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January Gunpowder River Fishing Report

Jonathan Barnes

Thanks to Gene for the stream report and pictures of merry old England and a bright wild fish from the boulder pools.

Midges are hatching late morning through the afternoon and with the flow remaining at 38cfs the water temperature can increase significantly on warmer days triggering the fish to feed. I’ve been using small hares ear nymphs and zebra midges size 18. I caught this nice looking fish at falls road recently.

Over a visit back home in England last November I was lucky enough to go fishing on the river Tees with Jonathon Barnes from onstreamguide.com. He helped me refine my Czech and French nymphing techniques to help catch fish in even the toughest conditions. On that morning the temperature barely got above freezing and we ended the day with half a dozen beautiful grayling. Since then I’ve been attaching a French leader straight to the backing of my reel. Using a 10 foot 3 weight rod I can detect the subtlest of strikes much more effectively.

We have 3 different 10 foot models in the shop that are perfectly suited to this technique. The Echo shadow II (retail $249), G. Loomis pro 4x ($375) and the Winston BIIIx Super 10 ($845). Highly recommended for those who want to catch more fish year round!

Winter Gunpowder Brown

Please note: We will be open on January 16 from 10AM till 5PM.

Winter Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder

Cold weather fish
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 38 Cfs and is 43 degrees f and clear.Streamers continue to be a nice way to keep warm out there. Just use the trails and fish the bend pools and shallow riffles with a #8-12 wooly bugger and hold on. Some have been lucky to find a few fish rising to BWO’s and black flies in the flats between Masemore and Falls RD access points. Long leaders in the 10 to 12 ft range ending in 7x are a must for imitating tiny flies in the flats. Trails have been wet and slippery especially in the mornings but putting a few studs in wading shoes and bringing along a wading staff can work to keep one dry this time of year. Thanks to Stefan for the nice shot of a chunky wild brown. Be sure to stop in a see Gene and Stefan for friendly advice before you head out to the river.

A Year End Stream Report for the Upper Gunpowder Falls River

Gunpowder Brown Trout
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 38 CFS and is 43 Degrees with mid 60’s air temps forecast and with low flows expect the River to continue to warm up through the week especially by each day in th elate afternoon. Stoneflies might be worth shot and streamers are in the mix and a fun way get a good hike in along the River this time of year. Thnaks to Liam for the great photo of a recently released 17″ brown and the following stream report:

Theaux, Gene and Stefan,
First of all, happy holidays! I hope you all find a plethora of fly fishing gadgets beneath your Christmas trees this year! I’d also like to thank you; 2016 has been a monumental year for me in terms of fly fishing. I’m endlessly appreciative for the help you’ve provided me in the past year. I would never have thought I’d have such success when I began fly fishing in 2015. Secondly, Gene mentioned last week that I could send in a picture of the fish I caught last weekend to be featured on your blog. I actually caught another fish of the same size yesterday (Thursday), as well as saw a huge fish (20+ inches) tucked beneath a log jam!! It seems that by now the Gunpowder browns have completed their annual spawn and are quickly transitioning into winter mode. After fishing streamers almost exclusively for the past few weeks, it has become apparent that the fish are in a sort of post-spawn, pre-winter feeding mindset. I found that very few fish bumped, chased, or slashed at my fly. Rather, almost every trout that showed interest took the fly in its mouth with confidence. This has led me to believe that the fish are no longer feeling territorial and aggressive, but instead are hungry and therefore happy to eat whatever tasty morsel passes by. In my opinion, this scenario is preferable to the pre-spawn aggression phase since the fish are more intent on eating the fly as opposed to chasing it away or giving it an angry bump. Furthermore, the fishing pressure is slowly declining on the river, especially in some of the lesser fished spots. It’s amazing how receptive the fish are of your fly when they haven’t been bombarded with artificial food for a few days! In terms of fly choice, I think picking the right sized streamer is more important than any other factor. The fly should be large enough to make it worth the trouts effort, but not so big that it’s downright obnoxious. Adding weight to a streamer and getting it down to the fishes level can never hurt this time of year, but I’ve had no problem getting fish to move a good distance for the fly. In fact, I’ve seen a number of trout break the waters surface in an effort to grab my fly as I lift it from the water into my back cast. I think that anyone who ties on a good streamer and really puts it to use will have some success on the Gunpowder this time of year. I’m certain that any medium sized streamer in a dark color will be productive!

Once again, thanks and happy holidays!!
Liam

Please Note: The shop will open Thursday and Friday from 10 till 5, New Year’s eve from 10 till 4 and will be closed on New Year’s Day.

