Holy High Water…we’re fishing!

Got some time on your hands and want to get out? We’ve got two openings next week. Tuesday and Wednesday are up for grabs and we’d love to show you around our favorite spring spots. Temps are good even if flows are high and it’s a great time to work on your streamer game.

#14 Brown Stones

Brown Stones

Spring is here and it’s been a wet one. While drying out, we’ve been getting busier and busier here at Knee Deep Headquarters. It’s time to start thinking wet flies for the spring hatches and streamers are a good bet when the water is high up on the Gunpowder. The sulfur hatch is a ways off but we’ll have Hendricksons, caddis, and stoneflies right now.  Every day is different this time of year and we could find ourselves nymphing, swing wets, or tossing big minnow patterns to create our own bite.

We’ll be on the road for the next few days but available.  Give us a call to book at (202) 681-8765 or email us at Info@kneedeepff.com

We’ll see you on the river!

Micah

We’re headed to Hacklebarney TU , Thursday!

Just when I thought the show season was over, it’s time to pack up and head to my old stomping grounds at NJ’s Hacklebarney  Trout Unlimited meeting. This Thursday night, we’ll be there talking about fishing The Big Gunpowder Falls and telling all sorts of lies.  I hope you can make it if you’re in the area. I’m really looking forward to it!

I owe a big thanks to everyone who came out to Lefty’s Tie Fest last weekend and especially to everyone who came to hear my talk at the show. I couldn’t have asked for a better reception! It was great to see so many kids at Tie Fest. While it makes me feel old, I’m excited to see what the future holds for the world of fly tying. If you’ve got kids who are interested in tying, it’s a must attend event to put on the list for next year.

Hey, it’s still cold but the stoneflies are coming. we’ve got some new stuff in the works so keep checking in!

Keep your tip on the water,

Micah

 

 

A First Trout & A Fishing Report

 

There’s nothing like that first trout on a fly!

I had the pleasure of guiding two wonderful young ladies last week and introducing them to fly fishing for the first time. It was a great day on the water and the perfect picnic weather. I had to post a few pictures and say “Thank You” to the Sitar Art’s Center for connecting us. For those of you who don’t know about “sitar”, it’s a wonderful organization that’s putting art and music in the hands of DC’s kids. I can’t think of a tool that’s more powerful than creativity to help propel them into the future. Check them out and think about getting involved. It’s a remarkable place filled with some great folks.

 

Not a bad day for a steamside lunch!

With Spring dragging its feet and the air temps making wild swings, the Hendricksons have been slow to show themselves and hot/cold depending on the day. Fortunately there are still a few stoneflies buzzing around the Big Gunpowder Falls to keep anglers out of trouble. Grey comparaduns (think #12 & 14) have been working on rising fish feeding on emerges. A pocket full of midges can save an evening. Last night was no exception to that rule. Finally, there have been a few sulfurs popping out of the water here and there.  Get you snow-shoe patterns and your Frog’s Fanny ready!

Not sure about where to start on The Big Gunpowder? Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call (or e-mail) and we’ll help outfit you and get you started right.

We’ll see you on the water!

Micah

Everybody must get stones….

 

We’ve waited long enough!

It’s about time!

 

 

The early black stoneflies are the first real chance we get to fish dry flies in Maryland. Trout are looking up and skittering stones across the surface of the water is a great way to cover a lot of water and catch fish!

 

We’re booking up for April but still have a couple days left on the calendar for the month. If you’ve not had success in the spring on Maryland’s streams in the early spring, give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call and let us guide you. We’ll help you make the most of your time on the water.

 

 

 

It’s Finally Friday

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

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

Hooks Up!

For anglers, this is the time of the winter when cabin fever starts to take hold. Maybe it’s when we’re in the car in the mornings and we notice we now need sunglasses again rather than headlights. For the hardcore trout bums, perhaps they notice the dog is waiting for them to get up and get moving. Whatever it is, we know spring is coming. We just have to hold on!

If you didn’t make it to Somerset, NJ for The Fly Fishing Show, you’ve got another chance to get your fix. The crew is on their way to Lancaster, PA for the weekend of March 2nd/3rd. I’ll be there tying and telling even bigger fish stories (it’s been a long winter) and hope to see some of you there.

The next weekend, March 9th, is Lefty Kreh’s “Tie Fest” closer to home in Grasonville, MD with the gang from CCA Maryland. This one is going to be pretty cool. It’s the region’s best tiers and guides getting together to share what’s coming out the jaws of their vises. There’s even a bar so you can buy them a beer and try to get them to let go of a few secrets. I’ll be tying there too so be sure and stop in for an hour or two just to say hello.

Looking forward to these two events should help to ease the pain of winter. Last year the stoneflies were climbing out of the water by the second week of March so there’s an end in sight!

Tight lines,

Micah

Not Quite Spring….

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,

 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