Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Quick Update On the Susquehanna Flats

I know everyone is itching to get out fishing on the flats, a few days more I say.  There are reports of fish having been caught, both on bait and lures, but water clarity is still poor.  This morning we had 5- 6 inches of visibility and 43-44 degree water temps at the marina.  They have still been running 6-8 gates at the Conowingo Dam in the mornings making it tough for the water to clear, even though overall flows are receding.  Received a report that the herring have arrived in some of the tributary creeks last evening, a sure sign that stripers aren’t far behind.  I am hoping that we will be fishing and catching by the weekend.  I’ll keep you posted daily.  For those of you not familiar with the fishing in the area, fishing can turn on quick.

Dry Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder during nice Blackfly Hatch

The upper Gunpowder has provided some great dry fly fishing the last few days with good numbers of small blackflies hatching.  This is a common occurrence each early Spring.  The trout feed steadily on the small flies as they are one of the first aquatic insects to appear in good numbers on the stream.  The flies are imitated easily using small dry flies sizes 20 or 22 with back or gray bodies and sparsely tied wings of cdc or hackle.

These nice trout fell for small size22 blackfly patterns fished on top.  Stacy Smith caught this nice bow, a solid 17", on a peacock hurl pattern with a small dark hackle.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Gearing up for Susquehanna Flats

The  Susquehanna Flats Catch and Release Striper season is underway, tough current water conditions will not permit fishing.  Today’s flow data shows the river receding after this past weekends heavy rains and runoff. Water temps are right at 40 degrees.  I am hoping the next week of forecast high pressure and 60 to 70 degree temps will allow for some fishing by mid next week.

I have been been stocking my fly boxes with some of my favorite fly patterns for the flats and the Chesapeake Bay.   I tie lots of half and halfs on 2/0 hooks, lots of clouser minnows on 1/0 and 2/0 hooks, an a bunch of decievers on 3/0s.   I like my flies heavy and use mostly natural materials mixed with a little bit of flash.

I like chartreuse and white, purple and white, and all white.  Sometimes I will use alll black flies, especially in dirty water, and I also like to use chartreuse and yellow paired together in my patterns. 
I have been rigging up the 8 and 9 weight rods with sinking shooting heads and with intermediate lines.  I’ve got a couple new Scott 8 and 9 weights on board this year, still paired with Abel #2s .  I have always been partial to the 8 weight rods,  I think they are much more comfortable to fish all day.

Typically I will use a 250 or 275 grain sinking shooting head.

Let’s hope we will be out there catching some fish soon!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Chesapeake Favorites Fly-Tying Good Fun

We had a great time tying flies over the weekend at Backwater Angler. In our Chesapeake Bay Favorites class, we tied some of our favorite flies for saltwater fly fishing here in Maryland. The tiers learned basic tying techniques and turned out some beautiful flies. We tied clouser minnows, poppers, deceivers, and more.

Backwater Angler in Monkton, MD hosts fly tying classes most weekends in the winter. The classes  are a great opportunity for beginning fly fishermen to get involved with fly tying and for experts to learn some local patterns.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Gunpowder River Fly-Fishing Heating Up

The last few days of warm weather have brought with them some good fly-fishing on the Gunpowder River. On a trip Sunday upstream of the Falls Road access we enjoyed good success while fishing with nymphs. Water temps were still a bit chilly in the low 40’s, but the fish were active.

Sean Dalenbarg caught this nice rainbow on a bead head pheasant tail nymph size 16. He also caught several browns in the 10 inch range, and one brown trout near 15 inches which narrowly escaped by running under a log.

This brown we caught must have been lucky enough to shake free of a raptors grasp. Notice the claw marks on his back. He was nearly a meal for a hungry Osprey. Fishing should continue to get better as temps warm up. We did see a few black stoneflies, and a few blackflies. These hatches can provide some consistent good fishing as we see them more often through March. Hope to see you all out fishing soon.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Chesapeake Favorites Fly Tying

Join me Saturday March 10 from 11am to 2pm for fly tying at Backwater Angler in Monkton, MD. We will be tying a selection of my favorite Chesapeake Bay fly patterns. These are some proven fish catchers. All materials and tools are included. You will learn basic saltwater fly tying techniques and can pick my brain about anything related to fly fishing the Chesapeake Bay.