Mike Abramowitz

Mike Abramowitz

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Bob Kaiser

Bob Kaiser

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Bob O'Donnell

Bob O'Donnell

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Craig Vanderkolk

Craig Vanderkolk

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2022 Mentor Reports

Brad Reilly July 9, 2022

I had a great outing with Craig Vanderkolk on Saturday morning, July 9th. We got lucky as it had rained heavily overnight but it had subsided by the time we arrived at the gunpowder. I think the bad weather kept other people from showing up as we were the only ones there. We had a light rain come through for a while, but we were prepared. I caught my first brown trout on a soft hackle! We saw some fish surfacing, so we tried a large dry fly for a while, then switched to a midge pattern. Had an LDR and a couple of other fish approached my fly without biting. Craig was very informative and helpful, letting me use his rod when I experienced a tangle or if a fly change was in order. Overall, had a great time and I am looking forward to getting out more. Thanks again to Craig for his time and knowledge. He made it a great experience! Hope we can do it again sometime.

Brad Reilly

 

 

 

 

Scott Cernich April 24, 2022

On the morning of Sunday April 24th, I met up with Scott Cernich at Catoctin Creek. The creek is listed in the Gelso/Coburn book, Guide To Maryland Trout Fishing: The Catch-and-Release Streams. Its a beautiful section of water flowing through a park setting south west of Frederick, MD. Great place for a PPTU Outing Lou!!!

Scott and I met up, geared up and headed down to the stream toward the end of the catch & release section. It was a blue bird day with the temps approaching 78 degrees in the afternoon. Scott has been fly fishing for a little while but wanted some tips and pointers, mainly on reading the water. As soon as we walked down to the stream we could see several fish actively feeding by a boulder. We observed the fish a bit and discussed an approach to fishing for them, then Scott had at it. Nothing was happening at first, but after a quick change of flies and adding a little weight Scott was soon into a really nice fat, feisty Rainbow which attempted to leap out of the net several times.

We explored a section of the stream a bit and covered the likely places fish would be holding and how to approach them. Both of us caught and hooked into a few fish including a couple of LDRs and missed strikes. As the sun popped up high in the sky things slowed down a bit and we called it a day. On the way out, I pulled over to look down at the water from the bridge that crosses the creek. I was surprised to see at least 100 fish lined up near the bank. The other side held a few nice fish and a huge golden. A few fish on the upstream side were actively rising, others nymphing. A big bruiser of a rainbow came darting down from upstream. It had to be pushing 24-25" and was as fat as 2 large trout welded together. Hope to see him again.

Photos of Scott's rainbow and a look over the bridge are attached. BTW - Scott is the tall handsome guy. If you zoom in on image 1147, all the long dark marks in a row are fish. Wish I had thought to take the photo through my polarized glasses so it came out clearer. All-in-all it was a fun day. Glad to have Scott as a member of PPTU and hope that others can meet up with him at some of our future outings or meetings if we ever meet in person again. Good fishing with you Scott!

Tight lines,
Bob O'Donnell

 

 

Dana Williams March 17, 2022

I met Dana at the Bunker Hill north access point to the Gunpowder River at about 1:15 pm. It was an overcast day with some light rain; Air temperature 55 degrees, water temperature 46 degrees, flow about 80 cfs. Insects noted: midges, possibly stoneflies (both sparse).

Flies that worked: Pheasant Tail wet, #16, #18

Flies that didn’t work: Stewarts black spyder, dark Spanish needle, partridge and herl, hare’s ear wet, dark Hendrickson wet, march brown wet/flymph (all in #16); weighted black woolly bugger w/ legs.

Equipment: TFO 5 wt, 9’ with floating line.

Fish Caught: 3 LDRs

Dana stated she wanted to learn how to fish wet flies, if conditions permitted, and also use streamers and nymph. She recently transferred on TDY to Baltimore from Austin, TX, where she primarily fished for trout in the Guadalupe River, which is stocked and has some wild and big trout. She had fished the GP several times since arriving, but was unsure of what flies to use and where the fish were hiding out in the various river flows and temperatures. Apparently MD’s air and water temperatures are much colder (at least this winter) than those near Austin. She was a very focused, attentive student who had about four years or so of river fly fishing behind her, but the Austin area has few streams that support trout – limiting her experience on smaller rivers and streams, and the calendar of insect activities experienced in MD.

We started with a parking lot session on leader selection for the GP (and elsewhere), focusing on leader length and size, tippet sizing and maximum size differences between leader and tippet, and tippet sections. I also demonstrated how to make a surgeon’s loop and use it to attach leader to tippet, noting that a surgeon’s knot may be a slightly better option, but allows less flexibility in changing or replacing tippets. She had not fished with long leader/tippet combinations in TX. We hiked upstream to above “desperation corner”, but saw some rises there so continued upstream to just below the Heritage Hemlock area. We started practicing standard and roll casts in the flat, shallow water to accustom her to the long leaders, roll casting with one’s back against the bank/brush, handling two flies, and how to cast and swing wet flies downstream. We then moved upstream to a tree across the stream before fishing in earnest (a prime spot for at least smaller trout, and sometimes some surprises!). We discussed where the fish were likely to be (edge of currents, bubble line, but also in some slack water against the far bank, and to methodically fish close by, then moving out across the river with both casts and stepping toward the river center. There were sporadic rises in the slack water, but none in the currents or edges of the current.

