Late April Float On The Gunpowder River

Wild Gunpowder Brown Trout
Matt and I did a second float this month on the Gunpowder. It was his last day on the river for quite a while, since he moves to Montana next month. The weather was ideal, and the water temps in the fifty-nine to sixty degree range. Craneflies and caddis hatched steady all day, in addition to midges and the occasional sulphur. Over the course of the day we spotted trout rising in the riffles and flats, but never tried a dry fly. We crossed paths with another angler who was catching fish on dries, but we were having consistent success with streamers and nymphs. The trout were taking caddis pupa and cranefly patterns, while some big nymphs in sizes 10-12 caught fish under a Thingamabobber. In addition to wild browns between 7-12 inches we landed a dozen rainbows in the 12-15 inch range. We both encountered browns between 12-16 inches, including a couple we both had hooked, but lost them. I lost a memorable brown in the 16-17 inch range after a subtle take on a big rubber legged nymph caused me to lightly set the hook. I was standing nearly on top of the fish, high sticking a riffle when I came tight to the brown. Immediately the brown jumped and landed under my rod tip, preventing me from taking slack out of the line. We both yelled out at the exact moment as the line went limp, and the fish was gone. By the end of the day we landed more fish than our previous float, somewhere in the range of thirty fish between us. The smaller browns were a lot of fun and really eager to eat, as were the rainbows which had gained some strength and color from time in the river. In the latest video I included some shots of gear, the boat and river. The rest of the footage includes Matt and I landing trout in numerous riffles and runs on the Gunpowder.