Thanks Everyone!

No, I didn’t update my website before I left DC and headed to NJ for the International Fly Tying Symposium. YES, I caught a lot of grief for not doing so.

After a crazy summer where I managed to guide and be home enough that my children recognized me I didn’t update kneedeepff.com much. My log-ins were so infrequent that I had to reset my password. I promise to try to update more often so you have something to do this winter.

So, was the symposium good? No. It was GREAT! Seeing everyone after so long is like going back to camp for us adults; though I never went to camp.  “The Tying Show” is a unique opportunity to share some time watching the originators of the patterns you fish with actually tie them in front of you. If you came to my table, maybe you even got to tie one yourself. That was a riot and I appreciate everyone who took me up on the offer. Thanks to Peak for getting me a second vise on the shortest notice ever! I also couldn’t have done it without the help of Dr Slick who keeps my supply of sharp scissors going strong.

After such a great weekend tying with my heroes (do you guys feel old yet?) the high comes to quite a crash after I get into the truck and hit the road for a few hours by myself. Suddenly, I find myself alone and listening to Christmas music, somewhere on the Turnpike. After 4 hours I’m home unpacking and taking out the trash wile tripping over toys again. It only makes me appreciate the crowd that came out and the family that travels with the winter show circuit even more.

Thank you to everyone who came out, everyone that set it up and tore it down, and the family of tiers and exhibitors that makes the shows such a great time. The entire community (new friends included) makes up a great family that I look forward to catching up with every season.

I’ll see you all in February back in Somerset!

Micah

PS:

Did you know we’re on Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter?  Check us out and friend/favorite/follow us!

Endless Summer

So, it’s been a wild summer. While doing this “fishing” thing I have the pleasure of sharing people’s weekends-off and being a part of their family time and time away from jobs/chores/routines. It’s when I start cashing in checks with my family for guiding days as we near the end of the season that I stop and reflect on some of the great people and stories I’ve been a part of as the seasons have passed.

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While it seems like yesterday, back in the spring, I got to fish with a really cool couple who are documenting their fishing travels as they check-off the top 100 trout rivers in the US. I’ll note that Theaux from Backwater Angler set me up with these characters (and I mean that in the most affectionate manner possible) and I was honored to guide for him/his shop in what was one of our trickier spring seasons with crazy flows and air/water temps. I feel like we were wearing wool caps till June! Their web site is www.riverramble.com. Click over and check them out. While they’ve fished in a lot of beautiful places I enjoyed sharing the “back yard” of so many Baltimore/DC residents with them. It’s in sharing the resource that I’m reminded about how special it is to have a tailwater nearby. Check out their travels over on their website.

We’ll see you on the river!

The Knee Deep Crew

PS, did you know that Backwater Angler has moved? Check out the link above and stop in to say Hello!

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.

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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!

Hot Wet and Late in the Summer

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Shorter days and cooler temps are starting to make it feel like summer may be coming to an end. You won’t hear many anglers complaining about an end to the heat. Warm weather and waders are anything but a match made in heaven.

Just this week The Big Gunpowder saw a bump up in flows and the fishing is changing too. This is the time of year when the big bugs like the fall caddis and hoppers are in play and a great way to catch fish that’ve been eating small snacks all summer. If you’re still into those long, slow, pools we can find you a fish or two that are keyed in on midges!

There’s no better way to spend a fall day than on the river. With October right around the corner we’ve got a few openings set aside. Give us a call or email and we’ll get you on the water while the weather is great!

Tight lines,

Micah

 

 

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!

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

The Big Show is Here!

The Fly Fishing Show is coming to Somerset, NJ January 24th, 25th and 26th. It’s the biggest thing in fly fishing and you need to go!

Not only will you have a chance to see the latest in fly fishing gear, you’ll get to sit in on free seminars and lectures by fly fishing’s greatest minds. Oh and don’t forget, rows and rows of the worlds best fly tiers showing you how it’s done and telling some of the biggest “fish stories” if you’re willing to listen. If you need a new rod, this is the place to cast them (go see our friend’s at Mystic) and if you need tying materials, this is the place to find it all (maybe you need a new vise from Peak?).

We’ll be there (maybe just me) and I can’t wait to see you all and hear how your season’s wrapped up and your plans for 2014. Be sure and stop by to say Hello.  If you’ve never been,  you should score a hotel room nearby and load up a car full of fishing buddies to make the trip with you. You won’t regret it; depending on your carpool buddies.

See you at The Show!

Micah

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,

Micah

New Rods From Mystic

Getting a new 10’3″ Mystic M-Series wet

 

We’ve been putting 3 and 4wt 10’3” rods, from our friends at Mystic, to work for a few weeks now and we’ve had a BLAST with the longer rods. They actually built up a couple fresh rods in a week or so just to get us fishing fast. Talk about a company who gets it! A big thanks to Dennis for making it happen even with the busy spring show schedule.

The extra length means you can reach runs on the far side of the river without wading in and spooking fish. They can tuck a lot of line upstream under the branches while standing on the bank for presenting to the still pools for rising fish too. The 3wt is perfect for putting wet flies in runs on along the other bank all day long. My shoulder was happier with me at the end of the day than if I’d high-sticked with a 9’5wt for hours. I’m not getting old, just a little squeaky in the joints. I felt like I’d borrowed a friend’s rod and was cheating on my usual rig.

I don’t always get to fish when the guide calendar is busy so most of my fishing days are when the weather is rotten. My friends who fish the Gunpowder know that the wind can crank up when it is pushed up and down the river basin. When angling pressure is high, being able to make a longer cast can make a big difference in the number of hook-ups. I pulled out the 4wt last week on such a day last week and was able to load that rod up in the stiff breeze and put my tandem wet-fly rig exactly where I wanted it. It was so much fun that I had to pull out my phone and call my brother to tell him about it. I also had the pleasure of hanging up and stuffing my phone in my waders because I hooked up while talking to him.

In a nutshell, I had a blast trying out these new rods from Mystic. I’m looking forward to a long summer putting them to work. Not a broomstick-stiff 10’ rod that was designed for competition casting but one that was built to cast and catch fish.  A little extra tip for anglers like myself who have made an art of busting 7x tippet and light enough to fish all day – these rods are fun. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Want to give one a try? Give us a call and we’ll make it happen.

Keep your tip on the water (or really high!)  – Micah

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