In the last few weeks the Gunpowder has flatlined around 26-28cfs, water temps have remained stable in the low to upper 50’s, and fiddling with the fly rod while chasing exceedingly skittish trout has seemed an absolute chore. HOWEVER, HOPE IS NOT LOST
In the last few weeks the Gunpowder has flatlined around 26-28cfs, water temps have remained stable in the low to upper 50’s, and fiddling with the fly rod while chasing exceedingly skittish trout has seemed an absolute chore. HOWEVER, HOPE IS NOT LOST.
Unfortunately, the creek chub saw his shadow and Mother Nature has decided to extend summer with one more week of moderate heat. Water temps in the early morning (for those who don’t work) or late afternoon (for those of us who have a job) have been best. Thin water means stealth is an absolute must. In a perfect world, I would advise casting from the bank. We don’t live in a perfect word, and I don’t foresee the mass conversion of those reading this post into mindless spin monkeys (not that anything is wrong with that, but... you know… you’re inferior). That means soft, slow, and deliberate wading is important for catching fish at unawares. Try and approach your targeted area from downstream and slip in and out of the river as much as possible to minimize your impact on deep, slow pools and cool riffles. If fish in a pool or just below a riffle suddenly stop feeding, you’ve done messed up and it’s time to move along.
Long leaders with light tippet have been working best. I have noticed fish refuse a fly with 5x tippet and then subsequently nail the same pattern after I’ve added 6x. Nymphing has been the most productive method in the upper, middle, and lower portions of the Gunpowder. Greenie weenies, pheasant tails and prince nymphs have been quite successful. Other caddis pupa nymphs and wet-flies have enjoyed variable levels of success. A weak caddis hatch has been occurring in the afternoon. Elk hair caddis, size 18-20 and blue winged olives, size 22 have produced a few nice fish in and below riffles in the middle and upper sections of the river.
Tricos have been hatching later in the day in the middle section. Fish don’t seem to have dialed in on them yet. Perhaps by the time this was uploaded, they will be. Get up and get out on the river. Use these instructive days to better your stream stealth, fish awareness and casting abilities. Each fish you catch under these trying conditions will be that much more satisfying. Plus, the river is beautiful this time of year.
By Seth Hinder