Clouds of mayflies weren’t the only clouds hovering over the river this week. Heavy rain the past few days caused the Gunpowder to hit nearly 600 CFs, and steadily rising as a light rain falls in Monkton today. Current USGS reading at Falls Road today is 596 CFs, and climbing straight up. A good possibility of thunderstorms later today and tomorrow means anglers should check the gauge before the weekend. 100-300 CFs is wadeable, although anglers should be cautious on the higher end of that range. 300-400+ CFs has limited wading options, but fishing is still possible from the banks or shallows of wide flats. Flows over 500+CFs can be very difficult to fish, although a few sections still allow fishing streamers from the bank. Before all this rain the Gunpowder had dropped down to just over 100 CFs, and water temps in the low sixties. The fishing really turned on these past few weeks. The sulphur hatch is three weeks in and going strong. We ran many guided trips the past two weeks, and hit some great hatches in the evenings. The sulphurs start hatching in the morning and again between 3-6 pm. Swinging nymphs or fishing an indicator rig will catch fish through the middle of the day.
Fishing snow shoe pheasant tails to the browns slashing at emerging sulphurs will entice the aggressive trout. Traditional dun patterns will get strikes fished blind in riffles and pocket water. The hatch fishing over rising trout in the late evening is pretty exciting. I encountered a few heavy spinnerfalls, where the bugs numbered well into the hundreds, if not thousands. On two evenings there were “too many” bugs, a situation where the trout became tough to catch with all the naturals floating past. I was guiding, so I didn’t have my camera to film the hatch. One evening I finally did film a big cloud of spinners, as they returned to the water. Unfortunately, my camera does not focus very well on tiny objects flying through the air, nor does it do well in low light conditions. When I got home the footage was far less clear than witnessed first hand, but even in the slightly grainy shot, it is obvious there are a lot of mayflies in the air. The latest video post shows why staying late on the water can be worth the hike out in the dark.