This week the brutal cold spell finally lifted in Northern Baltimore County, and air temps hit the mid 40s toward the end of the week through the weekend. The water temps are still really cold, (37-39 degrees) with the majority of air temp influenced flow spilling over Prettyboy dam. We have been fielding a lot of calls and questions in the shop about where the water is warmest, and here is what I found. At Noon on Friday water temps on the Gunpowder at Falls Road measured 37.8 degrees, 38.3 degrees at Bluemount Road, and Little Falls was 38.1 degrees. On Saturday, on a guide trip the water spiked from 38.6 to 40.6 degrees midday at York Road, when air temps climbed to 46 degrees. The fishing has been challenging, but a few hours on the water usually equals a few fish on the line. Tandem nymph rigs or flashy streamers are working the best for the customers passing through the shop. On Friday, after checking temps I decided to fish an area I haven’t tried since the Summer. While nymphing a deep hole I lost a hard fighting fish on a nymph rig, shaking me loose before I had a chance to see the fish. A short distance upriver I came tight again to a good sized trout, but got this one into the net. The brown above measured 15 inches and was caught outside the catch and release section of the Gunpowder. I filmed some other fish and the first stonefly of the year in the first video post of 2010.
Aside from fishing and a little video work, I was breaking in a new pair of the Simms Vibram soled Headwaters boots, as shown in the pic above. This is the lightest, bare-bones, Simms boot and they work great on muddy banks, rock slabs, ice and snow. The clean gravel in the photo above and lack of Didymo is a welcome relief for anglers fishing the Gunpowder, since the past two Winters the algae thrived in the low flows. The high water through the Fall of 09 and the continuous precipitation and spillover this Winter has helped thwart this nuisance from taking hold again. At least for now anyway. Unfortunately, as some may already know, it was announced a month ago that Didymo was discovered in the Savage River in Western Maryland. There is a wealth of information available on how to contain and kill these invasives, but not much on the effects they will have on our fisheries in the years to come.