Gunpowder Fishing Report, 5/20/14: Sulphur hatch is/was on

I had heard that sulphurs* had been coming off in the evening.  As of last night I can confirm it firsthand. Despite water that’s higher than ideal, I don’t think I could have had too much more of an ideal evening last night (5/20).

Sulphur hatch Gunpowder Falls Maryland
One of the prettier bugs you’ll ever see…

I’d seen sporadic sulphurs and corresponding rises, but this was the first sustained hatch and rise I’d been a part of on the Gunpowder this year.  I brought several very nice fish to hand (sorry, no photos–my waterproof camera is in the shop), and should have landed about twice as many.

The sulphurs I saw were in the 14 to 16 size range, mostly yellow with a bit of orange on the thorax.  Rises were aggressive.

If we don’t get too much rain, it should (hopefully) be very good fishing the next few days.

*Is it sulphurs or sulfurs?  Even the Interwebs don’t seem to know for sure.



Gunpowder fishing report, 5/16/14

Over the last couple of days, flows on the Gunpowder eased down to just under 200cfs, providing 3 or 4 days with marginally fishable or better conditions.  Fishing was generally fairly slow, with caddis patterns raising the occasional fish most of the day.  However, there were sporadic sulfur hatches that led to some decent dry fly action, and I heard of (but didn’t personally see) some fairly impressive spinner falls in the evening.  A size 14 parachute sulfur pattern drew some aggressive takes during the hatches I witnessed…

Then this happened:

Gunpowder river flows hit 800cfs
Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water…

If we are lucky, the Gunpowder might be fishable by the end of next week.  This has been a frustrating spring.

Underwater Photography Vol. 2: Catch and Release

Despite the beautiful spring weather through this weekend, most eastern Maryland trout streams will be too high to fish for several more days.  So I thought now would be a good time to post the second edition of my ongoing attempts at underwater photography.


Undoubtedly, the most exhilarating moment in trout fishing is the moment you first make connection with the fish–the take on your dry fly, the dip of your strike indicator, or the tug on your line as the trout snatches your streamer.

Flyfishing for brown trout
Landing a brown trout

This was taken seconds before netting the trout, looking into his open mouth. Despite the excitement of the catch, this phase is difficult photograph in a way that turns into interesting photos.

I like this next one because the blurriness lends it an almost impressionistic feeling:

Landing a cutthroat trout flyfishing
A displeased Yellowstone Cutt

Or, maybe it’s just bad photography.

…and Release

While the catch provides the most intensely exciting moment in flyfishing, the release can be more profound.  You as the angler have had a unique opportunity to briefly connect with a wild animal in its natural setting, and you get to witness its safe return to its home.

Flyfishing for brook trout
‘Let me go, already’

The trout, if you were able to ask them, likely have a different opinion.  I doubt the fish have anything like what we think of as emotions, but their eyes sometimes seem as if they do.

Confused trout flyfishing
He looks a little confused

The release gives you a different perspective on the fish.

Releasing a rainbow trout flyfishing
Rainbow trout
Morgan Run brown trout flyfishing
Brown trout at Morgan Run

The best part of the release is when the trout swims, with a healthy burst of speed, back home…

Flyfishing eastern Maryland
A wild brown goes home in Eastern Maryland (not the Caribbean)
Cutthroat trout flyfishing
A native cutt goes home to Soda Butte
Brookie caught flyfishing
A native brookie returns to his clear, cold Appalachian stream