On about the 15th cast, she had a fish hit on the edge of a current, but a strong hook set action overpowered the fish (a 6-8” brown from the brief glance I had). We continued working that section, methodically working across multiple currents and casting into the slack water some 40 feet away. This was a great exercise in line control, mending, and cast placement. She had one more hit here, but was not able to hook it completely – a second long distance release (LDR). We were burning the clock a bit, and in the overcast an early sundown was assured. We then hiked down to just above desperation corner where we had prior seen some rises. Well, no more rises here, so we continued to practice swinging wets, including reach casts down the banks and line and standard casts, through the flat water and down through the riffles to the 90 degree right-hand bend with log-jam, with focus on the edge of the currents. On one line pickup through shallow water, another LDR of a 6-8” brown trout. Dana’s casting and line handling improved rapidly to the point it was near-automatic. We then switched to a black woolly bugger in this deeper water, practicing the swing, retrieve, and guiding the fly alongside logs and rocks. We fished all the way through the corner and beyond but no more hits.

We hiked back to the cars, where I reviewed the leader/tippet “rules”, provided a supply of the flies we had used and some others that we had not (good for GP but also some primarily for elsewhere, such as green weenies), and reviewed the day’s activities. We also discussed the conditions on various portions of the GP special regulations area, and upcoming hatches (grannom, sufur), and stocked streams within an hour or so of Baltimore.

Bob Kaiser

2021 Mentor Reports

Mike Garceau December 4, 2021

Mike Garceau and I finally made it out for our mentoring session.

Mike grew up spin fishing in the Midwest and took up fly fishing about 3 years ago. He had all the basic equipment and has caught one fish on a dry fly in West Virginia.

We met last Saturday on the Gunpowder at York Rd around 10:00. It was a relatively warm day that was partly cloudy. Flow is was 40 cfs and mid 40’s.

We started out going over basics of the stream, weather, insects and moved on the rigging, leaders, tippets and knots.

Around 11:00 we headed upstream past the route 83 section and areas with trees down. On the way we discussed locations of fish and feeding lanes. Found some nice open water along the curves and bends to practice upstream presentations of nymphs. Started with an indicator rig and two flies - beadhead brightly colored perdigon and an unweighted black midge pattern. Tried a few other nymph patterns with various casting techniques and with particular attention to drifts, up and downstream mends and some high sticking.

We tried for about an hour and a half with no luck. I had tied on a small cicada for fun and visibility with a dropper to show some casts and drifts and actually had a medium size fish come up to try and take it.

We then started downstream with a variety of soft hackles of various sizes to demonstrate that technique. Finally ended at the run below the logjam near the route 83 bridges. Here we tried on a dry dropper rig with a large parachute Adams and a small pheasant tail. Mike did a nice job of casting and had good drifts that produced a nice take and set but ended as an LDR.

Overall it was a good outing and I think Mike enjoyed it and learned a lot, despite no fish.

Craig Vanderkolk

Joey Hipolito October 18, 2021

Mentoree: Joey Hipolito
Mentor: Bob Kaiser
When: October 18, 2021 Approximately 10:15-1:00 in the water
Where: Gunpowder upstream of Masemore Rd
Flow: 35 cfs
Insects: almost none - a smattering of midges and maybe 4 tan caddis #14
Conditions: 50 degree gin-clear water, 53 degree air, cloudy with 10-15 mph winds
Fish caught: 1

We had a good conversation about fishing and fly fishing on the 50 minute trip to the GP. Joey had just the prior day attended the Seneca Valley TU FF 101 class, and had picked up a number of good skills and concepts. Today was his first “real” wade fishing trip. He had just recently purchased all his gear and was eager to go and learn.

After gearing up and discussing leaders, tippets, flies types and sizes, protecting the rod, and knots, we hiked upstream to within sight of the Falls Rd bridge before entering the water. We started off with wet flies, swinging a #16 pheasant tail wet in the slow currents. He used only one fly to avoid unnecessary tangles. Joey caught his first fish on a fly rod within 30 minutes, a 4” brightly colored brown. No more luck on the PT wet, so switched to a hare’s ear wet. No luck. We then found ourselves within 100 yds of the hemlock heritage area, and switched to nymphing with an indicator, hanging a #14 bead head hare’s ear beneath the thing-a-ma-bobber. He nymphed down to the hemlock corner with no hits. We then headed back to the car for lunch, a discussion about fly types (wet, dry, nymph, streamer) and how to fish each of them. I gave him an assortment of nymphs, San Juan worms, egg patterns, and green weenies for his next trips.

If its any consolation, none of the 3 other fishers we spoke with had any hits, let alone fish to net.

Ray - sorry, my camera’s pics did not record properly, so I have no pics. I also managed to break the tip on my rod when I tripped over a log and rod tip hit the ground. So much for “protecting the rod”!

