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.
Well, the rains have finally subsided and the flows are coming back down. As of this morning, the Parkton gauge was at 236cfs and Glencoe was at 403cfs. The numbers are suitable for wading, but do not underestimate the water.
For those that do not know what these numbers mean, here is a brief explanation. The gauges on the river measure height and the volume of water. CFS is cubic feet per second. For the Gunpowder River, these numbers fluctuate as a result of either increased flows caused by rains or by a release of water from the dam. The lower river, the Glencoe gauge, fluctuates more due to the various other streams that flow in below Blue Mount Rd. Thunderstorms in the summer can effect this section more readily than the upper section due to the amount of runoff. When Prettyboy is full, the water will go over the dam and that is when you will see spikes in flows. When there is a release from the dam, there will be a vertical spike on the graph and usually that level is maintained for the duration of the release.
What these numbers tell is whether conditions are favorable for wading the river. For the Parkton gauge at Falls Rd. bridge, wading is good up to 175 or 200cfs. Above 200cfs, wading becomes more technical and above 250-275cfs, wading is tough and should be avoided. Above 300cfs, stay out of the water! There is generally 2-3 times the volume in the lower river versus the top section. The major consideration is the amount of suspended debris in the water or how dirty the water is. Because of the greater influx of water from side streams, the lower section has a tendency to get "mucked " much quicker. Very rarely will the top section get mucked. It will get dingy, but for the most part, the water stays relatively clear.
If you do not know how to get this information, you can find it on the Great Feathers home page on the left side under "More Information". These are links to the USGS National Water Information System. These are updated every six hours and as of this year, they have added the water temerature on the Parkton gauge.
The conditions and the weather have combined to make the opportunity to fish great. The flows at Parkton this morning were 119cfs and Glencoe was at 243cfs. The water temperature is about 59 degrees. All of these things considered, the conditions are great!
The sulphurs are beginning to come off with frequency and this is what the fisherman have been waiting for. Sulphur duns have been working for dries and the wet flies and soft hackles are as well. Wets and dries incorporating orange and sulphur yellow are the best bets. Traditional patterns are perfect as well. The hatches and the spinner falls have been happening in the mornings, when it warms, and in the evenings. Be aware of whatyou are seeing and choose your flies accordingly. For the spinners, mahogany spinner and yellow patterns will work. Caddis and midges are also hatching sporadically.
We are entering the best times to get on the rivers. The week days are going to be less populated than the weekends. There is a chance of afternoon and evening thunder storms towrd the end of the week, so get while the getting is good!!