Brothers In Trout & Savage River Tributaries

One of my favorite things about writing the Wooly Bugged blog is the people it’s brought me in touch with. I’ve met some genuinely good human beings that I hope to keep friendships with for a long time. Earlier in the spring of this year a fellow by the name of Matt Willison reached out to me on Instagram and told me I needed to come down and see the Savage River in western Maryland. One of Matt’s close friends, Brad Burbas, eventually reached out to me as well and we all struck up a new friendship through social media. I specifically remember one weekend where I’d traveled to western Pennsylvania and fished the Casselman River down into Maryland. Brad saw me post some pictures and asked when I’d be down to meet my “brothers in trout.” As things often go, my paths went other directions in the spring and early summer and I never got down to fish the Savage River or its tributaries. 

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March Sunshine & Trout On The Patuxent River

I don’t have any proof that the month of March is windier than any other time of year, but this year it seems that way. The first week and a half of March has brought two nor’easters through Pennsylvania and as I write this, a third is on the way. I’ve only had the opportunity to fly fish on the weekends and the wind has been a problem. It’s not that my fly rod can’t cut through the wind but trying to film video for the Wooly Bugged YouTube Channel becomes problematic, even when using wind screens.

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Searching for Wild Trout on the Gunpowder

On Saturday morning for the first time in a long time I drove south to fly fish. I headed to one of Trout Unlimited’s Top 100 Streams in America, the Gunpowder Falls River (“Gunpowder”), located in eastern Maryland. The Gunpowder Falls River is a tributary to the Gunpowder River, which eventually flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The Gunpowder is a tail water of the Prettyboy Reservoir and the water stays cool year around because of the bottom dam gate water release. The cool water temperatures make it the perfect environment for trout. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website, many years ago their fisheries biologists populated the river with brown and rainbow trout using fertilized eggs and fingerlings. In the years that followed, these trout flourished and began naturally reproducing and the stream can now be called a wild trout stream that receives no ongoing stocking in the first seven miles below the dam. This area is designated as special regulations, catch and release fishing with artificial lures only. In the fly fishing community the Gunpowder Falls River is also well known because it is the water that legendary fly fisherman Lefty Kreh grew up fly fishing. To this day I believe he only lives a few minutes from the river.

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