September 2011 Outing

The Gunpowder One Fly September 24

It was a nice September morning, 67 degrees, overcast with no rain and maybe just a tad muggier than we would’ve liked. Lou Reichel and I got to Masemore a few minutes before the rest of the gang and walked out onto the bridge to peer into the water. The water wasn’t completely clear, but enough to see the bottom, the current a steady 217 cfs. The grass along the bank was still flattened from the flood, and through the light fog I could see small piles of debris here and there along the river.

The Bridge at Masemore

Dave Simms

Lou Reichel, Bob Dietz, & Ken Bowyer

Foggy Gunpowder at Masemore

Some Fall color

Some debris

Within a few minutes the guys started rolling in. I set out a clipboard so they could record their choice of fly pattern and size. The choices were as follows: Bob O’Donnell a #14 foam beetle, Lou Reichel a # 14 caddis, Ken Bowyer a #14 pink San Juan worm, Dave Simms a #16 prince nymph, Bob Dietz a #14 Wickam’s Fancy, Bob Muehlenkamp a #14 pink San Juan, and for me, a #14 crane fly. After seeing my fly choice, Bob Dietz mused that I would probably either have great day with my crane fly, or it was going to be a really long one for me.

Bob Dietz and Dave Simms stayed put, Dave went up river, and Bob fished down. The rest of us headed up to Falls Road. Bob O’Donnell, Lou and Ken started at the lower parking lot, Bob Muehlenkamp and I went to the top of heart attack hill and hiked down to set up over the first bend just below where the path meets the river.

One Dennis brought to net

On my second or third drift a nine inch brown crashed my crane fly; in the next 20 minutes that scene would be repeated four more times before they turned off. I landed four out of the five for a total of 40 inches of trout, my best fish a very stout 13 incher. Later that morning I hooked a small fish that threw the hook after a good jump and that was it.

Witnessing my third hook up in our first 10 minutes of fishing, Bob Muehlenkamp who hadn’t a bump abandoned his pink San Juan in favor of a crane fly and exited the competition saying, “I’d rather just catch fish”. He ended the day with three, two on the crane fly, one of which was beautiful a ten inch brookie, and the last on a blue winged olive.

Around 10:30 Ken hiked up to where we were to report that he had two LDR’s on his pink San Juan in the first hour and 15 minutes but lost his competition fly to the second, bouncing him out of contention. Later he landed a fish on #20 parachute Adams that was rising between Bob and me.

Picnic Table

Ken won the first One Fly back in 2006 and has gone fishless since, and exclaimed in the parking lot afterward “at least I wasn’t skunked for the fifth year in a row!” On the way back down river to where he left Lou, Ken took a picture of a picnic table lodged in a tree that he thought may have originated from just below the dam. The flood had washed it down about a mile.

Getting back down river he found Lou working a pod of rising fish that proved to be tough to fool. He tricked a six incher on his caddis, but it was the only one of the pod who bought the ruse. Meanwhile, downstream, Bob O’Donnell had several swipes and two hook ups on his foam beetle ending the day with an eight incher.

Back at Masemore Dave had to leave early to get to birthday party, grandson’s I believe he said. He didn’t leave any fish totals on my windshield so I assume none to report. Bob Dietz the defending champion lost his Wickam’s Fancy to his first hook-up, ending a three year reign.

The winning Cranefly

It turned out to be a very nice day and by noon the fog had lifted. The afternoon sun illuminated a few trees already dressed in their bright autumn hues. This will be a very colorful ridge in the weeks to come I’m sure.

As Bob predicted the crane fly would be boom or bust, and I’m happy to report it was a boom. A couple of the guys asked me for the recipe which forced me to confess it was store bought and not a home tied creation. These flies with their long intricately bent legs work well both as a dry or wet fly and well worth their cost of 0.65 cents. Here is the link for anybody interested in adding some to their arsenal.

Our next outing is the Western Maryland campout to the savage River and Big Run State Park October 14 thru 16, Friday, Saturday and Sunday till 11pm when we have to be out of the pavilion. This is one of the most picturesque outings of the year. Steak fry (BYOS), Three Alarm Chili, roasting marshmallows and plenty of great stories (or downright lies)! It’s going to be a great time so come and join us if you can.

Dennis Covert