Author Archives: Theaux Le Gardeur

Low, Clear Water and Terrestrials on the Gunpowder

Chunky  Wild BrownThe Gunpowder river is clear, low at 32 CFS and warming up at 58 F. Bright sun and burning hot days has made the fly fishing quite challenging. Thanks to Gene for the stream report and great photos:

After a brief spell of 80 cfs flows the dam has reduced the flow to the mid 30’s yesterday morning. Long leaders and small dry flies have been still been tempting plenty of fish in the faster water. Small caddis patterns and ants (size 18) are great go-to flies all day long.

Lower Catch And Release of the Gunpowder

Hot July Fly Fishing Gear Moving Sale

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Backwater Angler is moving. Thanks to Staffers Justin Gaffney and Gene Howson for all of their heavy lifting this week. Help us lighten the load by stopping in this Saturday and Sunday and getting great deals on (in-stock only) Fly Fishing Gear for the Mid-Atlantic.

Including:

25% of all Rainjackets
Free flyline with any reel purchase over $100
25% of all gear bags
Pick three Loon Products and get the lowest priced one for free.
Baker’s dozen flies-buy 12 get 1 free.
Free casting lesson ($75 value) with any Rod Purchase (must book in-advance).
50% off table for things we simply cannot move!!!

Sale is only Saturday and Sunday of this weekend-July 23-24 from 10 AM till 4 PM and is limited to in-store and in-stock items only-no calls please-stop by for details

Thank for your support in our 16th year.

New location to be announced Monday the 25th!

5, 000 New Rainbows in the Catch and Release section of the Gunpowder River

Rainbow in hand

The Gunpowder River is clear upstream of Bluemount road, flowing at an ideal 78 CFs and is 55 degrees. Fish are taking terrestrials, small streamers and midge patterns. Five-thousand (5,000) fingerling rainbows were stocked in the upper catch and release section in the past two weeks.

Thanks to Gene for the following stream report and photos:

Since Friday, the flow has been bumped up from the mid 40’s to the 80 cfs mark, providing much greater fishing opportunities. The water temperature in the upper sections ranging from 50-55 through the day. At time of year, with temperatures being well in the 90’s, its often best to give the lower sections a miss due to high water temperature and lots of river traffic from others enjoying the river.

The fishing is most consistent in the morning. Bigger fish are falling readily for an opportunistic hopper or beetle. I’ve been catching more rainbows than usual lately, including a large one which was 17 inches long. Many fish will be tempted by caddis (size 16-18) and midges. I like using small streamers like sculpin patterns, wooley buggers and traditional’s like grey ghosts and Mickey Finns, being effective when fished up against any structure. As we enter August, keep an eye out for tricos as well in the morning.

Gene

Rainbow in Flow

Three Spaces Left in the 9 AM Fly Fishing School this Sunday

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, July 17th, 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 and fly selection. Class is held from 9:00 AM till 12:00 AM. 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.

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School this Sunday Morning, July 10th

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, July 10th, 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 and fly selection. Class is held from 8:00 AM till 11:00 AM. 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.

Sight fishing the Gunpowder with Ants, Beetles and Hoppers

July flows on the Gunpowder river

The Gunpowder River is low and clear and flowing at 44 CFs and 54 degrees F. Find some shade and you’ll find some fish. Tippet in the 6 to 7x range is a must. Long Leaders starting at ten feet will ask make a big difference in whether your tricking fish or not. Thanks to Chris Karwacki for the great morning shot of the Gunpowder and to Gene for the following stream report:

The river is shallow, clear with ideal water temperatures for trout fishing.Terrestrials are having opportunistic fish looking up to the surface for ants, hoppers and beetles and will take them along shady banks. Midges will catch fish. Using a small zebra midge behind a caddis pattern is a good bet in the catch and release section-particuarly above falls Rd. The low water levels have forced fish to the deeper pools, and sight fishing with a pair of good polarized lens sunglasses is an effective way to catch fish. You’ll be able to see fish and know where they are for next time.

Please note: The shop will be closed on Monday, July 4!

Sulphurs, Caddis and Terrestrials on the Gunpowder

Healthy Gunpowder Brown Trout
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 110 Cfs and is 53.5 degrees F. The lower river is clearing nicely after some heavy rainstorms this week. Small caddis, sulfurs and terrestrial are all worth a shot. The difference between missing fish and catching fish might be your leader and tippet. Stop in the shop and show us your rigging. We’ll be happy to help you pick out the right stuff. By this time of year the fish have seen a lot of flies so go long and light by starting with a 10 ft 5x leader and plan on adding a foot and a half of 6x or 7x tippet. Fishing early will be productive with unweighted pheasant tails and soft hackles. Mid-Afternoon fishing with sulphur dries has been better after 2 PM. If you’re planning on fishing till dark try a few rusty spinners in a #16-18.

Thanks to Sean for the great stream report and photos from June 10:

Theaux,
Thanks so much for some of your insightful tips and getting me outfitted with the correct leaders, tippet, and flies for my current fishing endeavors. I did exactly as you said, and it worked. Mid-afternoon I tied on the Sulphur emerger pattern on to 1.5’ of 7x tippet on my 5x leader. Twelve presentations in I started seeing the fish coming closer to me feeding. I caught one on the emerger pattern and 3 on the sulphur dry’s as the afternoon progressed at Masemore, down river. All the time and effort put in to this River, it came together these past two days. Where, today I also had a great day out on the water. I was hunting the shade just as much as the fish. Here are a few pics I snapped of these beautiful wild’s.
Best,
Sean Eagan

And thanks again to Sean for another report from June 15:

Theaux,
Off and on rain did not permit me to get out on the river until the mid afternoon. At 3pm the sun was peaking thru the clouds as I entered the river, Masemore Rd downstream, and jumped from shade patch to shade patch. That humid erie fog was rising off the river as the sun made more of it’s presence known. Fish were feeding off and on throught this fog that was lifting. Not observing much sulphur activity, but I tied one on anyway. Sulphur Dry #18. No looks at all, made roughly 30-40 casts. As the afternoon progressed the fish became more active. Feeding within 10 feet of my, but not on my offerings. I tied on an Ant pattern #16 and immediately got the results I was looking for. The 2nd fish was a beautiful one. Maybe the biggest I’ve caught in this area. Fights was hard and aggressive. More than I expected. 73 degrees. Cool mixed with humid spells on the river, partly cloudy. River seemed to be moving faster today. This guys is pushing 12”.
Best,
Sean Eagan

Sulphurs, Caddis and Hopper Dropper Rigs on the Gunpowder

Patagonia Flyfishing Gear
The Gunpowder River is flowing at a near perfect 110 CFs and is 53 F. Bright days have been challenging for those seeking fish on dries. Small caddis in the #16-18 range and Sulphurs in the #16-18 range have been the ticket. If you don’t want to fish 7x Cover the pocket water and boulder pools with a #16-18 bead head prince behind a small hopper or foam caddis. Don’t wait to fish the Sulphurs-it might be time to get out of D.C and connect with a wild fish in the Gunpowder river…We’re loaded for bear with new Patagonia gear that just arrived in time for a wade or float trip out west. Fly fishing Western Maryland? –Stop in and ask Gene and Stefan how the Savage River was fishing this week.
Patagonia Fly Fishing Gear

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School on June 26th

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, June 26th, 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 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.

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School on June 25th

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Saturday, June 25th, 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 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.