Welcome To Knee Deep Fly Fishing

Sharing the joy of fly fishing and the region’s streams with others is a passion of Knee Deep guides. Whether you’re an expert angler or a first-time fisherman, the Knee Deep experience is tailored to your specific interests and experience.  Our offerings range from in-home casting and fly tying instruction to multi-day on-water escapes.  And, of course, we can design custom packages for corporate events and special occasions, including bachelor outings, anniversaries, and girls day out.

Endless Summer

So, it’s been a wild summer. While doing this “fishing” thing I have the pleasure of sharing people’s weekends-off and being a part of their family time and time away from jobs/chores/routines. It’s when I start cashing in checks with my family for guiding days as we near the end of the season that I stop and reflect on some of the great people and stories I’ve been a part of as the seasons have passed.

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While it seems like yesterday, back in the spring, I got to fish with a really cool couple who are documenting their fishing travels as they check-off the top 100 trout rivers in the US. I’ll note that Theaux from Backwater Angler set me up with these characters (and I mean that in the most affectionate manner possible) and I was honored to guide for him/his shop in what was one of our trickier spring seasons with crazy flows and air/water temps. I feel like we were wearing wool caps till June! Their web site is www.riverramble.com. Click over and check them out. While they’ve fished in a lot of beautiful places I enjoyed sharing the “back yard” of so many Baltimore/DC residents with them. It’s in sharing the resource that I’m reminded about how special it is to have a tailwater nearby. Check out their travels over on their website.

We’ll see you on the river!

The Knee Deep Crew

PS, did you know that Backwater Angler has moved? Check out the link above and stop in to say Hello!

It’s not you, it’s me!

It’s not that we don’t love talking about fishing it’s just that sitting down in front of the computer is hard when we could actually be fishing or tying flies or casting in the yard with the kids.

Now at this point I don’t even know where to begin to get you caught up. I do know that “Downtown Abby” has started again (or someone is getting caught up…I really don’t know) so I’ll be sure to get more updates in here this summer at night.

I had the pleasure of spending the 4th with my better-half’s family up in Erie, PA this past week. I’ve been fortunate enough to make a lot of friends doing this guiding thing and some of my pals up north are the most hospitable of all. My pals Mark and Steve broke me out of the house one night and we hit Presque Isle for an evening. This is one of the coolest parks I’ve ever been to…for Jersey people, think Island Beach State park but with better rock piles and fresh water. Bring a bicycle and canoe or surf board if you have one. Well, any time I get together with friends up there I just never know what to expect. I’ve managed to get my travel game tightened up to one plastic tub and a big rod case now that I’m married with kids. Fishing and family travel don’t generally mix but fishing is a religion in our house so we pack it everywhere. I seem to be able to pack the essentials into a tub – a dozen fly boxes, waders, an old rain jacket, cigars, fireworks – even a dry pair of boxers just in case. There I was standing in a bay on the peninsula with Steve and Mark and a group of guys from the Gem City Fly Tiers (check them out some time) and we were dragging up weeds by the pound. As the crew started to dwindle in number (each fishermen being replaced by a thousand additional mosquitoes) I noticed the weed line dropped out of sight at one point. The three of us made our way to what turned out to be a busy boat channel.

Each boat that passed us by was filled with bewildered pleasure-boat aficionados all questioning each other about what these 3 middle aged guys were doing out there hooting and hollering and waving around these fairy-sticks. It turns out there was magic in the blue outboard smoke wafting from the rear of each rum runner that bubbled past us and, as the wake would roll into the weeds in front of us, the bait fish would scatter and a couple schools of white bass would blow up on the surface. The best part was, if one of us could hook into a fish and hold it tight long enough another could cast a fly right in there and the school, following its companion, would turn its attention to the fresh fly. It was quite a sight to see for sure. A good night of fishing should involve a lot of laughing and there was no shortage of that – I only hope the folks on the other shore couldn’t hear the jokes.

I already miss my pals and can’t wait to see everyone again in the fall.

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So what’s going on back here at home? Well, to recharge after all that fishing, I needed to go fishing. I’ve spent a lot of time this summer NOT packing a camera and just fishing. Remember when it was just fishing? …me too! Turns out, it’s about the fishing.

I spent Tuesday afternoon with Gene from Backwater Angler up on the Big Gunpowder Falls stalking fish in the lower flows. I love it when the southern heat-machine fires up and wet wading in the 55 degree water finally seems sane. This was just what the doctor ordered as we found ourselves sight fishing midge larvae to some clear water tippet inspectors. I hadn’t had that much fun in a week – thanks for the company Gene! It was a great time but I had to go right about the time the sulfurs finally started coming off. I definitely had dreams about the spinner fall that I surely missed that night.

