We’ve got a beautiful day
out here on the Deerfield River fishing with guide Chris Jackson and that’s the name of his
company Chris Jackson Guide Service. I had the opportunity to fish
with Chris back in 2012. But that’s how long and
how quick the time goes. -Oh my god. And you know its gone by
a little bit when Chris is giving me a hand
getting into the boat. Became a grandfather about
a year ago and my oldest daughter got
married about three years ago. We welcomed my first grand child about a year a go and he’s
just the best. -Congratulations on that. -So throw right in here and
let it drift down. -Same drift. -And in closer or should I
go a little bit I would. I think they are a
little bit further out. I would go another four or five
feet. And just get it away from the
boat a little bit. And I think the fish are just
kind of running a circuit in here. So we don’t have any white
foam right now so there’s not excuse there’s
only one thing out there and it’s the indicator. They are definitely biting fast
this morning though I think they’ve seen this fly
a couple of times. They’re like I’m not so sure
Fred got in trouble the other day with that one. I don’t know if I want to do it. It looks good. -It looks so good. -Set there he is! Alright I got to be a little
quicker on the draw. You’re right around him.
Set! Nice Chris! -You don’t even have a chance
to get on the reel. It’s just a matter of like,
you know? -That looks like a carbon copy
of the last one. -Aww there it is. -You need to find his
big brother. Alright dude don’t tell any
of your friends. -Nothing happened! Chris made an adjustment. He dropped, he moved the
indicator up a little bit to get us down. Seemed to make a huge
difference presenting it Just off the bottom. Man there is really no
time to get on the reel on these fish. I’m fighting them right here. -There’s some big ones in here. There’s some fish over
20 inches in here. If you hook one of those -You’re gonna get on the
reel. -You’re gonna get on the reel. -Not gonna go as far as
we did last time because I feel like. -They’re kinda hanging
right in that spot. -Hanging right in here. ♪♪♪ Right there. That seems like it’s
the sweet spot. -Set! Just like you said. That’s a
better fish. -That’s a better fish. Oh! Mother! I should have whacked them again. -Yeah you’ve got 4x on there
you can put the boots to them. -Let’s let that one drift out. -That was a better fish. That was a set!
You got another one. (Chris M. laughs) I was looking
away! -This guy committed suicide. That is where they
are hanging out Chris. -They are right there. I looked away to have a
conversation and my caddy Chris Jackson actually your guide,
professional guide. Said “set”. Oh man! Right about that last one. The one before this -Was definitely bigger -This guy is actually
a little bit nicer. But -That last one you hooked was
a nice one. But you know what Chris they
are hanging within about a ten foot stretch of
that whole thing. That’s another pretty rainbow. -Look at the color on this guy. There we go. Gorgeous fish! What’s happening is taking
the scope out. Chris I’m past kind of verticle
up and down I’m almost at 11 o’clock
behind me. And I really even need to be
back here a little bit. Because the scope in the line
there. Like sometimes I’ll come up and
almost have the rod straight up over my head. And you just want to keep going
until you’re really -Really bury it in there
that way. Guys fishing the Deerfield
River it is beautiful We looked at the weather earlier
and we looked at it we were gonna come out here
yesterday We decided to put it off a day
and I think we made a great call. -I’m glad you did I was a
little nervous with the rain but this
all worked out. And it’s absolutely a
gorgeous day. ♪gentle guitar music ♪ (VO Chris) Nestled just on the
river Shelburne Falls along Mohawk
Trail is a historic village that is
actually split by the Deerfield. Although a small community. It’s artistic background and
unique architecture Harken back to an earlier
and simpler era When the river was harnassed
as one of the main sources for energy. Like a draw bridge leading into
the center of town The bridge of flowers is a well
known destination That combines turn of the
century construction. With a reimagined flower garden
that stretches across the Deerfield. Many of the towns buildings
in the center are original structures
and historic landmarks like Baker Pharmacy The pharmacy is a living time
capsule of a business in the heart of a village that to this day you can
still pickup an ice cream sundae At their old fashioned
soda fountain while you wait on your
prescription as many locals have done
for over a hundred years. -One of the things I always
have to remember is to slow down a little bit. -Nice cast Chris. -That’s a little bit of a rocket
ship, what are we fishing with. -That’s a G.Loomis NRX -Now that’s a really
sweet rod. Make a mend if you can. -This is a 4 or 5 weight? That’s a 5. 5 weight, beautiful rod. Loads nice. -Uh, set set! -I was a little delayed on that. I was looking down at the line. -That’s a nice fish. -That’s a good fish. -We’re using a Rio
5wt line. Rio perception. We’ve got a Nautilus reel
on there. I have not fished the Rio line
before. It’s my favorite line. I like
cortland too. -Cortland makes a great line. -Cortland makes a great line.
Great company but Rio is just so innovative. That just their products are
super innovative. I do a lot of two handed stuff. And they just have a lot of
amazing products. This guy is just staying down. I’m gonna try and see if
I can get on the reel. -That’s a good idea. That last two feet of scope
of line. When I went to get it on the
reel and I’m like that’s when you
usuually lose them you know? You give them that
much slack. This guy is just staying down.
