The Delightful Deerfield


If you are looking for blue-ribbon trout fishing in New England, my advice to you is to "Go West." Fortunately, you don't have to travel as far west as the Yellowstone River in Montana or the Frying Pan River in Idaho to experience great trout fishing. Western Massachusetts has a river running through it that rivals the best trout rivers in the nation.

The Deerfield River has its origins in Vermont and by the time it flows into Massachusetts near the northwestern corner of the state, it has all the beauty and character of a classic Western trout river.

It pours around rocks and tumbles over riffles and every now and then it smoothes itself out into glides and pools and becomes a river strikingly similar to the ones in that picture book on your coffee table. (You know the one I'm talking about.) No matter what kind of trout fishing you like, you can find it on the Deerfield.

There are loud riffles filled with aggressive rainbows, deep pools and undercut banks that hide brown trout of all sizes and dispositions, and there is pocket water and small feeder streams for the brook trout fisherman.

Browns, Brookies, Rainbows and Tigers

Although the Deerfield River has a significant population of holdover brown trout, it is stocked liberally with rainbows, brookies, browns, and tiger trout (a hybrid brown and brook trout).

It's no surprise that spring is the season with the most fish in the river. I have caught brown trout and rainbows up to 18 inches and four pounds in many sections of the Deerfield. I have also seen trout in excess of 20 inches landed and released.

The largest fish tend to live in the deeper pools in the two catch-and-release sections of the river. As with all fishing, patience, persistence, and time on the water will be rewarded when fishing the Deerfield.

The Deerfield is a user-friendly river thanks to its abundant insect activity and ample access. Beginner and seasoned anglers alike will find this river challenging and rewarding.

Jerry Peters started fishing before he could walk, and he's been at it ever since. The Massachusetts math teacher spends his summers teaching fly casting and guiding on Nantucket. In his free time, Jerry chases fresh and saltwater fish all over New England and New York.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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