Gunpowder Falls Fishing Report

Training Knee Deep Fly Fishing’s newest employee, Luke, has taken us away from posting in the last couple weeks. Who would have guessed it! We’re putting in lots of time on the water though and it’s been a great past few weeks. The fishing is finally turning up towards the surface. Caddis have been making their way to the top in waves depending on the conditions. Pack a lunch and plan to fish all day if you’re headed out. There will be lulls in the action but when the switch flips, the bugs hit the surface and the fish begin feeding again.  Last week’s outings saw fish on a mixed bag of surface and sub-surface caddis patterns.   

Adam lands a beautiful brown fishing sub-surface caddis last week. Thanks for fishing with Knee Deep, Adam!

There are still hendricksons emerging as well as a few sulfurs. The sulfur hatch should start to take off a bit more as the days go by. I’m excited about hitting the water this weekend and in the coming week and am hoping to get some late evening time in on those spinner falls. Give Knee Deep a call (202-681-8765) and we’ll help you put the right flies over fish!

Scenes From the Banks

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

Stormy Weather

Sunny Days and Brown Trout


With stormy weather in the forecast for this afternoon, it’s nice to look back at some of the sunnier days.

The sulfurs won’t mind if it’s raining. In thinking about it, a few years ago I left the city only to get stuck in traffic for hours and arrive at the river just as the sky opened up. I fished all evening at Falls Road and caught fish after fish while cars drove over the bridge, pausing, to watch me unhook and release the fish. I waved at a couple of the passing cars as the rain poured down around me. One of them gave a toot of the horn as they pulled away. It seemed like I had the entire river to myself – I probably did. The sulfurs emerged through a storm of nickle sized rain drops and the fish splashed at the surface like nothing was happening.

Rain and trout

Stay dry and safe this afternoon. If we’re lucky it’ll all blow over and we’ll see a nice spinner fall tonight!


Sunny Days and Sulfurs

Father and Son


First trout!


 You can’t help but have a great time when the sun is shining and the sulfurs are coming off the water on a nice afternoon. The fishing’s been great even with the higher flows. If you can stay late for the spinner fall, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of elbow room and bold trout. Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call today and we’ll get you out there. It’s a GREAT time to catch your first trout!


Getting Knee Deep …Late Night

This is past your bed-time.

Lots of anglers can put in the 8 hour day or even longer. Other anglers only need 45 minutes to catch as many fish as you did all day. Those anglers are making the most of their time on the water by dialing their fishing hours in to the most productive. The minutes just at dusk can provide some of the hottest action if the conditions are right. In May, anglers on the Big Gunpowder Falls often head home to their dinners and families as those in-the-know are just making their way to the river for the spinner-fall. Having fresh tippet and a straight leader before the light fades is key. A powdered floatant and a headlamp with a red light make a world of difference. Scouting out a place to fish the spinner fall during the day is important though it may take a few nights to find a spot to fish that fits your casting and vision needs.

 When booking with Knee Deep Fly Fishing, LLC this month, be sure and let us know if you can stay late into the evening. It’s worthwhile!

2.5 Feet High and Rising


While the water is high and may get higher today, there are sunny skies in the future forecast. Here at Knee Deep Headquarters, we’ve got a day off the water tying Pheasant Tail nymphs and spinners for when things return to normal.

The prior week was filled with great fishing on The Big Gunpowder Falls. Sulfur emergers, wets, and dry + dropper combinations proved deadly right up until the latest front rolled through, when things slowed down.

If you’re headed out this week, be sure to check the river gauges before you head out. At close to 300 CFS the water is mighty fast. Fishing heavy streamers in the eddies is a great way to stay on the banks and hook up with some big fish. Don’t let stained water scare you away. If you can cast around the rapidly growing vegetation on the banks, you’ll find fish holding on the edges.  By late this week, things should calm down.

Tight Lines,

The Knee Deep Team

A Few In The Know

The Night Shift

 A few folks in the know leave work a lttiel early to beat traffic and hit the Gunpowder Falls for that magic hour after the sun fades. It’s a time when I’ve made some great memories with family and friends, both old and new, and caught a lot of fish. The Sulfur hatch is on and it’s time to start bailing out early! E-mail us or call and set up an after-work outing in the next few weeks!

Report: It’s Like A Heatwave

Hooked Up

 Spring seems to be here to stay and so are the hatches.  Sunday’s outing provided plenty of sunshine and warm temps as well as mayflies and caddis. A mixed bag of insects keeps anglers busy changing flies but the action seems to continue throughout most of the day.  As the sun rose higher during the day, the hatches changed, turning on and off but there always seemed to be some surface action.  Forecasts for the week predict similar conditions and the fishing should be great. 80 degree weather feels pretty good!

Now’s the time to get on the calendar for an outing in June and there’s a few dates remaining open in May. If you’re headed out on your own, bring along some #14 elk hair caddis and a handful of #14 sulfur emergers. Snowshoe comparaduns are a favorite and float well in faster runs and tail-outs. Don’t forget lots of water and sunscreen!

Sunshine and Brown Trout

Let It Snow!

Many anglers only think of dry-fly fishing during the Spring hatches though there are caddis and mayflies hatching even into late fall. The shot above was takes Tuesday, Nov 2nd. No that’s not snow, those are mayflies happily soaking up sunshine around 1:00 in the afternoon! There were tricos and blue-winged-olives mixed in one big swarm over this fast riffle.

While the flows are a little high for easy dry-fly fishing, they will surely drop. In the meantime those same high flows are making for some great streamer fishing. Flows around 200cfs still allow for easy wading and for the trout to move around finding lies and undercut banks where low water wouldn’t normally permit them to swim. Be sure to pack a few lead-eyed buggers in tan, white and brown and don’t forget to include your dry-fly box and a selection of nymphs for dredging the deeper runs. A Non-slip-loop knot will increase the action of your streamers and is worth practicing at home before you hit the water.

All of this sound like code to you? Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call and book a day on the water for November! We’ll help you sort out that box full of flies and get you on fish while learning a few new tricks.