Category Archives: fishing report

for river related condition reports

Late September on the Gunpowder


The Gunpowder is at 33 cfs and starting the day cold at 50 degrees at Falls road. The flows continue to be low for this time. However the past week the flows have been steady and with ideal water temperatures the fishing can be good, fish will always be opportunistic at this time of year. Caddis, around size 18, have been hatching in the afternoons through the evening from falls and the fish key in on these when happening. In the evenings, from the dam down to bunker hill area, tiny cream midges are hatching that are around size 24. Small subsurface patterns like Zebra midges, patterns for caddis pupa and small nymphs will do well in the riffles and fast water.

Rain and clear water on the Gunpowder

trout caught on an ant

Thanks to Gene for the fishing report and photos.

The Gunpowder is stable at 42 cfs, clear and starting the day at 54 degrees.

Following the push of water last week the river is back down to summer flows. Tributaries will add a little color to the river downstream from Falls Rd. Despite that the river is relatively clear until Little Falls at Bluemount Rd. Fishing with beetles, ants and small hoppers has been productive in the mornings especially. Small caddis size 18’s are coming off in the mornings and evenings. Tricos have been inconsistent as of yet this season.

evening on the lower river

Better Flows on the Gunpowder

chunky brown trout

The Gunpowder is at 73 cfs and water temperature remains in the mid 50’s at Falls road.

Since the flows have been increased Monday night the fishing has been great. The fish seem to have spread out and are very active. Streamers have been working really well, especially for the larger fish, after 4 weeks of low water. Much of the same has been working – terrestrials, caddis etc. Now you can encounter tricos around 8-9 am from bunker hill downstream: Fish should be reacting to those more each day from now whilst they last.

This fish was caught on a sculpin pattern 20 minutes after catching one a little bigger. In summary, don’t wait, fish these conditions whilst they last! We have guides ready to work with you on brushing up your skills whether that’s with dries, wets, streamers or nymphs.

Low Water on the Gunpowder

Fat gunpowder fish

Thanks to Gene for the following stream report and photos:

The river remains at 32 cfs and water temperatures swing from 52 up to the 60 degree mark. The fishing on the Gunpowder has been tough for the most part. Hot weather, low water and heavy use of the river from other form of recreation are creating for naturally difficult conditions. However those willing to go out during rainy, dark conditions, early morning or late evening when the river is quiet, trout are often willing to pounce on a well presented fly whether it be an ant, cricket, beetle or caddis. This fat fish for example was caught after heavy rain cleared people off the river and the fish were snapping up terrestrials with gusto. Tricos are around the corner!

Ants and Midges abound on the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder is low, 32 cfs, and cold – starting the day at 52 degrees at Falls road.
Thanks to Gene for the great stream report and photo:

Terrestrials fished tight along the banks is the one of the best ways of fooling trout at this time of year. Quiet approaches and long leaders will increase your chances of success. Evening and morning have larger fish on the lookout for an easy meal like this trout pictured that devoured a size 16 parachute ant. Midges are the main hatch that will bring fish up in the slower water. When the surface activity is quiet euro nymphing is an effective means of catching fish in shallow riffles and fast runs.

Ant hunter

Low Flows, Terrestrials and Midges

Hoppers ready for a swim

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 32 CFS, 52 F and is clear. Try to find some shade this weekend. Wet wading works fine this time of year just watch out for the poison ivy and ground bees. A float in any size craft or even a Gunpowder River tubing trip will likely turn more into a muddy drag. Small midge patterns fished behind an ant or beetle on 7x is a great way to trick wild fish! Thanks to Gene Howson for the stream report:

In the past week the flows have been reduced to 32cfs. Low flows can make the fishing more challenging those willing to fish long leaders, 7x tippet and stay out the river as much as possible can still catch plenty of trout. Terrestrials can catch fish all day but smaller midge patterns will catch more fish whilst they are emerging in the tails of pools.

Please note: The shop will be open 4th of July weekend:
Friday from 10 till 5
Saturday 10 till 4
Sunday 10 till 4
Monday 10 Till 5
Closed on Tuesday the 4th and Wednesday the 5th.

Terrestrial time on the Gunpowder

Evening light on the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder is clear, flowing at 61 cfs with water temperatures in the high 50’s.

As the sulphurs are finally winding down fish start to diversify their feeding habits. This means anglers who are willing to fish different methods depending on the conditions will typically catch more fish. Caddis are hatching regularly and fishing size 14-18 caddis patterns; pupa, emerger or adult patterns will all work. Terrestrials cast up along the bank is usually effective for tricking those fish who are keeping an eye out for an easy meal. Zonkers and wooly buggers have been catching the larger fish when fished tight to undercut banks.

Streamer fish in the rain

Ants, Winston and Abel for Father’s Day

IMG_0130-2The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at a near perfect 75 Cfs and is in the mid 50’s F throughout most of the day. Thanks to Gene for the great shot of Backwater Angler Staffer Carl Cartier showing how to handle a solid Brown trout in a bend pool on the Gunpowder with a short Leonard and a long leader. The last of the Sulphurs can be found above Falls Rd each evening. If you are starting earlier, Ants and caddis are worth a shot. Be sure to stop in a pick up a few parachute ants and some 7x tippet. We have lots of Happy Father’s day items – from 5 piece Winston LT Fly Rods to Abel Zingers. Check out our new long-sleeved button down embroidered Backwater Angler logo shirts. When all else fails, gift certificates are always a sure bet and a walk in the woods along the river is priceless.
Please note Shop Hours Father’s Day weekend are:
10 till 5 on Friday
10 till 4 on Saturday and Sunday

Fly Fishing on the North Branch of the Potomac

Summer seemed to arrive almost overnight a couple of weeks back, whilst freestone streams can struggle with warm water, tailwaters continue to produce great fishing opportunities. I fished out in western Maryland earlier this month on the Savage and the North branch of the Potomac. Both tailwaters like the Gunpowder – but aside from that they offer much different fishing experiences. I floated with guide Tony Lohr from Savage River Outfitters down a spectacular section of the North Branch downstream from Westernport. This was my first float and it was an experience to remember! In this fast, heavy water a 5 to 6 weight rod is ideal and the raft allows you to fish the best of the river that otherwise can’t be reached.

Whilst nymphs and streamer were catching fish, the dry fly fishing from midafternoon until dark was outstanding. The rainbows in this river gave the strongest fight from a trout that I have ever encountered and going any lighter than 4x is both unnecessary and too weak to properly handle these fish. The icing on the cake was an 18-inch brown trout that annihilated a streamer on what ended as the last cast.

– Gene

Please note we have the following rods in stock ready to cast from:
Scott – 9′ 6wt Radian and Meridian, 9′ 5wt Flex
R. L. Winston – 8′ 6″ 5wt WT and 8′ 9″ 5wt LT
G. Loomis – 9′ 5wt NRX LP, 9′ 5wt Pro 4x and 8′ 6″ 6wt Shorestalker
St. Croix – 9′ 6wt Bank Robber, 9′ and 8′ 6″ 5wt Imperial

brown trout

Sulphurs, Caddis and Olives on the Gunpowder

IMG_2542The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at 85 CFS and 63 F. The cold front headed in before Preakness should cool things down a bit over the weekend. We’re hoping for more shade coupled with evening temperatures that might prompt a spinner fall. Look for tiny BWO’s in the backeddies and slack water and caddis in the riffles. Sulphurs in the #14 range are present throughout the River mid-afternoon on. If you’re getting an early start try a #16 partridge and yellow followed by an unweighted pheasant tail.