Monthly Archives: July 2007

Gunpowder River Full of Tricos, Tubers and Wild Fish

Fly fishing along the Gunpowder has been challenging this week. Lots of tubers and boaters have sent more than a few folks into the shop muttering. Fly fishing early and late might be the right approach if you tend to fall into the muttering group. If you can tolerate the “other” traffic, try swinging a nymph or two after the boats have passed and you might find a surprised wild brown trout on the other end of your line. The river is flowing at 90 Cfs, water temps are in the 56 to 58 F range and we’ve had numerous reports from anglers connecting with early morning tricos at Masemore and just downstream of Bluemount Rd access. Bwo’s, especially on cloudy days, have also been accounting for a number of fish released above Falls Rd. access. Nymph fishing can be a very good method to try between hatches. Small Copper Johns in the #16-18 range and larger stonefliy patterns like the “twenty-incher” are worth a shot. But keep in mind, even if fish are not actively rising on or near the surface, sometimes they’ll take a large terrestrial pattern with abandon. For those of you who think the Devil made tricos, stop in the next time you’re up and we’ll show you some smartly tied, reverse hackled, trikes from Mike Bachkosky, that may just make your trico woes go away.

Thanks to Bill For the Following report from July 21,

Theaux – Fished downstream from York Road on Friday morning, and saw only one other fisherman (while I was walking out) in four hours. Brought 9 browns to hand and LDR’d a few more. Used a tandem rig consisting of a #18 bead head PT nymph with a starling collar about 16″ under a #16 bead head “Go To” nymph. All but one fish took the #18 dropper, and everything caught came out of a riffle. Saw no rises the entire time, and only a few scattered caddis
fluttering about from time to time.


The North Platte Fly Fishing Report from Encampment, Wyoming

The fishing on the North Platte River during the week of July 8th was excellent. My Dad and I were fishing the river just upstream a few miles from the town of Encampment, Wyoming. The flows on the river were extremely low, making a float trip impossible. However, wading in the low flows of the Platte provided great action.
Platte River Boulder Field
The bugs were everywhere during the entire week. Each morning I would find at least a couple large golden stone casings on each boulder inthe river.These were about size #6 or #8. Caddis were hatching along with PMDs in #14-16. The trico hatch was tremendous eachmorning while we were there. It looked as if there was a dense fog laying over the river each day at around 10 am. The spinner fall provided excellent action. The terrestrial life was brilliant as well. Large hoppers were everywhere along with plenty of ants. When the tricos were not hatching I was always fishing tight to the bank with a large hopper usually in a size #4 or #6. Some of my favorite hopper patterns throughout the week included the BC Dropper Hopper and the Idylwilde Parachute Hopper. But any large deer hair or foam pattern would get the job done. I also used a variety of large black and tan chernoyble ants that brought many fish to the net. Ipractically fished only dries all week but I did occasionally drop abeadhead off a hopper. A standard size #14 bead head copper john nymph worked wonders.
Small Fly=Big Cutthroat
One morning, a heavy rain left the river slightly off color. My Dad and I fished woolly buggers and had a banner morning with plenty of big browns.

Introducing Alex McCrickard

Alex McCrickard is 16 years old and loves the outdoors. He has been fly fishing for seven years. When he’s not fly fishing or fly tying, he’s playing soccer, or ice hockey, and listening to country music. Following this post is a stream report from Alex from the North Platte River.

Platte River Brownie

We hope to hear more from Alex as he develops into a fine fly fisherman.
Judging from the photos and fish accompanying his report, he’s well on his way.

Fly Fishing Clinic: Nymphing

Please Join us Thursday evening, August 30, 2007 from 6:00 PM till 8:00 PM for a nymphing clinic along the Gunpowder River.

A great clinic for those who would like to brush-up on skills prior to a trip out West. Learn how to fish nymphs effectively using a variety of techniques.

Cost is $75 per person and participants provide their own gear. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-329-6821 or drop us a line at to preregister.

