Water levels in the Gunpowder have been falling steadily from the 180’s last week to 110 mid-week and are plateauing a little below 70 Cfs and well into ideal wading and fishing conditions. With the cold nights seemingly hanging on water temps have been swinging down from 56-57 F earlier this week to 49.5 F this morning. As to hatches, we’ve seen a few speckled, gray winged caddis and tiny Blue Winged Olives. Find time to explore the tributaries bounded by Mt.Laurels and Rhododendrons and fringed by Mayapples. Now is the time to fish below the confluence of these small noisy runs moving groundwater from the upland seeps and springs dotted with Skunk cabbage and leaving only bits of mirrored Mica confetti strewn in the quiet gravel filled pools. Though small, they have enough flow to warm up the downstream segments if for just a few yards adding vital surface water from the land to the otherwise frigid cold waters emanating from the Dam. Here one can catch a glimpse of a ramshackle cadre of Sulphur yellow mayflies with wings too wet to lift off mired in current and fumbling around the surface film before they disappear down the hatch of a wild trout nosing in the foam laden shallows.
Unsettled weather carries cold fronts passing, April showers in full swing and the Gunpowder River rising. Looking skyward to catch a notion of light and a bit of blue foretelling of fair winds ahead I send a wish upstairs that my garden plot may dry out enough so I can get back to working the soil…That said the Gunpowder River is flowing at 277 Cfs and falling. That’s 277 cubic feet, say the size of a basketball, pouring over one’s favorite rock through the Upper Gorge every second. Unless it’s a bank fishing outing that’s mighty quick through the narrow upper river corridor.If you have a kayak bring your helmet and scope any snags and deadfalls before committing…Wade fisherman will be better served under 125 Cfs so check the gauge-it will move downward quickly. Water temp is climbing from 47.5 F and the magic # is 51 F that will surely wake up a few wild browns hanging on the bottom and behind wood. We’ve had a few in today chasing fishing with sinking lines and tips and streamers. Better fishing is just ahead, particularly when the River calms down and stops resembling sheet flow.