Baltimore County, Maryland, June 9, 2013
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Here are some rules that should be posted along the trails at the Gunpowder River.

DO NOT
Urge your dog to do a massive running belly flop in the river without first checking to see if someone is presenting a size 20 caddis to a rising fish.
Throw a tennis ball, softball or heave a large tree limb into the river over tall foliage for your huge German Shepherd mix to retrieve without first checking if anyone is standing tight to the bank drifting an indicator and tandem nymph rig.
Walk down to the river and noisily dump your float equipment into the water, creating a huge splash and wake 20 feet from the spot where someone is fishing.
Continue to splash and kick water at each other while slowly drifting over an area where the trout were rising.
While floating down the river, you should not look at the angler and, with a serious look on your face, say to them any or all of the following comments.
A: “Are the fish biting?”
B: “Catch anything today?”
C: “Lots of people on the water today, eh?”
Fish the Gunpowder River with a spinning rod and bait.

DO
Fish with a long leader, at least 12 feet long, tapered to 6X when dry fly fishing.
Make sure that at least one of the nymphs on a tandem rig is a caddis emerger pattern.
Present a fly gently. Splashing or a sloppy presentation WILL put the trout down.
Remember that the fish aren’t dumb. If they miss or short-strike the fly, change to something else. They don’t often make the same mistake twice.
Be certain that you don’t carry too much line out when making a backcast around lots of trees.
Carry an assortment of streamers for those deep, deep holes where large trout live.
Be certain that what you are about to touch is really NOT Poison Ivy.
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Jin and I started our day at the Masemore Bridge parking lot and slowly worked our way upstream, eventually ending our day fishing above the Falls Road Bridge in the canyon area. Since both of us haven’t been to the Gunpowder River in quite awhile, it was interesting to note the changes since
the big storm scoured away nearly all of the trouty spots we used to fish.

The air was hot and sticky but the water compensated for that by being icy cold. We began fishing under an overcast sky and I got a few 8 to 10 inch brown trout on a size 16 Baltz paranymph but the action was sporadic. The fish weren’t rising and I was just blind casting to where I thought a trout would hang out while hoping for a bite. Meanwhile Jin was slaying them with a tandem nymph rig, hauling out fish after fish as he worked the deeper slots. I caught up with him and I must have looked sad because he gave me a few of his “magic flies” and once I finished rigging up I started scoring a few fish too.
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The nymphing action slowed down by early afternoon but we noticed an increase in rising fish. Jin decided to stick with his nymph rig while I switched to a caddis pattern at the midway point between the Masemore and Falls Road bridges and continued upstream. The action was good and got a lot better after we passed the Falls Road Bridge and entered the beginning of the canyon area. Jin switched to a dry fly and both of us pounded trout for a few hours. The deeper water would hold larger wild brown trout while fishing the shallower runs and slots yielded only tiny recently released rainbow trout. These rainbows were voracious eaters and I even caught a few while the fly was just dangling in the water while I worked on the leader.
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We ended the day around 5pm and hiked back to the cars. Nine hours sure went by quickly.

EQUIPMENT: Use anything from a 3 to 6 weight rod depending on the size of fish you are after. Leaders 9 to14 feet long at 5x or6x are good for general use but lighter tippet up to 7x and longer might be needed earlier or later in the year. Check the Backwater Angler fly shop for more details.

DIRECTIONS: Take I-95 towards Baltimore then left onto I-695 to Towson. Take Exit 24 and merge onto I-83 Timonium/York, PA. Take Exit 27 Mt. Carmel Rd/MD-137 toward Hereford. Turn left onto 137 (Mt. Carmel Road) and follow for 1/4 mile. Turn left onto Masemore Road and slowly follow the narrow road downhill and past the old stone house on the corner. Fly fishing parking is just before the Masemore Road Bridge.
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