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.


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!

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!

Endless Summer

Not a bad way to spend your time with Dad before going back to school!

While it may be “back to school” time, the fishing isn’t stopping. There’s still plenty of action to be found on The Big Gunpowder Falls. The “trico” hatch is going on now and there are caddis to be found throughout the catch and release section. There’s no better time of the year for getting out with the family to fish and have a streamside picnic.

Late Summer flows are perfect for wading on the Potomac River for smallies.


Over on the Potomac River, there is still great fishing for smallmouth bass. Getting out on the big river for a few hours is a great way to get your casting dialed in without the bother of trees! Any way you go, there’s some great fishing to be found in September. Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call and we’ll get you to the fish!  (202) 681-8765  or Email us!

Tight lines,


We’re Just Waiting On A Friend


He’s still there. What are you waiting for?


Have you signed up for the Knee Deep Fly Fishing newsletter? If you’re not on the list then you never knew about all the deals we’ve had going. There’s a sweet one going for the month of July and we don’t want you to miss out! Click HERE to sign up and never miss out on a good reason to go make some new fishy friends. While you’re at it, LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. There’s no better way to keep up with Knee Deep Fly Fishing’s regretful social media updates. It’s fun. Trust us!


Speaking of making new friends. This fish has been hiding behind the same rock for weeks now. We want YOU to be the one to hook ‘em!  The water is COLD up on the Big Gunpowder falls and we’ve got lots of bugs and sunshine. So what if you’re back from your beach vacation and you’re back in the office. Don’t let the summer fun stop now.  Trout not your thing? Give us a call and we can put you on some great smallmouths and have you home for dinner…if you’ve got any energy left to lift a fork.  The Potomac River has been fishing great in the mornings and there’s nothing like watching your rod bend while checking out the Bald Eagles flying overhead!




Let’s go fishing!




The Dog Days…

The Dog Days of Summer are here; it’s a good thing I really like dogs. I’ve spent a lot of weekend mornings teaching fly fishing and casting classes at the Bethesda Orvis store and, now that those are mostly wrapped up, I’ve got my weekends back and can hit the water early and had a free Saturday to get out and do some fishing myself.

Just warm enough for the smallies on smaller creeks.

While the local chatter is all about how hot things are and how the fishing has slowed, the fish are still feeding. What most anglers miss is when conditions change, so should your tactics. The smallmouth hunt is no different than fishing trout and observation is the key to hooking up. Matching the “hatch” is the most important even if the hatch is baitfish and or crayfish. Smallies are piled high in shaded and cooler feeder creeks and getting fat on bait that’s had a few months to grow and school up in eddies. Getting out in the mornings before sun-up or after sundown will help your chances and help you beat crowds of tubers and canoeists.

Remember, if your friends tell you to stay home and watch fishing DVDs you need to find some new friends to talk fishing with.

When the bite slows down call 'em up from the deep with poppers.