It’s not you, it’s me!

It’s not that we don’t love talking about fishing it’s just that sitting down in front of the computer is hard when we could actually be fishing or tying flies or casting in the yard with the kids.

Now at this point I don’t even know where to begin to get you caught up. I do know that “Downtown Abby” has started again (or someone is getting caught up…I really don’t know) so I’ll be sure to get more updates in here this summer at night.

I had the pleasure of spending the 4th with my better-half’s family up in Erie, PA this past week. I’ve been fortunate enough to make a lot of friends doing this guiding thing and some of my pals up north are the most hospitable of all. My pals Mark and Steve broke me out of the house one night and we hit Presque Isle for an evening. This is one of the coolest parks I’ve ever been to…for Jersey people, think Island Beach State park but with better rock piles and fresh water. Bring a bicycle and canoe or surf board if you have one. Well, any time I get together with friends up there I just never know what to expect. I’ve managed to get my travel game tightened up to one plastic tub and a big rod case now that I’m married with kids. Fishing and family travel don’t generally mix but fishing is a religion in our house so we pack it everywhere. I seem to be able to pack the essentials into a tub – a dozen fly boxes, waders, an old rain jacket, cigars, fireworks – even a dry pair of boxers just in case. There I was standing in a bay on the peninsula with Steve and Mark and a group of guys from the Gem City Fly Tiers (check them out some time) and we were dragging up weeds by the pound. As the crew started to dwindle in number (each fishermen being replaced by a thousand additional mosquitoes) I noticed the weed line dropped out of sight at one point. The three of us made our way to what turned out to be a busy boat channel.

Each boat that passed us by was filled with bewildered pleasure-boat aficionados all questioning each other about what these 3 middle aged guys were doing out there hooting and hollering and waving around these fairy-sticks. It turns out there was magic in the blue outboard smoke wafting from the rear of each rum runner that bubbled past us and, as the wake would roll into the weeds in front of us, the bait fish would scatter and a couple schools of white bass would blow up on the surface. The best part was, if one of us could hook into a fish and hold it tight long enough another could cast a fly right in there and the school, following its companion, would turn its attention to the fresh fly. It was quite a sight to see for sure. A good night of fishing should involve a lot of laughing and there was no shortage of that – I only hope the folks on the other shore couldn’t hear the jokes.

I already miss my pals and can’t wait to see everyone again in the fall.

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So what’s going on back here at home? Well, to recharge after all that fishing, I needed to go fishing. I’ve spent a lot of time this summer NOT packing a camera and just fishing. Remember when it was just fishing? …me too! Turns out, it’s about the fishing.

I spent Tuesday afternoon with Gene from Backwater Angler up on the Big Gunpowder Falls stalking fish in the lower flows. I love it when the southern heat-machine fires up and wet wading in the 55 degree water finally seems sane. This was just what the doctor ordered as we found ourselves sight fishing midge larvae to some clear water tippet inspectors. I hadn’t had that much fun in a week – thanks for the company Gene! It was a great time but I had to go right about the time the sulfurs finally started coming off. I definitely had dreams about the spinner fall that I surely missed that night.

We’re focusing mainly on trout this summer with all the extra water this year it’s the logical place to be. If you’re looking to get out on the weekend, we’re booking about 4 to 5 weeks out at this point. Shoot in an email or call to get on the calendar and plan to stay till dark. We’ll bring coffee for your ride home!

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,

Micah

PS

The fishing is hot!

 

Fall is here and it’s awesome!

 

 

 

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!

 

PS

 

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

 

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

Don’t Let October Slip By you!

 

The girls ALWAYS out-fish the guys.

Don’t miss out on Fall’s changing colors! The leaves are changing and they won’t last long after this dry summer we’ve had. Take advantage of the low temps and crisp fall air by spending some time on the water. Knee Deep Fly Fishing is here to help get you out and catching fish.

In the last week we’ve seen water flows level out on the Big Gunpowder Falls and the fishing had picked up. We’re lucky to have shared the water with some great folks and had some fun streamside picnics. Last weekend Micah spent the day fishing with Adam Franceschini, head guide from Housatonic River Outfitters, Inc., and his girlfriend Jennifer – a first rate angler herself – through Backwater Angler. The weather was picture perfect and we shared a lot of laughs all while proving that the girls always out-fish the guys. The proof is in the photo above. It was a treat to watch Adam cast to some fish feeding on midges late in the day and, as surface action is always sweet, it was a great way to end the day.  Big Thanks to Theaux and his team at Backwater.

It took everything from caddis, tiny hare’s ear and pheasant-tail nymphs, to tiny midges on the surface but we pulled up a bunch of fish. We saw a lot of young fish offering plenty of encouragement for seasons to come. If you’re headed out this week, watch those river gauges and the weather forecast. If they call for high winds, leaves could make it tough but Fall is the time to get your line wet. If you’re just starting out, Kne Deep Fly Fishing is ready to show you how to un-complicate fly fishing. Give us a call and get on the calendar this fall.

Look at those flows!

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

 

Cold Water and Happy Fish

While the hot weather eases-up occasionally, it never seems to go away this July. Knee Deep Fly Fishing is here to help you cool off. Right now is the perfect time to ditch the waders and sport those wading-boots with a pair of neoprene booties and get cool in a tail-water like The Big Gunpowder.  While your fishing friends may be driving north to New England the water is running in the 50’s here in Maryland.

Staying cool and getting her hands wet!

Outings in the last few weeks have required a lot of patience later in the day (see article about tubing here) but a great assortment of trout-feed has the fish looking up. Caddis, Tricos, beetles and grasshoppers have all fooled trout while anglers kept cool. Big terrestrials fished with a “Fast Caddis” for a dropper have been a winning combo in the riffles. We’ve seen lots of anglers catch their first fly-rod trout in the last few weeks and had quite a few laughs at the tubers floating by. While a few days topped out around 100 degrees, time on the water has been time well spent. 

Give Knee Deep Fly Fishing, LLC a call and we can help you find the fish and escape the heat of the city!

Proof that trout make people smile!

The Water’s Cold, Wish You Were Here!

With the heat setting in, standing in the mid 50’s water on the Big Gunpowder Falls has been a GREAT way to beat the heat. Just recovering from a hot week on the road, Thursday was a great day of fishing before the air temps hit 100. I spent the day sharing some of my favorite parts of the Gunpowder with a great fellow angler and we had success with summer patterns like the classic Elk Hair Caddis and my “fast caddis” fished as a dropper and in tandem wet-fly rigs.

Great cold water brown from The Big Gunpowder

Weekdays are a treat on The Big Gunpowder Falls as the crowds are sparse. I was amazed how few anglers were on the water yesterday. The weather forecast may have scared a few folks off but the temps on the water were comfortable. With neoprene booties in my wading boots, I was comfortable going without my waders. An occasional trip into deep water for a snagged fly was refreshing!

If you’re headed out in the heat this weekend/coming week, be sure and pack some water as well as some kind of “sports drink” and travel light. Check your boxes for a few light colored Elk Hair Caddis, bright green larvae for subsurface as well as some trusty PT nymphs and midges. Friends are reporting Tricos but I haven’t been lucky enough to see them.  I spotted a few bright green hoppers on the banks and am excited to fish hopper patterns again; nothing else produces such a big splash.  It’s going to be hot for a while but the fish don’t seem to mind! Give us a call and we’ll help get you out there.

Tight lines,

Micah