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,


News You Can Take Fishing

The Maryland DNR is working on a new interactive fishing page. They say it’s still evolving but I think it’s a winner already. I was lucky enough to hear about it from the team creating it at a recent MD SFAC meeting in Annapolis.

The map is clickable and you can select different options to sort what show up on your screen. I think it’ll be great for trout fishermen and even those who are in search of a charter boat. Give it a try HERE 

Or cut and paste the full address:


Lets go fishing!


Why Wets?

 A refill for my box and enough to get me through a few days of guiding.

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!

Tight lines,



The fishing is hot!


It rained, it snowed, we fished

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

…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

Low Water on The Gunpowder – Think Smaller!

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!

Cold Water and Happy Fish

While the hot weather eases-up occasionally, it never seems to go away this July. Knee Deep Fly Fishing is here to help you cool off. Right now is the perfect time to ditch the waders and sport those wading-boots with a pair of neoprene booties and get cool in a tail-water like The Big Gunpowder.  While your fishing friends may be driving north to New England the water is running in the 50’s here in Maryland.

Staying cool and getting her hands wet!

Outings in the last few weeks have required a lot of patience later in the day (see article about tubing here) but a great assortment of trout-feed has the fish looking up. Caddis, Tricos, beetles and grasshoppers have all fooled trout while anglers kept cool. Big terrestrials fished with a “Fast Caddis” for a dropper have been a winning combo in the riffles. We’ve seen lots of anglers catch their first fly-rod trout in the last few weeks and had quite a few laughs at the tubers floating by. While a few days topped out around 100 degrees, time on the water has been time well spent. 

Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing, LLC a call and we can help you find the fish and escape the heat of the city!

Proof that trout make people smile!

2.5 Feet High and Rising


While the water is high and may get higher today, there are sunny skies in the future forecast. Here at Knee Deep Headquarters, we’ve got a day off the water tying Pheasant Tail nymphs and spinners for when things return to normal.

The prior week was filled with great fishing on The Big Gunpowder Falls. Sulfur emergers, wets, and dry + dropper combinations proved deadly right up until the latest front rolled through, when things slowed down.

If you’re headed out this week, be sure to check the river gauges before you head out. At close to 300 CFS the water is mighty fast. Fishing heavy streamers in the eddies is a great way to stay on the banks and hook up with some big fish. Don’t let stained water scare you away. If you can cast around the rapidly growing vegetation on the banks, you’ll find fish holding on the edges.  By late this week, things should calm down.

Tight Lines,

The Knee Deep Team