Fishing Reports

Gunpowder River

Early May: Upper Gunpowder Stream Report

Report Date: May 11 2018

Great Feathers’s Upper Gunpowder River Fly Fishing Report: We are on the heels of the peak of our spring Mayfly hatches! Hendrixsons were firing off at the end of April, and now they are pounding Sulphur wets and flash-back Pheasant Tails. Clients are averaging about a dozen browns on a half day trip, even beginners! The fishing is getting red-hot, so come visit us today, and get out on the water! Music by:    


Fly Name Fly Color Fly Size(s)
BH Soft Hackle PT olive/ brown 18
PMX olive, yellow 16
RS2 Grey 18-20


Caddis, terrestrials, BWO, Midge


Bunker Hill - From I-83 N, take a right off exit 27 and at traffic light, turn left onto York Road. Pass Hereford High School and turn left onto Bunker Hill Road. Continue on Bunker Hill Road to parking lot, located above the river.


River Levels River Levels


Hunt Valley
humidity: 94%
wind: 3mph W
H 77 • L 73
Weather from OpenWeatherMap



Gunpowder River Fly Fishing Guide

The Gunpowder is considered one of Maryland’s premier wild trout streams and is listed in Trout Unlimited’s Top 100 trout steams in America......


Early May: Upper Gunpowder Stream Report

Great Feathers’s Upper Gunpowder River Fly Fishing Report: We are on the heels of the peak of our spring Mayfly hatches! Hendrixsons were firing off at the end of April, and now they are pounding Sulphur wets and flash-back Pheasant Tails. Clients are averaging about a dozen browns on a half day trip, even beginners! The fishing is getting red-hot, so come visit us today, and get out on the water! Music by:    

October 8, 2017

Weather is remaining warmer, and fish are still rising to caddis and mayfly patterns.  Trico spinner falls are spread out a bit this year:  if the morning is colder, you might find those trico spinner falls happening later on in the afternoon.  Otherwise….it’s that time of year: fish are getting hungry and need to beef-up.  Water flows are still on the low-side, so wade carefully, keep that line from smacking down on the water, and enjoy the pre-fall fishing!

Stream/Fishing Report September 26th

It’s warm out there in the afternoons.  Perfect wet-wading weather during the daytime.  Water is a cold and refreshing 51 degrees.  We could run down the list of the four or five insects hatching– caddis, bwo, etc etc.  However, besides the trico spinner falls during the late mornings/early afternoons, there’s not enough of an epic hatch to allow for picky trout to turn down a good…..well, buggy-looking thing.   (I caught a fish last week top-surface on a lime sally…..’cause….it was stuck to my bag and, why not?) We know, it’s not the PhD advice you might be looking for;Read More

September 12, 2017

Okay.  The water is low. Yeah, very low on the upper section of the Gunpowder. Guess what?  There’s no magical place in the sky that  3,000 trout per mile go to when the water levels are down.  Fewer deeper holes? Yeah.  Stream flow slow? Sure. But…. the fish are there. (Stood in ankle-deep water last evening and picked off a 12-incher from a side trough under an old sycamore with a size 16 caddis.)  The lower section around Glencoe/Sparks near the shop offers a bit more water to navigate.  There are tricos balling-up and falling around 11-11:30 AM.  But beetles,Read More

First week of Semptember 2017

Very low flows on the Gunpowder doesn’t necessarily mean poor fishing.  Fish are hungry this time of year.  More caddis and baetis have been coming off in the later afternoons.  Tricos spinner falls are happening mid-morning to early afternoon.  But the rainy weather demands casting some bigger streamers.  Bigger browns (male and female) will be out more and more during the pre-spawn period.  “Present” those streamer patterns carefully- you don’t want to spook fish in low flows with that articulated streamer.  Also keep in mind:  When you’re casting that size 8 or 6 wooly bugger, make sure to have anRead More

August 9th, 2017

After a series of thunderstorms over the past week, the Gunpowder flow has lowered to 42 cf/s and holding at a steady 52-59 degrees. We’re not sure what the belly-aching is about, but the fishing is still great!!! True, true… the caddis and sulphur hatches haven’t been prolific–it’s August. Trico mayflies are starting to ball up on the upper Gunpowder early to mid-morning, but the trout are still beefing-up on terrestrials all…day…long. A size 16 ant with a parachute post never left my leader and was bringing wild browns to the surface. If you have a hopper, attractor, stimulator, ant,Read More

July 27th-28th, 2017

Ants, hoppers, ants, beetles, ants, ants, ants!!!! That is all… Actually, there more- there’s always more to say.  Yes, there are some pleasant caddis and BWO hatches coming off the upper Gunpowder.  Yes, streamers are definitely successful (think: Black, olive, white wooly buggers, larger articulated streamers).  They are especially successful when night approaches and the “biggums” come out to prey.  These larger patterns are successful on the lower sections of the river  (Glencoe and Sparks in the late evenings). But… Back to land-based bugs:  They’re working…. a bunch. The flow on the upper Gunpowder is holding around 73 cfs.  The lateRead More

July 25th, 2017

Water is up on the Gunpowder!! The river is running at 73 cfs and is holding at 56 degrees.  Hoppers, stimulators and other terrestrials are working well this morning– there’s a mess of bugs dropping into the river after the nightly thunderstorms.  Air temps will make daytime fishing more comfortable.  The Gunpowder is pretty muddy downstream from Blue Mount, but flashy streamers can be productive- especially towards the evening.  The upper Gunpowder river upstream from Little Falls is fairly clear with mild turbidity due to the increase in flow.  Get out and enjoy! 


