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
Warm weather this week has water temps hitting 43 on the Gunpowder Falls river gauges and the weekend looks great. We’re crossing our fingers for 45! Here at Knee Deep we are big fans of Foote’s forecast for Maryland. It’s spot on for the Baltimore/DC area. While they are calling for a warm weekend – maybe some stonefly action – there’s a cold blast out to the West that’ll bring winter right back to us. Thanks to the folks at Gentner Consutling for turning us on to that Foote’s!
So what’s that mean for the fishing? It means you’ll need to get back to dredging nymphs with a hat and gloves. Not your cup of tea? Don’t have a hat and gloves? Get yourself to one of the upcoming expos put on by the folks at The Fly Fishing Show!
As a youth, I made a trip every season to the Somerset, NJ show with my father and brothers. It was a great chance to catch up with old friends in the isles and meeting the folks rewriting the book on fly fishing was inspiring. I’d go home with bags of hackles and threads with a refreshed enthusiasm for tying flies and rod building and spend the following weeks of winter in the basement with my family tying flies and building up for the warm weather to come. I recall a few icy trips to the Ken Lockwood Gorge with newly built rods in hand and Korkers on our feet just to get close to the water’s edge. I also recall snapping at least one on a frozen maiden voyage!
As a young fly-tier, The Fly Fishing Show was a chance for me to spend a weekend asking every question under the sun and shake the tying tables of guys like Bob Clouser and Bob Popovics; heroes to a kid who grew up fishing the surf. I’d run into the gang from my local TU chapter and ask the advice of my older fishing and tying friends about which necks to buy and dig through mountains of materials just looking for the perfect new thing that would catch me more fish. It was a great opportunity for a kid like me and the trip to Somerset became a pilgrimage for my family.
This year will be a great chance to catch up with friends at Somerset, NJ (Jan 25-27th) and at Lancaster, PA (Mar 2-3rd). Yours truly will by tying flies at both shows and can’t wait. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of old familiar faces at both shows. With any luck they’ll put me next to someone like NJ ‘s Matt Grobert and my table will get some overflow traffic.
Get out there this weekend if you can and get planning now for the Fly Fishing shows coming to the area. Don’t miss the chance to fill your winter with fly fishing!
Keep your tip on the water,
I tried hard to show off that fly but the fish were a little too hungry!
Armed with a new fly pattern, I set out to get a picture of it hanging from the corner of a fish’s mouth. I was sure it would work but who really knows when it comes to new flies. There were plenty of fish willing to hook themselves but nearly every one was hooked in a manner that wouldn’t allow for a photo of the fly. One large fish even broke off, stealing the fly I was trying to get shots of. It was laughable. How could I be angry that the fish were taking my fly? Years ago someone told me “you can fish, or take pictures, but it’s hard to do both.” That same person told me the old photographer’s joke “…if you want to take better pictures, get better looking friends.”
Of course, there were only 4 flies tied and that’s never enough if it’s the one that’s working. With 2 in the trees or on the bottom, and 1 in a fish, the rest of the afternoon was spent casting with less boldness. You can bet a dozen or two will get turned out at the vise this week. As for the photos, I may just have to settle for a picture of it in the vise.
Let’s go fishing!
Micah & The Knee Deep Team
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
With winter about to clench its fist down on this warm fall season it’s time to start planning ahead for that cabin fever. The best remedy I can think of is a trip to one of the upcoming consumer expos put on by the folks at The Fly Fishing Show. The Knee Deep gang is ready and I’ll be tying at the Lancaster, PA show February 18th & 19th not to mention stocking up in person while there’s a huge selection of fur and feathers to choose from.
If you’ve never been to The Fly Fishing show you’ve been missing out! You won’t find a bigger gathering of pros demonstrating their skills and offering up free seminars and lectures. On top of all that, there are isles of tackle companies showing of their latest and greatest gadgets and rods…all out for you to pick up and check out.
Spending my teenage years in New Jersey I was lucky enough to attend the Somerset show every year. I used to spend the whole day getting to know the tiers and asking every question I could. I loved it. Some years I’d go for all 3 days of the show just to get my fill of the seminars and classes. As the years went on, I looked forward to the show more as a way to connect with old fishing friends and to stock up on rare or hard to find tying materials. This year will be no exception as there’s nothing like picking your tying materials first hand and catching up with lots of old friends.
Check out The Fly Fishing Show site, find a show near you if you can’t make it to Lancaster, and get your fly fishing fix for the winter. Plan to spend the whole day, or more, to take advantage of it all.