I just realized that it has been over 3 weeks since my last post… sorry about that. In many ways, it’s been like that movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray since then–conditions have been almost identical each day.
Flows have been the same, temperatures have stayed in the same range (about 47-53 degrees) every day. The really good news about this is that the sulphurs seem to LOVE this combination. Sulphurs have started coming off in earnest about 1PM (though sometimes a little earlier or later), and fish have been rising through about 4 or 5PM. Then they stop. Every day.
Good luck! Hopefully this weekend’s projected storms don’t disrupt our happy pattern.
This past week was probably the best week we have seen this year flyfishing the Gunpowder. Water temperatures peaking in the low 60’s have fish looking up, and they are seeing hatches of sulphurs (the size 16, pale yellow variety) and small tan caddis. I’ve had more success with sulphur emergers, but other reputable fishermen (if there is such a thing) have reported success with the duns.
I like fishing caddis imitations, and the Gunpowder’s browns have been responding well to caddis patterns fished in likely holding spots near riffles.
On a side note, I broke out the tenkara outfit for the second time this week, and had an absolute blast along with catching some pretty nice browns. Catching my first trout on a tenkara rod felt a lot like my first fish on a dry fly. That’s saying something.
You can tell I am excited. Sulphurs can bring some of the best fishing of the year to the Gunpowder. Sulphur patterns are working as fish start to look up after a long, cool spring. The hatch is in its early stages and pretty sporadic, but the dry fly action is as good as it has been this year. Higher water temperatures are making trout more active overall, so this is a good time to get out there.
As I suggested in my last post, the Gunpowder feels like it is just on the brink of fishing really well. Flows are good, and water temperatures are in the mid-40’s. I feel like we should start to see fish rising any time. I didn’t see a single rise yesterday, but I did see a couple Hendricksons (I believe) in size 14ish along with a large number of midges. (I did hear reports in the shop of trout rising to midges, but I can’t confirm that.)
Seeing no rises, I had success with nymphs imitating both Hendricksons (really Hare’s ears) and midges. Fishing faster water yielded nothing, but when I focused on deeper pools I found the trout to be feeding eagerly. I am hoping that the rain called for this week doesn’t send the river too high–if it doesn’t, I think we see some good fishing soon. As it stands, take your opportunities as you get them, because you never know what tomorrows weather is going to bring. That’s the reality of spring fishing on the Gunpowder.
It’s great to finally have something to report on the Gunpowder. I was able to get out this morning, and the river has the feel of a river that is just on the verge of getting good. The water was exactly 40 degrees at 11AM (measured, not reported via USGS), and there were midges in the roughly 22 size range coming off and flying around the whole time I was there.
It’s close, but not quite in prime shape just yet. Fishing was fairly slow, and a beadhead olive nymph brought my only fish to hand, not for lack of trying midges and midge emergers. Once we see temps staying in the mid 40’s, I think we’ll see some active, rising trout.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Here’s wishing you health, happiness and tight lines in 2015!
Looking into the new year, expect to see at least weekly Gunpowder fishing reports, as well as destination reports from rivers in Maryland and further afield. Hope you are enjoying the blog. Now get out there and catch some fish!
One thing I often say to myself on the Gunpowder or elsewhere is ‘take what the river gives you’. By this I mean I believe you will have the most success in flyfishing if you adapt your approach to weather, flow, hatches, etc. rather than trying to make one technique work all the time*. That has been especially important on the Gunpowder recently, as there is great fishing to be had, but a technique that is lights out one day will leave you skunked the next…
One day you can have great success on dries (caddis, olives and/or tricos depending on when and where), only to have your offerings routinely snubbed the next. Standard nymphs–my go-to is a black zebra midge–have been more consistent. If you see these guys, though, you will still see fish coming to the surface in pretty good numbers:
Fish are still rising, the leaves have mostly cleared out, and the weather is about as good as it gets for fishing.
*I still always want to fish dries, regardless of my own advice…