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Fly Fishing Blog 2
The Gunpowder Plot

I had three days of meetings scheduled in Washington DC.  Days spent listening to lectures on esoteric aspects of anti-trust law.  Evenings spent at dinners and receptions with people I don't know. I dutifully attended the lectures, but figured that I could dispense with the afternoon cocktail receptions and dinners. I had packed my fly fishing gear, so I had other options.  I decided to fish Maryland's Gunpowder River.  Google Maps says that it is one hour, fifty minutes from DC to the Gunpowder River, but I made it in substantially less than that. (I won't say how much faster, to avoid self-incrimination.)   

The Gunpowder River is a beautiful stretch of water.  The section I fished was below the Prettyboy dam.  There were slow, meandering sections, typically shallow enough to wade, intermixed with faster, steeper and deeper parts, with dark pools.  I do most of my fishing on steep rocky creeks in the Mountain West, so the thick green forest and lazy current were a real change of pace for me.

I was fishing my Taransky 5-6 weight bamboo rod.  It's my 3 piece  travel rod, and breaks down small enough to take in my carry on baggage.  The rod is a joy to cast at any distance, and fishing with such a beautiful tool really enhances the experience for me.  

Gunpowder River

The fishing was rather slow.  I tried various flies, dries and nymphs, and combinations of dries and droppers.      I caught a couple of small brown trout, no longer than my hand.  I caught both of them on copper bodied bead-head nymphs.  I had three larger fish hit my dry fly, but I missed them all.   Overall, it was a pretty meager showing, without much action.   As the sunlight began to fade, and I approached the base of the dam, however, things really started to heat up.  

Gunpowder River Below Prettyboy Dam

Fish began rising all around me, jumping in the air, splashing noisily and generally causing a ruckus.  However, they were pretty much ignoring my flies.  I tried several dry fly patterns, and several different nymphs, all to no avail.  They simply weren't buying what I was selling.  
If I'd had my full fly box with me, I'd have tied on some gnat or midge patterns, but I had a very limited assortment, so I only had 2 nymphs and 4 dries to use.  
It was a bit frustrating, being surrounded by all these feeding fish and not catching any of them, but after a while, I got over the frustration, and just enjoyed being in such a beautiful spot on such a beautiful night.  It was certainly worlds better than a boring cocktail reception.   

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