What I Did Last Summer

 

Check out all that cold water!

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 info@kneedeepff.com

Special thanks to everyone who’s helped keep Knee Deep busy this season.

Tight lines,

Micah

…on new flies

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

Scenes From the Banks

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

Fall is The New Spring!

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

Let It Snow!

Many anglers only think of dry-fly fishing during the Spring hatches though there are caddis and mayflies hatching even into late fall. The shot above was takes Tuesday, Nov 2nd. No that’s not snow, those are mayflies happily soaking up sunshine around 1:00 in the afternoon! There were tricos and blue-winged-olives mixed in one big swarm over this fast riffle.

While the flows are a little high for easy dry-fly fishing, they will surely drop. In the meantime those same high flows are making for some great streamer fishing. Flows around 200cfs still allow for easy wading and for the trout to move around finding lies and undercut banks where low water wouldn’t normally permit them to swim. Be sure to pack a few lead-eyed buggers in tan, white and brown and don’t forget to include your dry-fly box and a selection of nymphs for dredging the deeper runs. A Non-slip-loop knot will increase the action of your streamers and is worth practicing at home before you hit the water.

All of this sound like code to you? Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call and book a day on the water for November! We’ll help you sort out that box full of flies and get you on fish while learning a few new tricks.

 

Warm Winter Days

Every fly fisherman knows the importance to taking advantage of those odd warm days during winter. While the hatches of April and May seem like the makings of a work-daydream there is still lots of life in that cold water. Winter’s fishing is a great time to get out and fish some bigger flies and explore some streams where things like crowds and banks covered in rose bushes can make access hard during the summer.
 
 

Last Saturday I seized the day (read: “gave the wife a day in the house without me dropping stuff everywhere”) and headed out to the Patapsco. I had fished shortly after the Maryland did their fall stocking and, while I was having a blast hooking big rainbows, I regretted leaving without collecting some bugs and seeing what is really going on under the surface.  

This time I got in there with my kick net and was amazed with what I found.  I only sampled the area below the first riffles following the Daniels Dam. In about 3 square feet I found about 3 dozen insects of note. The primary find was a large scud with big dark caddis following in at a close second. I’ve attached some photos below. 

Patapsco Caddis

These caddis had lighter colored undersides. They weighed in at a meaty #12 or so and would be EASY to represent with any basic caddis pattern. 

Potapsco Scud

These scuds ranged in size from something close to a 16 up to a large 12 or so. 

Potapsco stonefly - Look at that stripe!

It’s something like and “early black stone” but the stripe is the brighest I’ve ever seen. Very interesting! 

Crawler! 

These big flat mayflies were great. There’s were lots of them to keep the smallies happy during the summer. 

The weather man is calling for a bit of snow but a warm up on Thursday. Cross you fingers!