Category Archives: fishing report

for river related condition reports

Clear and at a Great Flow after Over Three Inches of Rain

Brian on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River is clear and low upstream of Little Fall and flowing at 156 Cfs at 58 degrees F. After over three inches of rain fell in the area yesterday, the river is knee deep at Masemore. Caddis and Sulphurs have been present midday through late afternoon. Spinner falls have been quite late in the day, so be sure to have a flashlight or headlamp along if you’re planning on waiting them out. Avoid York Rd access point after 4 PM today as the Hereford Fourth of July Parade festivities will be ramping up through this evening. Patterns that are most effective this time of year are in the #16-18 range-we have plenty of snowshoe rabbit Sulphur patterns in the muffin tins. Long leaders in the 10-12ft length ending in the 6 and 7x are essential to tricking fish. Thanks to Stephen Knott for the great picture of Brian and his quarry. Incidentally, for those that might be lucky enough to call the Gunpowder their home waters, consider that Brian makes several trips a year from Rochester, NY to visit family. When he stops in the shop he is always beaming before heading out to fly fish the Gunpowder for wild brown trout and with good reason. Family and fishing go hand in hand!

Summer Colors

Brook Trout, Tiger Trout and Sulphurs on the Gunpowder River

Sulphur Mayfly Gunpowder River
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 63 Cfs, is 49.5 degrees F and gin clear. Quite a number of brookies have been caught this spring. Fish are looking up and taking a mix of caddis, caddis emergers and Sulphurs. Most of these are in the #16 range and we’ve also had a few midges about. We have Sulphur unusuals, “phunny” emergers and para-spinners from Mike Bachkosky in the muffin tins. With the water low and clear long leaders in the 10 to 12ft range ending in 6 or 7X are making a difference- especially in the flats between Bunkerhill and York. Falls road access has been fishing better in the evenings but we’ll need some warmer evening to fish the spinner falls any earlier than almost dark. Thanks to Ryan for the following photos and stream report.

I spoke with you today after fishing with my dad and asked you to identify a trout I caught above Falls Road on the Gunpowder. You said it was a Tiger Trout and you also said I could email you a photo of it to post on your fishing report. Here are the photos of the Brook Trout and the Tiger Trout.

Thanks very much.

Ryan Jack

Brook Trout Gunpowder River
We’ve had a number of folks stop in over the years and ask us why Brook trout are so significant, and maybe what they’re getting at is they want to know why we still see native fish that have never been stocked still surviving in the Gunpowder watershed. The tiger trout Jack caught below is actually a cross of Brown and a Brook trout that naturally occurs in the Gunpowder because both species spawn in the fall.

Tiger Trout Gunpowder River

For those interested here is a statement from MDDNR on Brook Trout for your review.

Brook trout are Maryland’s only native freshwater trout species and have been a popular recreational angling resource since European colonization of North America.

Brook trout require relatively pristine conditions for survival and typically cannot survive when water temperatures exceed 68F. Anthropogenic alterations to Maryland’environment over the last several centuries including clear cutting of forests, establishing large agricultural areas, and urbanization have resulted in the extirpation of brook trout from 62% of their historic habitat in Maryland. Of the remaining 151 streams where brook trout populations are found, over half are in westernmost Garrett County, the least developed area of Maryland.

The vast majority (82%) of the remaining populations are classified as “greatly reduced”, meaning that within the subwatersheds where they occur they occupy only 1% to 10% of the area that was historically inhabited. A major difficulty in managing the brook trout resource is that only 11% of all brook trout streams and stream miles are fully within state lands, the vast majority of habitat is on private land and a mix of private/public lands.

Of the more immediate threats to brook trout populations in Maryland, urbanization is the most serious. In watersheds where human land use exceeds 18% brook trout populations cannot survive. If impervious surface area is greater than 0.5% in a watershed brook trout will typically be extirpated.

For more information please go to the Fisheries Outreach page on Brook Trout

Caddis and a Few Sulphurs on the Gunpowder River

Wild Brown on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River is clear, low at 46 CFs and 52 degrees F. Hendricksons are still about and caddis and a few sulphurs are just starting to show. Patterns to pick up in the muffin tins include #18-22 X-Caddis, Hendricksons in the #14-16 range , #14 Red Quill spinners and sulphur wets in a #16 to #18. Long leaders 10 to 12 feet in the 6x and 7x range will go along way in tricking wild fish. With most of the River in the shin deep to the knee deep range try to limit your wading. The trees have finally leafed out so seek out shaded banks to find fish tight up against woody debris mid-stream. With warmer days ahead, stop in the shop and pick up a pair of hippies to stay dry and cool. Thanks to Guide Kiki Galvan for the great photo and stream report –proof positive that small flies result in beautiful fish on the Gunpowder River.

I was up fishing the Gunpowder on Friday and look what came to the net! It was around 7 pm when I was walking down river and throwing a x-caddis. The only way the fish would hit was to skitter it across current because the whole day the only action I saw was all the egg laying caddis that were hatching. I saw a few Sulphurs and no Hendricksons. Water levels were a bit low and the diddymo is horrible! A solid 18+ Caught it on my 4wt rod and 6x tippet!

