A year hasn’t even passed since we learned about Didymo’s presence in the Gunpowder River, and yet the angling community’s awareness about aquatic invasives has grown tremendously. Suddenly the act of just going fishing on two different waters over the same weekend can make people apprehensive. At least it should, as the photo above shows a rock on the Gunpowder nearly covered in the invasive algae, which appeared last Spring, and has been appearing in recent years throughout the Northeast on popular trout rivers. An overwhelming number of local anglers are shifting to new rubber soles for travel, and designating old felt soled boots for the Gunpowder only. The rubber soled boots clean easy and dry quickly, while felt can prove to be difficult to thoroughly clean and dry for outings the next day. The shop currently has a selection of eight styles of rubber soled shoes in stock from Simms, Cloudveil, Patagonia, and Chota. Check out more details in our online catalog and be sure to check out recent gear reviews posted on the site.
So far the experience with Didymo in the Gunpowder has been varied. While its current presence has certainly affected the aesthetics of the upper C & R sections, its effects on the subsurface fishing has added a new challenge, as the photo above shows. Last April the growths that fouled our flies all winter, started breaking up, washing down river and soon the river bottom was clean again by Summer. The few places I found Didymo present last Summer were slow moving areas, and not the riffles and runs it coated during the Winter of 2007. During Winter 2008 the Didymo grew back in the upper river significantly, and since January the “rock snot” turned a pale gray color and fouled subsurface flies frequently in the first miles below Prettyboy Dam. Pieces of the algae are now starting to drift downstream again, possibly due to fluctuating flows from spillover or a natural cycle for the algae. This Spring/Summer may give us a better indication of what to expect in regards to its lifecycle and growth over the course of the year.
Fly Fishing Maryland? Please join us for a Beginners Fly Tying Class on Saturday, April 18, 2009 from 9:00 AM till 12:00 PM. It’s an introductory fly tying class that focuses on Gunpowder river favorite fly patterns. One of our Maryland 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 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to pre-register.