Thursday, September 16, 2021

The "Berkshires"

There is a mountain group in New England that few know about outside of the folks who live in New England. The Berkshires are a beautiful and quite old group of mountains, estimated to be a half a billion years old. They are part of the Appalachian mountain range. The Berkshires start on the Massachusetts Vermont line and extend down into Litchfield Connecticut. My first recollections of the Berkshires were when I was just a kid and the family spent time every year visiting the Great Barrington Fair. Also those annual trips to the Mohawk Trail each October to view the fall foliage. Many years later I discovered the wonderful small streams that flow through these mountains. Most of them containing wild brook trout. These streams many of which have no names that I know of have given me some outstanding days of fishing. The fishing is good through most of the year with exception of winter. I have always liked fall fishing best.
 

 

A typical Berkshire stream. Large boulders, fallen trees black bears and the best side to fish is always on the side your not.
 

Brookies are about this size. I have never caught a brookie over 10 inches in one of the Berkshire streams, not that they don't exist it's just that I've never encountered  one.
 

 Some years ago I created the Crowningshield Dry Fly. The fly was named for a beautiful wild stream in the Massachusetts Berkshires. The fly is quite effective and has some following in other northeast states. If you  search back posts on SSR's on Crowningshield Dry fly you'll find some more interesting info.

 

23 comments:

  1. You say 'Berkshire' to me and I think of the Deerfield River. I know, bigger than you like, but it's my only fishing experience in that beautiful region. Fran Betters would love that Crowningshield fly! It's too neat for him, but I can see his DNA in it. Gorgeous tie, Alan.

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    1. mike
      Thanks
      Mike I have fished many tributaries of the Deerfield but never the big guy. There are a couple of other rivers in the Berkshires, the Housatonic, and Hoosic. Yes there is a Betters influence in the Crowningshield. If you are out after brookies some of the ADK DNA is good to have in your fly.

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  2. Btk Trt, as you may or may not know that I live in the Berkshires, Pittsfield to be exact. And yes the most glorious time of the year will be upon us shortly with all of her color. I cant say that I'm a Berkshire native being born and spending my 1st 30+ years in the Boston area, but now close to it, with me living here for 25 yrs. My wife was born in the Berkshires and she had/has roots here, so do I need to say more.
    Yes the small & mid size stream fishing is excellent. Chasing partridge/grouse and woodcock is also great as well as deer and a few bear.
    You can be in the city and actually drive 5 minutes in any direction and be in the woods literally.

    Here is one of my most favorite fly fishing haunts (No names). It was covered on a TV show and starts around 0.38 sec in. You talk about the most beautiful place to fly fish.
    https://www.wcvb.com/article/mystery-main-streets-segment-two-3/8028771#

    Thanks again for letting me read you great blog....Phil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DRYFLYGUY
      Thanks
      Phil I am aware of your Berkshire residence. Pittsfield is where Mt. Gerylock is located? Good fishing, good hunting beautiful scenery you my friend have chosen "the" place to live.

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  3. I love the look of the Crowningshield dry fly, and I enjoyed your older post about it.

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    Replies
    1. Keith
      Thanks
      Keith it works quite well. The area it's named after is beautiful.

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  4. good note Alan I really like this pattern of dry fly, I will try to tie it as close to your image ...

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    Replies
    1. Armando Milosevic
      Thanks
      Armando when you do please send me a photo, I would appreciate it. A good fly to try on those Argentine trout.

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    2. ok Alan could be tying the fly on a Daiichi 1180 # 8 hook .... deer hairs, black hackle and I Cant guess with dubbing .. ??

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    3. Armando,

      I use a mustad 9671 hook size 12-14 but a 10 will work. The tail is woodchuck but you can use barred deer hair. For dubbing I use Australian possum in a dark brown but superfine brown dubbing will work. The hackle is brown.

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  5. I hope to get back up to the Berkshires again this year. If I do, I’ll try to have a few crowningshield dry flies with me.

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    Replies
    1. Shawn
      Thanks
      Shawn tie a few for the streams here. You'll like the results.

      Delete
  6. Hi Alan,

    I was in Berkshire just last month!!!!!!

    West Berkshire, UK, near a city called Reading. There are some good and famous trout streams in this region too (Kennet Lambourn, Loddon and Pang). Unfortunately I was visiting with work and had no opportunity to wet a line (plus nearly all the fishing round there is private or booked for months in advance).

    The Crowningshield looks a supreme buggy mouthful for any trout or grayling!

    Take care and stay safe

    Alistair

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous
      Thanks
      Alistair Sir Francis Bernard gave the area the name Berkshire in honor of his home county. It seems the UK has a lot of similarities with the US...fly fishing is a big part.

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  7. Alan,

    You are in my neck of the woods! I love the Berkshires dearly. Perhaps we can fish together there someday. Great seeing fall colors start

    Regards

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    Replies
    1. seth campbell
      Thanks
      Seth many readers are located in the Berkshires, and maybe we will run into each other one day. I have a few maples near me that are well into color. I love looking at them each morning while enjoying my coffee.

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  8. What a great fly Alan, I can’t wait to tie and try it out on McMichael Creek and its wild browns. Thanks for sharing this and the prior posts - inspirational!
    Kevin

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    Replies
    1. Ned Zeppelin
      Thanks
      Kevin let us know how the flies work for you.

      https://smallstreamreflections.blogspot.com/2015/08/guest-post-crowningshield-barleywine.html

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  9. Alan
    If it's mountains, count me in; we spent some time driving through the Berkshires when we were in the Northeast back in 2018. We were there in the fall, and the scenery was magnificent. What, give the place that extra touch was all the streams.
    It's hard to duplicate this area anywhere else in the U.S. I can see why you love living there. Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill deep blue streams running through a forest that's ablaze with autumns color is awesome. I'm glad you were able to witness it.

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  10. The Berkshires are simply beautiful, Alan. I am glad you found willing brookies in some streams there. That Crowningshield fly is a home run...bugginess throughout.

    Best, Sam

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    Replies
    1. Sam
      Thanks
      Sam it's a gorgeous part of New England. Lots of abandoned apple orchards too. The Crowningshield has that Betters fish catching look.

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