A change in the seasons is ushering in a shift along the river, as Fall has finally arrived. Both air and water temps have dropped, favoring anglers in waders versus Summer temps drawing tubers, swimmers and boaters to the river. Fishing midweek will offer the most solitude along miles of water with fewer vehicles in the parking lots. Weekends are even quiet at times on the Gunpowder, especially in the afternoons when the football fans have long left for home. After the shop closed on Sunday, I wet a line after a week of “taking it easy” and saw four hikers, but no anglers. The lack of pressure would explain why three drifts later a colorful, hard fighting brown nailed a caddis pupa paired with a pink San Juan under an indicator. I snapped a quick pic above which about sums up my current situation, and left for home while I was ahead.
The heron pictured above was doing well with a slow stalk, and a quick stab in the shallow riffles. Anglers may find similar success with small nymphs, caddis pupas and attractor nymphs on the Gunpowder. The weekend release has leveled out at 117 Cfs and will remain constant until early Monday morning. San Juan worms, Green weenies, Ice Dub larvae and all variety of patterns with flash and flair catch fish in the higher flows. Large Copper Johns, Princes, or Pheasant Tails paired with smaller nymphs will reach fish without the need for split shot in shallow riffles. Now that boat traffic is light consider accessing areas South of Blue Mount or Monkton for deeper pools and riffles. Many of the patterns producing in the catch and release water will work farther down river, just add more weight and slide the indicator farther up the leader.