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!


Gunpowder Falls Fishing Report

Training Knee Deep Fly Fishing’s newest employee, Luke, has taken us away from posting in the last couple weeks. Who would have guessed it! We’re putting in lots of time on the water though and it’s been a great past few weeks. The fishing is finally turning up towards the surface. Caddis have been making their way to the top in waves depending on the conditions. Pack a lunch and plan to fish all day if you’re headed out. There will be lulls in the action but when the switch flips, the bugs hit the surface and the fish begin feeding again.  Last week’s outings saw fish on a mixed bag of surface and sub-surface caddis patterns.   

Adam lands a beautiful brown fishing sub-surface caddis last week. Thanks for fishing with Knee Deep, Adam!

There are still hendricksons emerging as well as a few sulfurs. The sulfur hatch should start to take off a bit more as the days go by. I’m excited about hitting the water this weekend and in the coming week and am hoping to get some late evening time in on those spinner falls. Give Knee Deep a call (202-681-8765) and we’ll help you put the right flies over fish!

Stormy Weather

Sunny Days and Brown Trout


With stormy weather in the forecast for this afternoon, it’s nice to look back at some of the sunnier days.

The sulfurs won’t mind if it’s raining. In thinking about it, a few years ago I left the city only to get stuck in traffic for hours and arrive at the river just as the sky opened up. I fished all evening at Falls Road and caught fish after fish while cars drove over the bridge, pausing, to watch me unhook and release the fish. I waved at a couple of the passing cars as the rain poured down around me. One of them gave a toot of the horn as they pulled away. It seemed like I had the entire river to myself – I probably did. The sulfurs emerged through a storm of nickle sized rain drops and the fish splashed at the surface like nothing was happening.

Rain and trout

Stay dry and safe this afternoon. If we’re lucky it’ll all blow over and we’ll see a nice spinner fall tonight!


Some Nights

Spinner Fall on The Big Gunpowder

Some nights are just better than others. If you can stay late for the next couple weeks, your reward will be spinner falls and big pools to yourself. Pack a few Rusty Spinners and coffee for the ride home. Check out Matt Grobert and Tim Flagler’s Rusty spinners over at Caddis Chronicles. I like mine with an egg sack and a bit of orange foam on top.

Go get your feet wet!

Super Duper

The water is a bit cool but it’ll feel nice when the temps crank up this weekend. Flows are what we call “nice and flush” here at Knee Deep and things are looking perfect for the next few days. We’ll see you on the water!


Sunny Days and Sulfurs

Father and Son


First trout!


 You can’t help but have a great time when the sun is shining and the sulfurs are coming off the water on a nice afternoon. The fishing’s been great even with the higher flows. If you can stay late for the spinner fall, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of elbow room and bold trout. Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call today and we’ll get you out there. It’s a GREAT time to catch your first trout!


Getting Knee Deep …Late Night

This is past your bed-time.

Lots of anglers can put in the 8 hour day or even longer. Other anglers only need 45 minutes to catch as many fish as you did all day. Those anglers are making the most of their time on the water by dialing their fishing hours in to the most productive. The minutes just at dusk can provide some of the hottest action if the conditions are right. In May, anglers on the Big Gunpowder Falls often head home to their dinners and families as those in-the-know are just making their way to the river for the spinner-fall. Having fresh tippet and a straight leader before the light fades is key. A powdered floatant and a headlamp with a red light make a world of difference. Scouting out a place to fish the spinner fall during the day is important though it may take a few nights to find a spot to fish that fits your casting and vision needs.

 When booking with Knee Deep Fly Fishing, LLC this month, be sure and let us know if you can stay late into the evening. It’s worthwhile!

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

There Are Days Like This


Sulfur Madness

 When the weather heats up in the Baltimore/DC region and the flows are down on the Big Gunpowder Falls, there’s nothing better than a little wet-wading. In the last week there have been a few days that feel like proper summer is on it’s way. Temps in the 80’s with high humidity got the sulfur hatch fired up and the action has been exciting! Now’s the time to call start using up those sick-days and get your feet wet. There’s a few openings on the guiding calender for May, get your name in on there fast!
Get out there and put a bend in that rod!

Report: It’s Like A Heatwave

Hooked Up

 Spring seems to be here to stay and so are the hatches.  Sunday’s outing provided plenty of sunshine and warm temps as well as mayflies and caddis. A mixed bag of insects keeps anglers busy changing flies but the action seems to continue throughout most of the day.  As the sun rose higher during the day, the hatches changed, turning on and off but there always seemed to be some surface action.  Forecasts for the week predict similar conditions and the fishing should be great. 80 degree weather feels pretty good!

Now’s the time to get on the calendar for an outing in June and there’s a few dates remaining open in May. If you’re headed out on your own, bring along some #14 elk hair caddis and a handful of #14 sulfur emergers. Snowshoe comparaduns are a favorite and float well in faster runs and tail-outs. Don’t forget lots of water and sunscreen!

Sunshine and Brown Trout