Baltimore County, Maryland, May 26, 2007
It was hot. The Memorial Day crowd was beginning their escape from DC, flooding the Beltway and nearby roads with cars as they headed for the Bay Bridge, gateway to the Eastern Shore, to unwind with thousands of others on the beaches of Maryland and Delaware. With everyone in the city going somewhere in a hurry, Jin and I decided to dodge the humanity and fish the evening hatch on the Gunpowder River.

Traffic wasn't that bad as we made our way up to the town of Monkton, Maryland. After a quick sandwich at “That Funky Monkey Cafe” we drove down to the Masemore Road section of the Gunpowder and began fishing.

We rigged up size 16 and 18 paranymphs and stepped into the water. Jin landed a nice brown on his second or third cast near the elbow pool above the Masemore Bridge. We could see trout sipping something on top but we couldn't quite see what it was.

For the next few hours we worked our way up river, fishing the likely riffles and runs. Jin landed two more trout while I proceeded to annoy the fish by yanking the fly away before they could get a good grip on it. Late in the afternoon we returned to the car and took a break before the evening hatch.
Fish were rising near the Masemore Bridge so we decided to fish this area for the evening. Things started off quietly but as the sun began to set trout became really aggressive and were leaping out of the water to grab at bugs.

However we still couldn't quite get the right pattern dialed down. I tried a ton of different flies--paranymphs from 16 to18, sulphurs from 16 to 20, Black Gnat (16 to18), PMD parachute (16 to18) and any buggy dries (14 to18) and I even tried drifting nymphs (pheasant tail-bead and non-bead, flash and no flash) thinking there might be subsurface action. However when Jin gave me a spinner--that was the key. On my second cast I hooked a decent Brook trout.

But I think we were still missing the key pattern for the night. Fish were rising and sipping all around me but I couldn't buy another hit. By 8:30pm the action had died out and we headed home after a quick gourmet meal at the nearby gas station.

EQUIPMENT: We used 3-4 weight rods with floating lines. I used a 11-ft leader that was down to 7x. The fish are very wise. You'll get one shot at them and if you miss that's it. Tie something else on because they won't try for the same pattern again.

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. You will see a gas station at the top of the ramp. Turn left to go to the Mazemore Road section of the river about a mile down the road, or keep right and follow the sign for E. Hereford and merge onto MD-137 Mt. Carmel Rd. The road comes to a T intersection in town. Go left and follow the signs to Bunker Hill Rd. and Gunpowder Falls State Park.