High Water on the Gunpowder

Winter Brown Trout

The Gunpowder is high at 285cfs, 39 F and progressively more stained downstream from Falls road.

The river is a different beast at these levels. Putting lots of weight onto your line is the way to go if nymphing, as the fish are sitting in deep water and will be sluggish. Zebra midges are working well. The issue is getting snagged more often as there is more debris washed into the river waiting to steal your fly.

I think that these levels are great for streamers, sink tip lines make a huge difference in keeping your streamer in the strike zone. The best bet of finding a larger, hungry trout is in the tails of pools and against structures like log jams.

Take special care when wading whilst the dam release remains as it is, I wouldn’t recommend crossing, and cleats will help keep your footing.
Powerline Riffle at

Winter Fishing on the Gunpowder

Pretty Boy Dam
The Gunpowder is flowing at 230 cfs, 38 degrees farenheit and off color.

Due to the freezing temperatures, fishing has not been easy. However, if you manage to stay warm and concentrate your fishing on days when the wind hasn’t been too harsh, the Gunpowder is producing. I fished New Years day and then Wednesday the 3rd. I caught several fish during a couple of hours on zebra midges on Monday when the water was clear, on Wednesday the water was stained and the flow was up to 195. Dead drifting woolly buggers picked up some nice wild fish. I had to work for them though and found them hugging the banks. Patagonia capilene underwear, gloves and shelled insulated pants make a huge difference to enjoying your outings during the winter months.

With a break in this cold weather this coming week, the fishing should get better. Fish will spread out in this higher volume of water and streamer fishing will work for those willing to put the time in. Czech nymphing is always an excellent way to search for fish when the water is stained like is it. Use caution when on the trails, put some cleats in your boots and avoid rocky areas if possible. Watch your step –  broken bones are not fun, I can attest to that recently!

Thanks to Jim Czawlytko for catching this photo of this pretty brown with the giant tail. 

Big Tail Wild Gunpowder Brown

Abel Super Series Reels

 

Abels Super Series Reels

We have 3 beautifully finished, hand painted reels from Abel in store. We have a Brook Trout 4/5, a Brown trout 5/6 and a Redfish 7/8. The tried and tested cork drag system, along with the bomb proof design, balances excellently with Bamboo, or a 10 foot + rod. These slightly heavier reels offset the weight of the rod, reducing fatigue on your arm after a long days fishing. At the end of the day, they make everything look and feel right!

The Brook Trout 4/5 is $995, is 5.92 oz and holds 80 yards of backing with a 5 wt line .

The Brown Trout 5/6 is $1055, is 6.32 oz and holds 95 yards of backing with a 6 wt line.

The Redfish 7/8 is $1045, is 6.74 oz and holds 200 yards of backing with a 8 wt line.

Here is the Abel description of what they have changed on their outstanding Super Series reels:

For 2017 we have redesigned the original Super Series reel with an all new line of lighter weight sizes that feature a quick change spool system achieved by eliminating the previously removable locknut and drag knob.

The proven drag system is what makes the Super Series equally at home on the trout stream, the salt flats, and demanding deep blue water: It can be set light enough to protect the finest tippet, but can also be cranked to slow down the toughest Bluefin. No matter what species you prefer to chase, a Super Series reel is there to help you land it!

Abel Super Series Reels

Nice Levels on the Gunpowder this Holiday Season

Thanks to Gene for the following stream report and photos:

The Gunpowder is flowing at an ideal 87 cfs, clear and the water temperature has dropped below the 40 degree mark.

Fishing has been quite good considering how cold the air temperatures are. Edge ice is forming in increased amounts downstream from York road. Fishing between York road up to Falls has been the most consistent. Above Falls road the didymo is blooming as normal at this time of year. Streamers are worth a shot up there, fish them slowly and close to the bottom. Trout will eat in these cold temperatures but typically don’t move far to intercept food items. I’m finding that tiny pheasant tails, miracle nymphs zebra midges are effective. Anything bigger than a size 16 I find does not produce as much at these temperatures. The most productive time of the day is between 11-3 when the sun is at its highest.

At 1 pm today I walked the access points in the catch and release section, i counted 8 fishermen braving the sub zero temperatures, despite having to clear their guides of ice, wild fish were still being caught. Despite the challenges the cold brings to fishing, you won’t catch fish sitting on the sofa.

