The River crested at the Falls Rd gauge at 5.82 ft and 1,200 Cfs on Wednesday, March 11. The Spring thaw was not gentle in the least. Today, Friday, the 13th flows are down in the mid 300′s making fly fishing the Gunpowder River challenging at best. With more rain in the forecast and Prettyboy reservoir at over 100% of capacity it’s likely that the River will experience another bump upwards over the weekend. If the River stays above 350 Cfs fishing streamers from the safety of the banks may be the best and only option. To give one perspective, the shop does not guide when the River is over 285 Cfs so this weekend might be better spent hiking along the trails and surveying the impacts of flooding to the river corridor than fishing it. This shot from the lower river at Upper Glencoe Rd (which is closed for stocking till the morning of the 28th) shows the remnants of the 2, 000 Cfs plus flows downriver recorded at the Glencoe gauge. Hopefully this is the last of the river ice we’ll see for a while. We’ll be in the shop this weekend if should you need a break from the house, garage, office, in-laws ect.. We are still, among other feats, writing 2015 Maryland fishing licenses-just be sure to bring your old license or drivers license and check or cash for the license payment and we’ll get it squared away for you.
A much needed break in the winter weather awaits. The Gunpowder River is clear, 37 degrees F and flows are now at a fishable level. Heavy rain mid-week cleared away most of the snow as the upper river jumped from under 100 CFS to 610 Cfs at 3.83 FT at the Falls Rd gauge. River levels dropped fast overnight to 176 Cfs and should continue to fall through tomorrow morning into the mid to low 100′s. It was 8 degrees this morning in Monkton and the Gunpowder River is once again blanketed in a fresh eight inches of snow. Thanks to John for plowing the lots at Falls, Masemore and York Rd! The high flows Thursday through Friday have pushed all of the edge ice out and we now have open water throughout the catch and release area down through the two fish a day stretch. If you’re heading out, try some stoneflies in the #14-16 range with black flies sized #20-22 just behind them midday. If you’re dead set on nymphing, small stonefly nymphs in the #12-14 range and zebra midges sized #18-22 are always a good bet. With any luck the warmer temps forecast through Monday will get the white stuff moving but not increase flows dramatically. The five fish-a-day stretch from the gas line above Upper Glencoe through Lower Glencoe, Sparks and Phoenix access points will close tomorrow, Sunday, March 8 and will reopen on March 28 at 5:30 AM. keep in mind that the upper catch and release section and two fish-a-day stretch is open 365 days…
This snowy branch frames a yearling and two geese on the island downstream of the Corbett Rd. Bridge. The yearling crossed the side channel and found itself on this island with a pair of geese waiting out the storm. The Gunpowder River crested at 2,200 Cfs and 7.75 feet at Glencoe Rd. during the heavy rain event that cleared much of the old snow out and down into Loch Raven.
The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 60 CFs and is just over 33 F. While we have not many folks braving the cold weather, a few folks from out west who thought the weather was “good enough” gave the Bunkerhill, Masemore and York Road stretches an honest try this week. Reports coming back pointed to the effectiveness of zebra midges in the #20-24 range behind rubber legged stoneflies. If you’re dead set on giving the Gunpowder a try, make sure you have an extra set of gloves in your vest or pack and bring along a wading staff to test the edge ice. New snow along the River has improved the footing on the trails this week. With more snow in the forecast and rain on the way, these images from Falls road this morning simply won’t last as the snow and ice lets go upstream along the ridges. This week most of our store traffic as been comprised of folks picking up last minute items before boarding planes to warmer fly fishing destinations like Argentina, the Bahamas, Belize, Chile and New Zealand. We’ve also had a fair share of people picking up Maryland fishing licenses for 2015. If you’re ready for one please bring along your DNRid, last year’s license or a driver’s license and check or cash for payment.
