Unexpected December Action

High water and crazy temperatures have made for interesting fishing this winter. I had one free morning before I was back to the grind and into holiday travel. So, despite a weather forecast of clear skies, I headed to the river anyhow.

I made it onto the water just at daybreak with no help from my coffee maker’s malfunctioning timer. The prediction of clear skies had me hoping to get some casts in before the sun hit the water. Things were slow and after only a few strikes on tandem nymph rigs I moved to a slower open section of river.

While the  irresponsibly high water is carving out under-cut banks –  that will surely be high and dry once the City of Baltimore tightens the vales this summer – it’s creating a temporary haven for reclusive brown trout seeking a refuge from the fast water. Employing 3” long heavy wooly-buggers I was able to create some activity by dropping them as close to the banks as possible. The skies stayed overcast and, while targeting any difference in flow rate along the banks, I had eager 12″ trout slashing at my flies while enjoying a deserted river.

Sometimes you have to head out even when the weather-guessers are telling you to stay home; they get it wrong more often than you think! Keep an eye on the USGS gauges if you’re headed out and don’t forget to get a new license before you hit the water and pick up some flies and fresh tippet.

Here’s a collection of shots from the last 2011 outing. Happy new year!

An Outgoing Tide

The sun is shining and we’re drying out. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity over at Knee Deep Headquarters. I was lucky enough to have my brother Mark and my father Eric come help me out with a great fly fishing school over at Discovery Communications. Both of them are first rate fishermen and I was proud to have them at my side wrangling fly lines. The folks at Discovery were eager to learn and their laughs and smiles made me wish we had all afternoon to spend together perfecting their loops. I can’t wait to see them on the water in the future.

Thanks Mark and Rick!

The day of that school was the calm before the storm and as sailors, my parents crashed at my house for the weekend. We watched a LOT of weather channel but I was happy to have them and know that they were safe and off their boat. I’ll miss them when they take off next week for warmer parts of the world! I hope to see lots of great posts from their blog HERE!

After all the earthquakes and hurricanes and plagues it’s exciting to hit the water and see all the changes that come with record high water. Getting out and doing some hiking on your local stream is a great way to find new structure and holding areas for fish. It’s great to get out and fish those downed trees before the paddlers and chainsaw happy do-gooders get busy “fixing” things. Streams like the Patuxant and The Big Gunpowder had lots of wood before the storm and with the water dropping it’s a great chance to see how they’ve been floated around.  I like big zonkers and wooly buggers fished slow in seams around structure like downed trees and scoured out rocks to imitate baitfish weakened from fighting fast water for days. I am looking forward to getting out for the tail end of this week and checking out the changes on many local streams. Don’t ferget to check the USGS gauges before you head out.

See you on the water!