Despite its proximity to the major metropolitan areas of Baltimore and Washington DC, the Gunpowder River somehow finds a way to maintain a rugged quality. That ruggedness was recently amplified by a series of intense rainstorms and a bonafide tropical storm that worked its way up the eastern seaboard early this autumn. The aftermath can be seen in the first photograph shown below, with a displaced tire aptly named, “Wild Country”. Trees were uprooted all over the place. Logjams and stream structure were completely rearranged.
There have been several weeks of rain in addition to the primary storms that hit in early September. As a result, the Gunpowder is still running high, right around 220 cfs when I fished it this past Saturday. I arrived early and fished the lower section near Monkton. In the first 15 min of fishing, I had caught two and missed one. The first fish of the day, a plump 12-13″ brown is shown in the photo below. Unfortunately, the rest of the day went much slower, with fish difficult to come by. I switched flies several times, rotating between double nymph rigs and streamers. Aside from a couple of swipes, all of the action came on nymphs. The fish that did bite seem to hit hard. It led me to believe the fish were active but the higher flows slowed down the action… then again who really knows? At least I avoided the myriad spiders that were all. over. the place. The largest, freakiest looking one is captured in the third picture below. Yikes.