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Gunpowder River Report: 5/24/22

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

The Gunpowder River is in full swing! Pictured above is Joe, with one of his personal best brown trout on the river. On this trip, we caught fish steadily in riffles and runs with multiple fish in the 13-14 inch class. After a few hours of some minor tweaks to drifts, and fly selection, we got them dialed in! Everything about the current situation for fly fishing is incredible. If you haven't fished recently you need to. If you were considering a trip, book it! There is no better time than now to be chasing wild trout!

Current Stream Temps- 50-60 degrees! (Ideal water temps, get out there!!!!)

Current Stream Levels- 100-155 cfs (ideal water levels, get out there!!!!)

Current Bugs- Sulphurs, Caddies, BWO

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

Tip #1 - Fish now!

Just get out on the river. That is the best advice I can give you. Seriously, even if it is only an hour, you will be rewarded, if you fish it well. We can all make excuses for needing more time. However, this template-how-to-write-a-tips-blog-posttime of year, one hour can yield more fish than a full day in most other months. Fish eat most opportunistically between temps of 50 and 60 degrees, which is exactly where they are. In my experience, on the Gunpowder River, the fish spread out and move around the most at around 100 cfs and above, which is example where they are. I can't emphasize enough, if you aren't on the river, you are doing it wrong. Some of my best guided trips have been the last week or two. We are averaging double digit fish counts even on half days, and even 3 hour Tight Lining Classes.

A pic of Steve catching one of 10 fish! Prior to the outing, he had never caught a wild trout. By the end of the trip, his drifts were dead(ly) and the fish were hitting the basket!

Tip #2 - Think about the time of day

Fishing can be fairly predictable if you think about it. Bugs are on the bottom of the stream typically to start the day and relatively dormant in regards to surface activity, though there are exceptions. During the day these same bugs are moving into the riffles and preparing to emerge. Finally, in the evening there is a hatch and fish are rising to find a meal. Pay attention to rise forms and if they are splashy vs. dimples, this will tell you a lot about what type of stage of the life cycle the bug they are eating are in. Therefore, here is my advice:

  1. Nymph in the morning

  2. Dry Dropper in the early afternoon

  3. Dry fly fish or dry dropper the evening hatch

Simply put, meet the fish where they are. Fish follow the bugs, so keep it simple! This fish was one of the better ones on the evening. Eagerly eating nymphs in the riffles!

Tip #3 - Fish the fast stuff!

As you know, I am unapologetic lover of all things Mono Rig and Euro Nymphing. With that said, I take no greater pleasure in putting guests on fish where they then say "I always skip right over this water" or "I had no idea there were fish in there." This type of water is a challenge, it takes effort to fish and is harder to read to the untrained eye. Here are some tips to help effectively meet the fish where they are:

  1. Start your drift ahead of the riffle/run to give them time to get down

  2. Tuck cast to drive your flies down

  3. Use tungsten beads or lead wrap to help dive the flies

  4. Fish two flies; more weight and can fish two patterns in two different water columns

  5. Fish are in the riffles to eat, so meet them at the dinner table

A reminder of the importance of number point number four! A double on a recent outing fishing the Gunpowder River with flies from the website: Blow Torch and Rusty PT!

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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