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!
With Hurricane Sandy on the way, if you can skip work and hit the water Friday and Saturday, you won’t regret it. The forecast is for 40mph winds and heavy rain. The fall foliage will soon be gone but this will speed things up.
Stoneflies and caddis larve in the riffles will produce and streamers on the seams and near downfalls are a good bet. When your indicator rig tangles, it’s worth tying on a streamer and making a few swings before you re-tie your rig. The fish below fell for a big tan steamer after countless drifts with nymphs couldn’t lure him out from his log.
Get your feet in the water this weekend!
The Knee Deep Team
Low sun but great fall colors await before Sandy hits!
This fish took a big streamer after rejecting a number of nymphs.
Last Friday I got a chance to take out some folks for Backwater Angler and show them around on the Gunpowder. A few warm days got the fish excited before our outing and the stoneflies were keeping them busy in the slack-water and eddies. Friday was a little cooler and cloudier than it had been but any time I’m not shoveling snow in March, I’m not going to complain.
Theaux set us up with one of his 5pc Winston 4wts to try out (We brought it back in the original 5 pieces) and we had a great time putting it through its paces. With a few clouds overhead, the water temps flirted with 50 degrees, though it didn’t quite get there for us. Stoneflies and Blue Winged Olives provided the bulk of our action. The father and son duo were good company on the water and, as someone who treasures fishing-time with family, I had fun showing them around. They reminded me a lot of my brothers and I with some good laughs about casting and catching. We landed a few and, with the sunshine peeking out right at the end of the day, it felt like Spring was surely here. It reminds me that I need to put some days on the calender to fish with my own family.
- Tight Lines in March
If you’re headed out this week and weekend, check the weather and the gauges. This gauge has flows AND temps. When it heats up, fishing should be great. Pack some stoneflies, a few Hendricksons and a lunch – make a day of it! Don’t have flies or haven’t renewed your license yet this year? Swing by Backwater and talk to Theaux’s crew. There’s some gold out there (see photo below) and it’s hungry!
Tying your own flies? Knee Deep has some patterns for you. Check out our favorites for spring! Get signed up for the Knee Deep Fly Fishing Newsletter and keep up to date!
Keep your stick on the water!
With winter about to clench its fist down on this warm fall season it’s time to start planning ahead for that cabin fever. The best remedy I can think of is a trip to one of the upcoming consumer expos put on by the folks at The Fly Fishing Show. The Knee Deep gang is ready and I’ll be tying at the Lancaster, PA show February 18th & 19th not to mention stocking up in person while there’s a huge selection of fur and feathers to choose from.
If you’ve never been to The Fly Fishing show you’ve been missing out! You won’t find a bigger gathering of pros demonstrating their skills and offering up free seminars and lectures. On top of all that, there are isles of tackle companies showing of their latest and greatest gadgets and rods…all out for you to pick up and check out.
Spending my teenage years in New Jersey I was lucky enough to attend the Somerset show every year. I used to spend the whole day getting to know the tiers and asking every question I could. I loved it. Some years I’d go for all 3 days of the show just to get my fill of the seminars and classes. As the years went on, I looked forward to the show more as a way to connect with old fishing friends and to stock up on rare or hard to find tying materials. This year will be no exception as there’s nothing like picking your tying materials first hand and catching up with lots of old friends.
Check out The Fly Fishing Show site, find a show near you if you can’t make it to Lancaster, and get your fly fishing fix for the winter. Plan to spend the whole day, or more, to take advantage of it all.
Every year I can be found fishing on the New Years weekend. When I was a teenager the holidays were a time when my family was home together and we’d get out of the house as a group (a group of trouble makers) and slide our way to a local trout stream. Our mother was a saint to put up with us and this holiday routine. I recall a few years where I caused us all to be late for Thanksgiving because we were chasing brookies in Jockey Hollow or Christmases where new gear was tested right after it was unwrapped out at Ken Lockwood Gorge; always a fun spot once it was coated with ice. As the years went on and my brothers and I moved further from each other there are less afternoon outings following big early meals. I will never forget being out-fished by one of my brothers who threw a giant purple leach in a honey hole of hatchery rainbows. I’m still scratching my head over that 15 years later.
Nowadays, I still get out in the winter but recall those times with my brothers and father fondly. With the “early black stoneflies” just around the corner I hope to call them on New Year’s Morning and tell them about how they were thick in the air and how they missed it. Next year I’ll be lobbying hard to get everyone together for some icy fishing for sure. Living below the Mason Dixon Line means that there’s a chance for warmer days in the winter than our snowbound friends up North. Warm days and rising water temps signal the little stoneflies to crawl out onto rocks and snow piles to hatch. Snow is a great place to spot them as their dark bodies cure nicely with the reflection from a white background. Even a few adults buzzing around can let you know the time is right for fishing some nymphs in the riffles. As one of the first real hatches of the year, I get pretty excited when I see them fluttering around.
Don’t forget to stop by your local shop and pick up a new license for 2011 and be safe while getting Knee Deep Friday night – DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.