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Deerfield River

Franklin County, Massachusetts.

Deerfield River midpoint in Marlboro, Vermont.

Deerfield River ends in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

315 feet (96 meters)

76.55 miles long (123.20 kilometers)

267468.42 miles (430448.82 sq kilometers)

About The Deerfield River

Deerfield River is a River located in Franklin County, MA. Starting in West Wardsboro, VT the Deerfield River flows 77 miles through Marlboro, VT before ending in Greenfield, MA. The Deerfield River rises to an elevation of 315 feet and has a surface area of 166,197 square miles. Find maps, fishing guides, weather and recreation information at Guidesly.

 

About Deerfield River, MA

Deerfield River is the second-longest tributary (next to Westfield River) of the Connecticut River. The river starts from Readsboro in south Vermont, flowing southward across the state border to Massachusetts and through Bear Swamp Reservoir. From there, the river turns eastward through Charlemont and Shelburne Falls from where it turns southward through the South River State Forest until it reaches the town of Deerfield. As the river passes across the town from where it got its name, it turns northeast until it finally reaches the Connecticut River.

Deerfield is one of the most heavily impeded rivers in the country with ten dams constructed along its entire length to harness its power. The construction of the first hydroelectric facility began in 1910 when the New England Power Company was formed. In the early 1920s, Harriman, the biggest dam in the river, was constructed. The last dam that was built in Deerfield River is the Fife Brook Dam, which was completed in the early 1970s.

The 76-mile river boasts a scenic route along wooded areas, hills, farmlands, camping grounds, and quaint towns and villages. It’s because of this that the river attracts a lot of outdoor enthusiasts every year with white-water rafting, kayaking, hiking, camping, biking, and, of course, fishing, being some of the most popular activities in and around the river.

Deerfield River Fishing Description

All About Fishing in Deerfield River, MA

Deerfield River is an angler’s paradise as a wide variety of fish species abound in its waters. Some of the favorite targets here include different types of trout (rainbow, brook, and brown), smallmouth bass, walleye, and shad among many others. Thanks to the abundance of vegetation along its banks, the waters along the river and its small tributaries are known to provide excellent conditions to support not only a wide array of fish species but other sensitive aquatic species as well. There is also an abundance of food for gamefish such as caddis, mayflies, and stoneflies throughout the river.

One of the most popular fishing methods here is fly fishing as there are many scenic locations along the river that can ensure an excellent fly fishing experience. Some notable access points for fly fishing include Fife Brook Dam, at the entrance of Pelham Brook, along the banks of the town of Shelburne, and the stretch between Florida and Charlemont. One can either cast a line onshore along its banks or try one’s luck atop a granite boulder the size of trucks. If you don’t mind getting a bit wet, you can also wade through the clear waters in some areas. You can even rent a raft or a boat and head offshore to some deeper parts of the river where you can catch some sizable browns and richly colored rainbow trout.

Keep in mind, though, that there are ten dams along the river. This means that the water flows and levels along the downstream of each dam are constantly fluctuating due to the intermittent releasing of water from these dams. This could affect your fishing experience, especially if you plan on wading in the water or fish on a boat. It’s important to know the water release schedules before heading out to fish. 

Deerfield River Seasonal & Other Description

Fishing Seasonality

You can pretty much fish here anytime you want, but the best time is during the start of spring between April and August when different types of trout are known to be more active due to the combination of rising temperatures and a sudden abundance of food. You can also take advantage of trout spawning activities between the months of October and December to catch some quality fish.

However, the area is known to have hot, humid summers and snowy winters, and abundant precipitation in between. This means springs in northwest Massachusetts can be a bit wet and chilly and this could definitely affect fish behaviors as a shift of a few degrees can make them less likely to bite. Keep an eye out on the weather bulletin in the area before heading out.

Temperature and Optimal Seasons

Fishing Seasonality

You can pretty much fish here anytime you want, but the best time is during the start of spring between April and August when different types of trout are known to be more active due to the combination of rising temperatures and a sudden abundance of food. You can also take advantage of trout spawning activities between the months of October and December to catch some quality fish.

However, the area is known to have hot, humid summers and snowy winters, and abundant precipitation in between. This means springs in northwest Massachusetts can be a bit wet and chilly and this could definitely affect fish behaviors as a shift of a few degrees can make them less likely to bite. Keep an eye out on the weather bulletin in the area before heading out.

Deerfield River Fish Species

All About Fishing in Deerfield River, MA

Deerfield River is an angler’s paradise as a wide variety of fish species abound in its waters. Some of the favorite targets here include different types of trout (rainbow, brook, and brown), smallmouth bass, walleye, and shad among many others. Thanks to the abundance of vegetation along its banks, the waters along the river and its small tributaries are known to provide excellent conditions to support not only a wide array of fish species but other sensitive aquatic species as well. There is also an abundance of food for gamefish such as caddis, mayflies, and stoneflies throughout the river.

One of the most popular fishing methods here is fly fishing as there are many scenic locations along the river that can ensure an excellent fly fishing experience. Some notable access points for fly fishing include Fife Brook Dam, at the entrance of Pelham Brook, along the banks of the town of Shelburne, and the stretch between Florida and Charlemont. One can either cast a line onshore along its banks or try one’s luck atop a granite boulder the size of trucks. If you don’t mind getting a bit wet, you can also wade through the clear waters in some areas. You can even rent a raft or a boat and head offshore to some deeper parts of the river where you can catch some sizable browns and richly colored rainbow trout.

Keep in mind, though, that there are ten dams along the river. This means that the water flows and levels along the downstream of each dam are constantly fluctuating due to the intermittent releasing of water from these dams. This could affect your fishing experience, especially if you plan on wading in the water or fish on a boat. It’s important to know the water release schedules before heading out to fish. 

Shad

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 2 - 5 Pounds

Length: 6" - 25"

Smallmouth Bass

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 4 Pounds

Length: 12" - 27"

Rainbow Trout

Habitat: River, Lake

Weight: 1 - 8 Pounds

Length: 16" - 34"

Walleye

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 10 Pounds

Length: 12" - 42"