Gunpowder Stream Report and Great Feathers Fly Shop Blog

Great Feathers is a Baltimore and Gunpowder River area brick and mortar fly shop staffed by fly fishermen and fly tiers with a passion for the sport. Our blog posts provide you with the latest stream reports on the Gunpowder and interesting posts on fly fishing anf fly tying information.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Stream Conditions- March 29th, 2009

The weather was perfect for fishing, not for the fisherman, on this opening weekend. Much needed rain fell over the area and the conditions are improving overall. As of this morning, the temperature at Masemore Rd. was an improved 43 degrees and the flow was 91cfs. At Glencoe Rd., the temperature was 45 degrees and the flow was 158cfs.

Spring is coming slowly, but the flows are up and this is great for the stream. The increase of flow has cut some of the didymo loose and you may see more floating around than usual. This is no reason for alarm. Because of the bigger flow all of the algae is dislodging and moving downstream. Due to the relatively even flows over the winter months, the algae has had opportunity to proliferate and this is not a great surprise. Now that there is greater flows, it can not stay attached and floats away. Understand that the problem is with us and that will not change.

With the greater flows the conditions are becoming better for the fisherman. Opening weekend brought out numbers to the lower river. Not too many fly fisherman were in the mix, but the fish were getting caught. The upper river looks great and more fish could be seen. Midges, cream and dark gray, were flying around at Masemore, and the numbers of bugs in the detritus were more plentifu. The rocks were holding more bugs as well, relatively speaking. The overcast conditions and light rain make for great opportunities.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Stream report- March 18th, 2009

As the weather drops into a spring pattern, we can expect the conditions to improve accordingly. As of this morning, the water at Masemore Rd. was at 41 degrees and the flow was a very respectable 61cfs. A few fish were evident holding in the deeper holes of the long, parking lot run. They were very spooky as can be expected with the water being so clear. There was a fog lingering over the stream which made for beautiful and picturesque scenery. Fog is expected to burn off and air temeratures will climb into the mid to high 60's! This may make for some great opportunities to shake off the rust and get your hand in. Presentation is imperative when the "clear and cold" conditions exist. Work out your bad habits before the meat of the season kicks in!

The lower section of the river is experiencing similar conditions. Upper Glencoe Rd. temperatures were at 43 degrees with slightly less clarity than the upper river. Not to say that the river is "mucked" at all, just a little dingy. The flow is 80cfs. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, the lower section was stocked on the 8th of March and will be closed until March 28th. Be mindful of the regulations and be responsible regarding the regulations. If you are unsure, contact the store or refer to the DNR website for all rules and regulations.

As for the fishing, more activity makes for better opportunity. Those that have been struggling are reporting better results. Nymphs including Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear, Copper John and black stones have been productive. Of course, stripping streamers is also a great alternative. Persistance is the key. As stated, use this time of the year to work on presentation and improving areas of your game that need work. We will always respond to your questions and concerns at the store or on the website forums.

Use this time to work out the kinks, make sure that your equipment is sound. Check for leaks in your waders, make sure that your fly lines are cleaned up and are free of small cracks which will make them sink! Lines that are neglected will fail. They have a finite life and unless well maintained, deteriorate. Another overlooked item of great importance are your leaders and tippet materials. These also have limited lifespans and can fail. Leaders now carry expiration dates that tell you when they need to be replaced. If the material becomes cloudy or cracked, throw them out! Reels should be cleaned and lubed. Flies that are coming unwound and hooks that have rust need to replaced. If you take the time now, the rest of the season will be rewarding and productive.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Stream Conditions- March 9, 2009

What a difference a week can make! The conditions went from cold and snow-covered to beautiful and spring-like. Water temperatures are on the rise due to the warm weather. York Road temp is 44 degrees and Glencoe is right around 46 degrees. As long as the weather stays pleasant, we can expect those temperatures to creep up slowly. The flows are still reasonable as well. Parkton is at 64cfs. and Glencoe is 85cfs. The clarity remains good as the melt and precipitation have been progressive and not radical.

The bug life has increased as well. Turning over rocks and getting into debris piles produced more activity than usual. Small mayfly nymphs, presumably Blue-winged Olives, were more abundant and the sizes were from 18 to 28. There was no noticable hatches and few in the air. Grey and/or cream midges were visable in the air.

The fishing was producing greater results due to the condition changes. Fish were being taken swinging soft-hackles as well as stripping streamers. Frustration has abated but persistance should be the key to getting better results. Water conditions are improving and bug action should follow. Nymphing, wet flies and streamers are still the best bets. With the weather improving, we can expect better and more prolific insect activity. Dry fly fisherman will have to be patient but if the current pattern persists, satisfaction should not be far off!

BTW   Interested in tying flies?  We have provide fly tying classes and a variety of fly tying materials at Great Feathers.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009


Stream conditions March 1, 2009

Winter does not want to leave as quickly as the fisherman would like it. The light snow last night dropped water temps two to 3 degrees in the Gunpowder River and the prospect of more snow today through Monday will likely keep the conditions cold and clear.

Sunday morning the water temperature at the Bunker Hill bridge was 37 degrees and Glencoe Rd. was about the same. The water was crystal clear and the new snow made for great wintery scenery. Unfortunately, there were visable insects and light snow made it difficult to see. The flows have fluctuated a bit, but are still at very reasonable rates; Parkton was 62cfs. and Glencoe, 121cfs.

The snow that is forcast is to be measurable, but who knows what that really means. We will wait and see, but forcasts say that temperatures will rebound this week. Clairty in the lower River will may become murky due to melt and run-off.

As for fly selections, there are not great changes. Stoneflies, nymphs, midges and dark streamers are the standard fare. A suggestion for fishing nymphs in these conditions is to use high-sticking technique and use longer rods. Ten foot rods are becoming very popular for these reasons. You want to stay in contact with your flies meaning you want greater control of the drifts. Throwing too much line allows for greater difficulty in "feeling" through the line as well as limiting your visual cues when the strikes occur. Make shorter and more repetative casts for your drifts. The "take" may be subtle and less violent in these conditions, thus you need to have greater awareness of the line, both in the hand and visually. Being in control of some of the variables will enhance your chances for more hook-ups. Remember that colder conditions slow the metabolism of the fish and consequently, their reactions are diminished as well. Hard, fast sets may pull the fly from their mouths; be patient! Repitition is the key and wait for the take.


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