Baltimore County, Maryland, January 30, 2009
It was a cold day with snow and ice covering the ground. However SteveL left balmy Hawaii to attend a conference in Baltimore so it was a good time to introduce him to winter fishing on the Gunpowder River.

After negotiating horrendous rush hour Beltway traffic I picked him up at his hotel in Baltimore and about 45 minutes later we were pulling on our waders in the snow-covered parking lot at the Masemore Road bridge.

We walked a bit up the trail and began fishing just past the first bend above the bridge. SteveL was my guest and bonefish on the flats are his specialty so I took care of fly selection, rigging and presentation. We started off fishing midges and fished several likely holding areas as we made our way upstream. I switched out the flies often, using various midges, nymphs and emergers and tapered down the leader to 7X. I noticed the temperature was dropping and by the look of the sky I could tell it was about to snow. Fishing was going to get a little harder.

About half way up to the Falls Road bridge I decided to switch out to a size 16 red Montana Mud Snake (MMS) with a size 24 beadhead pheasant tail with flash as a dropper. SteveL did two drifts then got a strike on the MMS. He tried several more times to draw a strike but that one swipe was about it for this spot. I rigged the other rod with a light tan MMS and had him try that for a bit but there were no takers so we moved up to fish just below the Falls Road bridge.

I had caught a large rainbow here once and I started SteveL out with buggy size 4 streamers. After trying for 20 minutes I re-rigged the red MMS and had him throw into the tailout just below the fast water. As I was rigging the other rod he got a strike. A very nice brown was soon brought to net.
It was getting late and the sun was beginning to set below the trees. The temperature continued to drop so we quickly fished back to the parking lot where we packed up and took a side trip to BassPro on our way back to Virginia.

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 4x or 5x are good for general use but lighter tippet up to 7x and longer might be needed. Check the Backwater Angler fly shop for more details.

DIRECTIONS: From Virginia, 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.