Please join consummate Bamboo fly rod builder and noted Author Jerry Kustich at Backwater Angler this Saturday from 10 till 2. Plan on picking up a signed copy of his new book Around the Next Bend, an Angler’s Journey. With a release date of December 1, You’ll be among the first to pick up one of Jerry’s books before they hit those larger stores. Stop in and cast some beautiful Sweetgrass Bamboo fly rods while you’re at it…
From Headwater Books:
Jerry Kustich is author of At the River’s Edge: Lessons Learned in a Life of Fly Fishing, A Wisp in the Wind: In Search of Bull Trout, Bamboo, and Beyond, and coauthor of Fly Fishing for Great Lakes Steelhead, all published by West River Publishing. His articles and essays have appeared in Fly Fisherman, Big Sky Journal, Fly Rod & Reel, and many other publications. He splits his time between Baltimore, MD, and Twin Bridges, MT. With writing that Nick Lyons has described as “quietly but fiercely independent, free from the commercialism that cloaks the fly-fishing world like a fungus” author Jerry Kustich tackles a range of subjects in his latest book, from fly-fishing contests and world records to the difficult subject of the death of loved ones. But whether writing about epic catches of memorable fish, pristine wilderness rivers, or the Booboys’ controversial departure from R. L. Winston Rod Company, for Kustich the story of loss is linked to the story of hope, and both are reflected in the water we fish.
Related Post: Jerry Kustich and Sweetgrass Rods at Backwater Angler
The Gunpowder River is gin clear, flowing at 40 Cfs and 52 F. Using smaller nymphs will prevent all of those leaf hook-ups. Small, traditional streamers are still a good bet. Small caddis larvae and pupa are especially effective in the riffles. Try to limit your wading and use longer leaders in the 12ft 6x range. In the flat water, fish are taking Blue Winged Olive emergers. A few anglers late this afternoon reported that a few slate drakes were coming off as the water warmed up through the catch and release section. This week we have been checking in plenty of hardy winter gear from Patagonia including warm hats, gloves, socks and rainjackets-feel free to stop on in if you’ll be fishing this weekend.
Thanks to Alex for the stream report and pics:
My good buddy Gates Blair and I floated a section of the lower Gunpowder River below the catch and release area this past Tuesday the 19th of November. We floated a three-mile stretch of the river and mostly focused our efforts on streamer and nymph fishing. The streamer fishing was slow at first but once the water temperature warmed up the streamer bite turned on. We were having success with large bead headed white and tan woolly buggers in the size # 4 to # 8 range. The browns were aggressively chasing our streamers throughout the riffles and deep pools. Nymphing with small caddis pupas and pheasantails was also very productive. A number of fish were also taking a large size # 8 rubber legged squirrel tail nymph. Gates and I caught a large number of browns in the 8 to 12 inch range throughout the day. We also boated two larger browns taping in at 13 and 15 inches long. The larger 15 inch brown pictured below was tricked in a riffle on a size # 14 bead head caddis pupa on 6x tippet. The browns are becoming more aggressive as the fall is coming to a close. Streamer fishing and nymphing should continue to produce into December.
Thanks to Josh Reider for the stream report and pictures from Big Spring:
Fly fishing the ditch at Big Springs is a completely different game, there is virtually no flow, the water is gin clear, and it embodies the idea of sight-fishing. It is a rewarding and fun time. I have been fishing it the past couple of weeks attempting to catch one of the 20 plus inch rainbow that you can see cruising the channel. I have not had the luck to land one yet but have landed lots of brook and rainbow trout. The most productive way of fishing is to nymph a scud behind an indicator fly. Unlike other streams I have not hooked on fish on the indicator fly but have watched many eat the scud. I have also been fishing a tiny BWO to fish I see rise and have had almost every fish eat. On this stream it is essential to watch the water before fishing, then to crawl and cast from a seated position so the fish cannot see you. Otherwise you will end the day frustrated that you didn’t see a fish all day. Big Springs offers a great unkept secret fishery that makes for a great day trip and is only an hour and a half from the Gunpowder River.
