High water has made dry fly fishing interesting, think about using big Western attractor patterns like a Madame X or Double Humpy sized #8-12 from Bunkerhill to York Rd. Terrrestrials like ants, beetles and small hoppers, (Ed Shenk’s Letort pattern in a #12 is one of my favorites) have been very effective from Bunkerhill to Masemore. Up top, above Falls Rd. Large Nymphs, like #12 Copper John and traditional streamers like Black Nosed Dace and Grey Ghosts sized #6-8 have accounted for some bruisers.
The city started pulling water last Thursday from 55 ft so the water temps were on the cool side, between 52- 55 F before spillover. With any measurable rain this week we’re certain to have some spillover and the water should warm up a bit in the 60-65 degree range. Keep in mind that it will still be relatively clear because the river is largely buffered by the park lands surrounding it. It’s been a little tough to fish dries because the cooler water and warmers air temps combine mid-summer to create a mist just above the surface of the river. All of this points to active fish in heavier flows , so put up your 7x and fish 5x for a change you might need it based on the 13-15″ fish we’ve been picking up on guide trips. Flows this week are well down from last weekend.
and have been ranging from 260 CFs yesterday to around 180 Cfs today. We’ll typically fish the river at levels below 325 CFs. Following is a nice report–thanks Paul!
Message: Hi Theaux Here’s a few thoughts I had after fishing last week. I thought it would be fun to share them with you: I’m fairly new to the Gunpowder. About ten years ago I learned to fly fish on the blue ribbon trout waters of Northern California; Hat Creek, McCloud, Eagle Lake, East Walker. Over the years I’ve had the privilege of catching (and releasing) many large trout, and I have had days where we stopped counting the number of fish we caught. And of course, there were days when the the fish were scarce. When we moved to Perry Hall last year I quickly discovered the Gunpowder and its population of wild browns that are only 45 minutes from my door (a wonderful difference from the 7 hour drive I had in CA). I have spent many months now learning more about the river and the habits of the fish, talking extensively to Theaux and Rocky and slowly changing the contents of my fly box. But I suppose like all of us, there never is enough time to spend on the water and you never really can learn all there is to know about this sport can you? Last week I had about 3 hours in the morning to walk this beautiful river again. Although I never found a 20+” brown, I was reminded of why it is I love to fly fish. My morning began with a rise to a small yellow caddis, then two more browns took bead heads just off the bottom. A little farther upstream an emerger took two more, and my last fish of the morning rose to an elk hair caddis just at the end of a riffle. How fun! Of the six brown trout, two were average size one was small and two were above average. But it really doesn’t matter does it? Where else do you get to untangle 7X tippet from a cast gone bad while you watch the fish rise around you (always taking something you’re not using)? And somehow in the process you get your knots untangled too. I love this river. And I love learning again that fly fishing isn’t always about how many or how big, but about the privilege we have to participate in a sport that we will never master that always challenges us to become more creative in perfecting the skill of fooling fish.
Becoming more creative,
Note: Wet wading the Gunpowder in the Summer is not for the faint of heart…