What I Did Last Summer

 

Check out all that cold water!

Check out all that cold water!

 

Remember those school days writing essays about all the places your parents trucked you to as a child. I sure do. It was like a reminder that you didn’t kick back and enjoy summer enough and now you were going to be strapped to a desk until it came around again. Thankfully we’re almost grown up and don’t have to sit in the back of the family wagon anymore.

I’m happy to report that, while we’ve had great summer fishing on The Big Gunpowder Falls, there’s plenty of summer left! We’ve had lots of cold water all season with higher than normal flows coming from Prettyboy Reservoir. This means there have been some cold days on the river and a few where the trout have been tight lipped.  Midge fishing has saved the day more than a handful of times this year. Even in the coldest temps, they find a way to stay active. Of course, while we haven’t had tons of updates on the kneedeepff.com, you’ve been following us on Facebook and Twitter, so you know we’ve been lucky enough to travel a bit this summer….right?

Looking ahead, we’ve still got a few openings, so think about catching that cold you’ve been fighting. There’s plenty of terrestrial fishing to be had and the Tricos have started emerging. There’s even some fall caddis action to be had as we get into October. Give us a call and get a date on the books before summer passes you by. (202) 681-8765 or email us at info@kneedeepff.com

Special thanks to everyone who’s helped keep Knee Deep busy this season.

Tight lines,

Micah

June Openings – This Friday!

Tight lines at the end of the day.

Tight lines at the end of the day.

So we’ve been (read “I’ve” been) slow to update. It’s not the worst thing I’ve  ever done. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve been lucky enough to be busy and spending a lot of time on the water. Along the way I’ve been fortunate enough to share the Big Gunpowder Falls fishery with some great folks. In the last week I even got to spend the day with Mike Abramowitz and his fantastic spouse. You all may know him from the Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide and perhaps from being the friendliest guy on the water. A great Family and good friends of CCA, an organization that’s close to my heart, I just had a fun day sharing my view of the Gunpowder with them. While Mike is no stranger to trout fishing, his wonderful wife managed to hook up all day, seemingly without trying!

The Big Gunpowder Falls has finally shaken off the cold wet spring. Flows are back to a manageable level and the Sulfurs are emerging from that long year of rock-crawling to find their mates. I’ve had a few passes from the home-work and caught the spinner-fall and it feels like summer again. The regular crowd has some great stories about big fish lost and landed and, though I’m late to report the news, it’s shandy time at dusk while watching the fish wake up the water’s surface.

While the Knee Deep Schedule is filling up fast we’ve got a couple openings (even this coming Friday). If you’re looking to get out with us, call or email fast! info@kneedeepff.com  (202) 681-8765

Keep your tip on the water,

 

Micah

Holy High Water…we’re fishing!

Got some time on your hands and want to get out? We’ve got two openings next week. Tuesday and Wednesday are up for grabs and we’d love to show you around our favorite spring spots. Temps are good even if flows are high and it’s a great time to work on your streamer game.

#14 Brown Stones

Brown Stones

Spring is here and it’s been a wet one. While drying out, we’ve been getting busier and busier here at Knee Deep Headquarters. It’s time to start thinking wet flies for the spring hatches and streamers are a good bet when the water is high up on the Gunpowder. The sulfur hatch is a ways off but we’ll have Hendricksons, caddis, and stoneflies right now.  Every day is different this time of year and we could find ourselves nymphing, swing wets, or tossing big minnow patterns to create our own bite.

We’ll be on the road for the next few days but available.  Give us a call to book at (202) 681-8765 or email us at Info@kneedeepff.com

We’ll see you on the river!

Micah

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!

A First Trout & A Fishing Report

 

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!

Micah

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

Ater The Storm

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!

Fall is The New Spring!

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

Ants In Your Pockets

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!

-Micah

Low Water on The Gunpowder – Think Smaller!

Low water turns the riverbed into heat-sink for the Gunpowder.

While flows on the Big Gunpowder Falls are abysmally low, smaller streams in the area are looking nice and full for July. Exposed rocks in the Big Gunpowder falls will raise temps below Masemore Rd. fast on hot sunny days while the Baltimore DPW has the valves cranked low. If you’re headed up to there to fish, focus your efforts above Falls Road to avoid tubers and give the fish down-stream a break while they’re under stress from the herons. I think even the tubers and canoeists will have a tough time with flows below 30cfs.

With that said, the Baltimore/DC regions  other streams are looking great for July. The Pax rivers are running a bit stained but there’s fishable water to be found around Savage Mill (a favorite of Micah’s for cloudy water smallies) as well as upstream in the other special regs areas. The brookie streams have more water than can usually be expected this time of year and anglers who brave the high grass with a short rod can find fish. We’ll be out tossing the 7-footers in the tiny creeks this week for sure. This is a great time to grab the swim trunks and a few Clouser Minnows to hit the Potomac and cool off. Early and late are going to be your best bets no matter where you go.

If you’re undecided about where to fish, give us a call this week!