The holidays are getting into full swing and with many folks enjoying family or doing last minute shopping, now is a great time to find some water to yourself! If you’re among the last minute shoppers, please note that the shop will be operating under normal hours this week, with Monday (12/23) being our last day open before Christmas.
Now onto the fishing! Water levels on the Gunpowder have been consistently favorable with great clarity. The river is currently flowing around 80 CFS, however water temps are only hanging around the mid 40s. This means that nymphing will be the most productive technique if you’re making your way onto the water! Until the flows drop below 50 CFS, 5x tippet will suffice in most nymphing situations. Tandem rigs of a heavy copper john or caddis pupa imitation paired with a small (size 18-22) zebra midge or pheasant tail nymph have been very productive recently.
For those hoping to get out and throw streamers, keep in mind that the fish are cold and not very interested in moving for a meal! A favorite technique here at the shop is to dead drift a heavily weighted zonker. When the water is cold this can be the best way to connect with some of the gunpowder’s larger fish who are replenishing their fat reserves after the spawn.
As always, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for fish sipping midges in the slower runs and tail-outs of pools. This is especially true around the Masemore and Bunker Hill access points. As winter progresses also keep an eye out for stoneflies, which can sometimes be spotted skittering across the waters surface on a sunny winter day! These can be easily imitated by a small black caddis pattern and can draw explosive rises from ambitious trout!