We’re focusing mainly on trout this summer with all the extra water this year it’s the logical place to be. If you’re looking to get out on the weekend, we’re booking about 4 to 5 weeks out at this point. Shoot in an email or call to get on the calendar and plan to stay till dark. We’ll bring coffee for your ride home!

Old Man Winter

We saw the groundhog on TV but we’re not so sure winter is over. Cabin fever has taken hold and we’re itching to get out and fish. We’ve made a few tweaks to KneeDeepff.com and we’re going to be sending out updates this season with availability for guide trips this season so be sure to sign up for the mailing list!

We had a great time seeing everyone at the International Fly Tying Symposium this fall and excited to see everyone at the upcoming shows. Maryland CCA’s “Tie Fest” is right around the corner (February 20th) and the Lancaster “Fly Fishing Show” is the weekend of March 5th. Start putting together the carpool now.

If you’ve never attended Tie Fest, you should beg, borrow, and steal to free up your calendar. It’s a great event that’s been showcasing some of the best tiers in the world and this year it’s combined with Light Tackle Fest; maybe you only want to get your feet a little wet in the fly fishing arena! Whatever your pleasure, we hope to see you there.

The Fly Fishing Show in Lancaster is a great venue. Many of the areas guides and shops will be present (look for Micah!) and the opportunity to sit in on a great list of seminars is not to be missed. The crowds are a little lighter than the NJ show in January so it’s a great time to interact with the pros and ask questions. The local restaurants are great and there’s plenty to do in Lancaster so think about bringing family along for the ride and making a weekend out of it.

 

We hope to see you at the shows and on the water!

Who want’s “real” bagels?

Any time I talk about taking a trip to NJ  I ask “Who want’s real bagels?” If you’re not from up north you just don’t get it. You may even think the bagels at the grocery store are just fine. I get it. You just don’t know.

This weekend is your chance to take a road trip to NJ and get hip to the best of the best in the world of fly tying AND get a big bag of bagels form the Garden State! If you’re headed up, look for yours truly and say hello!

We can’t wait to see everyone!

Keep in touch for updated on the winter’s “show travel” coming up.

-Micah

Hot Wet and Late in the Summer

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Shorter days and cooler temps are starting to make it feel like summer may be coming to an end. You won’t hear many anglers complaining about an end to the heat. Warm weather and waders are anything but a match made in heaven.

Just this week The Big Gunpowder saw a bump up in flows and the fishing is changing too. This is the time of year when the big bugs like the fall caddis and hoppers are in play and a great way to catch fish that’ve been eating small snacks all summer. If you’re still into those long, slow, pools we can find you a fish or two that are keyed in on midges!

There’s no better way to spend a fall day than on the river. With October right around the corner we’ve got a few openings set aside. Give us a call or email and we’ll get you on the water while the weather is great!

Tight lines,

Micah

 

 

How I spent my summer

As a fly fisherman, any type of travel always seems to have a day or two added in just for wetting a line. There are trips that are solely for the purpose of getting one’s feet wet and there are others where sneaking a rod in the luggage pays off. Most of our family traveling seems to include a day without dad as I sneak off to fish somewhere nearby.

As one travels, it’s nice to make new fishing friends along the way. With all of the technology surrounding us it’s easier to send out a late night note that says “hey, I’m headed your way. Let’s fish” to a long lost pal.

A few weeks ago  I was lucky enough to connect with my old friend Steve Wascher up on Lake Erie. You may know him as the world renowned fly tier. I know him as “that other big loud guy.”  I was visiting family and told him I was stranded with no vehicle but was free to fish; what a mooch!  He told me not to worry and we’d figure it out. After an all-night drive up to Erie, PA, I grabbed a few hours of sleep and was waiting in my in-laws driveway with 4 layers of clothes on. Hey, it’s a big change going from 100-degree days in Washington to 55-degee mornings up north!

After an education on trolling motors, (hey, I’m a trout guy, I know nothing) we were off to the lake. We didn’t get far before we started seeing fish on the surface. We cast and cast to a giant school of spotted gar (I insisted they were bass) for a while until Steve started hooking Sheepheads! Having cut my teeth fishing Midwest rivers with my father, I knew that this beautiful fish was in fact a prized sport fish. Many a fly angler has hunted the elusive Sheepsheads for hours on end, only to return home having brought none to their net.  Steve wasn’t so sure about their prize-worthy-ness and for the next couple of hours I hooked and lost a few while Steve continued to haul in slabs of zebra-muscle-encrusted-gold. I was pretty jealous but I eventually got mine when a school of white bass busted around us. I could still catch fish! Whew. Not to be outdone by some kid in the back of HIS boat, Steve put me to shame with a double on his dropper rig.20150724_111833 - Copy

It was a great morning spent telling jokes and burning my, normally wader covered, legs and feet out on the waters of Lake Erie. I returned home to receive the same lecture I get every time I hang out with Steve regarding the use of sunscreen. I can’t wait till my next trip up north to connect with my fishing buddies to hear about all the adventures they’ve had this summer. Hopefully it’ll be before steelhead season. Thanks for taking me fishing Steve!

