Winter on the Gunpowder

My first experience with the Gunpowder River occurred last winter. After some preliminary research, I decided to fish the catch and release section below Prettyboy Reservoir. It was a cold and beautiful day on the water with temperatures hovering a little above freezing with no breeze. I spent most the day exploring the river, walking the banks without spending much time in any one spot. Below the intense winter sun, I turned my focus to nymphing the riffles, hoping the sun had warmed up the water. One riffle produced several skinny browns on a black midge pattern. I continued exploring the river, using my mesh net as a seine to catch some insects I knocked off the bottom. I was surprised to see an enormous amount of large mayflies. Both black and olive appeared in good numbers. I also found several large crane fly larvae, surely a feast for any hungry trout. As the afternoon waned, a few black midges were flying around, but not enough to induce any rises. While no trout landed exceeded 12”, catching anything within two hours of DC in late January qualifies as a success.