The Gunpowder River is flowing at 104 CFS at Falls Road, a higher flow then we are used to seeing in the dead of summer. The frequent thunderstorms have added enough water into Prettyboy Reservoir to keep the flows high. Fishing terrestrials in the sections below Falls Road has started to prove productive and will only heat up as we continue through the remainder of the summer. Caddis have also been hatching throughout the middle of the day into the evening, a simple X-Caddis or Elk-haired Caddis in a size 16 should do the trick. Nymphing small Pheasant-Tails and Zebra Midges have been the best way to fool fish in the morning before the water heats up. The fish above was tricked on a caddis in the upper river. The fish pictured below was caught by Stephen Knott on a streamer right before a thunderstorm, a great fish to see on the Gunpowder.
How many of us wish we could step out of the car or truck and just go fishing without having to lose time rigging up in the parking lot? The answer is the Sumo Magnet Rod Mount which easily fits under the back seat of vehicle when not in use. The kit is priced at $149.95 and will hold up to 6 flyrods-perfect if you’re fishing with a bunch of friends or checking out a few access points throughout the day. At first I was hesitant of the design and unsure of how well it would hold up during harsh conditions. After using it this winter, I’ve found it to be a great tool that has helped me spend more time fishing.
Fly fishing is a sport that constantly surprises me. One can have a memorable day by catching more fish then usual, catching a big fish, or just having seen an amazing hatch.This past Monday was one of those days for me. I hooked close to 10 fish and landed 3. One of the fish I didn’t land was a big brown pushing 18-20 inches. These are the kinds of days that keep us all coming back to fish again, and with the cold weather finally nearing its end everyone should be itching to get out and wet a line on their favorite stretch of the Gunpowder. Catching the fish on Monday was definitely tough but I was able to move fish on a streamer pattern. Fishing around structure like log jams, big boulders, or bushes at the rivers edge proved to be the most successful way to approach the fish. Within the next two weeks we should start to see heavier stone fly hatches. Moving from spot-to-spot and covering water may help you catch more fish or at least experience more action.
Despite the cold weather, harsh winds and snow, I have sent many people out fishing in the past week by simply issuing them a a 2013 fishing license, and handing off a basic assortment of nymphs and streamers, including a new leader, a spool of tippet and a few thingamabobbers. Fishing this time of year presents many challenges but if you’re willing to brave frozen fingers and cold feet the wild browns on the Gunpowder River are more than willing to cooperate. Usually in the winter months the flows are in the 30-60 CFs range, but in the past week the River has been closer to 250 to 150 CFs–a great flow for throwing streamers and heavy nymphs. Flows like this are to be celebrated and deserve attention by fisherman who are starting to get bit by the “fishing bug.” I’ve been out the past four days and have been able to pick up a fish or two each day by nymphing with stonefly and zebra midge patterns. One of the keys to fishing now is to get your flies to the bottom quickly while “slowing down” your fishing. Fisherman that do this should have many productive days on the water ahead of them. I’ll be fishing more in the coming year-will you?
Please note: If you need a license to ring in the New Year you may purchase a fishing or hunting license online or by phone at 855-855-3906. If you’ll be fishing the Gunpowder you’ll need a non-tidal, (freshwater) license and a trout stamp.
I just got back this past week from central PA. While there are not many well known rivers and streams in that area, there are several small mountain creeks that hold high populations of native brook trout. We stay in a small town by the name of Eaglesmere and travel down the mountain to Worlds End State Park. In the park there are eight to ten small streams. My favorite is Double Run, it has four waterfall pools that range from three inches to nine feet in depth. The streams usually only span two to four feet. Many people would walk over a stream like this, thinking that there is no way that any fish could survive in such a small stream. An average catch on a stream is anywhere from ten to thirty fish a day-all about five inches long. Even though the fish are small they make up for it with their beauty. This year I was lucky enough to catch a seven year, fifteen inch trout which is by far the biggest fish I have ever taken out of the stream. I encourage people to get out and try some smaller streams up in the mountains of PA and MD. Brook trout are extremely fragile, and populations are declining all along the East Coast, so be sure to pinch the barb down on the hook and bring forceps to get the hook out of the fish. Try using a size #14-16 elk hair caddis. It will usually prove to be successful and it’s easy to fish.