The Gunpowder has remained fishable the past weeks despite levels reaching the mid 200 Cfs range. Fishing streamers and nymphs was very effective in the higher flows, and dry fly action was good in the wider slower moving areas of the river. Flows have leveled out around 100 Cfs, with temps fluctuating from 60-64 depending on air temps and surface water temps on Prettyboy Reservoir. MD Fisheries and Baltimore City are working together to increase insect hatches by allowing the spillover/releases to warm up the river in a way that is closer to typical freestones in the region. The result being that Sulphurs are out weeks early, and spinnerfalls are happening throughout numerous miles of river. A week ago in the Glencoe stretch sulphurs and spinners brought trout to the surface in riffles after 6 PM. While Sulphurs are hatching in the upper stretches of the Gunpowder, warmer water down river may mean areas in the lower C & R or below Monkton could have good hatches and few anglers. Parking accesses in the C & R may be filled midday with cars, but by evening boaters, hikers and most fishermen have left before the surface action gets going. Caddis dries are working through the day, but for rising fish and strong hatches, fishing late is best.
The higher water tends to keep some anglers away, so adapting your tactics can result in great fishing, with little pressure. One day I brought out the Sage Z-Axis, sinking tip and medium size “brown trout” streamers for the midday fishing in the higher water. I switched back to dry flies for the evening bite, and yes the browns do rise when the water is over 200 Cfs. The latest video shows streamer fishing in the high water and hatching sulphurs on the Gunpowder.