New Simms G3 Guide Waders in Maryland

Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders

We have a size run of the fantastic NEW Simms G3 wader here at Backwater Angler. Here is the Simms description of them:

Time on the stream is time well spent. And with the G3 Guide™ Stockingfoot wader, those precious hours can be comfortable and well-ventilated. The G3 has all the in-river essentials you need, with legendary Simms durability that can stand up to heavy use in rugged conditions. Rigging a hopper-dropper combo just became a little easier with the help of a flip-out Tippet Tender®™ pocket with dual-entry zippers and Super-fly Patch® with integrated utility tabs. And numb, sore feet are a thing of the past with anatomically designed neoprene stockingfeet with a funk-fighting anti-microbial finish.

-Three-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell in upper.
-Four-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell in seat and legs.
-Zippered chest pocket.
-Removable flip-out Tippet Tender®™ pocket with dual-entry zippers and retractor docking station.
-Zippered reach-through microfleece-lined hand-warmer chest pocket.
-Super-fly Patch® and integrated utility tabs.
-Low-profile belt loops with 2″ stretch wading belt included.
-Patented front and back leg seams deliver an articulated fit that fights wear zones, bolsters wader longevity, and maximizes mobility.
-Adjustable elastic 1.5″ suspender with opposing YKK® buckles for waist-high conversion.
-Abrasion-resistant built-in Gravel Guards with boot hooks.
-Anatomically engineered neoprene stockingfeet with anti-microbial finish
Stop in and see what the fuss is about!
Simms G3 Guide Waders

Happy Holiday Hours at Backwater Angler

Gunpowder Falls in Snow
Whether you are early or late-fish nymphs or dries or are naughty or nice, Backwater Angler will have extended hours this Holiday season. In December, in addition to our regular weekday hours from 10 AM till 4PM, the shop will also be open Tuesday the 19th and Wednesday the 20th and Tuesday and Wednesday the 26th and 27th. That said, the shop will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will be open New Years Eve till 2 PM and will be closed New Year’s day and will revert to being closed on Tuesday and Wednesdays through 2018.Gunpowder River  in Snow

Keep a Tight Line this December on the Gunpowder

Gunpowder Wild BrownThe Gunpowder is at 74.4 cfs, clear and starting the day 44.5 degrees F. With the drop in air temperatures the fishing has been tricky on the Gunpowder. That said, fish are being caught, particularly for those anglers willing to tight line nymph. Jim Czawlytko enjoyed two snowy days of fishing over the weekend on the Gunpowder and got into plenty of wild brown trout. Jim found the action was on size 20 grey wd40 midges and size 22 pheasent tail nymphs. Fished with a tungsten beaded jig nymph on the point, which also caught fish. When the going gets cold, getting down to the bottom of the river is neccessery and czech nymphing is the most effective means of achieving this whilsts detecting delicate takes. As the afternoon wears on try a small streamer in the slacker water and back eddies.

Filson in Maryland


There are not too many small businesses still around that started back in 1897. That said, I’m happy to report that we have received a fantastic assortment of FILSON clothing and accessories this week in time for some fun holiday shopping. We are very proud to be representing FILSON in Maryland. This time-tested rugged outdoor clothing is a great fit for those who have traditional tastes and the mindset of buying great gear only once. We have the following FILSON gear in-stock:

FILSON Wildwood Shirt
FILSON Lightweight Alaskan Guide Shirt
FILSON Alaskan Guide Shirt
FILSON Alaskan Long Underwear
FILSON Wool Cuff Hats
FILSON Seattle Hat
FILSON Cover Cloth Mile Marker Jacket
FILSON Tin Cloth Packer Hat
FILSON Logger Hat
FILSON Strap Vest
FILSON Guide Vest
FILSON Travel Bag
FILSON Day Pack
FILSON Outfitter Card Wallet

A quote from FILSON:

“The goods we quote must not be confounded with the cheap and vastly inferior grade with which the market is over-run. Such goods are not only useless for the purpose for which they are intended, but the person wearing them would be better off without them.”

— Clinton C. Filson, 1914 catalog

Fly Fishing the Gunpowder River

Thanks to Bryan Donoway for the stream report and photos:

The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 40 Cfs and is 46F. Most have found fly fishing the Gunpowder challenging during the past few bright days. Sometimes a longer leader and 7x makes all the difference in the flat water.

The Gunpowder is Flowing at 42 CFS and temps are ranging from 46- 48 degrees. With the past weekends mild weather, active fish could were rising throughout the catch and release sections of the river.

During a recent outing below the York Road access, fish could be found rising to midges in the slower sections. With the appearance of stoneflies along the river, try fishing a brown or black caddis (size 16-18) imitation with a Griffiths gnat dropper to draw some strikes.Fishing streamer patterns with a slow and erratic retrieve will draw some attention of hungry trout. Also, with cold weather approaching don’t be afraid of fishing a mouse pattern tight to the banks and retrieved steady and slow in a downstream and across presentation may surprise you. The trout above slammed a mouse pattern after the first slow strip.