Monthly Archives: March 2010

Rising Water Temps On The Gunpowder River

Guide Trip Gunpowder Brown
The fishing this week on the Gunpowder has remained challenging, but some anglers are finding rising trout taking midges and blackflies. Jon managed his first trout on a guide trip, nymphing amidst a pod of risers and it was a nice brown as shown in the photo above. In the background Jeff’s client was working over another group of risers until the action waned in the afternoon. We had numerous guided trips this week and while the fishing has been slow at times, most anglers caught a few trout using nymphs and streamers. The water temps are climbing and should soon be in the fifty degree range throughout most sections of the river.

Water Temps Almost There
Midges, blackflies and olives on cloudy days are bringing fish to the surface, but the window of opportunity is often small. On a really warm afternoon last week I witnessed stoneflies dropping out of the trees and flying down onto the water’s surface. The bugs continued to fall onto the water in waves, but only a few browns hit the bugs on the surface. I heard a report from an angler fishing a section of river where he saw a good Quill Gordon hatch, and fish taking them. One of our guides even saw a lonely Hendrickson, hatching a few weeks early. Multiple reports from customers mention trout caught on the surface this week, so dries are now an option on warmer days. The river is slowly waking up and we are on the verge of some good fishing in the coming weeks, as the water temp continues to climb.


This video post features some midge fishing footage, a grand slam I got in four casts, and up close footage of some interesting insects found while seining the river bottom.

April Fly Fishing School in Maryland

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On Saturday, April 3, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on fly fishing in Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland Non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-payment is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at info@backwaterangler.com to register.

Spring Break Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder

Prettyboy Dam SpilloverJudging from the picture there’s still quite a bit of water out there. The trails are in great shape, if a little damp, and the winds today should help to dry things out a bit. Water temps throughout the catch and release stretch are slowly moving in the right direction. The river water at Falls Rd was 45 F this morning and temps at York Rd were measured at 48 degrees. Flows this week have been in the low 200′s and the water clarity is noticeably better today after a few “green water” days of reservoir turnover. Clear water conditions should allow for better nymph fishing through the fast shallow riffles. Bwo’s and black flies sized #18-22 are a good bet in the morning hours. This week, stoneflies in the #16-18 range have been coming off more regularly and if the wind ever knocks down we should be fishing dries from here until eternity. Pictures accompanying this post were sent in by Alex McCrickard who was enjoying a well deserved Spring Break from the rigors of Sewanee.
March Brown Trout

Related Post: Stoneflies “dancing” on the Gunpowder during low water

Maryland Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On Sunday, March 28, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on fly fishing in Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 10:00 AM till 1:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland Non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-payment is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at info@backwaterangler.com to register.

March Rains, Higher Flows and Hatching Insects On The Gunpowder

Gunpowder River in March
Flows on the Gunpowder have climbed with melt off from the snow and steady rains, so it’s no surprise levels rose over 300 CFs today. Once flows hit 400 CFs the wading and fishing opportunities begin to dwindle, but the upper sections usually remain clear enough to cast streamers from the bank. The past week conditions improved on the Gunpowder as warmer weather increased water temps and more insects began hatching along the river. Water temperatures in the upper miles of river are now over 40 degrees, and sections farther downstream are closer to 45 degrees. I fished on Wednesday seeing midges and blackflies hatching in decent numbers, but no risers. Stoneflies were hatching after the ideal extended warm weather we experienced early in the week. I watched over a dozen fluttering adults float downriver before a good sized trout decided to rise up and inhale one off the surface. I walked the river for a few hours nymphing the better runs and keeping an eye out for more risers in the flats. Even with a brief flurry of activity from the insects, the majority of trout weren’t active enough to take the bugs off the surface. In the coming weeks the increasingly warmer weather will get these bugs hatching and the trout feeding on dries. I used the down time on the river to test out a new purchase I made recently. The new array of video cameras on the market is staggering, and with all the new features and smaller sizes, I decided to upgrade. My latest purchase shoots in full 1080 full HD quality, features a 25 power zoom lens and can hold 16 GB of footage, yet is smaller than a 12 oz can of soda. In the latest video I seined up some insects, tested out the macro lens and filmed some stonefly adults, and two nice browns.

