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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to everyone who’s helped keep Knee Deep busy this season.
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!
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!
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
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!
We’ve waited long enough!
It’s about time!
The early black stoneflies are the first real chance we get to fish dry flies in Maryland. Trout are looking up and skittering stones across the surface of the water is a great way to cover a lot of water and catch fish!
We’re booking up for April but still have a couple days left on the calendar for the month. If you’ve not had success in the spring on Maryland’s streams in the early spring, give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call and let us guide you. We’ll help you make the most of your time on the water.
Ok, it’s only Wednesday but we’re planning ahead. The forecast looks great for Friday and Saturday. With highs close to 60 degrees, there should be some great stonefly action.
What’s that mean for fishing? Dry little black stoneflies and nymphs will be a safe bet but the warm water will be getting bugs of all types stirring. They’ll be moving around in search of the perfect place to take off for their upcoming emergences. Employing wet flies and small streamers (think small wooly buggers and Pax Specials) will bring spring strikes out of the slack water and seams. Don’t forget to wing a wet fly through shallow riffles before crossing the streams and slashing through! I’ve spooked a dozen or more fish out of what seemed like 8” of water while heading to “the good water”. It’s a lesson that’s hard to learn.
In short: fish it all! Don’t be afraid to switch flies often and switch that tippet out when you need to float or sink faster. Can’t escape till Sunday when the forecast looks wet? Grab that rain jacket and hit it anyway. The fish should be active.
Keep your boots in the water!
Micah and the Knee Deep Team
A fat rainbow from the Patuxent River last week
This morning I thought I’d be over dressed for fishing. I started my day south of the Big Gunpowder in 50+ weather and ended at 34 degrees with rain and snow flakes. I know we just have to hang in there for a couple more weeks and we’ll be fishing in t-shirts. – Micah
I met Peter Johnsen at Tie Fest last weekend. He’s working on a film project that sounds pretty cool. His “Great Salmon Tour” is setting out to “document the diversity of salmon and explore the deep cultural and personal connections we humans have to these fish.” That sounds good to me. I happen to have a deep cultural connection to fish
Check out the clip on his Kickstarter page. It looks promising. Maybe skip the mocafrapachino this afternoon and send that $4 his way. He’s already off to a good start. If it goes well, maybe there’ll be a brook trout film in the future.
Keep your tip on the water,