Bamboo Fly Fishing Rods built in Baltimore, Maryland II, Hon

I just wanted to update all of you on the bamboo rod I’m building for the shop and to lend some insight into the rod making process. There are five major steps in making a bamboo rod:
1.preparing the bamboo for planing
4.attaching the components (guides, ferrules, reel seat) and
5.applying the finish (varnishing).
So far I’ve flamed the culm (pole) of bamboo with a propane torch, split out the 18 individual strips that will become a butt section and two tip sections. A bamboo rod is not made of a single piece of bamboo which has been shaped into a hexagon from the outside, rather, it’s made of 6 individual pieces which are shaped on the inside edges and are then glued together to form a hexagon. This initial process involves, sanding, pressing and smoothing the nodes and finally, straightening the strips using a heat gun and vise.
My Bamboo Stash
Next, the strips will be run through my router-powered beveler which cuts the initial 60 degree angle on two sides of the strip. After that I’ll scrape off the thin layer of enamel (kind of like bark) from the outer edge of each strip, exposing what will become the outer surface of the finished rod. After this the strips are ready to rough plane. I usually plane to within 0.030 inches of final measurements and then fine-tune any strips that need to be straightened a bit more. After inspecting each strip for any flaws I then go ahead with final planing. I try to keep tolerances to within 0.001 in. which is not really all that hard with accurate tools and a sharp hand plane. Next comes the sticky job of gluing the strips together to form a blank. After gluing, what was previously just a bunch of long matchsticks emerges as a bona-fide flyrod.
Then I’ll cut the sections to their proper length, attach the ferrules with marine-grade epoxy, shape the cork grip, fit the ferrules and wrap the guides with 4/0 silk thread. After all of this I apply the finish (Minwax spar varnish) to the rod in several stages. The reel seat goes on last. Oh yeah, the reel seat. I make my own inserts from highly figured wood I get from my cabinet maker friend, Fife Hubbard. I usually stick to down locking cap and ring style hardware for trout rods.
So there you have it. From start to finish it takes me about 70 hours of active work time plus about 2 weeks of inactive time (waiting for glue and varnish to dry) to make a bamboo flyrod.
In the next post I’ll discuss some of the specialized tools I use and maybe even have a short movie of me running some strips through the beveler.

Still straightening,

Fly Tying for Beginners

Please join us for a Beginners Fly Tying Class on Saturday September 22, from 11:00 AM till 2:00PM. It’s an introductory fly tying class that focuses on Gunpowder river patterns. Our very own Gunpowder river guides will be teaching this fun-filled beginners class. Cost of the class is $45 per person, and includes the use of tools and materials. The class is limited to six and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-329-6821 or drop us a line at to pre-register.

It’s Wild Out There:Northern Brown Water Snake vs Gunpowder River Brown Trout

The thought of killing trout, especially wild trout is certainly taboo amongst fly fishermen in the 21st century. A wild Gunpowder brown is worthy of more than just table fare. Despite good or bad days on the water, angler’s stomachs never suffer. Although, the other true fisherman on this river rely entirely on the bounty the cold flowing water provides. Herons stalk the shallows at Masemore with a deftness that anglers could only dream of acquiring. King fishers lie in wait on high perches and watch for risers to present a target; not for a fly, but for their beak. Snakes lie coiled on the banks, under rocks and in log jams. They eat trout and just this year alone three reports from anglers told of such tales. We now have video footage and stills sent in by a customer who witnessed the food chain in action.

The river is home to various types of Water, Garter and Black Snakes. Copperheads are also found along the river in more numbers than most people would like to hear about. I have seen four copperheads this year alone. The Bunker Hill access now has signs warning of sightings around the bridge abutments. This video features a Northen Brown Water Snake. If anyone sees a snake latched onto a trout resist the urge to intervene on the trout’s behalf, as I once did last year. I managed to avoid getting bit, safely released both creatures, and separated them as if they were two young kids in a tussle. Now you two get along. Afterwards I quickly realized I accomplished very little. The snake surely went on to procure another trout and worse yet the first trout may not have recovered from the battle. It can be hard to watch something as beautiful as a trout being killed by a creature that resonates an innate wickedness in our mind. Resist killing or intervening to free a trout from a water snake because you may need medical intervention, if your snake identification isn’t as good as your insect identification.

Intermediate Fly Tying:Emergers

Please join us for an Intermediate Fly Tying Class on Saturday September 15, from 11:00 AM till 2:00PM. It’s an intermediate fly tying class that focuses on cripple and emerger patterns. Our very own Gunpowder river guides will be teaching this fun-filled intermediate class. Cost of the class is $45 per person, and please bring your own tools and materials. The class is limited to six and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-329-6821 or drop us a line at to pre-register.

Great Summer Flows Spell Great Fly Fishing along the Gunpowder River in Monkton, Maryland

For those of you watching the stream gauge, we have positively wonderful flows along the Gunpowder river at 125 Cfs, the larger volume of water is also cooler than it was last week, (less time for sunlight to warm it up) from the catch and release section through Monkton at 54 F. Large flies can really help trick fish when covering water at higher flows. Terrestrials like hoppers, sized #8-12 and large foam beetles, in the #10-12 range are worth a shot.

Big Gunpowder River Bow

Don stopped in today and reported new Graffitti at Bunkerhill Rd access along the rock ledge pool. If you witness any vandalism or poaching in Gunpowder State Park, please give the NRP, (Natural Resources Police) a call at 410-356-7060 or 800-635-6124.

On a lighter note, he also released a 13″ wild brown that was carring a yellow tag in it’s back. If you’ve found any fish like this, please give us a call at 410-329-6821 or drop us a line at and we’ll forward the information to MD DNR Fisheries Staff.

Related Posts:
17″ Gunpowder River Kamloops Rainbow

Poaching Activity in 2003