Before the Broncos took their thrashing at the hands of the Seahawks on Sunday, I wanted to sneak in some open-water fishing. In order to do so, I had to road trip the two or so hours to Belchertown, MA. Being a tailwater, the Swift River remains productive throughout the harshest winter weather. The water feeding the river comes from the bottom of the Windsor Dam on the Quabbin Reservoir, keeping it a comfortable temperature for trout, and the things they eat, all year long.
When I got to the river—a little later than I’d hoped—I thought there might have been a Super Bowl pregame party happening at the Y Pool. No less than two dozen cars were parked along the side of the road.
While there was a crowd of fishermen working the fishier spots along the river, there was plenty of room to spread out and plenty of fish to cast to, and within 10-minutes there was a big, colorful rainbow trout dancing on the end of my line.
I could have left right after that, as the next 3 hours produced a couple bumps, a few follows and one small skinny trout that spit the hook before I could bring him to hand.
I eventually made my way to the Y Pool, the most popular spot on the Swift. By the late afternoon the crowd had waned leaving a half-dozen fishermen spread out along the pool. There were trout everywhere I looked, even at my feet, and though many were visibly feeding, they proved experts at picking out a fake. Some trout spooked when my fly drifted past, but most simply didn’t acknowledge it at all.
All things considered, I greatly prefer watching well educated trout in a clear stream to watching tip-ups on frozen lake, so as I left for home—allowing enough time to make the kick-off—I was glad I’d made the trip.