Discontinued Abel Super 4 Reel in Brown Trout Finish

Abel Super 4 in Brown Trout Fish Graphic
At the Backwater Angler fly shop we get a chance to look at and demo tons of reels, lines and rods from the top manufacturers in the fly fishing industry. We all have our own personal tastes in gear, and either gravitate from a purely functional point of view to something beyond eye catching that we just have to own. It’s no surprise when Abel started producing the fish graphic series at pro-deal prices, that I coughed up the cash for a new trout reel in the brown trout finish. The purchase was more fueled by the past experiences I’ve had using Abels than the fancy fish colors. I used an Abel reel when I caught my first Bonefish in Hawaii, my first Atlantic Salmon in Quebec, my first Permit in the Bahamas, and has survived years of both warm and cold saltwater use. I figured based on the performance and durability in the corrosive saltwater applications, I’d have this Abel Super 4 for trout fishing for the rest of my life. It’s a good thing too, because Abel will no longer make this size reel in this series, and is offering a heavy 25% discount on Super Series size 2, 4, 6 and 12 reels. I pulled this information below from Abel’s website:

In an effort to constantly improve products, we continuously evaluate our line. The newer designed reels which include the Super Series 3N and 5N have replaced some of the classic reels due to their narrow profile, increased arbor for better pickup and reduced weight.
The latest Super Series reel to be discontinued is the Super 4 large arbor, excellent for 4-5 weight applications and designed for trout fishing. The standard arbor version of the Super 4, (formally the Big Game 1 model) was once our most popular selling saltwater reel. The width of the reel is at .800, one of the narrowest Super Series in our lineup and had excellent line pickup due to its narrow profile.

Backwater Angler currently has a Super Series 4 brown trout reel in stock, which retails for $700.00, but is currently available for $490.00.

Maryland Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On Saturday, March 20, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on fly fishing in Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland Non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-payment is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at info@backwaterangler.com to register.

March Fly Fishing On The Gunpowder

Gunpowder March Snow
The Gunpowder river is flowing at 187 CFs, and water temps have increased a few degrees after a week of warmer air temperatures. The access has improved as far as parking, and most of the catch and release lots are plowed. Access along the trails is also improving as some spots are melted, others packed snow, yet some areas not getting sun are still knee deep. Yesterday water temps in the Falls Road section reached 41 degrees midday, which is up from the previous week’s temps in the 37-39 degree range. The slight increase helped start a sparse midge hatch, which has been long overdue, but I didn’t see any fish rising. Stronger hatches and rising trout may not be far off, if the weather continues to improve. Nymphing midge patterns paired with small nymphs is a good bet, although anglers bottom bouncing may notice the presence of Didymo again in the upper miles below Prettyboy Dam. Sections downriver with a siltier, gravel substrate don’t have as much algae visible as the areas further up river. The best way to minimize “fouling” your flies frequently is to use less weight, rig the indicator closer to the flies and make shorter drifts. Streamer fishing has yielded the best results, and is easier to keep the fly close to, but just off the algae on the river bottom. The past two days on the water I noticed the fish much more aggressive, chasing streamers and landed a couple browns. A few anglers sent in these reports relaying similar success on the Gunpowder.

Guys,
Went out at York Rd. Had only 1 bite (a chub I think) that I long-distance released, and caught one 10-12″ brownie. Caught him on a black articulated bugger, drifted downstream just at dusk between the interstate overpasses and the York Road bridge. Didn’t even see any others! The water was very cold, but not particularly deep, so there didn’t seem to be too much runoff.

Other than the cold, the weather was beautiful and it was great to get out! If the snow stays much longer, I’m contemplating carrying snowshoes on a day pack!

Bryan

and another from a 12 year veteran of the Gunpowder,

Hey guys, just to let you know that I’ve noticed since fall that the fish in gunpowder are getting bigger. Before I was catching fish in the 6 to 10 inch range and since fall they’re in the 8 to 14 inch range. I do most of my fishing off the NCR trail near Monkton. Water is high and cold, but the brownies still need to eat. A 14.5 inch brown was caught off a size 16 beadhead pheasant tail dropper off a size 12 of the same. Thanks for the time and effort on your web site and happy fishing.

Jason miller

Yellow Perch Fishing Heating Up in North East

I just spoke to David who told me a Yellow Perch tournament is scheduled for this weekend up near Herb’s Tackle Shop in North East. It’s being called the CCA MD “Yellow Perch Appreciation Day” and is being held at North East Park from 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Registration for the tournament costs $5 for individuals and $15 for families. Before you head north, be sure to sign up on the National Saltwater Angler Registry. For more on the registry and how it will benefit every man, woman, child and fish give Chris Dollar’s Article from The Capital titled; “Outdoors: Registering Saltwater Anglers Should Give State More Clout”. For more on the, MSFCMA, (Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act), and it’s role with other initialisms like PIAFA, WPSFF, WPC, SFA, NAS, NMFS, NFMP, HSDMPA, HSDFE, EEZ and it’s implications on conservation and management of our valuable fish resources, check out the handy UNMCWL, (University of New Mexico Center for Wildlife Law) synopsis.

Intro. to Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On March 13, a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on fly fishing in Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland Non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-payment is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at info@backwaterangler.com to register.