Whoa buddy! -It’s another nice fish. -Alright I’m gonna turn him. -He wasn’t having it. -Alright I’m gonna turn his nose
and see if I can get him coming right to you. -Just like that. -Look at that! -Yeah! -Racking up the numbers Chris -Look at the color on these fish! -Come on dude swim away.
There he goes! Good job Chris! -Thanks bro. So the line
and the gear that we’re fishing I know that you said we’re
fishing a 4X down below right now
on the tippet. -4X flurocarbon -And the name of the fly
again was? -It’s a mop fly. -A mop fly. So just a basic
mop fly? -I put my own little twist
on it. It’s tied on a barbless jig
hook so it’s riding hook up.
Which I feel Just keeps you out of trouble. -It keeps you out of trouble and
gives you a nice tail waggle -It does it gets the tail
wiggling and you see that most
of the time it falls out in the net
which is awesome. Pretty much every time we caught
it in those hookless nets. Right out of it you know. It just pops right out.
So you don’t do a lot of damage to the fish and the fish
swims away happy. I feel like you don’t beat up on
the fish physically beat up on them you can come back
in two days and -Catch that same fish. -Yeah. ♪ gentle acoustic track ♪ (VO) After releasing a dozen
beautiful trout from the drift boat. It was time to head down
river to the haul out point
where we would load up. And head into town for
a quick bite. Before setting out to a new
location along the river. Chris new to hold trout. ♪ relaxing acoustic music ♪♪ Now what would this
be considered this isn’t considered the upper
part right? Upper is? -No, this is kind of the
mid section. Yeah. -Upper is real thin right now
as far as water. Super thin and it has a
higher gradient and you get more tributaries coming
in as you move down the river so there is just more water down
there up by the dam it is bony Yeah I saw that when we
crossed over there. -It’s unfortunate and that’s
where all the browns are. -What’s the normal height
where they keep the water at -The minimum flow is at
125 CFS Maximum flow usually 900 But it can go up from there You know if we get a lot of rain
it could go up to 2000. -Alright so we’re gonna
push on it looks like its snowing out
here with the amount of leaves that are coming down off
of these trees. Now do the leaves ever add
an element to the fishing. It’s a negative element honestly We call it the leaf hatch
and there are days where you can get leafed out. Right now they’re on the surface
and this isn’t bad but. If you get a couple days of this
they’ll start -Sinking down below? -Yeah and the whole water
column will just be filled with leaves so. -And so now we’re gonna head
upstream a little bit here. Work this stretch to just below
this rapids here and see what we get. What do you say Chris you want
to get after it? We’re gonna do it. I’m just
gonna push off a little bit Get in the boat. And go ahead Perfect Alright everyone’s in. ♪ relaxed guitar music ♪♪ Same sort of deal as before
we’re gonna be casting across and make a little mend.
More of the same. Whenever you’re ready. ♪ gentle piano music ♪♪ -I want to wait for this gust
to pass and I’ll throw it right
in between that 2nd seam. -I think that’s a good idea. Nice shot. Is that a fish? -Got him! -Nice Chris! Good job man! Right behind that rock. I don’t even know
if he knows hes hooked. Challenging conditions and you
got it done. -Good job! -Woo hoo! -I’ll tell you what
that was coming straight at us. -Gale force winds made the cast
good for you. Come on dude it’s not gonna come
undone until you stop that. He landed so quick he kind of
came back towards the boat and you reached out and
grabbed him. -He’s still hot. -That’s what it is he’s still
so hot. Oh he’s off now. I think he’s out. I think
we’re good Look at this guy huh? -Come on dude you want to go
back home or what? You want to hang out
with the On The Water crew? Of course you do! He’s like I want and italian
sub. Because I heard you got
an extra one. -This fish was holding
right behind a boulder. You know I try to throw it
up in that wind and the wind kind of
knocked it down I was ok with it because
it was right behind that rock. -Perfect Actually started drifting back
down towards us. That was one of those ones where. For me usually I don’t setup
on them but I try to get back as far
as I could. That was a great cast
challenging conditions you put it right on the money. -Chris what are we about 2
2.5 hours out of Boston? -2.5 hours out of Boston. This is a quick drive you can
come out here and fish a day and be back home in the
comfort of your house by the evening. I’ll tell you what guys
anyone living in the metrowest Boston. Not just
metrowest Boston but Anywhere in that 2.5
3 hour drive it’s an easy run and its a
different world out here. Folks who want to get in touch
with you what’s your website? It’s ChrisJacksonFlyFishing.com I’ll tell you what
2.5 hours out of Boston you get on the Mass Pike it’s
more or less a straight shot Hit Springfield get on 91
just head north until you hit Rt 2 and you’re here and it’s a
different world. -We’ve got great restaurants
out here. Lots of places to stay
and there’s other things to do aside from fishing. ♪ deep and dramatic synth ♪♪ (Chris VO) Over the 17 seasons
of On The Water’s
Angling Adventures I’ve been blessed to fish many
beautiful locations from Cape May NJ to Prince Edward Island
in Canada. To even getting a chance to
cross the pond to fish for salmon
in Ireland. I’ve met wonderful folks
along the way. And been awe struck by the
breathtaking beauty of these locations. But having been born and raised
in Massachusetts. I will forever hold a special
place in my heart for the fall in the Berkshires just fly-fishing on the
Deerfield River with a good friend like
Chris Jackson. ♪♪♪

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