As we dig into July it’s got me thinking how hot it’s been all June. While there was a lot of sweat I was fortunate enough to see a lot of fish go into the net (and back in the water). With temps in the mid 90’s I joked today that “it’s been hotter!” Maybe we’re all just adjusting but it could be the 50 to 52 degree water.
In any case, there are lots of happy fish in that cold, oxygen rich, water. I spent one afternoon with two great anglers from our pals at Backwater angler. One of them landed this beautiful rainbow. I’m not going to lie, I haven’t hooked a rainbow all summer so I was excited but a little jealous.
A nice healthy wild rainbow
If you’re headed out, don’t forget those midges and the fluorocarbon tippet. If you need a little more help, don’t hesitate to shoot us an e-mail. We’re happy to help and we’d love to take you and your fishing partners out on the water for the day. It’s the perfect time of year for some fishing and a streamside lunch to help you forget about that long winter we had.
Keep your tip on the water,
Micah and the Knee Deep Fly Fishing Team
Tight lines at the end of the day.
So we’ve been (read “I’ve” been) slow to update. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever done. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve been lucky enough to be busy and spending a lot of time on the water. Along the way I’ve been fortunate enough to share the Big Gunpowder Falls fishery with some great folks. In the last week I even got to spend the day with Mike Abramowitz and his fantastic spouse. You all may know him from the Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide and perhaps from being the friendliest guy on the water. A great Family and good friends of CCA, an organization that’s close to my heart, I just had a fun day sharing my view of the Gunpowder with them. While Mike is no stranger to trout fishing, his wonderful wife managed to hook up all day, seemingly without trying!
The Big Gunpowder Falls has finally shaken off the cold wet spring. Flows are back to a manageable level and the Sulfurs are emerging from that long year of rock-crawling to find their mates. I’ve had a few passes from the home-work and caught the spinner-fall and it feels like summer again. The regular crowd has some great stories about big fish lost and landed and, though I’m late to report the news, it’s shandy time at dusk while watching the fish wake up the water’s surface.
While the Knee Deep Schedule is filling up fast we’ve got a couple openings (even this coming Friday). If you’re looking to get out with us, call or email fast! firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 681-8765
Keep your tip on the water,
A refill for my box and enough to get me through a few days of guiding.
Fly selection is a funny thing. I love to share tips and swap flies in the parking lot with my pals. Sometimes, it’s the most basic flies that catch fish. I can remember fishing the Claremont Stretch with my friend John when I was a teenager and him insisting that wet flies were the ticket. Now as I spend my time on the Gunpowder, I find myself swinging wet flies more and more.
Part of why I chose wets is past performance and the other is faith in a particular pattern or two. When a method produces fish, anglers are a hard lot to change. If it worked last time in these conditions, why not this time. I often find myself starting the day with a dry-dropper combo but later swinging wets. If it keeps working, I’ll never change!
My faith in a few simple flies contributes to my style of fishing as well. I tie a few simple soft hackle and caddis patterns that I believe in. My “Fast Caddis” is a winner when swung in tandem and the simple orange or yellow bodied fly with a light colored hackle is a go-to for the sulfur hatch. I believe that having faith in the fly on the end of your line enables you to catch more fish. If you believe in that fly, you’ll work harder to present it to the fish, making sure it drifts or swings perfectly though the strike zone, and taking your time while wading and not getting distracted by “walking” during the swing or by a good cigar that’s threatening to shorten your mustache. If you think the fly will catch fish, and you give it an earnest attempt, you’ll hook up more.
Assembling a box full of tried-and-true flies that you believe in can ensure that you catch fish. Spending the day with a guide who knows the water is a great way to see what secrets are in his box. I bet you’ll be surprised at what you find in there!
The fishing is hot!
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!
It’s always cooler on the river!
It’s been a while since the last Knee Deep update. The fishing has turned around in the last couple weeks. I never thought I’d see a summer where I wished for less rain. Now that the usual southern heat has set in the fishing is a bit more consistent. Caddis, ants, and beetles are on the menu now and will be until the weather cools down again.
We’ve had a great few weeks on the water fishing large Elk Hair Caddis. They are a great fly for covering a lot of water and make a great point fly for a dropper rig. Even fishing a big foam ant, a 6x dropper with a caddis larva has proven to be a wining combo. My ant seemed to receive 25% more takes than my fishing companion’s beetle on Sunday but I thing that could change depending on conditions.
Over on the Potomac the smallmouth fishing has been great. The rain has tapered off and just outside town there is good wading to be found when the Point Of Rocks gauge is below 5,000cfs. Olive and white Clouser Minnows are a good start and poppers fished over openings in the weeds and boulders will bring the exciting surface hits. Speaking of Clousers, check out his FB page for a shot of his new floating minnow. What’s not to love?
Get out there and get your line wet. It’s a great time to break out the swim trunks and get out after work. These long days won’t last forever. If you’re not sure where to start, give Knee Deep a call and we’ll get you into the fish!
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
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,
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!