Author Archives: Theaux Le Gardeur

Great Flows and Ideal Water Temperatures along the Gunpowder River

Gunpowder River Brown

The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 127 Cfs and is 57.5 degrees F. With flows up, heavy streamers and large terrestrials have been the ticket. Large nymphs such as Red Fox Squirrel and Hare’s Ear nymphs have been working fine in the riffles provided one puts on enough deep soft weight to slow them down.

Thanks to Gene for the stream report and photo!

It has been a week of fluctuating flows on the river due to low levels in Loch Raven demanding more water from Prettyboy dam along with daily spells of low flow Monday to Wednesday for annual electroshocking surveys. The DNR surveys produced positive results for both the dynamics of large and small fish and a very healthy number of juvenile fish indicating the stream is as healthy as ever. I joined them on two of the days seeing firsthand the sheer numbers and size of some of the streambred brown trout was fascinating. Since Thursday the flow has been steadied at the 100 cfs mark allowing for great flows downstream of falls road and consistent flows should make for excellent conditions over this weekend whilst the trees cling to their leaves for the final few weeks of the year. Fishing with streamers will be effective, especially in the evening. Caddis emergers have been reported as being very effective and tricos are still present in the morning. Ants and hoppers will catch fish still. Nymphs are extremely productive now with the larger volume of water passing through.

Smash and Grab Sale at Backwater Angler!

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Bad news folks! After 15 years in Monkton, and after moving this July a mere 1/5th of a mile closer to I-83 on Mt. Carmel Rd. in Parkton, we experienced our first smash and grab theft at the shop Tuesday morning at 5:31 AM. All told, we lost approximately $4, 500 combined between stolen inventory-including a mannequin and property damage that occurred during the break-in. If one had told me 15 years ago that I would need to have security cameras to protect a fly fishing store, I would not have believed them. For many folks in this tight knit River community it’s been quite hard to take all of this so we’re adjusting by making light of it and are asking folks to shop with us this weekend to help us pay our insurance deductible!

Smash and Grab Sale* details through Sept 25:
Free flyline with any rod and reel purchase.
35% all clothing excluding waders and rain-jackets and boots.
Free pair of socks (a $24.95 value) with any purchase over $100.
Free Loon Dust with any purchase over $50
25% off used graphite and fiberglass rods
* There is always an asterisk* Sale is limited to in-stock merchandise only.

Special thanks go out to the officers from the Cockeysville precinct for responding quickly to the alarm. The Baltimore County Forensic lab for checking out the site with all their cool technology and the genuine concern the Burglary detective assigned to our case has shown us. Thanks to the manager of the Subway, Jen from Crop Salon, Tommy from Hereford Bed and Biscuit and John from Kingsdene for checking in on us this week. Kudos to the excellent crew from Caplan Bros. Glass that helped get our aluminum and glass door fixed up the same day so we did not have an interruption of business. Our hat’s off to Mr. Peter Fenwick who stopped in for a guide trip with Jeff Lewatowski that morning and spent the wee hours helping us pick up the glass off the floor before he connected with some wild fish downstream of York Rd. and to Ashely McGrath at H.U. Dove Insurance who helped file our claim with Liberty Mutual so we could get on with getting the shop back to normal.

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Slightly Higher Flows in the Gunpowder River

Upper Gunpowder River
The Gunpowder River has come up from 32 CFS and is now flowing at 51 Cfs and is 54 degrees F. With football in full swing folks in the know are getting out early to enjoy some great and challenging dry fly fishing.

Please Note: The shop will open at 8AM tomorrow for those wanting to get an early start!

Thanks to Gene for the stream report and great photos.

The relentless heat of summer is behind us and it’s a beautiful time to be out on the river. I have been fishing nymphs a lot, catching plenty of brown and rainbow trout in the 8-12 inch range, with a few 14-15 inch fish. Larger fish are beginning to show themselves so it’s worth fishing streamers too. Yesterday evening I had the stream to myself upstream from falls road and found the fish eager to whack a black wooly bugger and grey ghost. If you’re looking for hatches, trico’s are still hatching in the morning, downstream of Masemore to big falls, between 9-11 in the morning. Evening midge hatches upstream from Falls road in the evening are also common.

Gunpowder River Wild Brown

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, September 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 10:00 AM till 1:00 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

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, September 18th, 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 10:00 AM till 1:00 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.

Labor Day Weekend Fly Fishing with Tricos over Low, Clear Water on the Gunpowder River

Flies, Muffin Tins and MapsThe Gunpowder River is flowing at 32 CFs, is 52 degrees F and is clear at Masemore Rd. Tricos are still making an appearance during the morning hours and hoppers, ants and beetles have been working fine in the afternoon. For a better chance of catching fish without spooking them skate a caddis in the meadow stretches at Masemore and Bunkerhill and try the bend pools below York through Big Falls and Bluemount. Stop in and choose from a baker’s dozen (buy twelve get one free) or take advantage of our Trico special (buy 12 and get a spool of 8x free) on flies this weekend. Little Falls has been acting flashy with bigger flows and muddy water after recent rainfall events-with rain in the forecast stick to the catch and release section unless you’re looking for larger fish moving upstream from the two fish a day and five fish a day sections. Fly Fishing the lower River calls for covering more ground and slightly heavier gear. Be careful wading and don’t leave home without a sink-tip, streamer that will result in larger but fewer fish to hand.
Labor Day Weekend hours:
Saturday 8 till 4
Sunday 10 till 4
Monday 10 till 2

Back to School Specials at Backwater Angler

BWA Back Wall
Tired of writing tuition checks? Stop in and take advantage of some hot August deals while supplies last-we call them “Back to School” specials at Backwater Angler. Once the kids are back to school, carve out a little time for yourself to fly fish the Gunpowder River. If you don’t have time to stop in give us a card and an address and we’ll ship any of the items on the board to you for free until the end of the month!
BWA Back to School Shop Specials

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Saturday, August 27th, 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.

Wild Fish and Clear, Cool Water on the Gunpowder River

Gunpowder River at York RdThe Gunpowder River is clear, low and flowing at 32 CFs and is 55 degrees F. Tricos are about at York Rd. and Masemore Rd. access points each morning. Try a Letort Cricket on a 9ft 6x leader and drop a size #20-22 Al’s Trico about 18 inches behind the cricket. We have plenty of Mike Bachkosky’s reverse-hackled Al’s Trico’s in the muffin tins. This time of year, the lower river below Sparks might be up to 15 degrees warmer than the catch and release section. Small streamers in sizes #8 through #12 are worth a shot if you’d like to cover more water in the bend pools. Try tiny cream midges in the Falls Rd section or a hopper-dropper style rig in the boulder pools substituting a foam ant followed by a zebra midge. Low water conditions can can make for challenging fishing but consistently cool water temps make the Gunpowder a safe bet for fly fishing the Mid-Atlantic through August.

Please note: The shop will open tomorrow at 8 AM for those wanting to get an early jump on the Tricos!

Gunpowder River at York Rd