Baltimore County, Maryland, June 30, 2007
We decided to fish the lower section of the Gunpowder at the Monkton ranger station trailhead. This is a put and take section of the river and not as easy to access due to the steep terrain and wading. This is not for those who want to pull into a parking lot and immediately get into the river to fish. You must walk. We probably did half a mile on the trial then walked-waded another mile upstream before exiting for the day.

This was my first time fishing this area. It was very beautiful and we had a good two miles of the Gunpowder all to ourselves. How did I know this? By talking to the float-tube folks drifting past us and there were many. Most were college kids on inner tubes...usually with one tube (or two) reserved for a cooler filled with beer or other beverages of choice.

However the fish didn't seem to mind all the commotion. The floaters would pass through and we'd get back to catching fish. I got a really nice nine inch wild brown on a size 16 beetle and several more smaller ones. Jin hammered about a dozen and we probably missed more than we caught. Towards 6:30pm we decided to move up to the Mazemore Bridge to try the evening hatch, but the water conditions were extremely low and there were no insects coming off the water. We called it a day at 9:00pm and drove back to DC.

The low water level was disturbing and it was quite evident, especially at the Mazemore Bridge, that the water has been low for quite awhile. Grass was growing in spots that would otherwise be underwater and we saw very few fish. Those that we did see were in the deep cuts and pockets in the riverbed, so you'd have better luck fishing subsurface with a nymph than attempting to throw dries because the trout are spooked by the low water and they’re huddling deep to avoid predators.

EQUIPMENT: We used 4 and 5 weight rods to throw dries and for indicator fishing. For me, something buggy looking in size 16 was the key. At first I downsized to 18 and 20 but had few hits. After not seeing any specific insect life floating around I went to a terrestrial pattern and that seemed to be the key. A black size 16 beetle pulled in four fish in a row, including my biggest of the day.

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 right and up a block then turn left onto Monkton and follow this main road for a few miles to the Monkton ranger station, which is in a converted train depot. It will be on your left just after you cross over a bridge that spans the Gunpowder. There are restrooms and snack shops there. Fishing rewards those who are willing to walk, so be prepared to do some hiking.