Hendricksons, Quill Gordons, And Rising Water Temps On The Gunpowder

Gunpowder Wild Brown Trout
This past weekend hendricksons and quill gordons started hatching on the Gunpowder. On Sunday I saw a few dozen while guiding on the river, but on Monday the 80 degree air temps brought on a steady hatch. I didn’t stay until dark to see the spinners returning to the water, but I did catch a few browns on a hendrickson dun in the riffles. Stoneflies were also flying around in enough numbers that they brought splashy rises when they hit the water. I even saw a few caddis hatching in small numbers. The water temperature spiked to nearly 54 degrees on Monday, and rain caused the river to rise today. Flows are still climbing, and the current level is 165 CFs. The past two weeks anglers have had success nymphing midge patterns and small nymphs. Swinging nymphs is always an easy way to catch fish now that mayflies are hatching. Pheasant tails (minus soft hackle) were resulting in inadvertent catches, when clients lifted the flies to the surface at the end of a drift. Streamers are working well in these flows, and will likely produce bigger browns than dries or nymphs. Josh and Mike caught numerous browns on Zonkers last Sunday, including the brown above. The shop just received a shipment of hendrickson duns, both snow shoe and traditional variations. We have emergers, light and dark hendrickson patterns, as well as spinners. If the rain and warm weather continue over the next weeks, it is likely we will see sulphurs hatching alongside hendricksons. The spillover adds warmer water, and generally gets the bugs hatching weeks earlier than normal. Last year I saw my first sulphur on April 15th, and hit a good spinnerfall on the 20th. The current conditions are similar to last Spring, so carrying a few sulphur patterns may be a good idea in the coming weeks.