Gunpowder Falls and Potomac River Report

The sulfur hatch is finally going up on The Big Gunpowder Falls. Fishing has been great in the afternoon and into the evening hours. Comparaduns and wet flies are the ticket when the fish are being shy. Fuller style patterns that you can skate on the surface will get you the takes when you see bigger splashy rises. Watch for more on our new favorite rods from from Mystic in the shot below.

SWEET new 10’3″ 4wt from Mystic – this rod is perfect for swinging wet flies on the Gunpowder.

I got to spend Friday morning fishing with first rate angler Tim Worrell, of Timothy Paul Carpets and Textiles , out on the Potomac river for smallmouth bass. Now that the weather has warmed up and the flows are down, it’s the perfect time to wet-wade and soak up some sun. We had a blast swinging Clousers and even flinging a few poppers. To say the fish were hungry would be an understatement. We caught so many fish I lost count! If you’re headed out, look for flows below 6,500cfs on the Point of Rocks gauge. The river is still dropping but there’s a lot of volume and a slip can mean a swim;  I proved that one yesterday. Leave the cell phone in the car in case of a swim.  Wading boots, swim trunks and a big hat will make the day.

If you need to get out and aren’t sure where to start, give Knee Deep Fly Fishing a call. We can help you hook up and get those lines stretched out. If you’re just starting out, throwing flies to bass on the Potomac is a great way to get a feel for casting and stay cool.

Keep your tip on the water!


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!

Welcome Luke – Knee Deep’s Newest Team Member

We’ve been a bit busy here at Knee Deep Headquarters. We’re proud to announce we have a new team member/son, Luke Patrick Dammeyer, who joined us last Friday.  We can’t wait to get him on the water and busy cranking out flies at the vise. He and mom are healthy and happy as can be. Thanks to everyone for your well wishes and patience while we’ve taken a few days off.

Knee Deep’s newest little helper, Luke

I stopped by Orvis in Bethesda today for the Fly Fishing 101 program and dropped off a fly order. Joe and Trent have a fresh couple dozen Pax specials in the bins and some “super” versions coming by next weekend. If you need sulfurs, get your orders in fast – we’ll be tying them like crazy but the suply won’t last long. What can I say, we have to keep a few dozen for the personal stash! 

 Just before we went to the hospital, the fishing was hot and cold with the weather but with this new warm blast we expect the sulfurs and caddis to take flight in earnest. Keep that box of midges in your pack as a day-saver.Hang in there,  it’s almost sunscreen time!

Let’s hit the water – maybe a nap first!


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

Getting Knee Deep At The Fly Fishing Show!

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.

Wet or dry…

Wet or Dry?

Wet or dry...have it your way

Nothing is new about fishing wet flies but I thought I’d share my go-to wet/dry sulphur pattern. Fishing the Gunpowder Falls anglers are treated to some great hatches of sulphurs and caddis. I think there are more caddis in the river but feel free to debate it with me. In any case, I fish this fly both dry and wet. I even fish a combo of it with just the wings dried off by a powdered fly drying agent. There’s nothing fancy about it except maybe the snowshoe-hares foot wing. The more fish you catch the worse it looks and the better it seems to work. I don’t leave the house without a full compartment of this fly if I’m taking other people along. As the season goes by I tie it smaller and smaller and even with a dun colored wing. I credit an old friend for turning me onto the snowshoe hare years ago and I put it in everything.

Wet flies are one of those things you just can’t get in your local fly shop (unless you have a great local shop…if so get in there and buy some flies and other stuff from them and keep them open) and when I hear people say “It’s not worth tying my own flies” I think of this one. They’re  becoming a lost art. There are dozens of patterns that you just can’t pick up everywhere. Many tiers are picky about little details and swear by minor adjustments of old patterns. I’m definitely one of those folks; for me it’s the little tweaks that give flies the “life” that some store bought flies are lacking. Spending a few hours at the vise refining and learning can pay off on the stream. There’s nothing more rewarding than learning to tie your own flies and hitting the water and CATHCHING FISH with something you made!

Get out there while it’s still spring! And get on some of those sulphurs. Maybe call your favorite local fishing guide (hint, hint!) and ask about some fly tying lessons. It’s a sure-fire cure for cabin feaver when winter comes around again.

The Weather’s Here…

I didn’t think Spring would ever hit Maryland’s streams. While the great heat-island of DC has been green and flowering for weeks, it seems that the banks of the local streams have been slow to catch on. Last week’s trips to The Big Gunpowder gave me a chance to see the skunk cabbage really filling in and May apples in bloom. 

I got to take out an old friend that I’d met in VA a few years back when I lived down in the mountains there. We used to fish for smallmouths on the New River and chase brookies on tiny creeks in moonshine and ginseng country. We used to get into all sorts of trouble with locals and one particular warden that had it in for us because we used fly rods and had fancy waders. He’d moved to DC and had dug out an old Sage RPL 5wt and has been chomping at the bit. We’d met up after he’d been released from a conference in Baltimore. After getting him into some fresh wading boots he was in the water before I had all of my crap together. 

After a few false casts into the trees he was into fish. It felt pretty great to see someone hook into fish after saying “I don’t know if I remember how to cast!” ten minutes earlier. We caught quite a hatch of sulphurs, hendricksons and then caddis before calling it a night in favor of some greasy grub on the road home.  It was a great day of fishing.