Cooler air temps and changing leaves are here, so the Fall fishing has begun. The larger wild brown above is also indicative of Fall fishing on the Gunpowder. This brown measured over fifteen inches and didn’t take a big streamer, but instead took a size 20 midge larva on 5X tippet. I fished a few hours in the rain, and the day after the big storm. The browns were aggressive in the mid-river areas (stained water) after the storm, especially on caddis larva and pupa patterns. A variety of brighter nymphs like copper johns, green weenies, and SJWs also produced trout in the off color flows. The recent heavy rains mainly affected water levels in the sections outside the Catch and Release area, so the upper miles of river remained low and clear. In the next few days the clarity in the lower sections of river outside the C & R will improve quickly. The Gunpowder has a lot of feeder creeks, so the farther down river will equate to higher flows. In the upper sections of river tricos, olives and caddis are fooling trout in riffles. Nymphing small flies is also working well in riffles, and deeper pools. The shop received a large midge order, which included a variety of RS2s, WD-40s, and zebra midges. Small flies can be the most effective patterns through the Fall and Winter on the Gunpowder. In the latest video post I filmed a few fish on my first days back on the river.
What a Diff’rence a Day Made! The remnants of tropical storm Nicole have had their effect. Outside of the saturated ground and multitude of leaves scattered en masse along the trails, –a sight we don’t typically see until mid-October, the Upper Gunpowder Falls River is not any worse off. Just yesterday Frank Roylance was asking readers to vote on a poll titled: Should schools be closing due to heavy rain? Judging from today’s Baltimore Sun coverage of the Jones Falls, (also featured on his fine weather blog) the short answer, at least along the Falls Rd corridor near Mt Washington, is a resounding YES! So after locally heavy rains power washed my otherwise filthy car, tested my gutters and scoured local feeder creeks, the Gunpowder remains full of low cold water, spooky fish and tiny dries-if that kind of talk doesn’t get your blood up, you’re probably still pumping out your flooded basement. The Gunpowder river is flowing at 34 CFs, (read-shin deep) is clear above Falls Rd and is quickly clearing below York Rd. Flows should remain low through the weekend and beyond. Olives and Tricos are good morning bets and we’ve found a few fish at the heads of pools this week taking much larger flies than they should. We’ve grouped some lucky ones in the muffin tins on the front counter. Please remember folks that you could be doing worse things with your time than fly fishing and that no torch songs were ever written about the river, so be sure to bring up longer leaders in the ten to twelve foot range ending in 6 or 7x and plenty of moxie– or moxy if you prefer.
Thanks to Scott Burns for the following report from a mid-September trip to the Restigouche river in pursuit of Atlantic Salmon:
Hi Theaux. Returned last week from a trip to northern New Brunswick, where I caught the salmon in the photo (and several others) on the Islander reel you sold me a while back. The river was up nicely after rain from the late stages of Hurricane Earl, and the fish really turned on. The salmon season comes to a close on the river I fished next week – nice way to end things for the year! It is worth noting that salmon numbers in much of Atlantic Canada are slowly rising as a result of the closure of most of the mixed stock commercial fisheries and a significant increase in catch and release by anglers in the region. Hope the trend continues. The Atlantic Salmon Federation deserves much of the credit.
Anglers please note the lucky shop t-shirt that Scott is wearing- thanks for riding for the brand Scott!