Thanks to Werner Mueller for the photos and stream report from the Passer River, Alto Adige in Northern Italy:
Hope you are well. Per our discussion a couple of weeks ago I am including a couple of images in regard to my fishing trip to Alto Adige in Northern Italy this past September. The Passer river section I fished is 10 KM of fly fishing only . You will need a fishing license for Italy 30 EU/10 years validity and a daily license fee of 20 EU . The water is club owned and extremely well maintained. There is one guide- daily rate EU 250.00 -great guy . Please let me know if you desire more information. I am thinking of dropping in on Thursday may fish in the afternoon for a couple of hours.
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 42 Cfs is 52 F and clear. BWO’s have been accounting for wild fish in the flats and tailouts, small streamers like Grey Ghosts are still tricking fish in the log jams and over leaf piles. Nymphing remains challenging, if only because the likelihood of snagging leaves with weighted flies remains high. So try smaller pheasant tails in the #16-18 range are small enough to keep you out of trouble and still find a few fish. Now is the time to explore the area outside of the catch and release section. Remember that the Gunpowder has 18 miles of water that supports wild trout. Stop in the shop over the weekend and let us show you some new places to discover on the Gunpowder River.
Thanks to Josh for the Gunpowder River stream report and photos from November 8:
This past week I was able to come home and visit – and of course made time to get out on the Gunpowder for a few hours with my girlfriend. I have started to peak her interests in fly fishing and taught her how to cast. She has caught many fish nymphing and fishing streamers but never on a dry. This past weekend our goal was to catch a fish on the surface. About 15 casts in she hooked a nice fish but lost it in the current. Later that day she was able to land the nice fish above, for her first fish on a #16 Olive Caddis. Needless to say we have another hooked on fly fishing!
Please note: The shop will be closed this Friday, November 8th and will reopen on Saturday at 10:00AM.
The Gunpowder River is gin clear, flowing at 40 Cfs, and is 54 to 57 degrees F throughout the catch and release section. Hatches are winding down. Warmer water temps in the afternoons have allowed a few cream midges and a Blue Winged olive or three to lift off. Warmer water temperatures this week from the drop in flow and mild evenings have resulted in more active wild fish. Unweighted streamers are a good way to cover water around the log jams. Small terrestrials-especially beetles are still accounting for a few fish. In low water, try to approach fish especially along the edges of riffles and banks with longer (12ft) leaders ending in 6 or 7x. Thanks to Josh Reider for the great shots of the wild Gunpowder River browns and to Dan Hinder for the following stream report from October 28:
Thanks for your help on Sunday. I went out yesterday late afternoon and after several takes finally managed to hook up on the wet fly you recommended, the fish were small but it made all the fish less trips to the Gunpowder worth it. Again thanks for your help.
The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at 82 Cfs and is 56 degrees F. With ideal flows and water temps in the mid to high 50′s wild fish are looking up. Fur ants and low water caddis have been effective this week. Long light leaders are still making a difference out there. Nymphing is getting a bit tough with lots of leaves about. Thanks to Kerrie for joining me on the stream in mid-September and giving me the OK to post some feedback and pictures from our trip.
Thanks again for guiding me yesterday.I had an absolute blast and learned a lot. Please do send the photos when you get a minute and please set aside a few of those white rabbit hair streamers for me on Friday! I will come pick them up Saturday morning!
Have a great day.
A full Baltimore City Reservoir and a Nor’easter that brought rain to the Hereford Zone last evening through today combined to create a spillover event at Prettyboy Dam. The Gunpowder River flow rose from 75 Cfs to over 1,190 Cfs. Water temperatures also moved up sharply from 56 to 66 F. This photo taken last night shows a full Reservoir while the storm approached the area. With relatively no freeboard (or buffer) at Prettyboy Dam, and heavy localized rainfall, spillover and related severe flooding occurred throughout the Hereford Area of Gunpowder State Park impacting the riparian habitat of the Gunpowder River.
