Monthly Archives: December 2003

Mixed reports…

With the water temp in the mid 40′s and flow around 200 Cfs, we’ve had mixed reports from folks spending their last vacation days of 03 fishing the Gunpowder. After a few warm days, cream midges sized #20-22 and tiny Olives accounted for a few fish, streamers have been working a little better on a dead drift and swing then when stripped across pools. If you’d like to toss a few nymphs, start with a nice, buggy, Hare’s Ear in a #14.Zug bugs and Carey specials are also important patterns to have in your box.

Open New Years Day…Fish more in 04′

I’m happy to announce that the shop will be open New Years Day.
Hours are 10 AM till 3 PM.
Rates for 04′ Licenses are as follows.

All rates quoted are for the 2004 Season.Fees reflect a Freshwater license and a Trout Stamp. Residents of:
MD=$15.50
PA=$40
VA=$35
DC=$15
DE=$20
NJ=$39

Note: Need an 04′ license before you venture out? You’ll need to bring your drivers license and either a personal check or cash for payment.

Water level is dropping…

Water level has been dropping this week, and with the Sun out most are fishing green weenies and red butts downstream in the riffles between Masemore and Bunkerhill. Not many fish have been caught on dries lately, but large zonker style streamer like the Barr’s Bouface sized #4 & 6 are tricking a few fish. Water temp is still around 48 and the flow has dropped to the low 200′s.

Sixty degrees in December…

With weather like this we hope that you hit the stream today.We had quite a few folks out early picking up fish on Hare’s Ears and Pheasant Tails below Masemore Rd. Water temp is a little under 50 F and is nice and clear. York Rd through Big Falls would be a nice stretch to cover with a streamer in the next few days.Be sure to check the flow before you go by clicking on the link to the USGS stream gauge on the front page of the site.

Note: Need flies for tomorrow?
The shop will be open Wednesday from 10 till 3 PM.

Patagonia R1 Flash Pullover Review

Following is a review of the Patagonia R1 pullover by Gary Corriero. Thanks Gary!

The Gunpowder is a productive river even in the dead of winter. Stonefly nymphs and the right color midge have worked for me from December through March. The problems most of us “winter” people face are the cold and wind. The R1 Pullover, worn in conjunction with the fleece pants and the appropriate socks, will add HOURS to your ability to stay in water. They are both warm and comfortable. The only issue you may run into is “overdressing”. This gear is so functional that you will need to experiment a few times to determine how many less garments you will need to wear. I was on the GP about three weeks ago when the windchill was around 10 degrees and I fished comfortably for hours. For winter and early spring conditions I consider this stuff essential gear, as important as your flyrod and reel.

Gary Corriero

Out before the big melt..

We ‘ve had several people getting out before the big melt today. Water has dropped to around 285 CFs and should bump up a little today as the white stuff goes away. Olive or black streamers sized #4-8 should be fished on a dead drift in pools and runs below Masemore. Stonefly imitations such as orange butts and prince nymphs sized #14-16 should be in everyone’s box by now. It is best to fish these patterns during the morning and then switch to a dark bodied caddis imitation sized #18-20 as it warms up during the day.

Top Ten List for the Holidays…

WANT RESULTS?

Print this out and paste it on the fridge…
1. Fishpond Blue River Chest Pack
2. Winston 8 1/2 5wt 3 pc WT Rod
3.Bauer M Superlight Reels
4. Sage 9ft 8wt 4pc XI2 Rod
5. Simms G3 Waders
6. Winston 8 1/2 ft 4wt 4pc BIIX Rod
7.Patagonia Capilene Underwear
8. Chota STL + Wading Shoes
9. Action Optics Sunglasses
10. Simms Light Weight Waders

Note: Don’t want to fight beltway traffic?
Shop Online at:www.backwaterangler.com/shop

A Small Audience…

Fly fishing for some can be a performance art, heck, we’ve all been guilty of smugly false casting one too many times in front of onlookers. One summer day in the Smokies I got hung up in a bush before a puzzled group of hikers. After a few choice swear words and allowing an audience to witness my fall from grace, I realized that the fish didn’t care who was watching. Since then I’ve kept my casting to a minimum.

I ventured out Wednesday morning before the rains came and found some bright fish amidst the snow-covered logjams upstream of Masemore. They were taking zonkers on a dead drift through the deep water and I missed as many as I caught. It was easy enough to blame my misses on my numb hands and being relaxed and alone on the river with my dog, Ella. Except for the incessant whining, I hardly knew that she was there. She eventually settled down and went to work on a stick buried in the riverbank as I listened to the snow promise water and the great fishing that accompanies it in the Spring.

As I finished up, I ran into Dave as he was trying to warm up after fishing the college pool stretch below the bridge. We caught up on how much the river had changed during “the year of water,” and spoke of the year as if it had already passed; recounting fish we had caught and missed, comparing notes that pointed to bigger and healthier fish in the river, and agreeing that we saw fewer folks fishing during the high water. Dave mentioned, in passing, that he had just turned 90 two weeks ago.
After wishing him a belated happy birthday, I jumped in my car, fired it up, pulled out, and figured I’d put my gloves back on before I got cooking. I stopped the car before the Mill, opened the rear hatch, and noticed Deans’ bamboo rod on the roof of my wagon. Dean Turner of Monkton, Maryland built it for me almost a year ago and since he spent more time building it than I have spent fishing it, I still refer to the rod as his.

Without saying a word, I put my gloves on, glanced around to see if anyone had noticed, and while gingerly lifting the rod off the roof and quietly placing it in the car, I hoped that I’d still be doing this when I’m 90.

Note: The day after I went fishing, the river hit a new recorded high on Thursday of nearly 2000 CFs. See the pictures at The Fly Fishing Show in College Park, Maryland on January 10 and 11.

Mostly Midges

We had a few folks in today casting midges to fish at Masemore. The cloud cover has certainly helped us get closer to fish but with the flow down to around 150 Cfs long leaders have become as important as a stealthy approach. Grab some Stanley’s Ice Off Paste the next time you’re in the shop-you’ll need it if you’re fishing this Winter.

Note: Getting out before therain hits? Try a black #22 CDC midge in the film between the powerline pool and Falls Rd.

Gloves and Socks…

Yes, Martha that green banner up at the top of the page is a link to our online catalog. We have gloves, socks and other gear featured in a secure shopping environment-give it a look and let us know what you think.

Water has been dropping since Saturday afternoon and it’s getting a little colder at 49 F. We had a few guide trips over the weekend and most of the fisherman connected with small streamer patterns.

The Whitlock near nuff sculpin continues to be a shop favorite. These patterns are tied with lead eyes”clouser style” and are very effective around log jams and deadfalls. A #10 brown flash-a -bugger is also a good searching pattern.Masemore upstream to the powerlines has been a productive stretch and York to Big Falls is a worth a look.