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Gunpowder River Report: 4/30/24

Heading out to the Gunpowder River? Check out the most recent report of the stream from Mike Slepesky

Keep an eye out for hats that will be on sale, on the store website, starting in the next week or so. There will be assorted colors of hats with leather patches. If you, or someone you know, is interested then please share and I can't wait to see you on the stream with one on, as we exchange fish stories on the river. They will be on a pre-order basis and limited time only. Grab one before they are gone. Thanks for your support!

A pic of the Euro Nymphing Clinic from over the weekend. We had a blast and every angler had multiple fish caught or hooked. Conditions were perfect for learning and everyone got better by spending time on the water. Thanks to everyone who participated or made it possible!

Current Stream Temps- 52-62 degrees! They are higher than usual for this time of year, given the recent heat. However, it will stabilize in the mid 50's soon and that is IDEAL!

Current Stream Levels- 100-120 cfs; levels are arguably perfect. NOW is the time to get out on the river!

Current Bugs- BWO, Caddis, Hendrickson's are the main hatches I have been seeing. Sulphurs will make their way out soon, especially if the heat persists.

Use the advice below to help you net a few more fish the next time you step out on the water!

Tip #1 - Dry dropper for the win!

The Gunpowder is coming to life and we are in full swing, literally. Just read tip two below for what I mean. With that said, we have been having success catching fish on the surface and with a small nymph trailed below. My usual set up for this is a Tight Lining Leader, 4-6 feet of 6x tippet, and small section double surgeons knotted in. This creates a tag about 20-24" above the dropper. Lately, I have been using the following for flies:

Dry: Dropper:

BWO Walts Worm (sz 18)

Purple Haze Sexy Walts (sz 18)

I would suggest a BWO/Caddis, roughly size 16, and trail a small size 18 Walts, or something natural behind it. You will catch fish on both, if you get a drag free drift. Don't be afraid to be "weird" and move/skate the fly. That caught me an extra fish demonstrating the technique in a recent clinic.

Tip #2 - Swing for the fences.....

All weekend fish could be seen making splashy rises. Usually this is an indicator of fish eating an emerging insects. What this means is a bug is fleeing and trying to get away. Some of the insects, mentioned above in the "Current Bugs" section, before we see the hatch, are coming to the surface from the river bottom. With all of the bug and surface activity, there is no better time to fish emerging patterns. I prefer a variety of CDC Nymphs: Here are some examples I used and caught fish with this weekend:


Pictured above is a Tasmanian Devil. Extend your drifts this time of year and sometimes just a fly dangled downstream can result is a "freight train" striking on the other side of your line!

Tip #3 - Fish where people walk/skip over

During the 4/28 clinic, I had the pleasure of working with four anglers. One of them, we spent the last 20 minutes really focusing on picking apart water. We came up to a section, pictured below, where I said: "You will need to really hit your target here. Side kick cast it into the head of the riffle and gain tension on your leader immediately. If you do, he will be there". My guest then made the cast count, got on top/in control quickly and BOOM! FISH ON! We got the best trout of the day in a foot or less of water.

We exchanged some choice words and yelled into the hillside our excitement. He turned to me and said something I hear semi-frequently, "I would have never thought a trout was in there". That mindset is what makes this job of guiding rewarding. What I challenge you to do, the next time you all are on the stream, is to "think like a trout". Where would you sit if you wanted food, shelter, and cooler temps? My guess is most people would walk or skip right pass this water. Therefore, missing the fish of the day! That is exactly where that fish needed and was supposed to be. I was fortunate to share that experience that day, and I hope it changed his perspective on where to fish the next time out.

The fish that sat in this riffle, closest to the bank, took a size 18 Rainbow Warrior. When conditions are low and clear, or you only need a single small bug to get the job done. In those conditions that pattern is ideal!

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, head over to the store for euro nymphs for your next outing, and consider booking a trip for the summer through the website.

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