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!

Cold Water and Happy Fish

While the hot weather eases-up occasionally, it never seems to go away this July. Knee Deep Fly Fishing is here to help you cool off. Right now is the perfect time to ditch the waders and sport those wading-boots with a pair of neoprene booties and get cool in a tail-water like The Big Gunpowder.  While your fishing friends may be driving north to New England the water is running in the 50’s here in Maryland.

Staying cool and getting her hands wet!

Outings in the last few weeks have required a lot of patience later in the day (see article about tubing here) but a great assortment of trout-feed has the fish looking up. Caddis, Tricos, beetles and grasshoppers have all fooled trout while anglers kept cool. Big terrestrials fished with a “Fast Caddis” for a dropper have been a winning combo in the riffles. We’ve seen lots of anglers catch their first fly-rod trout in the last few weeks and had quite a few laughs at the tubers floating by. While a few days topped out around 100 degrees, time on the water has been time well spent. 

Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing, LLC a call and we can help you find the fish and escape the heat of the city!

Proof that trout make people smile!

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!

 

“Do you see any fish?”

"I don't see any fish"

"I don't see any fish"

 

Often I run into anglers on the trails and hear them say “I didn’t see a fish all day.”

 

“They’re in there!” I tell them. Often while  looking at a scene like the one above.

 

I know how hard it can be when the fish aren’t feeding on the surface to believe that there’s fish in the pool in front of you. I like to sit on the bank with other anglers and clients and just observe the water for ten minutes. The trout in the Big Gunpowder Falls haven’t escaped Bald Eagles and herons by making themselves easy to spot. After approaching a run or a pool, taking a few minutes to watch and let the fish get used to your presence can make all the difference.

 

"There's a fish!"

"There's a fish!"

 

While talking with a fellow angler in just such a situation last week, the fish above resumed feeding. Boldly, this fish swam several feet in all directions to chase down emerging sulfurs. You can spot him swimming toward the camera. We marveled as other fish took up feeding positions alongside this fish and they swirled around in plain sight of us.  We couldn’t have seen them without polarized glasses and some patience. Often, while fishing, I’ll suggest we take a five minute break after making many casts to a feeding fish who seems to vanish.

 

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see fish. Reading the water and learning to spot the fish comes with practice. Don’t hit the water without your polarized sunglasses and approach the water carefully. Don’t rush to wade into the middle of the flow and you’ll be rewarded with opportunities you never saw before.

 

Keep your stick on the water,

 

Micah & The Knee Deep Fly Fishing Team

 

Keeping Up With The Browns

Mixed hatches of caddis and mayflies have stirred up the hungry fish on The Big Gunpowder Falls. While it’s known as a great brown trout fishery, you never know what’s hiding beneath the glare of a riffle…

Hooked-up

 

It's Not Always About The Browns!

 Sometimes, the slashing takes on your elk-hair-caddis are from the toothy end of a beautiful brook trout.

The Big Gunpowder falls is fishing great right now. The week ahead should provide great dry-fly fishing. If you haven’t hit the water yet this year, this is the time to get out and work the kinks out of that old fly-line. Check the flows before you head out; there’s a few thunderstorms in the forecast mid-week. Be sure and have an up-to-date license and trout stamp. If you don’t have one yet, swing by Backwater Angler on the way and have them help you navigate the new Maryland DNR system.

Not sure about heading out on your own? Give us a call or e-mail and get on the calander!

 

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

March Comes in Like Lamb…..

Last Friday I got a chance to take out some folks for Backwater Angler  and show them around on the Gunpowder. A few warm days got the fish excited before our outing and the stoneflies were keeping them busy in the slack-water and eddies. Friday was a little cooler and cloudier than it had been but any time I’m not shoveling snow in March, I’m not going to complain.

Theaux set us up with one of his 5pc Winston 4wts to try out (We brought it back in the original 5 pieces) and we had a great time putting it through its paces. With a few clouds overhead, the water temps flirted with 50 degrees, though it didn’t quite get there for us. Stoneflies and Blue Winged Olives provided the bulk of our action. The father and son duo were good company on the water and, as someone who treasures fishing-time with family, I had fun showing them around. They reminded me a lot of my brothers and I with some good laughs about casting and catching. We landed a few and, with the sunshine peeking out right at the end of the day, it felt like Spring was surely here. It reminds me that I need to put some days on the calender to fish with my own family.

