Monthly Archives: February 2012

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER Volunteers Earn Service Hours!

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER Volunteers

My heartfelt thanks goes out to Bronte and Lane Thurgood for volunteering with Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER to fix up the wader wash stations along the Gunpowder River. The father and Daughter team drove all the way up from Fairfax County to volunteer. Bronte is currently taking an environmental science class that spurred her interest in Didymo and the measures MDDNR and Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER have taken to minimize the spread of the invasive algae.

Here is a quick report from Lane:

Theaux showed us a short clip on didymo and instructed us on our project of servicing 8 wader wash stations on the upper Gunpowder in and around Gunpowder Falls State Park. Didymo was first found in Maryland in May 2008 in the Gunpowder River. In December 2009, it was found in Maryland’s Savage River.  It had previously been located in Virginia in 2006 and West Virginia in 2008. First, we dumped out the dirty contents of the wader wash stations:Then added 5 cups of salt, filled with water, and mixed.Although that, [the didymo] doesn’t look that bad, the strands grow and grow and turn white and then disintegrate and travel downstream throughout the water column. In cold years (this one is NOT a cold year), the didymo thrives, literally blanketing the streambed in places. Then with the warming waters of spring, the didymo begins to break up and float downstream in pieces that look like small shreds of toilet paper. The first time I fished the Gunpowder was in April two years ago after a cold winter and I was amazed. I found the disintegrating didymo at all levels of the water column, attached to rocks, branches and sunken logs, rolling in the current like long strands of toilet paper. Even a dry fly would get gunked with disintegrating didymo in one or two drifts. It was terrible. We also took two trash bags and filled them with beer cans, bottles and the like strewn at the 8 stations. Additional wader wash stations will be added soon. One is a replacement for a station destroyed in flooding this fall. It was a beautiful day spent on a beautiful river.

Wader Wash Station Upkeep

For students interested in fulfilling service hour requirements within the watershed please feel free to contact us at 410-967-3526 or keeper@gunpowderriverkeeper.org

Maryland Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, March 25, 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 and fly selection. 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 at the shop with check or cash the day of the school. 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.

Maryland Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, March 18, 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 and fly selection. 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 at the shop with check or cash the day of the school. 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.

Mardi Gras Day Storytelling and a Stream Report

Fly Fishing Mardi Gras
The Gunpowder is flowing at 136 CFs, is clear and 41 F. River levels on the the Gunpowder River is as low as USGS has measured since November 16. Today is Mardi Gras! If you need a quick introduction to the Holiday stop in the shop and we’ll spin you a yarn. We also have a number of fully illustrated Mardi Gras books titled; Carnival in New Orleans a Fantasy, written by my dad, Maurice Le Gardeur and Illustrated by Louisiana landscape artist Robert Seago. With another unseasonably mild week ahead we’ve had more than a few folks getting a jump on their sick leave to stretch their legs afield. This past weekend, we had parades of stoneflies, blackflies and even a few BWO’s reported. These are tough to see without snow on the ground. It’s better to fish to likely water than to wait for a fish to rise. Most catches with stonefly and bivisible patterns have been on the skate. High winds on Sunday made fly fishing especially tough. This week, streamers seem to be on everyone’s minds…
Mardi Gras Gift Book

Maryland Felt Sole Ban Update; a Felt Sole Definition

Proposed Ammended Felt Sole Definition in COMAR 08.02.19 "Nuisance and Prohibited Species"

The following was pulled from the Maryland Register 38:23-38:27 (November 4-December 30, 2011) Natural Resource Regulations related to Nuisance and Prohibited Species under Natural Resources Article, 4-205.1, Annotated Code of Maryland

The Secretary of Natural Resources proposes to amend Regulation .02 under COMAR 08.02.19 Nuisance and Prohibited Species to define “felt” in order to clarify the current ban on felt-soled waders for enforcement purposes. “Felt sole” is defined to include felt or any other natural or synthetic porous material capable of absorbing liquid to ensure that diseases or invasive species such as didymo are not transported on materials that are ideal habitats for them.

Fly Fishing for Gunpowder Trout during the Winter

Winter Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 153 CFs, is gin clear and is 42 degrees F. This time of year, fishing to the bank with a Prince nymph is an effective way to imitate stoneflies. Before hatching, the nymphs will crawl out of the water in search of woody debris and exposed rocks along the banks. Dries like quill winged and deer hair winged stoneflies are best fished in the fastest and shallowest water one can find. Streamers have been in the mix this week. We’ve seen more fly anglers heading to Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and Belize this week than fly fishing the Gunpowder River. Based on the following stream report and photos February, while typically a challenging month, might be worth further study…

Thanks to Brett for the stream report and photos:

Theaux,
It’s hard to complain about this winter’s weather – although last Saturday was one of the exceptions to this winter’s rule of warm temperatures and sun. Despite the rain and snow we had some great fishing on nymphs and streamers. My home water of steelhead alley is typically frozen this time of year, but with the unseasonably warm winter, the streams have stayed open and the fishing has been very good there as well. Here are some highlights from the past few weeks for your blog.

Best,
Brett

Gunpowder River Wild Tiger Trout

Black Flies, Stoneflies and a Bald Eagle

Gunpowder River Hookup
As the frost was turning to vapor, a Bald Eagle flapped noiselessly downstream under the canopy of Poplars and just over the River Birch to drop into a Sycamore snag over a long, green flat. The Gunpowder River is flowing at 157 CFs, is clear and 42 degrees. The River has dropped in flow while warming a bit in temperature the past week. Black Flies are just starting above Falls Rd. Stoneflies are about in the lower river in the #14-16 range and throughout the catch and release section. These flies are tough to see without snow on the ground so as you’re walking the trails check your jacket sleeve every once in a while–then try a quill winged stonefly pattern in the flats and a deer hair stonefly pattern in the riffles. The wild fish have been slow to show themselves on the surface so fishing emergers that imitate the black flies can be an effective way to pass the time until one glimpses a rising fish-use enough split shot on the leader to get stuck in the gravel every half dozen casts. Snowshoe rabbit snow fly patterns are a good bet above Falls Rd. Streamers, dead drifted along log jams and cut banks have resulted in a few larger fish this week, including a 19″ wild Brown that Tom reported today.