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Old 04-28-2014, 10:08 AM
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Location: Annapolis, MD
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Default The Gunpowder River in Maryland

I decided to put my (lack of) fly fishing skills to the test and headed up to the Gunpowder last Saturday (April 26). I got in on Upper Glencoe Road and proceeded to immediately not catch fish. I was bracketed by spin fisherman, one downstream and one upstream, and they quickly caught their limit so I know the fish were there. After watching the upstream guy pull his third rainbow out of the water I simply had to ask what he was using. Waxworms. OK, I didn't feel so bad then. But I still wasn't catching fish.

I have almost zero experience fishing any kind of river like the Gunpowder, I'm a recovering farm pond fisherman so this is unlike any kind of fishing I've ever done. I was tossing (fly casting would be too optimistic a term) a beadhead olive wooly bugger upstream and simply letting it dead drift past me. It was a number 14 with a strike indicator about three feet ahead of it. I've heard the wooly bugger is a very forgiving fly to fish but is this even close to the way it should be presented?
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: The Gunpowder River in Maryland

It's likely you were not getting the fly in front of the fish. There might be other issues too, but first & foremost, the trout won't be caught where they are not.

You need to learn how to "read" the water & determine where the fish might be. In water with current, very different situation than a farm pond, any fish species will be where they don't have to fight the heavier currents. They may be in fast water, but there will be something that breaks the force of the current. They can't fight it & survive.

The fish will also be where they can eat. Generally, they will be out of the current, at least where they need to expend too much energy & where food will come to them. They may be on the bottom, or they may not.

Since that section is not the fly fishing only section, you might consider trying some bait. Heresy for sure! However, I'm not suggesting abandoning flies either. Consider it a learning experience, not about catching, but about learning where to cast. I learned a lot in my youth about fishing currents while using various baits with a fly rod.

In the waxworm case, the spin guys may be catching simply because that bait has scent & they know where to toss it. That's what you need to learn is where to cast the fly.

On a bait versus fly comparison, there may be a weight difference too, so the bait might be sinking at a faster rate than the fly. That would be something you would have to also learn & compensate for when using flies.

You might try a jar of Gulp Waxworms, which keep better than real waxworms. Once you figure out where you have to cast to catch the trout, switch to the flies & see if you can still catch them.

IF, you should succeed with catching the trout on flies, give the fly only section a try, as there should be no spin anglers there.

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Old 05-15-2014, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Default Re: The Gunpowder River in Maryland

Sorry to hear that you got burned on the GP. Upper Glencoe, as you've found out, can make for a tough day for Flyfisherman. I had a very similar experience where I froze my butt off at Upper Glencoe while a spinfisherman caught fish after fish on a brown soft hackle spinner a hundred feet from me. When I mentioned it to a buddy of mine that guides the Gunpowder, he bluntly told me that it was par for the course at Upper Glencoe, the insect life is sparse and the bait and lure guys put a pretty good whippin' on the trout there. You might want to try a little further up river, Masemore rd, bunker hill, falls rd, etc.
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