The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 70 Cfs and is 38.5 F. Thanks to Emma Reider for this great mid-winter shot of Josh in a pair of Simms Guide boots along the Gunpowder River. We’ve heard a few reports of stoneflies buzzing around in the meadow stretches of the lower catch and release section of the River. Not many fish are taking dries but the River is at a perfect level for high-stick nymphing. If you’re dead set on fishing dries, look for a few BWO’s at Masemore Rd. Little black flies or snow flies start to come off this time of year in the upper catch and release section. As long as the trails are clear of ice fishing upstream of the Boulder Pools above Falls Rd is a good bet. Give them a go with a #22 Griffith’s Gnat or Mike Bachkosky’s snow fly pattern.
Thanks to Stefan for the stream report:
Slow down everything. With water temps in the mid-30′s the fish aren’t going to be very active. With this in mind try to cover slower water with small Hare’s Ears nymphs and midges. Gunpowder trout see a lot of very realistic patterns so don’t be afraid to tie something wacky on. Remember that just because it is cold doesn’t mean that you can’t catch fish.
The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 68 Cfs and 38.8 degrees F. Midges and stonefly nymphs are a good bet. The trails are icy so it’s better to access the River carefully at Masemore or York Rd access points and stay in the River. Windy days have been better spent tying flies or organizing boxes for the spring. Thanks to Emma Reider for the great shots taken along the Gunpowder River and to Josh for the stream report:
After the snow storm came through this past week temperatures have been intimidating. Dressing in the correct clothing this time of year can make or break your time on the water. I have been wearing a Capilene 3 top from Patagonia as a base layer then adding a fleece or shell over it. Wearing a warm hat and gloves is also key. The Simms wool fingerless gloves are easy to fish with but keep one very warm. With such cold temperatures, fishing has been tough. Nymphing with a small stonefly or midge imitation will be your best chance for the next few weeks until we start to see the Black fly hatches in the upper River. After that, the stoneflies will pick up towards the end of the month.
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 123 CFs, is slightly off color and 42.5 F. If you have a rain jacket you can rely on it might be time to make a splash play of your own to ring in the New Year. When the River levels move up opportunistic browns can often be tricked with a sink-tip/streamer combination. An 11″ Brookie was caught just outside of the catch and release area last week on a cone head, squirrel-tail something. Small nymphs like Zebras and black flies behind fished behind larger, heavier stoneflies are also worth a shot. We fielded more comments and questions about the rainbows in the upper section last year than in any other previous year. If you’ve seen, heard or wondered about these fish drop us a line and we’ll put together a quick summary of comments for the fisheries folks to review. With a clipper coming through as early as Monday night today might be a great opportunity to get out and fly fish the Gunpowder before we experience some real winter weather.
The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at 77 CFs. Water temperatures in the catch and release section dropped today from 43.5 to 42 degrees F. Small traditional feather-winged and buck-tail streamers have been moving a few fish from Masemore through Bunkerhill. These patterns work best when paired with a sinking leader and a short trace of tippet in the 5x or 6x range. Nymphing has been tough in the fast water. Zebra midges behind a red butt or small rubber legged stonefly have been working in slower moving water along the banks. The big boulder pools are still holding a few large fish but these areas often look better than they fish this time of year. A Griffiths Gnat in the #16 range or tiny Blue Winged Olive no larger than a #22 fished blind in the flat water is a good bet.
Please note: The shop will be closed on December 31st and January 1st and will reopen on Friday, the 2nd at 10:00 AM.
If you need a license over the next few days please visit COMPASS to obtain a license online. You’ll need a non-tidal (freshwater) license and a trout stamp to fish the Gunpowder.
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 77 CFs, is gin clear and 44 F. The River is in good shape. The trails are greasy so plan on bringing along a wading staff. Now is the time to put in studs in your wading shoes. With highs forecast in the low 60′s by the end of the week, plan on seeing a few stoneflies in the #14-16 range and olives in the #20-22 range along the River. Rabbit strip streamers and zonkers are an effective way to cover larger stretches of water.
Thanks to Josh for the stream report and photos.
Fishing small midge patterns behind a pheasant tail or hare’s ear has been the most productive way to fish a double nymph rig. Dead drifting smaller streamers through deep holes is also a good bet. The river water is cold and the slower tailouts have been holding more fish than the riffles.
Please Note: The shop will be closed on the 24th and 25th and will reopen on the 26th at 10 AM.