(More below…)

Tight Lines in March

 If you’re headed out this week and weekend, check the weather and the gauges. This gauge has flows AND temps. When it heats up, fishing should be great. Pack some stoneflies, a few Hendricksons and a lunch – make a day of it! Don’t have flies or haven’t renewed your license yet this year? Swing by Backwater and talk to Theaux’s crew. There’s some gold out there (see photo below) and it’s hungry!

Tying your own flies? Knee Deep has some patterns for you. Check out our favorites for spring! Get signed up for the Knee Deep Fly Fishing Newsletter and keep up to date!

Keep your stick on the water!

-Micah

March Gold

March Comes In Like A Stonefly

Wrapping up the weekend here at Knee Deep Headquarters, I’m reflecting on a busy few weeks. The Fly Fishing Show in Lancaster, PA was a great time and a god chance to catch up with old friends and make a lot of new ones. Putting faces with lots of names and shaking hands with folks you’ve only traded emails with makes the world a little smaller. As a newbie on the show circuit I was impressed with my fellow fly tiers who really made me feel welcome and supported. I couldn’t have done the show without my go-to instructor, and brother, Mark. One of these days he’ll give up on the 9 to 5 life and fish full time, I know it.

After that, I had a few days to recover and unpack, then I tagged along with my wife to London. While she was working hard, I made sure to eat everything in sight and stop in a lot of pubs along the way while touring the city. I didn’t get out of the city to explore fishing options but I sure feel like I can check off the major sights. I kept the staff of the hotel laughing as I asked for directions every morning. While I can appreciate a nice hotel, the concierge “dudes” were joking with me that I was like Crocodile Dundee. Big Ben, the Tower of London, the Prime Meridian…I saw it all. It was more tiring than a day on the water.

Sometimes Micah gets to fish!

Speaking of the water, I was out on Friday and things are warming up. The air temps are starting to turn around and the water temps can’t be far behind. The wind was cranking and, at a few points, casting had to be paused while the gusts made their way down the river. I was lucky enough to have a friend along who actually snapped a rare picture of me with a fish. I love showing people around my local haunts and Friday was full of good joking around and relaxing. We had a few minutes when the sun burned through the clouds and the wind paused long enough for the stoneflies to take off from the grass and make a large cloud over the river before being blow away again. If you’re headed out in the next week pack heavy streamers and stick them close to the banks. 4x fluorocarbon and a loop knot will get you deep and help you pull the fish out of the undercut banks that the winter’s high flows have carved out.

The April schedule is filling up fast. If you’ve been putting off booking an outing for spring,don’t wait. Time is flying by. If this week’s weather forecast is true we should see Spring really showing it’s colors around the Gunpowder. Give us a call or e-mail and we’ll help you use up those fresh 2012 sick days!

 

Unexpected December Action

High water and crazy temperatures have made for interesting fishing this winter. I had one free morning before I was back to the grind and into holiday travel. So, despite a weather forecast of clear skies, I headed to the river anyhow.

I made it onto the water just at daybreak with no help from my coffee maker’s malfunctioning timer. The prediction of clear skies had me hoping to get some casts in before the sun hit the water. Things were slow and after only a few strikes on tandem nymph rigs I moved to a slower open section of river.

While the  irresponsibly high water is carving out under-cut banks –  that will surely be high and dry once the City of Baltimore tightens the vales this summer – it’s creating a temporary haven for reclusive brown trout seeking a refuge from the fast water. Employing 3” long heavy wooly-buggers I was able to create some activity by dropping them as close to the banks as possible. The skies stayed overcast and, while targeting any difference in flow rate along the banks, I had eager 12″ trout slashing at my flies while enjoying a deserted river.

Sometimes you have to head out even when the weather-guessers are telling you to stay home; they get it wrong more often than you think! Keep an eye on the USGS gauges if you’re headed out and don’t forget to get a new license before you hit the water and pick up some flies and fresh tippet.

Here’s a collection of shots from the last 2011 outing. Happy new year!