Big Trout Feeding in the Gunpowder River with Great Water Levels for Fly Fishing

This is the time to fish the Gunpowder using nymph and streamer rigs for those hard to catch larger fish. Another reason to fish the Gunpowder is it has more flow than many regional streams and rivers. We are very lucky to be on a river that is used to send water from one storage reservoir to another, and to have the greatest human demand when the fish’s need for water is also greatest. Anglers have been seeing higher, cooler flows at the beginning of August on the Gunpowder River, near Baltimore, Maryland than anywhere in the region.The Gunpowder has nearly as much flow as the North Branch of the Potomac at Barnum.On August 6, The North Branch of the Potomac at Barnum was at 155 Cfs, the Savage at 55 Cfs and the Gunpowder was at 158 Cfs. The water is moving fast on the Gunpowder and fish are on the feed subsurface and on top.

Gunpowder River Guide Trip Brown Trout

In a few pools I noticed very large fish, which you rarely see, feeding on drifting nymphs. Many 12 to 17 inch fish have been on the feed and I caught two fish over 16 inches in the same day. I recently caught and released my second largest Gunpowder brown measuring nineteen inches and estimated to be over two pounds.

Check out the video titled;
Monster Brown Trout on the Gunpowder River with a Sage Z-Axis 1005-4.

I was stripping a Zonker through the base of a riffle moments after a group of tubers had just passed when this dark shape lunged for the fly. The trout missed the fly and struck again, and again, but never touched the fly. The Zonker swung out below me and I let it hang mid-current. The angry trout finally engulfed the fly and he put a heavy bend in a demo Sage Z-Axis 10 foot 5 weight rod. He fought hard, bull dogging deep along the banks and as much as people talk about the fun of fighting big fish, I’ll be honest, I wanted it to be over quickly; with him in the net. The opportunity to net him arose very early while he tried to pass me and take off downstream. The stout rod put the brakes on him, alloed me to lift his head quickly and the longer length of the rod helped me swing him into net range. The 5X tippet held on this truly epic trout.

Tricos have been hatching in the morning around Falls Rd to as far downstream as Blue Mount Rd. People are raving that dozens of fish are working to these tiny bugs in the calmer areas before 10 a.m. I personally prefer to throw beetles, hoppers or nymphs whether tricos are hatching or not, but this year I’ve noticed too many fish feeding on these little flies to ignore them. Monkton access has been fishing good the past few weeks with Tricos in the morning, but the bug sightings are higher on the river now. Hoppers and large beetles with nymphs underneath 3-5 feet of 6X will work throughout the day. The trout were pouncing on size 10-14 stonefly nymph and chartreuse rock worm patterns the past few weeks, and a few are still taking them. Large Caddis with a sunk beetle or ant dropper has been a great combo rig.