Author Archives: Ethan Lawson

Easter Weekend Gunpowder River Report

Brown Trout on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder is flowing 170 CFS and starting the day at 50F and warming to 52-54F. The water seems to have cleared from the greenish tint that it has had in recent weeks. With the warmer weather recently, fish have spread out quite nicely throughout the river. We have been doing best nymphing deep, but fish are starting to take swung wet fly’s and soft hackles through different parts of the water column. We are coming across a few rising fish in the afternoon, although they are still relatively spread out and seem to be eating mostly midges. Sporadic hendrickson’s, quill gordons, caddis, stoneflies, and even a few sulphurs have been spotted throughout the river. Pheasant tails and Hare’s Ear’s have been productive, along with our shop patterns, particularly Mike Bachkosky’s ties. Stop in and we will point you in the right direction.

With more rain on the way, be sure to check the USGS gauge before heading to the river.  Since the reservoir is still spilling over, it does not take much rain for the river to rise. Take special care wading should the river rise above 225CFS. The shop will be closed this Sunday, April 21.

10 Foot Fly Rod Review

As ‘Euro-Nymphing’ has grown in popularity here in the states over the past few years, longer 10’ and even 10’6’’ and 11’ rods have become increasingly popular as well. Typically, these rods have an extremely sensitive tip section and a stronger backbone in the mid and lower sections of the rod.  The sensitivity in the tip section allows the angler to feel their nymphs/weight/shot throughout the drift. One often over looked benefit of a 10’ rod for dry fly fishing and indicator nymphing is the ability to manage line across different seams in the river. The longer rods make reaching tough to reach areas much easier than traditional 9’ fly rods. We currently have the following 10’ rods in stock in the shop:

Echo Shadow II 10’ 2WT

Echo Shadow II 10’6 4WT

Echo Shadow X 10’ 3WT

Echo Shadow X 11’ 3WT

Scott Radian 10’ 4WT

Winston BIIIX Super 10’ 4WT

A personal favorite of mine for fishing the Gunpowder is the Echo Shadow II 10’ 2WT.  Not only is this an excellent euro-nymph rod, I also find it delivers dry fly’s at short to medium ranges pretty well.

A short description from Echo on the Shadow II series: “Light and fast, the Shadow II offers critical line feel and control with an action that will also toss a loop when the bugs start flying.”

At the Shadow II’s price point ($249.99), I think you will be very pleased with its feel and performance. With that said, the 10’ 3WT’s and 4WT’s we have in stock will be far more versatile.  The 3WT and 4WT rods will allow you to fish larger rivers through heavier water and offer more fish fighting control.

If you enjoy fishing the waters of Western MD and up in to Pennsylvania, the Echo Shadow X and G. Loomis NRX Nymph would be my choice.  The Shadow X is 20% lighter than the Shadow II leading to reduced fatigue while nymphing. Both the Shadow X and NRX Nymph are extremely sensitive while maintaining a relatively stiff backbone for positive hooksets on fish.

The Winston BIIIX Super 10’ and the Scott Radian are my favorite rods aesthetically and I feel they are the most versatile if you are routinely fishing water larger than the Gunpowder. Both of these rods are truly crafts of art and built with the quality we have come to expect from Winston and Scott.  If I were to choose between the two, I would choose the Radian if I were looking for an all around performance rod, and the Super 10 if I were looking for a more dedicated nymph rod.  The Super 10 has a softer tip and is a bit heavier than the Radian.  Winston added a 2’’ fighting cork to reduce arm fatigue.

I picked up a Scott Radian 10’ 5WT expecting to fish Colorado run-off last June.  Turns out, it was one of the lowest snowpack’s in Colorado history last season and rivers were flowing well below normal. I still fished the 10’ 5WT and was not disappointed at all in the rods ability to cast size 16 and 18 dry fly’s at rising fish.  This rod is incredibly accurate at long distances.

All of these 10’ rods will help you manage line on the water and perfect your drift whether you are tight-line nymphing, indicator nymphing, or dry fly fishing.  Swing by the shop and give one of these rods a cast!