I found myself lucky to be visiting my family and friends down south. Lance, who has a nice big camp in the marsh had an opening and I jumped at the chance to pay him a visit. A front pushed through that evening as Maggie worked up some red beans and rice. By dawn, fog framed a pair of Roseate Spoonbills perched in an old live oak snag overlooking the canal. When the motor kicked, they took flight and lead us out into the bayou.
Fly fishing is a sport that constantly surprises me. One can have a memorable day by catching more fish then usual, catching a big fish, or just having seen an amazing hatch.This past Monday was one of those days for me. I hooked close to 10 fish and landed 3. One of the fish I didn’t land was a big brown pushing 18-20 inches. These are the kinds of days that keep us all coming back to fish again, and with the cold weather finally nearing its end everyone should be itching to get out and wet a line on their favorite stretch of the Gunpowder. Catching the fish on Monday was definitely tough but I was able to move fish on a streamer pattern. Fishing around structure like log jams, big boulders, or bushes at the rivers edge proved to be the most successful way to approach the fish. Within the next two weeks we should start to see heavier stone fly hatches. Moving from spot-to-spot and covering water may help you catch more fish or at least experience more action.
The Gunpowder River is wonderfully green, flowing at 147 Cfs and is swinging from 39 to 41 degrees F. Trails are wet. Now is the time to consider putting in spikes in rubber soled wading shoes and/or bringing along a wading staff. The clean gravel is full of BWO’s nymphs. Small pheasant tails in the #20 range with plenty of shot will produce in the pocketwater. Stoneflies will start moving towards woody debris as the water temp warms up bit in the shallows. Mike Bachkosky’s red butt soft hackles in sizes #16 and 14 are best fished in the morning hours. If you get a late, start try skating deer hair winged stoneflies in the riffles between the powerlines and Bunkerhill Rd. Stoneflies are often easier to see with a little snow on the ground. A hillslide at Bunkerhill has made the north side access a muddy mess but the road is still somewhat passable. Air temps approached 60 degrees in Monkton and it was pleasant enough to try out the new rocking chairs on the porch. Big Flakes of snow started melting into the river this morning leaving a dusting of snow on the branches and trails, flows are about twice the average over the past ten years and still wadeable-the trails, river and wild fish await.