Look forward to another mentor trip
Bob

Thank You Note

Don Archer October, 2021

At the end of a week in October, Don Archer and I finally met up to fish the Little Patuxent at Savage Mill. The creek had recently been stocked the week or so prior and I figured the chance of getting into a few fish was still pretty good. I couldn't have been more wrong! Anyway, Don must have been enjoying himself because the half day we had scheduled turned into about 9 hours of learning, casting practice and stalking fish.

We covered lots of basic topics from gear setup to knots and presentation. Don got a lot of casting practice in that day and after a few hours there was a major improvement in his casts. After some careful instruction he started to get the feel of his fly rod and how to accurately present his fly. We started off fishing right behind the old mill. Usually one can find a few leftover fish sitting in the deep pool by the first water fall. Nada. We fished the stretch behind the mill for a while and then decided to work up stream. I located a nice run into a deep pool that held a few fish but they were a bit spooked and wanted nothing to do with anything we tossed at them. Don still had fun trying and picked up some presentation options when fishing the type of water we were in. At least one fish seemed to slash at his fly on one cast which provided some excitement. I felt bad that we didn't hook up, but Don said he enjoyed the day and learned a lot.

I followed up with lots of informational links on casting, flies, knot tying, etc. with the idea that he could practice a bit more before his next outing. I also volunteered to take him out again so we could get some fish on the end of his line. It was a nice day overall and neither of us really missed work that Friday.

Bob O'Donnell

Deb Fagan May 6, 2021

I met up with Deb Fagan this a.m. at BHC for a mentoring session. We started off at the bridge pool, which I knew from recent trips, would probably not be holding too many fish, but it was a good place to work on some casting and technique. After a short walk downstream mostly just to drop in and see some of the pools, we headed up to the Smoot, where I knew there would be some active risers. It was a shame they weren't active recipients of our varied offerings of dries, wets, and emergers, but it was a good exercise in fly selection. As we moved up stream, we came to some deeper pools, and not wanting to disappoint, it was time to work on some nymphing skills with the San Juan, and on to the board with two colorful brownies!
Deb was a very eager student and a pleasure to fish with, and I'm sure she will be back to the stream soon for more success.

Joe Robinson

  

 

2019 Mentor Program Report

In 2019 6 members listed in the table below were tutored at the Little Patuxent, Morgan Run, or the Gunpowder. First timers received a copy of the Maryland section of the now defunct Mid Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide and a 4 page summary on entomology. This introductory material provided the newcomer with an idea of what flies to use at any given time and general information on identifying insect types. Knot tying was discussed showing two basic knots; the surgeons knot (and surgeons loop) for tying or connecting tippet to leader and leader to line and the improved clinch knot for tying flies to tippet. Different types of leader (the standard 7.5´ 3x nylon tapered leader as described by Jay Sheppard in A Simple Trout Leader System, the Orvis braided leader, the Furled Leader, and the Airflo PolyLeader) were discussed to show them alternative setups. For those with their leader connected to the fly line with a nail knot or to a nylon butt section with a loop, the Cortland braided loop was shown as an alternative for line to leader loop to loop connections. Tippet size was also briefly discussed using the general rule of hook size divided by 3. Thus, 4x tippet is used with size 12 flies while 6x tippet is used with size 18 flies. A brief time was spent on the stream turning over rocks to show some insect life in its early stages. For those with no casting experience, basic casting techniques were shown. On the stream, casting variations including the sidearm cast and the roll cast were demonstrated to avoid overhanging trees and brush behind you. Basic short line nymphing techniques with a strike indicator and/or dry fly fishing techniques were demonstrated. Line mending was demonstrated to insure drag free fly presentation. A combination rig was also demonstrated and/or discussed using a dry fly such as an elk hair caddis or royal wulff along with a bead head nymph. The bead head nymph is attached as a dropper fly on about an 18" to 24" piece of tippet tied to the bend of the dry fly hook using the improved clinch knot. With this setup, the dry fly acts as a strike indicator to detect when a fish takes the bead head nymph. Two dry flies, two nymphs, and a streamer with a dropper nymph combination were also mentioned along with the advantages and disadvantages of these combination rigs.

Member
Dates
Streams
Fish Landed
Fish On
Insects Observed
Bryan Sirotkin
3/8/19
Little Patuxent
 3
5
A black sedge
Chuck Ridgely
3/18/19
Morgan Run
 1  Several Strikes
Few midges
Peter Schuler
5/28/19
Gunpowder
 
 
 A few sulphurs and midges 
Josh Crotty
6/5/19
Morgan Run
 2  2
Some crane flies
Peter Schuler
6/26/19
Morgan Run
 6
Several Strikes 
A few beetles and midges
Rex Wingerter
7/1/19
Gunpowder
 
 
A few caddis & a couple sulphurs
Yusra Ahmad
7/5/19
Gunpowder
 
 
Few bugs
Josh Crotty
7/15/19
Gunpowder
 
 
Few caddis
Josh Crotty
8/14/19
Gunpowder
 1
Few bugs
Yusra Ahmad
11/2/19
Morgan Run
 
 
Few bugs

Mentor Program Photo Album

The following photos were taken over the past few years during some of the mentoring sessions.