Sundays are often crowded on the Gunpowder.  Cooler weather and water temperatures kept a few people away from the river, but the fish were feeding well.  Quick splashes to fast-rising emergers dotted the river bank to bank consistently throughout the morning and afternoon.  Higher-than-average water levels provided some very productive riffle runs as well as some deeper, slower water along the banks.  Sulfur emerger patters proved very useful; however, several soft-hackle patterns of different colors (including the traditional North Country Spiders) were effective to quick rising fish– the presentation proving more important than the particular fly pattern.  Weather will stayRead More

Stream Report 4/26/2017

The Gunpowder is fishing well- water levels are up over 100 cf/s in Parkton and the water temp is in the upper 50’s.  Caddis are hatching, but it is the sulphurs which are coming out more consistently now.  Mid-day hatches of large sulphers and evening spinner falls are making for happy fish… and fishing.  Wednesday evening small and large wild browns were veraciously eating emergers and wet hackle flies.  The calmer banks of the river, now newly filled in by the gradual rising current, served as calm holding areas for some of the larger trout.  Periodically, they slurped size 14/16Read More

Brian and Ben started off with a crumby day, that had a silver lining. The weather was rainy and cold for the majority of the day. The flows were still in the 30’s and all of that pointed to a less-than-perfect fishing experience, however the fish were looking up! Soft-hackles were very successful; darker patterns seemed most productive. Ben was less experienced than Brian, but he got into the fish first! Brian caught up, in spite of periodic downpours. We covered a lot of water and had some nice hook-ups. We looked liked drowned rats, but the fish cooperated andRead More

Guide Trip – April 15th

The weather was decent and the water conditions were still low, 31cfs, but the fishing was still good. David and DJ swung soft-hackles, all day, and had good results. There was very few rises, but the fish were responsive to an array of soft-hackled patterns, including sot-hackle Pheasant Tails and Hare’s Ears. We also used some green-bodied wets because there was an abundance of caddis nymphs on the rocks. Because the water was so low, we went to numerous spots looking for nice holes and good structure. David and DJ, both, had good ability and did what they had toRead More

Page 1 of 212

Access Point(s)

Gunpowder River Description

The Gunpowder River in northern Maryland is a tailwater that is very popular year round with trout anglers.  Running from the Prettyboy Dam and reservoir, it carves its way through a valley that beautifully showcases all seasons before flowing into the Loch Raven reservoir, the primary source of water for the 1.5 million residents in the Baltimore MD area. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is responsible for designating resources to maintain the watershed as a state park. There are also several environmental groups which are committed to keeping the river and surrounding landscape clean and safe. Outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds appreciate the lushness of the flora throughout the watershed with hikers determinedly trekking the miles of trails along both sides of the river.  However, it is the fishermen and women chasing trout who really benefit from this stretch of water.
Stream bred trout thrive and reproduce best in cold, clean water and that is exactly what is released by the Prettyboy Dam into the Gunpowder River. The water dropping from the lower gates remains a fairly constant average of approximately 55°F, a perfect temperature for the brown, brook and rainbow trout. Concerned mainly with the catch, most fishermen have no problem with the “catch and release” rules on the first 7 ½ miles of the river. They know they can use only artificial flies with one hook and are not allowed to use bait. Such a regulation is designed to promote successful reproduction and survival of the young in a controlled setting, ensuring good fishing for future generations. There is no shortage of food for the fish including caddis and midges. However, it is the distinctly yellow and orange “sulphur” species of mayflies that emerge in late spring that delight the fishermen and women who are familiar with the hatches of the Gunpowder River. Later on in the summer, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and ants are favored by the trout. The fish also have no problem foraging for sculpin and dace along the entire stretch of the river. As long as the trout are satisfied, the fishing enthusiasts continue to head to the Gunpowder River to fulfill their dreams of trophy trout.


Brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout,

Guided Trips:

Great Feathers Fly Shop

Great Feathers

14824 York Road
Sparks, MD 21152


Monday - Friday : 10am - 5pm
Saturday : 10am - 5pm
Sunday : 11am - 4pm

PHONE : 1 410 472-6799
TOLL FREE : 1 888 777-0838