Higher Flows On The Gunpowder River

Prettyboy Dam Spillover
The Gunpowder River reached just over 700 CFs on the Falls Road gauge this past Friday. The heavy rainfall in the region filled Prettyboy Reservoir, and water crested the spillway. The initial surge of water may not have led to ideal fishing conditions, but the flow did dislodge a good portion of Didymo from the river bottom. I fished for a few hours at 600 CFs, and caught half a dozen fish, but also noticed Didymo washing down river. The white algae can still be found in most sections, but is far less of a nuisance compared to the previous months. Earlier this week flows dropped back to a more manageable level, and I fished on Monday and Tuesday. The river was clear at 200 CFs, which was a great flow. I caught fish in the slower, softer water on nymph and midge patterns under an indicator. I fished upriver with nymphs and switched to streamers for the walk out. Streamers produced a few fish, but my hook up ratio was better on nymphs. Midges and blackflies hatched throughout the day, and most of the browns I caught took size 18-20 larva patterns. It was great to see the river with a good volume of water, and fun fighting fish in the higher flows. The river jumped again after last night’s rain, but will likely level out between 150-200 CFs by the weekend. A new feature of the USGS gauge at Falls Road is a real time temperature graph. Water temps in the Gunpowder are reaching 43 degrees in the afternoons. The ten day weather forecast shows daily highs in the mid fifty to upper sixties, and scattered showers. The reservoir is full and spilling, so the flows will fluctuate with rainfall, but will remain clear and fishable in the upper miles.