Beginner’s Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, March 29th, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on flyfishing Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear and fly selection. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $125 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased at the shop with check or cash the day of the school. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.

Cooped up? Check Out Used Fly Fishing Gear at Backwater Angler

Cooped up
The winter of 2015 was long, even for chickens! Downtime has allowed us to go through some great used gear that is ready for others to fish. We’ll start with the used reels: Abel Big Game #3, Billy Pate Bonefish Anti-reverse, Billy Pate Bonefish direct drive, Tibor Riptide dark green w/ Atlantic Salmon Engraving and extra spool, Islander LX 4.0 Gold w/ extra spool, Hatch fanatic 5 plus balck hub, Tibor Tailwater Cl Black w/ extra spool, Sci. Anglers System 3, Orvis DXR tarpon, Lamson LP4 reel with extra spool and a Seamaster Tarpon #1296 in the original box, bag w/ warranty card. We have a number of used rods in the shop including: G.Loomis NRX 9ft 10 wt 4pc, G.Loomis IMX 9ft 10wt 4pc, Winston LT 9ft 8wt 3pc, Scott STS 908/3, St. Croix Imperial 9ft 8wt 4pc, G.Loomis 9ft 6wt 4pc, TFO 9ft 10wt 4pc and a few more…We’re here every day but Wednesday. Stop up and see what we’ve got…

Abel Fish Graphic Super N Reels

Abel Super 5N Artistic Anodize
Need a little color to brighten up the winter blues? Stop in and check out the California handiwork exhibited by the Abel reels at Backwater Angler including a trio of Super 5N reels (top photo, clockwise) DeYoung Montana Brown, Mayfly, Brown Trout and (bottom photo, clockwise) 11-12N in Dorado, 9-10N in Atlantic Salmon, 7-8N in Chrome Steelhead and a 7-8N in Bonefish. These beautiful reels are testament that you don’t need a lot of fly reels-just the “right” ones.
Abel Super N Fish Graphic Reels

Ice Out and Flooding along the Gunpowder River

Upper Glencoe Ice The River crested at the Falls Rd gauge at 5.82 ft and 1,200 Cfs on Wednesday, March 11. The Spring thaw was not gentle in the least. Today, Friday, the 13th flows are down in the mid 300′s making fly fishing the Gunpowder River challenging at best. With more rain in the forecast and Prettyboy reservoir at over 100% of capacity it’s likely that the River will experience another bump upwards over the weekend. If the River stays above 350 Cfs fishing streamers from the safety of the banks may be the best and only option. To give one perspective, the shop does not guide when the River is over 285 Cfs so this weekend might be better spent hiking along the trails and surveying the impacts of flooding to the river corridor than fishing it. This shot from the lower river at Upper Glencoe Rd (which is closed for stocking till the morning of the 28th) shows the remnants of the 2, 000 Cfs plus flows downriver recorded at the Glencoe gauge. Hopefully this is the last of the river ice we’ll see for a while. We’ll be in the shop this weekend if should you need a break from the house, garage, office, in-laws ect.. We are still, among other feats, writing 2015 Maryland fishing licenses-just be sure to bring your old license or drivers license and check or cash for the license payment and we’ll get it squared away for you.

Fresh Snow and Good Flows along the Gunpowder

Snowy Whale Rock on the Gunpowder River
A much needed break in the winter weather awaits. The Gunpowder River is clear, 37 degrees F and flows are now at a fishable level. Heavy rain mid-week cleared away most of the snow as the upper river jumped from under 100 CFS to 610 Cfs at 3.83 FT at the Falls Rd gauge. River levels dropped fast overnight to 176 Cfs and should continue to fall through tomorrow morning into the mid to low 100′s. It was 8 degrees this morning in Monkton and the Gunpowder River is once again blanketed in a fresh eight inches of snow. Thanks to John for plowing the lots at Falls, Masemore and York Rd! The high flows Thursday through Friday have pushed all of the edge ice out and we now have open water throughout the catch and release area down through the two fish a day stretch. If you’re heading out, try some stoneflies in the #14-16 range with black flies sized #20-22 just behind them midday. If you’re dead set on nymphing, small stonefly nymphs in the #12-14 range and zebra midges sized #18-22 are always a good bet. With any luck the warmer temps forecast through Monday will get the white stuff moving but not increase flows dramatically. The five fish-a-day stretch from the gas line above Upper Glencoe through Lower Glencoe, Sparks and Phoenix access points will close tomorrow, Sunday, March 8 and will reopen on March 28 at 5:30 AM. keep in mind that the upper catch and release section and two fish-a-day stretch is open 365 days…
Boulder Pools below Falls Rd.

