The Savage has started fishing well after an extended winter season. The flows came down last week to a good level and the water cleared. Clouds of midges were constantly buzzing the waters surface, black caddis popping off the river from mid morning through the evening. Blue Quills were coming off in concentrated bursts which triggered decent dry fly fishing. Nymphing small pheasant tail nymphing and caddis pupa is a go-to through the day in the pocket water. Look for rising fish close to the edges by late morning – early afternoon. Stop in Backwater Angler for the latest on trout fishing conditions across Maryland.
The Gunpowder is at 41 cfs, 50 degrees Farenheit and gin clear below the dam, carrying some color in the lower sections of the river.
As water temperatures steady around the ideal 50 degree mark, the fish have been very active. We’re still seeing quill gordons around Masemore to Big Falls. Sulphurs have been coming off above Masemore up to the dam. Caddis are sporadically hatching throughout the river, swinging a pupa pattern or partridge and green soft hackle in the riffles has been working well. The didymo is breaking up, especially above Masemore up to the Dam, making nymphing tiresome. Better throw a parachute dry or an phuny emerger to rising fish.
The Gunpowder is flowing at 39 cfs, water temperature starting the day in the mid 40’s and swinging up to the 50’s with some sun hitting the water, water remains gin clear.
As things stand, we’re at least 2 weeks behind recent years hatch-wise. The river is fishing well, especially if the conditions are in your favor. Fishing on cloudy days or evenings is far more productive downstream from Falls road as the water remains low and clear. Mayfly are beginning to hatch more consistently. This week has seen a good amount of of Quill Gordons size 14 coming off with some Hendrickson that are having fish on the lookout until midafternoon. Aside from that there is a lot of midge activity and sporadic caddis keeping the trout occupied. At this time of year when various different hatches can occur simultaneously, taking time to read the river and figure out what the fish are looking for can pay dividends.
The Gunpowder is flowing at 39 cfs, water temps starting the day in the low 40’s, rising to the upper 40’s and gin clear.
The low flows, water clarity and unseasonably cold weather has resulted in a slow start to the season. Masemore upstream to the dam the didymo is particularly bad as the water levels remain low. Fishing nymphs is too much of a chore in these areas. Focus on the fish that are rising or throw a small streamer instead. Trout are actively picking off tiny snow flies, a common form of midge on the river, in the slow glides as they try to emerge. Catching these fish requires 7 x tippet on 10 – 12 foot leader and staying out the water as much as possible. Getting your angles right before making a cast is crucial. These fish will feed, but any form of movement creating shadows or ripples will quickly put them down. Many fish are still looking for early black stoneflies too. A couple of hendricksons have been seen coming off. Hard to believe that this time last year we had sulphurs!
We received a healthy dose of snow over the past two days to welcome us into spring. This has brought water temps back down temporarily. The river is looking to be in good shape by the weekend once the bulk of this snow melts and water temperature come back up again.
Fishing small midge imitations, both dry and subsurface have been productive. Dries have been best in the afternoon when water temps spike. Mornings have been good for nymphing. Pheasant tails size 16 are working well right now as our April mayfly hatches are almost ready to start hatching.
If you’re fishing over the next few days, the footing along the river is quite slippery due to recent snow fall, take care – particularly when getting in and out the river.
The Gunpowder is at 38 cfs, starting the day at 40 degrees F and carrying some color. Since the flows have been bumped down from 65 to 38 cfs the fishing has slowed up markedly. The trout seem to go into a state of shock after flows drop to this level for the first time in a while. With less water however, water temperatures will rise fast with some mild air temps and sunshine, this will bring on some spring hatches before long. Nymphing and streamers is the way to go until then.
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 61 CFS and 40F. Fishing on the Gunpowder picked up a bit this week as mild air temperatures allowed water temperatures to creep out of the 30s and reach 40F. A few degree bump in water temperatures seemed to bring the river to life a bit more than weeks past. Winter stones could be seen along the riverbank and even a few splashy rises were reported. Drifting small stonefly nymphs and midges is always a good bet this time of year. Streamers will work. In the late afternoon when water temps are at their peak, try an adult stonefly pattern in the faster water. You may be surprised!
It’s never easy to catch fish consistently at this time of year as water temperatures linger in the mid- 30’s. That said, persistence pays off, as demonstrated by Seth Hinder who has put in a lot of time fishing the Gunpowder all winter. He caught this 17 inch brown swinging and stripping a zonker downstream erratically. Nice work Seth!
This weekend should see a break in the freezing nighttime temperatures, this will help get that water temperature up which will stir up the insect, then, trout activity. The weather is forecast to be cloudy, still and wet, ideal for some early season trout fishing!
Fishing on the Gunpowder is generally slow but time put in on the river always pays off. I fished Wednesday afternoon with Darin Crew above Falls road and we had the place to ourselves. The temperature was lingering below freezing but the wind had subsided allowing for comfortable fishing. Between us we covered a lot of water and ended with 5 trout but those caught were chunky wild browns between 9 – 14 inches.
When the water temperatures are as cold as they are, and little is hatching, odds are against catching numbers so it’s often worthwhile going for larger fish that may be tempted into opportunistic meal. Dead drifting streamers in the deeper pools is a great way to target these fish.
The Gunpowder is at an ideal 99cfs, starting the day at 36 cfs, and clear.Over the past week the discharge from Prettyboy dam has been gradually decreased from the 200+ cfs it was previously. At this current level, water temperature can really jump during a mild day, which looks good for the weekend. Early brown and little black stoneflies have been hatching, fishing a size 16 prince nymph is a good imitative pattern for these, which you will see crawling up logjams drying out their wings. If you see or hear a splashy rise, try skating a dry in the faster water, the first strong hatches of the year will tempt hungry fish to look up for a meal through early afternoon.