May Flies! …and so do the bugs in June!

Most of you know we’re busy at home with our new intern, Jake, so the web updates have been few and far between. Hey, somebody’s got to get some sleep around here! Worse than that, we’ve been messing with our web design and we’re getting close to how we want Kneedeepff.com to look. Thanks for your patience while we screw it up here and there!

The fishing was slow to heat up but now that the summer temps have kicked in, so have the hatches. The sulfur’s are in full swing and we can’t get enough. It’s been so good lately, that with all the dries we’re throwing we had to order a bulk resupply of fly floatant.

This should keep our flies floating high no matter how much fish slime gets on them!

This should keep our flies floating high no matter how much fish slime gets on them!

Last week the weather was perfect and fishing in the evening even required a sweatshirt. I was lucky enough to stay late and had the river to myself as far as I could see (that’s a good feeling) and hiked out in the dark. I was treated to some aggressive fish who were happy to take my wet flies swung in and out of the eddies. A couple of them had the best colors I’d seen all season.

This is what I dream about when I'm not on the river.

This is what I dream about when I’m not on the river.

Make the most of your time this summer and give us a call. We’d love to show you how to cool off and how to get hooked up on the Gunpowder!

Keep your boots wet and keep in touch.

Micah and the Knee Deep Crew

April is here…no fooling!

It’s been a long winter. You’ve hidden in the basement or your den tying flies for months and, after a few tastes of warm weather (and that time the weather-man said it would be 85 but it was only 58) you woke up this morning to get cracking on your taxes! When will the fishing begin?

A favorite spring day making memories on the stream.

A favorite spring day making memories on the stream.

It starts right after you get an e-mail off to Knee Deep Fly Fishing and book your next weekend! We know you spent the winter chasing down deals on gear that Santa didn’t deliver and you’re itching to get those new rubber soled wading boots wet. We want to help make the most of your time on the water but we also know the value of taking a deep breath and there’s nothing better than a “full day” outing complete with a real streamside lunch (no soggy sandwiches here).

What’s new for the 2015 season? We’re going to get you out there with no haggling. You have a pal who wants to tag along but he doesn’t have gear? We’ll get him kitted out for the day at no extra charge. As we’ve always done, there’s no bill at the end of the day for flies and leaders; we just want you to worry about fishing. Check out our Booking and Rates page.

April is filling up fast but we’ve got a couple weekend days left in the second half of the month so shoot us a line fast and get on the calender. Need flies to kit yourself out? Send us an email and we can get cranking at the vise and to the UPS store.

We hope to see you on the water!

Micah and The Knee Deep Crew.

What a Long Strange Trip!

It’s been busy over at Knee Deep Headquarters for the past few months. We’ve added a second intern here at the “office” and the buildup kept us pretty busy for a while. Now that there are two interns here, we’re having a ball cleaning up spills and changing diapers.

It was great to see everyone at the NJ Fly Fishing Show. Thanks to everyone who asked to see baby pictures and brought me coffee! I was lucky enough to sit with my old pal Matt Grobert. We rarely get to see each other outside of show season but it’s like it was last week every time we catch up. He’s been a good role model of mine since I was a kid (he’s not that old) and nobody enjoys sharing the art of fly tying and fishing more than Matt. I can’t wait to see everyone again at Lancaster!

 

Bromance

Bromance

 

Hey, you East coasters, there’s a new book out by Tom Gilmore just for us and I’m IN IT! I can’t believe it either. Tom must not have been thinking straight when he asked for some input on The Big Gunpowder; I’m grateful for his lapse in judgment. Call your local shop and ask them to get you a copy…then plan a road trip to some new water. It’s got all the info you need on the how and where andsome great extras like real maps! (imagine a guide book with usable maps!)

I'm in a book!

I’m in a book!

We’ll see you at Tie fest and Lancaster soon!

-Micah and the expanding crew

 

 

Lets talk streamers this year!

Lets talk streamers this year!

The International Fly Tying Symposium is this coming weekend and you need to get yourself there. If you’ve never tied a fly but want to learn, this is the place to see the world’s best tiers and talk to them about technique as well as pick up a few flies for your box along the way. If you’ve already got the bug and have been thinking about making the trip to ‘Jersey for the show, you owe it to yourself. There’s no better place to pick up hard to find materials and spend some time talking to the people who raise the birds and dye the fur.

I’ll be there, sharing a table with my good pal Ken Walrath. Stop by and say “Hi”.  If you don’t already follow Knee Deep on Facebook and Twitter, this is a good time to connect. We’ll let you know what isle we’re in and post some pics for the folks who can’t attend.

See you at the show!

Micah