Baltimore County, Maryland, February 2, 2008
It was a clear and cold morning and I was meeting Jin at the Gunpowder River above the Falls Road bridge. But there was a problem.

I grabbed all my stuff and went out to my car only to discover I forgot to close the hatch the night before and all the windows, inside AND outside, were coated with a thin film of ice. I wasn't going anywhere until I got it all of off so I could see where I was driving.

I met Jin at the parking lot and we hiked down the trail and began fishing near the mouth of the gorge. Water temperature was 32 degrees and nothing was biting. We tried some of the flies recommended by
Backwater Anglers (size 18 black stone fly for surface action and size 16 weighted nymph for dredging the fast water) but we had no luck with those. I switched to size 16 MMS (no weight) in tan and drew a strong hit on my second drift that came off after a few seconds. I repeated this scenario--having the trout on and fighting for a few seconds before losing it--five times. Jin suspects that they were grabbing and holding onto the tail of the fly and were not hooked firmly. I finally managed to get a rainbow by fishing the slower water near some submerged wood.
We continued to move upstream with Jin way ahead of me as I brought up the rear, fishing all the deep spots with several drifts. There were lots of other fly anglers on the water including two tourist from Japan who were trying the Gunpowder for the first time.

I caught up with Jin at the face of Prettyboy Dam where we took a short break before moving back downstream to really fish some of the better looking water using new tactics. Jin tied on a MMS with a size 18 beadhead pheasant tail and immediately picked up a fish. He tagged another a few casts later so I switched to the same setup, had a few hits and snagged one on the tummy. Another angler who had just fished the water we were working saw Jin pull two trout out of the same spot where he stood for 30 minutes and all he did was shake his head. After we left to move further downstream, a couple of other anglers moved into that spot (later at the parking lot they told us they didn't catch anything).

We continued to fish only the water that looked promising and bypassed everything else. I had a few taps but no takers. We finally called it a day and hiked back up the hill late in the afternoon.
EQUIPMENT: We used 4-weight rods with floating lines and standard length leaders tapering down to 6X or 7X.

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).
Turn right at Mazemore. Cross the bridge and follow the road until it hits Bunker Hill road.
Turn left and follow until it hits Falls Road.
Turn left onto falls Road and follow until it crosses Falls Road bridge. There are several parking areas along Falls Road.