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Gunpowder River Report: 6/29/24

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

If you want to put some of the skills I mention in this blog to the test, reach out to to schedule a trip. I have ONE spot left for the week of August 5th, or we can start planning the fall pre-spawn bite! Also, I have ONE hat left for sale if you missed the pre-order. Thanks to all who supported! Tight lines and I hope you gain something from reading this.

Current Stream Temps- 49-59 degrees! They are higher sitting right at the ideal temp range still.

Current Stream Levels- 28.9 cfs; levels are low, but predictable for the rest of summer.

Current Bugs- BWO, Occasional Caddis/Sulphur, Terrestrial/Inch Worms/Ants starting to show themselves.

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

Tip #1 - Walt's for the WIN!

I have been guiding about two trips per week, for the last three weeks. I can say with great certainty two flies have been top producers. One is the most versatile bug on the books, and that is the Walt's Worm. Originated in Altoona, Pennsylvania, by Walt Young, the Walt's Worm should be a STAPLE in your box. I carry them in a variety of sizes, bead colors, body colors, and more.

A pic of Zach, who netted one of the better browns of the season at 15-16 inches. This fish took a simple Walt's Worm, with a hot spot collar, in a shallow riffle. That sz 18 fly was more than enough to entice this big fish, great job Zach!

Specifically right now on the Gunpowder we have been nymphing single fly Walt's Worm's in Olive and Hare's Ear, sz 14-18 and consistently netting fish. Keep in mind this specific nymph is not just great on the Gunpowder. It shines in all types of water: Tailwaters, Spring Creeks, and Freestoners. It is arguably the most effective pattern, right up there with the Pheasant Tail. Tie one on a piece of 6x tippet and go catch a bunch! Fish it year round with confidence in all situations, you won't regret it.

Tip #2 - CDC isn't just a regulatory agency....

I mentioned before two flies were really hot right now. The other fly is a

CDC France fly (pictured above). Most importantly, it takes on characteristics of an emerger/BWO. It is a summer staple for me. I fish them as a single fly, most often in sz 16-18. However, when I fish faster water, or deeper holes, it is great to go a bit heavier, or in tandem, with a second fly. I prefer to fish it on the tag/dropper if so! What is great about this fly is how the CDC will actually collect air molecules in the water and when you are drifting this fly it looks, which makes it look like an emerging bug that is attempting to come out of its shuck. Fish see this as a fleeting opportunity to eat, before it is too late, and you will get some aggressive takes and many opportunities to catch fish. What more can you ask for in a fly?

Extend your nymphing drift and "swing" these types of flies through a riffle. Hold on tight, you might be surprised how hard the small gems of the Gunpowder hit a swung CDC fly!

Tip #3 - Fish the fast stuff

The last and final tip I can provide is we are now in full blown summer mode! Now is the time to be fishing what most people walk by and assume fish can't be sitting in. These are the heads of riffles, shallow runs, and areas where the water is most highly oxygenated.

Another thing to consider about WHY this is such a great area to target. Brown Trout are by nature a lazy fish. However, the will move into feeding lanes, or just off of them, and dart in and out of riffles to intercept bugs coming down the stream. You as an angler are at a supreme advantage, when you have contact and control of a drift, this time of year in those water types. Remember, they are lazy! So if they are in this type of water, which I promise you they are, they are in there for a reason! That is to eat and you should take advantage of these opportunities. There is nothing more rewarding that "sticking the landing", of a great tuck cast, in a riffle and catching wild brown trout gorging on bugs subsurface. Finally, the trout in this type of water have very little time to inspect your fly and make a decision. Therefore, with good technique and presentation, you can catch quite a few fish in these scenarios.

Pictured above is Bob, a member of PPTU, and winner of Project Healing Waters Raffle. I donated a trip to give away and thankfully got to spend a wonderful week day catching fish after fish with Bob on CDC France Flies! Single flies and fishing riffles, sometimes it is just that simple!

Tip #4 - Take advantage of FREE resources

Here's a short list of wonderful options:


-White Dog Trail on YouTube

-Old Dominion Trout Bum on YouTube

Still not quite sure what Euro Nymphing is, how to replicate it, or just looking to "sharpen the saw" and learn something different? As you may know, I too try to help people as well. Whether it be with blogs, videos, presentations, etc. All FREE resources. Check out my most recent video "Euro Nymphing: The Simple Way". It demonstrates many of the points I raised in this article.

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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