Olives, Black Flies and Midges along the Gunpowder River

Dry fly anglers rejoice! The Gunpowder river is flowing at 51 Cfs, is clear and 43 F. At these flows the water will be warming quickly each afternoon and the insects will follow-to say that the fish are looking up is an understatement. Small flies delivered by long fine leaders made for some exciting fishing this weekend in the catch and release section.
Black Fly Bonanza
If you’re not fishing with 6x, you’re not in the early season game. For most anglers, tying on a bit of 7x on a leader in the 9 to 12 foot range is an even better idea. This early season fishing is challenging-think short casts, long drifts, and lots of control over flies about the size of the date on a dime. Stoneflies, always fun to fish this time of year, are sporadic at best and might be less effective than patterns a third of their size. Try small, dark flies in the #18-22 range-the more nondescript the better. We had numerous reports this weekend of lots of dry fly activity along the Gunpowder river.Thanks to Jay for the following stream report:

Theaux & Crew,
Happy Spring! After stopping in the shop Friday afternoon, I took Max’s advice and went “up top”. Was not expecting too much as the air temp was 45 and the wind was brisk as I headed out of the parking lot. Passed one angler on his way back up who gave a dismal report, only one fish nymphing in a few hours. He was the only other angler I saw. The water was very cold, but I did not take a reading. What a great surprise when I finally got up there and found splashy rises everywhere! They were feeding eagerly on midges. In a couple of hours, I managed to land 7 and LDR 4 others. All were hooked on top fishing a #20 dark bodied BWO or the #18 black fly pattern from the shop. All the fish landed were browns in the 8-10″ range with one standing out at a full 12″. I believe there was at least one rainbow hooked.The hatch began to fade with the daylight, so I began heading back down. Along the way I jumped around to some deadfalls, prospecting with an olive zonker. Managed to entice one nice brown out of his lie and into the net. I had a couple other vicious strikes.The river is in great shape with lots of new lies from winter and beaver tree felling. The trout looked healthy, hungry and ready for spring’s hatches. What a great way to start another season on the Gunpowder. As always, thanks to you and the staff at Backwater. See you soon.

Jay Lederer

Related Post: A Bald Eagle and Blackflies along the Gunpowder River