I had free time recently and decided to spend an afternoon fishing the Gunpowder River in Maryland. I’ve fished this river before, but had limited success on my first time out. I’m happy to say that the fishing was much better on this trip.
I started the day at Masemore Road and walked my way up the trail. I stopped at a few spots along the way, mostly tossing a double nymph rig into spots that looked promising. Once I reached the area just beneath Falls Road, I ran into quite a few fly fishermen. As I mentioned in my previous post, there’s a section of slow water just below the Falls Road bridge. I decided to hike up past Falls Road, and try to hit the slower water at dusk on my way back to my car.
I love the look of the river above Falls Road. It’s a classic mountain stream full of boulders, fast water, and long slow stretches. I’ve had the most success here casting close to the banks in seams of water that are deeper. The gunpowder can be quite shallow at times, and it’s important to find the sections with some depth. I tied on a size 18 Parachute Adams with a size 20 nymph about 12″ below. I walked up to a stretch of river where a deeper channel of water ran close to the bank on the opposite side of me, and started casting across. A couple of drifts by some over hanging brush, and a brown trout explosively rose out of the water for the fly. I missed it. If there’s one benefit to missing a hookset on a rising trout, it’s the bit of confidence you have afterward.
I made another delicate cast to the opposite bank, and was met with another rising trout. This time the fish was on. After a quick fight, a healthy wild brown came to my net. It was an icebreaker. As I’ve written before, I consider the first fish of the day a welcome sign of a good day ahead of you, especially if it’s on a river that’s new to you.
After casting a few more times, I still saw fish rising and decided to keep with my strategy. I worked my way up the river and caught several more trout on my dry/dropper set up.
Once I hit the more mountainous stretch of the river above Falls Road, I decided to turn around and fish my way back down. I find that I have more success in these faster stretches of water if I nymph the bottom, and didn’t want to switch flies/techniques. During the summer months, I prefer to fish a dry while I can get away with it! There’s all winter to dredge the bottom of the river with my flies.
I switched my nymph a couple of times, as a few of the flies got worn out. Below are a few more trout from the day. I never get tired of looking at these fish.