High Flows and Big Gunpowder Brown Trout

This video post features two large Gunpowder brown trout caught in the last week of September 2007. Angler Matt Devlin landed his seventeen inch brown on a tiny nymph in higher water and Gunpowder Guide Jeff Lewatowski landed a solid twenty inch brown on a small nymph during a lower flow.
The flow level at 300 Cfs can be tough wading for anglers not used to battling waist high water. Many anglers are foregoing fishing due to the belief the water is too high, but recent guide trips have accounted for first time anglers landing ten to fifteen trout. Dry fly enthusiasts may be disappointed, but nymph fishermen can expect to see some of the best fishing right now. A wide assortment of nymphs are working, but the main hurdles to overcome are using a lot of weight, and rigging the indicator the appropriate distance from the flies. The best way to locate where trout are holding is finding large current breaks, such as logjams, rocks or the insides of bend pools. The trout are not always holding in the calm edges, but many are favoring the tail out areas below rougher water. Using three to four split shot or large balls of weighted putty helps bounce the nymphs off the bottom, where fish are holding.
The Gunpowder may seem foreign to regulars at this high level, but it has become a streamer fishermen’s paradise. Five and six weight rods, large zonkers and 3X-4X tippet are recommended for chasing big browns. Various colors and retrieve styles have been working, but one important tip: Fish the streamer in slower moving water where the trout have a chance to grab the fly.
The current flows may continue into next week or longer, but anglers should expect to see levels drop significantly once Loch Raven Reservoir is filled. The leaves are already turning in the Gunpowder Falls State Park, the wild browns are biting and there is more cold water flowing down the Gunpowder than many of Maryland’s major river’s combined.