Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Gunpowder River is Warming up!

The Gunpowder river is clear, warming to 43 F and flowing at a very respectable 93 Cfs. The river will be dropping and warming a bit until we get some much needed rain at the end of the week. Midges and stoneflies were reported over the weekend from Masemore through Bunkerhill. As windy as it is today, traditional streamers like grey ghosts might be a safer bet and they can be fished on 6x instead of 7x-read less tangles! If you’re nymphing, try a bead head prince sized #16. Dry flies to bring along would be a mix of quill winged stoneflies#14-16, snowshoe rabbit midges and tiny Olives in the #20-22 range.

Thanks to Scott for sending along a mid-March stream report:

Hi Theaux. Just a quick note to say that it appears spring is finally here on the Gunpowder. I fished the stretch upstream of Panther Branch on a warm afternoon this week. The peepers were doing their thing loudly in the vernal pools, skunk cabbage and may apples were beginning to poke through the streamside soil and (more importantly) the trout were hungry.When I arrived at the stream a little before noon there was no apparent activity on the surface. A beadhead prince nymph quickly produced a few fish in the deeper runs though. At around one PM the sun broke through the clouds, and suddenly there were stone flies everywhere. It didn’t take long for the trout to pick up on this, as several risers quickly appeared in the pool I was fishing at the time. In the end I landed eight – all on the CDC stonefly pattern you recommended. Hopefully the fishing will continue to improve as the weather warms.

Scott

PS: I really like the Maui Jim sunglasses you sold me a couple of weeks ago. Even on cloudy days you can really see the fish with them.

Olives, Black Flies and Midges along the Gunpowder River

Dry fly anglers rejoice! The Gunpowder river is flowing at 51 Cfs, is clear and 43 F. At these flows the water will be warming quickly each afternoon and the insects will follow-to say that the fish are looking up is an understatement. Small flies delivered by long fine leaders made for some exciting fishing this weekend in the catch and release section.
Black Fly Bonanza
If you’re not fishing with 6x, you’re not in the early season game. For most anglers, tying on a bit of 7x on a leader in the 9 to 12 foot range is an even better idea. This early season fishing is challenging-think short casts, long drifts, and lots of control over flies about the size of the date on a dime. Stoneflies, always fun to fish this time of year, are sporadic at best and might be less effective than patterns a third of their size. Try small, dark flies in the #18-22 range-the more nondescript the better. We had numerous reports this weekend of lots of dry fly activity along the Gunpowder river.Thanks to Jay for the following stream report:

Theaux & Crew,
Happy Spring! After stopping in the shop Friday afternoon, I took Max’s advice and went “up top”. Was not expecting too much as the air temp was 45 and the wind was brisk as I headed out of the parking lot. Passed one angler on his way back up who gave a dismal report, only one fish nymphing in a few hours. He was the only other angler I saw. The water was very cold, but I did not take a reading. What a great surprise when I finally got up there and found splashy rises everywhere! They were feeding eagerly on midges. In a couple of hours, I managed to land 7 and LDR 4 others. All were hooked on top fishing a #20 dark bodied BWO or the #18 black fly pattern from the shop. All the fish landed were browns in the 8-10″ range with one standing out at a full 12″. I believe there was at least one rainbow hooked.The hatch began to fade with the daylight, so I began heading back down. Along the way I jumped around to some deadfalls, prospecting with an olive zonker. Managed to entice one nice brown out of his lie and into the net. I had a couple other vicious strikes.The river is in great shape with lots of new lies from winter and beaver tree felling. The trout looked healthy, hungry and ready for spring’s hatches. What a great way to start another season on the Gunpowder. As always, thanks to you and the staff at Backwater. See you soon.

Cheers,
Jay Lederer

Related Post: A Bald Eagle and Blackflies along the Gunpowder River

Intro. to Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On Sunday, April 19, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on flyfishing Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland Non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at info@backwaterangler.com to pre-register.

Intro. to Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On Sunday, April 12, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on flyfishing Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland Non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at info@backwaterangler.com to pre-register.

Fishing Little Black Stoneflies and Soft Hackles on the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder river is flowing at 53 CFs and is 40 to 45 degrees throughout the catch and release area. Stoneflies sized #14-16 skated near logjams, small traditional streamers like black nosed dace and grey ghosts fished upstream along the edges and tiny nymphs rolled through the riffles have accounted for more than a few fish this week. Given recent reports, soft hackles are worth a shot. They’re fun to fish, and great for covering lots of water. Capt. Jeff Lewatowski provided this great photo of a little black stone. He’s now booking light tackle and fly fishing trips for the Catch and release trophy season on the Susquehanna Flats on his 23 foot Parker.
Gunpowder River Stonefly
Thanks to Bill for the following stream report.

Theaux ~
Just a note to let you know that I appreciate getting the “Guidelines” e-mails, and to report that I’ve been out on the Gunpowder one day each of the last two weeks, swinging soft hackle wet flies with a modicum of success — five fish to hand on 2/27 and ten on 3/8. Missed a bunch too, and LDR’d a few. Most took a GRHE soft hackle on the point, with an occasional hit on a red and grouse or black spider on the top dropper.

Bill

Intro. to Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On Sunday, April 5, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on flyfishing Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland Non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at info@backwaterangler.com to pre-register.

Intro to Flyfishing School

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On Sunday, March 22, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on flyfishing Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland Non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at info@backwaterangler.com to pre-register.

Stoneflies In March On The Gunpowder River, MD

 The factors for a good stonefly hatch usually include consecutive, sunny days with air temps above 45 degrees. Prior to the recent snow storm, stoneflies began hatching in small numbers on the warmer days. Now the temps have risen again to optimal conditions and midges, blackflies, and stoneflies are hatching. On the 6th I spotted numerous flying stonefly adults, found four crawling on my waders, and a few dozen more after searching around some logjams. I saw a dozen splashy rises over an hour, when the occasional lumbering stonefly landed on the water. The fish were definitely more active under the surface than in recent weeks, so I continued catching nice browns on nymphs, without trying a dry. Angler reports from the 7th include sightings of stoneflies, midges and rising trout. I briefly filmed a few stoneflies, and included one last look (hopefully) at a winter snow storm.


Water temps are colder closer to Prettyboy, as I took a 39 degree temp midday at the base of the dam on the 6th. The temps at Masemore hovered around 40 degrees, while York Road water temps rose to 43 degrees. Consider exploring areas farther down river, but areas of the lower river, from the Gas Line through Phoenix RD, are CLOSED until Opening Day, March 28th.  Anglers should also be aware that the Falls Rd and Masemore accesses have thick growths of Didymo like we saw last Spring. The “Rock Snot” is prevalent on the bottom from the bridge to the dam, and anglers nymphing these stretches are expressing frustration due to the algae frequently fouling the hook. Last Spring the thick growths were greatly reduced by either the warming of water temps or a higher release, or a combination of both.

Intro to Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On Sunday, March 15, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on flyfishing Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland Non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at info@backwaterangler.com to pre-register.