“Red Hot” Winter Report On The Gunpowder

Snowy Gunpowder River
A recent release change at Prettyboy Dam dropped flows on the Gunpowder to the 28-30 CFs range. In low flows many trout will hold in the best water, so anglers should focus on the deeper runs and riffles. Winter fishing can be a challenge, but the reward of catching trout is well worth it. Thanks to John Burger for passing on his report below.


Fished Masemore stretch on Sunday after I left the shop. Did not see anyone for first 3 hours. Rigged with 9′ 5x leader, extended with two sections of 6x flouro per your guidance. Leader was between 11-12 feet. Indicator 6-7 feet up.

Fished two spots for 45 minutes each. Fished both patterns you gave me and tried a couple of other similar midge patterns I had (black, cream, brown etc). No Joy.

Then swtched up to red copper john on top and rojo midge on bottom. As soon as I did that, got first fish on red copper john. Two casts later another fish, again top fly. Then decided to go “all red”. Size 18 red copper john and size 20 red midge pattern.

That’s when I could not keep them off the line. Dialed in a couple of seams in the same hole at the bend and fished for 2 hours. Caught 8 and missed many (A little rusty on the set on subtle takes). Nothing big. Largest fish 11 inches.

Other notable observations. Lots of snow falling from overhead trees. The heavy snow really bombarded the river, and me once, especially when the wind blew a bit. Thought that might have spooked the fish at first, but found they did not seem to care.

Feel free to post this.

Thanks for the tips.


John Burger
Tampa FL