Like many people our impression of Massachusetts was solely based
on our experiences
in Boston and even Logan
- not much sign of wilderness in those images.
Although I once lived in Andover, MA
for a few months I had never been to western Massachusetts
and so a
trip to the Berkshires was a highly anticipated journey. Just two hours from the
hustle and bustle of Boston
is a New England get-away called the Deerfield River. It had been reported to us
that the Deerfield
could give many western trout waters a good run for their money in not
quantity and size of fish but also in beauty – as it is a
magnificent river. I
saw a few YouTube videos this spring that
showed some smallish 7-10” trout being taken so I
didn’t have the highest
expectations upon arriving.
As we began to enter the Berkshire region the beauty was
unmistakable and my
anticipation was growing. We
guide Jim Dowd who is associated with Zoar Outdoors in Charlemont,
around 9am. Our
first order of business
was to check the water release schedule for the dam upstream. You see the river is not
floatable unless the
dam is releasing significant water.
Fortunately the release began at 9am so by the
time we would get to our
put-in spot the water would be in great shape.
As Jim was readying our boat Taylor
grabbed his spinning reel. Jim
this was a PhD section and didn’t offer much hope that we
would catch a fish from shore
here. On his second
landed a beautiful
14” wild rainbow – Game On!
Throughout the course of our 3+
hour float we landed one pig after another, rainbows, browns, stocked
trout, and even brook trout. Taylor
had the hot hand
again today boating 12 beautiful fish to my 6.
These fish weren’t scrawny fish
either – football shaped trout and
fighters. If you’re tracking
our fish count you’ll note
making a serious run at catching my fish total for the trip. He is now just 31 fish
behind with 7 States
to go. He has
beaten me soundly 5 days
in a row now.
Dad (330 fish); Taylor (299 fish)
with a Grand Total of 628 fish to date.
In conclusion I can honestly say
that I was not only pleasantly surprised by what we caught today, but I
tell you this is a world-class river and the people from Massachusetts
should be extremely proud of what
this river offers.
We also had the pleasure of having
Gary Waleik of National Public Radio in Boston
join up with us today. Gary
is the Senior Producer of “Only a
is hoping the taping of our
conversations will be a feature story on their broadcast on Saturday
We left the Deerfield River
with great memories – great fish stories, and the friendship
of a great guide -
Jim Dowd (please look Jim up as he is an awesome guide and as good a
conversationalist as I’ve ever experienced on the water). I’d also like to
thank Karen Blom of Zoar
Outdoors for hosting us today. Karen
her husband run a top notch adventure operation out of Charlemont that
the highlight of any vacation whether you’d just like to
float the Deerfield
or go after some trophy fish.