The Gunpowder River is flowing at 178CFs and is 40 F and is clear. Accessing the river has been one of the most challenging aspects of fishing this winter. The snow covered and iced over, frozen trails are now yielding to warmer, wetter conditions. The thaw, melt refreeze scenario has left most of the trails along the Gunpowder greasy, slick and downright dangerous. Best approaches have been for anglers to get in the water quickly and stay in-a difficult solution when the water is hovering under 40 F, but much safer than ending up on one’s backside. While the stocked section of the Gunpowder River is closed till the 29th (please see note below) the wild fish stretch upstream of the gas line below Corbett to Bluemount is open year round as is the catch and release, artificials only stretch from Bluemount upstream through Big Falls, York, Bunkerhill, Masemore and Falls Rd access points. With relatively high flows over the weekend, Didymo algae is just starting to let go along the catch and release stretch of the Gunpowder River. Often the algae breaks up in long tendrils making it difficult for anglers to nymph without fouling the double fly rigs that are commonplace in winter fishing. Until we have cleaner gravel, try a variety of small dries such as Black Flies in the #20-22 range and Blue Winged Olives sized #18-24. If you don’t want to start the fishing year squinting, a Renegade or Griffith’s Gnat in a #16-18 will usually do the trick in the flat water between the riffles. For folks with bigger flies and fish in mind, large streamers twitched on a downstream drift delivered with an Airflo sinking polyleader will get the big flies slow rolling along the bottom, into the log jams and in front of wild fish.
Thanks to Vince Crisler for the beautiful photo and fishing report from March 11:
Was great to stop into the shop and catch up! Was surprising to see
how much snow there still is on the banks of the Gunpowder, but it
looks like things are starting to wake up. Spent a couple hours
nymphing and ended up catching this guy at the very end dead drifting
a big articulated streamer. Looking forward to many more trips up
there from DC this year!
Closed on March 19, 20, 21
Backwater Angler will be open this Saturday, March 22nd and this Sunday, March 23rd from 10AM till 4PM.
Closed on March 24, 25, 26
Licenses for 2014: If you should need to purchase a license after hours please call 855-855-3906 or visit COMPASS You’ll need a nontidal (freshwater) license and trout stamp to fish the Gunpowder River for trout.
Please note: Little Falls and the lower Gunpowder River (called the “upper river” in the MDDNR Fisheries stocking schedule because it is upstream of Loch Raven) and regulated as a 5 fish a day stretch from the Gas line above Upper Glencoe through Lower Glencoe, Sparks and Phoenix closed on March 9 and will reopen at 5:30 AM on March 29th.
CATCH A POACHER 24-HOUR HOTLINE # 800-635-6124 This spring help Natural Resources Police (NRP) protect Maryland’s natural resources by keeping this number handy and at the ready. All streams in the state are signed with closure information upon stocking. If you see anglers fishing during closure periods make a call from a safe place and be sure to provide a physical description of the poachers, the closest road/stream intersection, vehicle description and license plate number.