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
Tie Fest Is almost here! Saturday is THE day to go get your tying fix with some of fly fishing’s most addicted tiers. There will be people tying, telling big fish tales, and shops showing off their gear. I’ll be there tying and telling some of the hardest to believe stories. IT’s going to be a fun day and I hear the facility will have a great restaurant with tasty grub AND a bar. What more could you ask for?
Get yourself there!
Micah & The Knee Deep Team
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!
With Hurricane Sandy on the way, if you can skip work and hit the water Friday and Saturday, you won’t regret it. The forecast is for 40mph winds and heavy rain. The fall foliage will soon be gone but this will speed things up.
Stoneflies and caddis larve in the riffles will produce and streamers on the seams and near downfalls are a good bet. When your indicator rig tangles, it’s worth tying on a streamer and making a few swings before you re-tie your rig. The fish below fell for a big tan steamer after countless drifts with nymphs couldn’t lure him out from his log.
Get your feet in the water this weekend!
The Knee Deep Team
Low sun but great fall colors await before Sandy hits!
This fish took a big streamer after rejecting a number of nymphs.
The girls ALWAYS out-fish the guys.
Don’t miss out on Fall’s changing colors! The leaves are changing and they won’t last long after this dry summer we’ve had. Take advantage of the low temps and crisp fall air by spending some time on the water. Knee Deep Fly Fishing is here to help get you out and catching fish.
In the last week we’ve seen water flows level out on the Big Gunpowder Falls and the fishing had picked up. We’re lucky to have shared the water with some great folks and had some fun streamside picnics. Last weekend Micah spent the day fishing with Adam Franceschini, head guide from Housatonic River Outfitters, Inc., and his girlfriend Jennifer – a first rate angler herself – through Backwater Angler. The weather was picture perfect and we shared a lot of laughs all while proving that the girls always out-fish the guys. The proof is in the photo above. It was a treat to watch Adam cast to some fish feeding on midges late in the day and, as surface action is always sweet, it was a great way to end the day. Big Thanks to Theaux and his team at Backwater.
It took everything from caddis, tiny hare’s ear and pheasant-tail nymphs, to tiny midges on the surface but we pulled up a bunch of fish. We saw a lot of young fish offering plenty of encouragement for seasons to come. If you’re headed out this week, watch those river gauges and the weather forecast. If they call for high winds, leaves could make it tough but Fall is the time to get your line wet. If you’re just starting out, Kne Deep Fly Fishing is ready to show you how to un-complicate fly fishing. Give us a call and get on the calendar this fall.
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
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!
A welcome, rainy, break from the heat
The weather is cooling down a bit and there was even some fishing in the rain last week. It felt strange to put on waders, rather than wet wade, and even put on a wading jacket. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to have my polarized glasses covered in drops of rain. After weeks of dry weather and record high temperatures, it was a welcome change.
The day was an exercise in applying technology to fly fishing long before we hit the stream. I found myself loading gear into a hotel room the previous evening around 9:30pm in a heavy rain shower. Of course, by the time I’d finished unloading everything, the rain had reduced itself to a light mist. Not enough rain to raise the Gunpowder any noticeable amount. I gobbled down some salty fast food while anxiously starting up my laptop and logging into the weather radar for the region. Lines of storms seemed to be passing us over with only one large clump of Doppler-green hours away. A quick check of the river gauges confirmed the rain had made no change in the flows. With rain forecasted for the over-night hours, the morning’s fishing was at risk of becoming a long casting class and a trip to the pub.
Thunder woke me up at some point in the early morning hours. I laid in my hotel bed listening to the heavy rain blow against the windows and waited for thunder to follow up faint flashes of lightning. A look at the clock confirmed that it was still an hour when I should have been logging some sleep. Fading in and out of consciousness for another few hours, I found out the hard way that the previous occupant had set the alarm clock for 6:00am.
I stumbled into the oddly large kitchen and made a tiny pot of no-name coffee. With the news on TV and my laptop going, the time it took for the USGS river gauge pages to load seemed to take forever. With my first sips of some of the worst coffee I’d ever had, my nerves were slightly calmed by the tiny blue graphs confirming little had changed in the river’s flows overnight. A look at the weather radar showed that the rain would pass over mid-morning and it looked like we’d stay fairly dry after that. There was no lightning in the forecast and the day was a go.
Waiting in a parking lot for my day’s fishing companions, the clouds gave it everything they had, and I still felt a little nervous about the day. While we geared up in the parking lot next to the river, getting waders on and sealing up in jackets was the first order of business. I kept reminding myself of the clear, rain-free, window of weather I’d seen on-line before leaving the hotel. Everyone was smiling as we headed out for a quick casting lesson and the amount of attention I was devoting to the rain seemed to dwindle. An hour into the day, the sun began to fight its way through the clouds and I thought about how far we’ve come in predicting weather. The ability to check river gauges, water temps, and weather radar on-the-go has changed the way we live and fish. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.
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!