March Fly Fishing On The Gunpowder

Gunpowder March Snow
The Gunpowder river is flowing at 187 CFs, and water temps have increased a few degrees after a week of warmer air temperatures. The access has improved as far as parking, and most of the catch and release lots are plowed. Access along the trails is also improving as some spots are melted, others packed snow, yet some areas not getting sun are still knee deep. Yesterday water temps in the Falls Road section reached 41 degrees midday, which is up from the previous week’s temps in the 37-39 degree range. The slight increase helped start a sparse midge hatch, which has been long overdue, but I didn’t see any fish rising. Stronger hatches and rising trout may not be far off, if the weather continues to improve. Nymphing midge patterns paired with small nymphs is a good bet, although anglers bottom bouncing may notice the presence of Didymo again in the upper miles below Prettyboy Dam. Sections downriver with a siltier, gravel substrate don’t have as much algae visible as the areas further up river. The best way to minimize “fouling” your flies frequently is to use less weight, rig the indicator closer to the flies and make shorter drifts. Streamer fishing has yielded the best results, and is easier to keep the fly close to, but just off the algae on the river bottom. The past two days on the water I noticed the fish much more aggressive, chasing streamers and landed a couple browns. A few anglers sent in these reports relaying similar success on the Gunpowder.

Went out at York Rd. Had only 1 bite (a chub I think) that I long-distance released, and caught one 10-12″ brownie. Caught him on a black articulated bugger, drifted downstream just at dusk between the interstate overpasses and the York Road bridge. Didn’t even see any others! The water was very cold, but not particularly deep, so there didn’t seem to be too much runoff.

Other than the cold, the weather was beautiful and it was great to get out! If the snow stays much longer, I’m contemplating carrying snowshoes on a day pack!


and another from a 12 year veteran of the Gunpowder,

Hey guys, just to let you know that I’ve noticed since fall that the fish in gunpowder are getting bigger. Before I was catching fish in the 6 to 10 inch range and since fall they’re in the 8 to 14 inch range. I do most of my fishing off the NCR trail near Monkton. Water is high and cold, but the brownies still need to eat. A 14.5 inch brown was caught off a size 16 beadhead pheasant tail dropper off a size 12 of the same. Thanks for the time and effort on your web site and happy fishing.

Jason miller