The Gunpowder river is flowing at 145 Cfs, is clear and 62.7 degrees. If you listen to the weatherman you might end up in a mall for the rest of the Sulphur hatch. They’ve been coming off since the first week of May and by most accounts our wet spring has made it very tough to get any fishing on a consistent basis anywhere else in the Mid-Atlantic but the Gunpowder. We’ve only missed four fly fishing days since January owing to high flows. This month, water temps along the river have been much warmer than average and the fish are responding favorably. Nymphing with unweighted Pheasant Tails and Hare’s Ears sized #14 through 18 is a safe bet in the morning. Sulphur duns, mostly in the #16 range with a few #18’s in the mix are peeling off as the sun pops out between clouds. Caddis in #16 to #18 range fished across the riffles have been the ticket between hatches. Warmer evenings have had more consistent spinner falls, (Mike’s paraspinners are in the muffin tins) and a late emergence often occurs closer to dusk so bring along enough varied fly patterns including emergers, duns, spinners and cripples to let the fish decide. The message is that the Sulfurs won’t wait, bring a rainjacket, use some 6 and 7x and enjoy some of the nicest flows and temps we’ve seen of late.
Thanks to Mark for the stream report
I was able to bring my father in law to the Gunpowder yesterday. He is 75 and is still able to handle a fly rod better than most half his age. I was hoping the fish would be cooperative. We got on the river around 3:00 pm and fished until a storm chased us away around 7:15. We each caught 3 browns. All were caught while swinging emergers with a nymph dropper just as you recommended. At the start the fish hit the nymph. Closer to evening the emerger became more popular. The flies you had were exactly what we needed. The browns were definitely on the hunt. While we landed 6 fish we had probably 12 other strikes to the swung flies that weren’t quite solid enough to stay hooked. When swinging flies like this, it is amazing how many strikes come when the fly has swung completely downstream and is allowed to sit for a few seconds.
Thanks for your advice. We had a great time.
Stream Report Update: Expect higher water this afternoon owing to an increase in flow from the dam.