Fall is here and it’s the perfect time to hit the water and toss some flies. I can’t think of a better time of year to spend in waders while sharing some memories with friends on the water. The fishing has been great with a mixed bag of hatches and weather this month. We’ve seen high water, low water, and even a bit of frost. With a couple warm nights in a row, the tricos will hatch and there’s plenty of baitfish to make streamer fishing exciting.
How about Brad’s fish, Huh? That’s a bruiser. He’s a large guy and even with his size ruining the scale in the photo, there’s no denying that’s a BIG Gunpowder brown trout. Fall is the time to catch the big boys as they come out of their low water – summer- hiding places. There’s less and less traffic on the river so it’s even more relaxing out there. Give us a call or e-mail and we’ll get you on the calendar for a fall outing before the real cold sets in!
Brad, Good luck on the future. We’ll miss you on the river. Thanks for all the great laughs over the past few years! – Micah
We’ve been a bit busy here at Knee Deep Headquarters. We’re proud to announce we have a new team member/son, Luke Patrick Dammeyer, who joined us last Friday. We can’t wait to get him on the water and busy cranking out flies at the vise. He and mom are healthy and happy as can be. Thanks to everyone for your well wishes and patience while we’ve taken a few days off.
Knee Deep’s newest little helper, Luke
I stopped by Orvis in Bethesda today for the Fly Fishing 101 program and dropped off a fly order. Joe and Trent have a fresh couple dozen Pax specials in the bins and some “super” versions coming by next weekend. If you need sulfurs, get your orders in fast – we’ll be tying them like crazy but the suply won’t last long. What can I say, we have to keep a few dozen for the personal stash!
Just before we went to the hospital, the fishing was hot and cold with the weather but with this new warm blast we expect the sulfurs and caddis to take flight in earnest. Keep that box of midges in your pack as a day-saver.Hang in there, it’s almost sunscreen time!
Let’s hit the water – maybe a nap first!
There’s nothing like that first trout on a fly!
I had the pleasure of guiding two wonderful young ladies last week and introducing them to fly fishing for the first time. It was a great day on the water and the perfect picnic weather. I had to post a few pictures and say “Thank You” to the Sitar Art’s Center for connecting us. For those of you who don’t know about “sitar”, it’s a wonderful organization that’s putting art and music in the hands of DC’s kids. I can’t think of a tool that’s more powerful than creativity to help propel them into the future. Check them out and think about getting involved. It’s a remarkable place filled with some great folks.
Not a bad day for a steamside lunch!
With Spring dragging its feet and the air temps making wild swings, the Hendricksons have been slow to show themselves and hot/cold depending on the day. Fortunately there are still a few stoneflies buzzing around the Big Gunpowder Falls to keep anglers out of trouble. Grey comparaduns (think #12 & 14) have been working on rising fish feeding on emerges. A pocket full of midges can save an evening. Last night was no exception to that rule. Finally, there have been a few sulfurs popping out of the water here and there. Get you snow-shoe patterns and your Frog’s Fanny ready!
Not sure about where to start on The Big Gunpowder? Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call (or e-mail) and we’ll help outfit you and get you started right.
We’ll see you on the water!
The banks of the Big Gunpowder look a little different after the high water.
After Hurricane Sandy and the nearly 3,000cfs spike in flows, the banks of the Big gunpowder look a little different. While the high water changes the look of a river and can be hard on its aquatic life, these too-frequent epic-high-water events are a good chance to study the life of the river. Those of us who spend a lot of time on the water are familiar with its banks and the contours of its runs. There’s nothing like walking and wading your favorite stretches and discovering new runs and log-jams if you’ve been bitten hard by the fishing bug.
Some insect sampling revealed lots of caddis and mayflies holding tight to the rocks and a few midges. One thing we discovered is a lot of olive mayflies. We’ve always fished dark brown and olive Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ears and treating yourself to an olive hare’s mask would be $5 well spent if you tie your own. The midges that were netted were more cream and green than any of the red or black varieties. Super tiny and active in a sampling bin, they were hard to photograph. We shot a few through some stacked lenses and will think skinnier and longer in the future. A size 16 curved hook with tan thread will be in the box this winter.
We netted a few midges and quite a few snails!
Headed out this week? Think deep and set the hook every time your strike indicator stalls even for a moment.
Keep your boots clean,
The Knee Deep Team
Here at Knee Deep Headquarters, we’re happy to report that Sandy missed us by a hair. Sadly our pals up in NJ and NYC got the worst of it. Rain came and went, and by Friday, flows on The Big Gunpowder were down to fishable levels. At 260 CFS, wading was still tough but the water was clear and the fish were aggressive. The photo below is of a popular pool and the evidence is in the undergrowth as to how high the water came up.
