Heading out to the Gunpowder River? Check out the most recent report of the stream from Mike Slepesky
After a few weeks of warmth in early March, we hit a lull and chilled back down for a few weeks. As a result, fishing was a bit harder to finish out the month of March. However, now the temps and fishing are heating back up and hopefully the advice provided in this article informs you of a few ways to yield a few more fish in the basket!
Current Stream Temps- 48-56 degrees!
Current Stream Levels- 71-166 cfs (and falling after rain on 4/18)
Current Bugs- BWO, Hendricksons, Sulphurs
Use the advice below to help you net a few more fish the next time you step out on the Gunpowder River!
Tip #1 - Higher Water is your friend!
The Gunpowder typically ranges from 30-75 CFS on average most of the year. However, as you read above, the water flow is well above average. I prefer fishing the Gunpowder above 75-100 CFS. When the water is up, food is more readily pushed downstream. The faster flows uproot more bugs and in turn create more feeding opportunities. Moreover, the bump in water also allows fish to spread out and feed more readily without as much fear of predation. I find that when flows are up, I catch more fish and bigger fish. Get out there, be careful as you wade, but reap the benefits of higher water and enjoy!
A pic from a recent trip of Shaun and Neil netting two nice small stream browns in higher flows. Double up!
Tip #2 - Streamers are the ticket
Yes, nymphing is typically the name of the game for me. However, I do love to take advantage of a streamer bite window. I have had great success moving and catching above average fish on articulated streamers lately. Furthermore, for tight lining purposes, a jig streamer, like a CDC Bugger or Sculpin imitation, can drastically help net some of the fish looking for a bigger profile meal. I will dead drift these jig streamers, twitch/jig, or strip away from structure. These are all deadly combinations to allow versatility in the mono rig set up! Look for opportunities to switch it up and you just might be surprised and the potential gains.
"Hook up or hang up"- Domenick Swentovsky Troutbitten
-A pic of Jim on a recent outing taking advantage of the Jig Streamer being fished close to structure. Great fish Jim!
Tip #3 -Find the transition areas
Fish are almost to their full spring and summer holding patterns. What this means for the angler is look near drop off of shelves, near structure, and emerald "buckets" in the river. One thing I love about the Gunpowder is its water color. The hue of the darker green water creates an emerald green look to it. When I find these zones I fish them hard! Usually these zones are in slightly deeper water, near structure or a deep riffle. If I can track a dead drifted fly through these zones more often than not I am reward with a few (or many!).
Get your boots wet and chase down some fish!
I hope this report, with tips included, helps you the next time you head out to the Gunpowder River. Be sure to head over to my Youtube Channel and see the latest adventure and consider booking a trip for the summer through the website.
Flies, leaders, stickers will be for sale this week, or next. I look forward to sharing with you patterns that I use on trips personally and as a guide. They are proven winners and fish them with confidence. Thanks for your support, it means a lot!