Gunpowder River Fishing Report

February fishing on the Gunpowder at these low levels is not the typical winter fishing experience. Many anglers are opting to stay home or stop by the shop for tying materials to keep them busy. Contrary to what many anglers think the fishing on the Gunpowder has shown improvement over the past few weeks. The fish have seen little pressure and have developed an appetite since the drop in flow late last Fall. This picture below is Prettyboy releasing 30 Cfs and was taken during the low flow of January 07. In 2007 Prettyboy gained enough water to spill over in early March when we got an extremely heavy rainfall sending water over the spillways and the Falls Rd gauge to 1600 Cfs. PrettyBoy is currently twelve feet below the top of the dam, which may mean no spillover or change in flow until precipitation levels change over the course of the Spring.
PrettyBoy at 30CFS
Warm days have brought on hatches of stoneflies, gray and cream midges, throughout many miles of river. These brief hatches may not black out the sky, or bring hundreds of trout to the surface, but they do draw the finicky browns up off the bottom. Anglers are reporting rising trout during the brighter, warmer days. Whether the surface activity gets going, the trout will always take nymphs and midge pupae. As a rule for winter fishing resign yourself to nymphing and carry some dry flies in the hope the fish start hitting naturals on the surface. A good report came into the shop last week from a regular who caught a number of browns between eight and thirteen inches at Masemore Rd. He mentioned casting to rising browns with success on stoneflies when the weather broke 50 degrees. I witnessed the same scenario that day, only I was ten miles downriver, where I had stoneflies crawling up my waders and witnessed my first rises of 08. I was having success nymphing the deep holes so I never switched, but it was good to see the fish looking up.
The Lower Gunpowder River has been fishing great all winter and offers ten miles of water to explore. Little Falls and a number of tributaries helped send the Glencoe gauge to 2,500 CFS during the first week of February. When the water levels drop to the 400-100 CFS the fishing has been very good. All this water is dumping food into the river, putting the fish on the feed and turning the water a nice off-color. Fishing has been best two to three days after it rains, as it can be too high to wade or dirty to fish. Anglers should be aware that the Sparks-Glencoe area will close on March 9th for stocking and will not reopen until the 29th for opening day.