The shame here is these leaves are food for the insects the trout need to survive. The Gunpowder is an interesting study in water management. The river took a hit last fall in the form of hurricane floods and somehow bounced back. We can, at a minimum, be grateful for a Didymo flush.
Leaves in the undregrowth are proof the water rose well over the banks.
The week ahead looks like a great one for fishing if you can get out. We’ll be crossing our fingers with reports of a Nor-Easter coming through. The flows are still dropping and fish are eagerly chasing big streamers when the sun is out; see the photo below of the fat fish that took a monster bugger! Nymphing through the tail-outs and around log jams should continue to produce. Last week a mixed bag of nymphs proved effective – from caddis to stoneflies and zebra-midges – and getting down into the flow fast seemed to be the key to success.
Looking to get out? Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call and we’ll show you how to keep up with the changing seasons!
We’ll take fat-tailed fish like this one any day!
With Hurricane Sandy on the way, if you can skip work and hit the water Friday and Saturday, you won’t regret it. The forecast is for 40mph winds and heavy rain. The fall foliage will soon be gone but this will speed things up.
Stoneflies and caddis larve in the riffles will produce and streamers on the seams and near downfalls are a good bet. When your indicator rig tangles, it’s worth tying on a streamer and making a few swings before you re-tie your rig. The fish below fell for a big tan steamer after countless drifts with nymphs couldn’t lure him out from his log.
Get your feet in the water this weekend!
The Knee Deep Team
Low sun but great fall colors await before Sandy hits!
This fish took a big streamer after rejecting a number of nymphs.
The girls ALWAYS out-fish the guys.
Don’t miss out on Fall’s changing colors! The leaves are changing and they won’t last long after this dry summer we’ve had. Take advantage of the low temps and crisp fall air by spending some time on the water. Knee Deep Fly Fishing is here to help get you out and catching fish.
In the last week we’ve seen water flows level out on the Big Gunpowder Falls and the fishing had picked up. We’re lucky to have shared the water with some great folks and had some fun streamside picnics. Last weekend Micah spent the day fishing with Adam Franceschini, head guide from Housatonic River Outfitters, Inc., and his girlfriend Jennifer – a first rate angler herself – through Backwater Angler. The weather was picture perfect and we shared a lot of laughs all while proving that the girls always out-fish the guys. The proof is in the photo above. It was a treat to watch Adam cast to some fish feeding on midges late in the day and, as surface action is always sweet, it was a great way to end the day. Big Thanks to Theaux and his team at Backwater.
It took everything from caddis, tiny hare’s ear and pheasant-tail nymphs, to tiny midges on the surface but we pulled up a bunch of fish. We saw a lot of young fish offering plenty of encouragement for seasons to come. If you’re headed out this week, watch those river gauges and the weather forecast. If they call for high winds, leaves could make it tough but Fall is the time to get your line wet. If you’re just starting out, Kne Deep Fly Fishing is ready to show you how to un-complicate fly fishing. Give us a call and get on the calendar this fall.
Don’t forget to check out the flows before you hit the water this weekend. Conditions should be great for chucking big streamers.
We hope we see you on the water!
The Knee Deep Team
Fall is here and it feels great. Cooler temps make for some more comfortable fishing and, while temps haven’t caused the leaves to turn yet, the insects are changing. The caddis are out but you’ll see larger October caddis and a range of others (carry a few sizes) and tricos in the mornings. Don’t be afraid to fish your caddis “wet” and don’t overlook the edges of the stream. Fall storms bringing much needed rain are giving Gunpowder anglers fluctuating flows and an opportunity to throw streamers when the water is high. Be sure and check the guages before you hit the road. We didn’t see any tubers last week in the C&R sections and most of the crowds are back in school or working now that Labor Day has passed.
Last week’s fishing provided a mixed bag of insects and lower water made presentation more important than ever. The weather was nice but, as is often the case, good company makes the day. While I had a chance to take a friend fishing last week, we ran into a fly fishing legend. You’ll have to LIKE Knee Deep Fly Fishing on Facebook to see who. I’ll say he’s one of the greatest ambassadors for fly fishing and an all-around great guy.
We’ll see you on the water!
The Knee Deep Team
Soaking up early Fall
Got ants in your pants? Maybe you hadn’t noticed but ants are everywhere this time of year. Sure, beetles and hoppers are cool and get lots of attention but ants are small and, when you find them, you find lots of them.
Last week I found myself and a guest fishing on the Big Gunpowder Falls hunting fish in the shade of overhanging trees. We had one of those “Cast it in there like this” moments and as the fly hit the water it was crashed by a nice brown trout that was watching for food in the trees.
As necessity breeds creation, I’ve come up with a fast and durable foam ant pattern that I can tie lots of in a short time. You can get a PDF with step by step tying instructions HERE. I recommend tying a good number of them so the trees can have a few without it ruining your day.
Put some ants in your pocket!