Winter Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder River

IMG_1677The River is flowing at 37 CFS, is 42 degrees F and clear. Lots of edge ice and areas of the River were slicked over downstream of Monkton through Friday. With the rain and sleet this morning those areas are opening up. Chest waders, studded boots and a wading staff are must have items to fish safely through the “just now” seasonal weather. Stoneflies with zebra midges droppers are best fished in the fastest shallow riffles one can find. Streamer fishing is a great way to stay warm and cover a lot of water. Be sure to use the trails avoid wading through the redds and make sure you slide rather than step into the river. BWO’s and small midges are worth a shot if you’re dead set on fishing dries above Masemore.
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Thanksgiving Fly Fishing Weekend

IMG_1560The Gunpowder River is still a little green, and is flowing at 90 CFs at 52 F. The river is clearing and the wild fish are waiting. With mild weather forecast throughout the weekend get out of the house with friends and family and fly fish a little. Prince nymphs and other stonefly patterns are a good bet. Streamers fishing has been tough lately but if we get some rain and a bump in flow things could swing the other way. Studs are great idea this time of year as one if starting early will likely be walking on frosty trails. Thanks to Alex McCrickard for the great shots from a productive nymphing session this afternoon. Have a safe turkey day! If you’re on the NCR trail this week you might see a few “on the hoof”.
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Please note our Shop Hours:
We are closed on Thanksgiving but the River is always open!
We are open: Friday 10 till 5
Saturday 10 till 4
Sunday 10 till 4
Monday 10 till 5

Fall Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder

IMG_1144The Gunpowder River is a little green and flowing at 90 Cfs and is 55.5 F. Many fishing this week have been surprised by the excellent flows and ideal water temperatures to fly fish for wild brown trout. BWo’s and small midges have been coming off mid morning in the flats up and downstream of Masemore Rd. Parking has been tight at the upper and lower lots at Falls rd in the past week as many folks are out “leaf watching” so a full parking lot does not denote a river full of fly fishers. Streamers on a sink tip are a good bet in the boulder pools and this weekend may be the last real shot at throwing large terrestrials like madame x’s and Rainy’s hopper patterns.
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Streamers and Nymphs in the Rain on the Gunpowder River

Alex and Gray with a Gunpowder Brown

The Gunpowder River is clear, 53 degrees F. and has just dropped in flow from 104 Cfs to 48 CFS. I spent a very enjoyable morning fishing with Tom. We saw a Great Blue Heron, Kingfishers and a Bald Eagle and plenty of fish rising to tricos and a few caddis. That said, water temps have dropped a bit and nymphing might be a better approach through the weekend. Tiny BWO’s and zebra midges-the smaller the better as leaves are starting to drop. This time of year Terrestrials fished among the leaves is always a good bet.

Thanks to Alex McCrickard for the excellent (per usual) stream report and photos of his family fishing the Gunpowder!

Theaux,
Greg, Gray, and I got out on the river for a few hours Saturday morning. The 127 cfs flow is perfect right now. We caught fish in the rainy weather on nymphs and streamers. A few fish were taken on a size # 16 bead head caddis pupa. Fish were also aggressively chasing, rolling, and swiping at our streamers.

Greg at the Falls Rd Riffle

We landed a handful of wild browns in the 7 to 10 inch range and I was able to land one large brown at the end of the morning.The larger brown was 15 inches and inhaled my streamer as it came off the bank. The fish fought hard and put a good bend in my 6wt.MAn, I miss living 20 minutes from the Gunpowder. You really take it for granted when you live in Baltimore.

Alex with a solid Wild Brown

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School on October 23

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, October 23, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on fly fishing in 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 10:00 AM till 1:00 PM. Cost is $125 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 to pre-register.

Clear water and Wild Fish on the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 127 Cfs and is 56.5 degrees F. With flows now dropping a bit after the rains this week, large streamers on a sink-tip have been working fine in the tailouts, bend pools and logjams. No need to fish 6x, bring your rain jacket and enjoy the fall weather along a River that supports wild fish and is surrounded by 2,500 acres of State park!

Thanks to Gene for the stream report, photo and a Yorkshire take on the gloomy weather.

The high, consistent flow the past week at around 130 cfs have been producing excellent subsurface fishing with nymphs and streamers being extremely effective. Using big, sometimes flashy, streamers will catch the attention of some larger fish which have a taste for baitfish. A 16 inch brown trout I caught last week which coughed up a 4 inch fall fish after I netted him. Using Henrys Sinket from Loon has helped get my streamer down into the lower water column faster. Keep an eye out on weather patterns if you plan to go downstream from little falls as water levels can increase without much notice. Enjoy the beautiful rainy weather now it’s finally here!

Great Flows and Ideal Water Temperatures along the Gunpowder River

Gunpowder River Brown

The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 127 Cfs and is 57.5 degrees F. With flows up, heavy streamers and large terrestrials have been the ticket. Large nymphs such as Red Fox Squirrel and Hare’s Ear nymphs have been working fine in the riffles provided one puts on enough deep soft weight to slow them down.

Thanks to Gene for the stream report and photo!

It has been a week of fluctuating flows on the river due to low levels in Loch Raven demanding more water from Prettyboy dam along with daily spells of low flow Monday to Wednesday for annual electroshocking surveys. The DNR surveys produced positive results for both the dynamics of large and small fish and a very healthy number of juvenile fish indicating the stream is as healthy as ever. I joined them on two of the days seeing firsthand the sheer numbers and size of some of the streambred brown trout was fascinating. Since Thursday the flow has been steadied at the 100 cfs mark allowing for great flows downstream of falls road and consistent flows should make for excellent conditions over this weekend whilst the trees cling to their leaves for the final few weeks of the year. Fishing with streamers will be effective, especially in the evening. Caddis emergers have been reported as being very effective and tricos are still present in the morning. Ants and hoppers will catch fish still. Nymphs are extremely productive now with the larger volume of water passing through.