For weeks the River level has been shin deep (at 29 to 31 CFs) through the Park, making it very difficult to float the River without dragging canoes and kayaks over exposed gravel bars. The USGS Hydrograph (read from left to right) illustrates River levels in cubic feet a second (Cfs) at close to median flows (in line with the triangles), low flows (below the triangles), and finally spillover and flooding.
That Baltimore City DPW manages Gunpowder River levels to maintain a full Prettyboy Reservoir during Hurricane Season is troubling. This practice has led to significant flood events in the fall of each of the past three years. (Please see related posts below). Impacts of flooding are at odds with both the Baltimore City Watershed Agreement that promotes “existing environmental, wildlife-habitat, and aesthetic purposes, as well as beneficial recreational uses” and the Loch Raven TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) which was established to “achieve and maintain water quality standards including designated uses” and protects the downstream drinking water supply reservoir from sediment and phosphorus pollution.
As with Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Sandy, spillover from this Nor’easter is undercutting and de-stablizing river banks, accelerating erosion and reducing the capacity of Loch Raven Reservoir. These flood events are detriment to the river, its biological communities, recreational users and potentially to the residents of the Baltimore City Metro Area which depend on the Gunpowder River for their daily drinking water needs. Interested in this matter? Please contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Low Flows, Tough Paddling on the Gunpowder River
Prettyboy Spillover leads to Gunpowder River Flooding Mayhem
Spillover leads to another Gunpowder River Flood:From Unfishable to Unfathomable
The Gunpowder is flowing at 104 CFS is clear and 56 to 58F. With River flows and water temps up, wild fish don’t have nearly as long to study flies and they will be snapping at well presented dries. For now, plan on ditching the 7 and 8x and enjoy fishing some more reasonable ( 9 ft 4 and 5x) leaders and tippet (5x and 6x) for now. Larger hopper patterns and heavy streamers will account for a number of fish at these flows. Nymphing with some shot and a double nymph rig-like a copper John followed by a small hare’s ear will do the trick. For dry fly fisherman, tricos, BWO’s and small stoneflies are still part of the mix-spend some time in back eddys fishing these small flies to rising fish.
Thanks to Joe for the stream report and pic from September 23:
My name is Joe Irby, and I recently fished the Gunpowder River for the first time ever. I am really good Friends with Alex Mccrickard, we went to Sewanee together, and he actually taught me how to fly fish. Because I have done a lot of fishing with McCrickard, I have heard TONS of stuff and seen a lot of pictures of the fish that he has caught there. So this past Sunday, another buddy of mine made the hour trip from Alexandria, to the Gunpowder. We had no real idea where we were going and just found a spot where to road crossed the river. I came to a deeper pool with a nice riffle a couple hundred yards upstream from the bridge. About my third cast into this riffle, I hooked into something that I thought it may have been a smallmouth at first, but after a couple minutes of fighting this fish, I was surprised to see a nice, long, brown trout. I am from western VA, near Lexington, so I catch a lot of bows, but unless I want to spend all day on my hands and knees at Mossy Creek, there is nowhere to catch nice brown trout. So when I saw this fish, I was beyond excited. It was the only trout I caught that day, but I will definitely be returning soon. In short, I sent photos of the fish to Alex and he said it was a nice fish for the Gunpowder. He told me to get in contact with Theaux and to send the photos to y’all. I didn’t measure the fish and I put it back pretty quickly. The photos aren’t great quality, but he said y’all may want to put them up on your site (which is awesome by the way, I had never checked it out before and since I’ll be on the Gunpowder more this year, I will absolutely be frequenting the page.) Feel free to use them how you see fit.