January Gunpowder River Report

The Gunpowder River has been a popular place around the holidays for many people to get out and fish. Visiting anglers from New Jersey, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, South Dakota and Alabama made a point to stop in the shop over the holiday, on the way to the river. Cold nights and the cold surface water spillover at Prettyboy Dam has kept river temps colder than normal, but the amount of spillover is dropping. While recent reports from many anglers have detailed tough fishing, emails of successful outings including pics of nice browns relay that the trout are feeding! Bigger nymphs have been found by both Alex McCrickard and myself, like this Giant stonefly Nymph pictured below.
Big Black Stonefly nymph
I experienced a few tough days recently, but still managed a dozen fish most outings. My first day on the water in 2009 was spent fishing shallow riffles with midges and nymphs size 20-24. In two hours I landed 8 trout on tiny nymph patterns, with little or no action on anything else. I did see a lonely stonefly adult, but small midges have been the most abundant insects hatching on the river. A few anglers relayed some success on Prince Nymphs, Red Butts, Pheasant tails, and San Juan Worms. The fish will hit a bigger fly, but small nymph patterns and midges are consistently catching fish. The fish are holding on the bottom, so a good bit of weight, and thoroughly drifting the best lies helps.