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Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:12 am
by martalus
Has anyone ever fished this tailwater fishery? I am monitoring the weather/predicted rain and may opt for trout instead of smallies on Father's Day morning. If we do get a lot of rain down here which it would negatively impact a Potomac smallie wade trip, but would benefit a trout trip. From what I can tell, the Gunpowder river has 7 plus miles of high density wild trout water below this dam and is one of the best trout streams in Maryland. 97 percent of the trout are wild brownies with some wild brookies and bows mixed in. There seems to be a ton of access so I would appreciate any tips on good access points.

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:48 pm
by Vance
I fished it years ago when my daughter lived in Md. I took Rt. 83 north for a few miles then cut towards the river. I for get the names of the road I took to the river. I actually fished it twice and both times never saw another person all day. It was in May that I fished it and caught a few on a caddis fly with an olive/grey body and a dun hackle. The trout that I caught were not big but put up a good fight that I can remember. Good luck fishing it. Bill Vance

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:38 pm
by martalus
Thanks Vance-I am about an hour away and will check it out this Fathers day if the rains bring up the smallie rivers too much.

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/md/nwis/uv?site_no=01581920

Water temps seem uniformly cold on the Gunpowder thanks to the deep tailwater-despite the 90 degree weather last week, it only got up to a max of 59 F, and now is back down in the low 50s. I may have to use my waders! After doing some research, it looks like there are lots of 7-12 inch fish but due to lack of bait fish/good hatches, there are not as many large fish. That said, it looks like you can find some 15-18 inch fish in the deeper pockets.

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:28 pm
by Twism86
I fished it once. I fished the 2 miles of river below the dam, very nice water, great for nymphing! There is parking on Falls Rd and on a road lower downstreeam, Masemore Rd. Im pretty sure I fished from Masemore rd upstream to Prettyboy Dam. Fished was better close to the dam, more rocky and KLG like features. Also, fish the pool at the bottom of the dam!! Loaded with browns!

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:44 pm
by Rusty Spinner
Where's Joe Panella? I think Joe knows MD trout rivers well.

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:32 pm
by Drossi
Try PAFLYFISH, they have a fair amount of Maryland members on that board. They discuss the Gunpowder from time to time.

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:51 am
by cappy
Try a YouTube search, might find some helpful videos.

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:12 pm
by martalus
Thanks-I will check out youtube. I have found some awesome fishing spots by literally tracing people's steps as they walk from the car to their spot.
Looks like Potomac is on the rise so I will likely hit the Gundpowder for trout!

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:35 am
by martalus
I woke up at 4 am yesterday and left the house pre-dawn and arrived at the steam just before 6 am. I ended up parking at the Falls drive entrance and walked up the trail following the river. I had seen on Youtube that tiny nymphs were the ticket and there were lots of tiny midges or something on the water so I put on a hares ear and the smallest copper john I had. Flows were quite strong at 120 CFS, but water was ice cold and gin clear at about 50 degrees. It didnt take long before I started picking up lot of 5-10 inch wild browns and bows. Unfortuanately I have not restocked flies lately and when I lost the tiny copper john (it slipped out of my mouth as I was retying it) I didnt get any more on sized 12-16 nymphs. I hiked up stream and there was just so much great water-a mix of riffles, glides, deep boulder pools, etc. The stream was wide enough, even in the upper section to be able to cast without worrying about any trees. I noticed trout starting to rise to some caddis and got some on a caddis emerger. Then sulphurs started coming off too which suprised me because it was late morning. The trout really responded to them and were rising. I did get two 11-12 inch browns on these dries and then called it a day as I was exhausted and headed home to call my dad and spend time with my wife and daughter. By mid day there were a lot of guys fishing but with 7 + miles of public access, a very high density of wild trout, and a fairly large stream size (30-50 feet wide), with lots of features, it didn't feel too crowded to me.

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:42 am
by Fishybig
Gr8 report!!! sounds like a successful trip!! Always learning, now you know what to stock up on for the next trip....

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:22 pm
by martalus
It really was nice water. From reading some reports from the State of Maryland/Fish and Game, vast majority of fish are under 12 inches, although there are some larger fish. It is not small water, but their size seems to be limited by lack of baitfish in the stream. Also the water is somewhat not fertile as it comes out of the dam at either 50 or 100 foot release. Not sure why that would be a limiting factor as the Delaware system and White River system of Arkansas also are tailwaters. What the Gunpowder lacks in size of fish, it makes up for in density. I believe sampling shows about 250 pounds of fish per mile. If fish average only about a quarter pound or less, then that is 1000 + fish per mile

Savage river

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:13 pm
by martalus
https://dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/Page ... avage.aspx

I think Joe Panella or others once talked about the Savage river. It seems to be the best trout fishing in MD and one of the better rivers in the mid Atlantic for wild trout fishing. It averages 1000-1500 wild trout per mile and has a significantly more larger wild browns and brookies than the Little Gundpowder falls-150 wild brown trout over 12 inches/mile and 37 brook trout over 9 inches per mile. It is almost a three hour drive for me, so I will have to plan a weekend trip out there sometime this summer or fall. It is also a whitewater rafting destination, so you have to be mindful of river flows/dam releases

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:00 pm
by joe_panella
I know more about western Maryland as that is where I learned to flyfish. I still go back to the savage but it has been tough with two kids these last couple years. My friend who I went to school with and fish with says the river you are speaking of is ok with small fish. I think it gets pub because of being close to the city and trout production.

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:18 am
by Twism86
Nice trip! I fished it two days and enjoyed it very much.

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:43 am
by martalus
Twism86 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:18 am
Nice trip! I fished it two days and enjoyed it very much.
Did you fish Savage river in far Western Maryland or Little Gunpowder Falls in Baltimore county? Both look like great tailwater fisheries but Savage river has on average, larger trout and more brookies and even cutties.

Re: Gunpowder River Maryland-tailwater fishery

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:03 pm
by joe_panella
martalus wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:43 am
Twism86 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:18 am
Nice trip! I fished it two days and enjoyed it very much.
Did you fish Savage river in far Western Maryland or Little Gunpowder Falls in Baltimore county? Both look like great tailwater fisheries but Savage river has on average, larger trout and more brookies and even cutties.
The cutties in the savage come up from the Potomac. You also get rainbows that come up and wash over the dam. I have pulled 50 rainbows out of the pool you can fish below the dam. It wasn't even fun. The savage is not stocked. Above the dam has the potential for some nice wild brookies, same as the tailwater.