Snow Island on the Gunpowder River

Snowy Gunpowder River at Corbett Rd. This snowy branch frames a yearling and two geese on the island downstream of the Corbett Rd. Bridge. The yearling crossed the side channel and found itself on this island with a pair of geese waiting out the storm. The Gunpowder River crested at 2,200 Cfs and 7.75 feet at Glencoe Rd. during the heavy rain event that cleared much of the old snow out and down into Loch Raven. Snowy Island on the Gunpowder River

Mid-February Gunpowder River Stream Report

Whale Rock on the Gunpowder River
The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 60 CFs and is just over 33 F. While we have not many folks braving the cold weather, a few folks from out west who thought the weather was “good enough” gave the Bunkerhill, Masemore and York Road stretches an honest try this week. Reports coming back pointed to the effectiveness of zebra midges in the #20-24 range behind rubber legged stoneflies. If you’re dead set on giving the Gunpowder a try, make sure you have an extra set of gloves in your vest or pack and bring along a wading staff to test the edge ice. New snow along the River has improved the footing on the trails this week. With more snow in the forecast and rain on the way, these images from Falls road this morning simply won’t last as the snow and ice lets go upstream along the ridges. This week most of our store traffic as been comprised of folks picking up last minute items before boarding planes to warmer fly fishing destinations like Argentina, the Bahamas, Belize, Chile and New Zealand. We’ve also had a fair share of people picking up Maryland fishing licenses for 2015. If you’re ready for one please bring along your DNRid, last year’s license or a driver’s license and check or cash for payment.
Icy Riffle on the Gunpowder River

Early February Gunpowder River Stream Report

Simms Guide Boots Winter Fly Fishing
The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 70 Cfs and is 38.5 F. Thanks to Emma Reider for this great mid-winter shot of Josh in a pair of Simms Guide boots along the Gunpowder River. We’ve heard a few reports of stoneflies buzzing around in the meadow stretches of the lower catch and release section of the River. Not many fish are taking dries but the River is at a perfect level for high-stick nymphing. If you’re dead set on fishing dries, look for a few BWO’s at Masemore Rd. Little black flies or snow flies start to come off this time of year in the upper catch and release section. As long as the trails are clear of ice fishing upstream of the Boulder Pools above Falls Rd is a good bet. Give them a go with a #22 Griffith’s Gnat or Mike Bachkosky’s snow fly pattern.
Thanks to Stefan for the stream report:

Slow down everything. With water temps in the mid-30′s the fish aren’t going to be very active. With this in mind try to cover slower water with small Hare’s Ears nymphs and midges. Gunpowder trout see a lot of very realistic patterns so don’t be afraid to tie something wacky on. Remember that just because it is cold doesn’t mean that you can’t catch fish.

Mid-January Gunpowder River Stream Report

IMG_1682
The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 68 Cfs and 38.8 degrees F. Midges and stonefly nymphs are a good bet. The trails are icy so it’s better to access the River carefully at Masemore or York Rd access points and stay in the River. Windy days have been better spent tying flies or organizing boxes for the spring. Thanks to Emma Reider for the great shots taken along the Gunpowder River and to Josh for the stream report:

After the snow storm came through this past week temperatures have been intimidating. Dressing in the correct clothing this time of year can make or break your time on the water. I have been wearing a Capilene 3 top from Patagonia as a base layer then adding a fleece or shell over it. Wearing a warm hat and gloves is also key. The Simms wool fingerless gloves are easy to fish with but keep one very warm. With such cold temperatures, fishing has been tough. Nymphing with a small stonefly or midge imitation will be your best chance for the next few weeks until we start to see the Black fly hatches in the upper River. After that, the stoneflies will pick up towards the end of the month.

Umpqua Midge Fly Box