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 email@example.com
Special thanks to everyone who’s helped keep Knee Deep busy this season.
Fall is here and it’s the perfect time to hit the water and toss some flies. I can’t think of a better time of year to spend in waders while sharing some memories with friends on the water. The fishing has been great with a mixed bag of hatches and weather this month. We’ve seen high water, low water, and even a bit of frost. With a couple warm nights in a row, the tricos will hatch and there’s plenty of baitfish to make streamer fishing exciting.
How about Brad’s fish, Huh? That’s a bruiser. He’s a large guy and even with his size ruining the scale in the photo, there’s no denying that’s a BIG Gunpowder brown trout. Fall is the time to catch the big boys as they come out of their low water – summer- hiding places. There’s less and less traffic on the river so it’s even more relaxing out there. Give us a call or e-mail and we’ll get you on the calendar for a fall outing before the real cold sets in!
Brad, Good luck on the future. We’ll miss you on the river. Thanks for all the great laughs over the past few years! – Micah
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
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!
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
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
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.
Don’t forget to check out the flows before you hit the water this weekend. Conditions should be great for chucking big streamers.
We hope we see you on the water!
The Knee Deep Team
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.
The Knee Deep Team