After a good soaking rain yesterday, I stopped by Masemore Rd access today on my way to the shop to check out how all of this rain during our latest flash flood advisory has impacted the Gunpowder river. I am happy to report that I found an empty parking lot, lots of clear, cold, water, and a river full of willing fish. The Gunpowder river is clear, 48 F, and is flowing at 87 CFs and is on the rise. Roughly one thousand miles away and a good bit closer to the equator, it’s snowing in New Orleans My mom just called me from my hometown of Covington, Louisiana to report almost 6″ of snow in her yard. She said that; the street looked like a Rockwell painting, her Maine Coon cats were catching snowflakes and that she was not venturing off the side porch today. When it rains this time of year in North Baltimore County, Maryland, the old timers stopping in the shop often exclaim, “well, we’re lucky it’s not snow…” or, “you don’t have to shovel rain.” An optimistic angler from DC just rang us a few minutes ago and wanted to know how the river was fishing. Two of our guides spent some time yesterday on the river, one nymphing small pheasant tails behind an attractor nymph , the other waiting until it warmed up a bit to cast some Blue Winged Olive patterns in the #18-22 range to rising fish. Both greeted me with big smiles after coming off the water yesterday and are likely at it again this morning…our man from DC is on his way up, how will you spend your afternoon?
Low Water, Rain and a Chance of Spillover along the Gunpowder River
Staying warm on the river is essential to enjoying time on the water during this time of year. The cold has kept few people off the water, as store traffic and the parking lots have shown the past few weeks. It’s nice to see so many people fishing on bitter cold days, and also to see people spreading out along seventeen miles of trout water.
The first extremity to feel the chill are fingers, which can make knot tying tough. For anglers used to changing flies frequently, and want dexterity in a fingertip-less glove, the Chota Windproof Stow-A-Way Flip Mitt is perfect. A full coverage windproof fleece mitten for the walk in and out, in an instant becomes a fingertip-less (including thumb) fleece glove. Some customers have expressed that they prefer to take gloves off to tie knots, and desire a glove that doesn’t get wet. Chota’s Thin Skin 3mm Neoprene Glove, which is sealed and fits like a driving glove, is easy to take off for knot tying. The dexterity afforded by this glove allows streamer, nymph or dry fly fishing, without hands being exposed to the cold and accumulation of water, or ice on the line. The shop also has layers to cover anglers from head to toe, including Patagonia’s Knit Beanie, R-1 and Cap-3 Fleece tops and Cap-3 Fleece bottoms, Heavyweight, Midweight and Liner socks. Cloudveil’s Flat Creek Jacket is a Wind Stopper Fleece, has five pockets and looks good for both fishing and wearing around town.
Adam F. was just in this Monday checking out the Gunpowder and stopped by the shop to tell me that he landed a nice 14″ brown above Falls Rd. Before giving me an update on a great Summer of guiding in Alaska, he related that Winchester Creek Outfitter’s in Grasonville, Maryland was closing it’s doors. Talk on the South East Fly Fishing Forum was also full of banter about another local shop “lost”. I gave the shop a call the same afternoon and spoke to Dr. Ron Franks for a while about his heartfelt decision to close the shop. Ron indicated that the shop will be closing by the first of the year. My condolences go out to Ron Franks and the crew. If you’re in the Annapolis area during the holidays, consider stopping in and thanking them for their many years of service to the fly fishing community.
After recent rains, the Gunpowder river has been up all week and has dropping from 128CFs Monday to 68 CFs range today. The river is clear and a little on the green side owing to turnover in the reservoir-thanks Dave! The water temp is 48 F. Fish are taking small steamers, caddis larvae and small pheasant tails in the #18-22 range. Bwo’s, (most in the #20 range) have been coming off above Masemore through Falls Rd on warmer days. Most are in the #20 range. With more flow, the pools look inviting, but most of the action has been in the shallow, fast moving water.
Thanks to Father Paul for his kind words and photo.
I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to straighten out my fly line this afternoon… as a beginner in this whole thing of fly fishing, so much of it can seem intimidating, but your friendliness makes it much more approachable. Thanks also for your web-page (just looking at it makes me want to go fishing) and the energy and passion that you have for this beautiful river, that is so obvious. I look forward to every Friday when I have the chance to abandon academics and get out to such beautiful surroundings as the Gunpowder River… As a rank novice I’m thrilled to catch anything, but was especially thrilled today.
Thanks again for your help,
Thanks to Stu for the following picture and report from last week:
Hey Theaux, great seeing you last Saturday. Shop looks fantastic. I wanted to share a photo of the Brownie I caught that same day. It was cold and it was slow over by the Bluemont area. Lots of short strikes, but I did manage to fool one pretty decent Brown trout. I found a nice calm, relatively deep pool, and through a tungsten pheasant tail in there. At first, I thought I was hung up – because of the weight of the bead-head – but once the snag started to pull drag I knew I had a nice fish. See you soon. Happy Thanksgiving, Stu