Thanks to Josh Reider for the photos and gear review of his lucky Patagonia River Salt Jacket. We have a ready supply of these waterproof, breathable and durable wading jackets in stock ready to ship.
After fishing today in the freezing rain I found out two things: One, fish don’t care how miserable the weather is; and two, a nice rain jacket is a must. A friend and I fished in the dismal weather for 3 hours and were able to pick up close to 10 fish; hooking nearly twice that. We landed a few nice fish and a lot in the smaller 8-12 inch range. Fishing the Gunpowder this time of year is very productive and can be a lot of fun if you’re dressed properly. We were nymphing small pheasant tails and zebra midges with the most success. I switched to a streamer later in the day and had some fish chase it but none would commit.
My Patagonia Riversalt jacket kept me dry and warm in the miserable weather. I’ve had it nearly a year now and it works just as well as when I took it out of the box. It is great length, the cuffs work and because it is longer than most wading jackets it can be worn as a normal rain jacket. I use it whenever I fish and recommend it to anyone serious about staying comfortable fly fishing in a host of conditions.
Thoughts of Abel engraved and Fish Graphic reels might just be the ticket to keeping warm this time of year. Especially if the idea of a (clockwise) Blue #3 engraved Grand Slam super 9-10N, Bonefish Super 7-8N and Tarpon Super 11-12N help to transport one’s mental state to more southerly climes. Other examples of this California handiwork are exhibited by the other Abel reels in the new display case at Backwater Angler including (clockwise) the 25th anniversary De Young Super 6N, the Tribal Fish in 7-8N and a Brown Trout Super 3N. These beautiful reels are testament that you don’t need a lot of fly reels-just the “right” ones.
I’m still fishing an original 3N in artistic blue/black camo that I bought when Backwater Angler opened in 2001. It’s helped me land Atlantic salmon, albies, rockfish, blues, bonefish and redfish and has never let me down.
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 104 Cfs and is 40 F. The Hereford Zone received between 5 and 7 inches of snow and Thursday night through Friday morning we dipped into the low single digits. The high winds made it pretty difficult for folks to get out Friday during the day but we had a surprising number of folks despite the cold weather getting out over the weekend. Most of the lots remain unplowed so York and Masemore are still the easiest to access with a car. Lots of edge ice is forming along the banks of the main stem and some of the smaller low gradient tributaries are starting to ice up. Consider giving the Falls Rd section a break. Fresh snow on the ground makes its tough to gauge where the holes are so stick to the flats until the condition of the trails improve. With rain on the way through today expect water temps to dip a bit and flow to increase as some of the snow slowly lets go. The shots in this post were taken at Masemore on Friday from the Gunpowder North Trail across from Bush Cabin Run and the Lefty Kreh Trail.
The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at 119 and 41.5 F. A few stoneflies and Blue Winged Olives are flitting around but stream temps are still on the cold side. Fish the faster, shallow water with small nymphs starting in the #16 range and midge larvae sized #20-26. Streamers will also elicit a few takes and many more follows on a five or 10 ft sinking Airflo polyleader. Get ready for some snow along the upper river by Friday. If you bought studs for your wading shoes over the holidays now is the time to spend a few precious minutes this week putting them in-your backside will thank you!
Thanks to Josh for the stream report and photo:
Fishing the past couple days has been ice cold, but for those willing to brave the weather have found luck on the Gunpowder River. Nymphing small midge and black fly larva has proved the most successful. I have been fishing shallow as the fish that will eat are holding in water in the sun. I’ve also been staying warm by using a switch rod in the more open stretches and fishing streamers deep and slow with a sink tip. If you head out on the river for a couple hours this time of year, it won’t be hard to find serenity on many stretches of the Gunpowder!