Kiss more fish,

Hendricksons on the Gunpowder River

Winston and a Hendrickson The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 75CFs and is 56F. Thanks to Mike Colegrove for this great shot of a Hendrickson on his “Gunpowder Special”-If you’re an early riser, Caddis in the #16-18 range are a safe bet-especially x-caddis. We’ve also been swinging unweighted pheasant tails in the #12-14 range. By Mid-morning we’ve been fishing light Hendricksons in either a #14 or #16. Switching over to the dark Hendricksons after lunch will keep you in the game. Try a rusty spinner through the late afternoon and into the evening. Shad are in the lower Gunpowder and Deer Creek ad we have lots of fly rod darts tied locally in Bel Air, MD from Eric Snyder in the muffin tins.

Rainbows Just Stocked in the Gunpowder River

Rainbow Trout Fly Fishing
The Gunpowder River is clear in the catch and release section and flowing 162 CFS and is 53.5 F. The fish are finally looking up but have not moved into the edges of the stream yet. Most are still holding below the riffles but they should move into the “water you can hear” as the trees start to leaf out. Wild fish have been caught on Hendricksons, black flies, a stimulator, black stoneflies and even tiny BWO’s this week. We caught a glimpse of Mark and the crew from MD DNR fisheries after they stocked the lower River yesterday with 2, 400 rainbows. Thanks to Josh for the great shot of a bright rainbow!

Gunpowder River Easter Stream Report

Peeps at Backwater Angler for Easter
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 100 Cfs, is 45 Degrees and clear. Fly fishing in the flats between Falls Rd and York Rd has been productive with cream midges in sizes #18-22. Streamers are working fine in the stocked section but one can connect with more wild fish in the catch and release section by swinging wets. Expert Catskill style tier Mike Bachkosky reported last week that the Delaware River at Hankins was still locked up in ice for opening day. He just sent us some of his “skating” little black stoneflies in the #16-18 range and more of those effective black flies in the #20-22 range. The high water we experienced as the snow let go a few weeks ago washed the didymo out and cleaned up the gravel. If you’re planning on nymphing, be sure to bring a long rod and plan on fishing a zebra midge dropper about 12 to 18″ behind a #10-12 Zug Bug or Prince nymph. In town for the holiday and need a diversion before the egg hunt? As of this writing Backwater Angler in Monkton, Maryland steps from the Gunpowder and a little less than an hour and 15 minutes from DC has over one hundred (100) high quality single-handed, Switch and Spey fly rods in stock from St. Croix, Winston, G. Loomis, Scott and Echo–including a number of new fiberglass rods and a great used fly rod selection. Stop in and help us with the candy basket. While you’re at it, try some super leader and tippet from Trouthunter and turn a few of the Bauer CFX and RX Reels.

Please note: The shop will be closed this Sunday April 5, 2015 in observance of Easter and will reopen at 10 AM on Monday.

Ice Out and Flooding along the Gunpowder River

Upper Glencoe Ice The River crested at the Falls Rd gauge at 5.82 ft and 1,200 Cfs on Wednesday, March 11. The Spring thaw was not gentle in the least. Today, Friday, the 13th flows are down in the mid 300′s making fly fishing the Gunpowder River challenging at best. With more rain in the forecast and Prettyboy reservoir at over 100% of capacity it’s likely that the River will experience another bump upwards over the weekend. If the River stays above 350 Cfs fishing streamers from the safety of the banks may be the best and only option. To give one perspective, the shop does not guide when the River is over 285 Cfs so this weekend might be better spent hiking along the trails and surveying the impacts of flooding to the river corridor than fishing it. This shot from the lower river at Upper Glencoe Rd (which is closed for stocking till the morning of the 28th) shows the remnants of the 2, 000 Cfs plus flows downriver recorded at the Glencoe gauge. Hopefully this is the last of the river ice we’ll see for a while. We’ll be in the shop this weekend if should you need a break from the house, garage, office, in-laws ect.. We are still, among other feats, writing 2015 Maryland fishing licenses-just be sure to bring your old license or drivers license and check or cash for the license payment and we’ll get it squared away for you.

Fresh Snow and Good Flows along the Gunpowder

Snowy Whale Rock on the Gunpowder River
A much needed break in the winter weather awaits. The Gunpowder River is clear, 37 degrees F and flows are now at a fishable level. Heavy rain mid-week cleared away most of the snow as the upper river jumped from under 100 CFS to 610 Cfs at 3.83 FT at the Falls Rd gauge. River levels dropped fast overnight to 176 Cfs and should continue to fall through tomorrow morning into the mid to low 100′s. It was 8 degrees this morning in Monkton and the Gunpowder River is once again blanketed in a fresh eight inches of snow. Thanks to John for plowing the lots at Falls, Masemore and York Rd! The high flows Thursday through Friday have pushed all of the edge ice out and we now have open water throughout the catch and release area down through the two fish a day stretch. If you’re heading out, try some stoneflies in the #14-16 range with black flies sized #20-22 just behind them midday. If you’re dead set on nymphing, small stonefly nymphs in the #12-14 range and zebra midges sized #18-22 are always a good bet. With any luck the warmer temps forecast through Monday will get the white stuff moving but not increase flows dramatically. The five fish-a-day stretch from the gas line above Upper Glencoe through Lower Glencoe, Sparks and Phoenix access points will close tomorrow, Sunday, March 8 and will reopen on March 28 at 5:30 AM. keep in mind that the upper catch and release section and two fish-a-day stretch is open 365 days…
Boulder Pools below Falls Rd.

Snow Island on the Gunpowder River

Snowy Gunpowder River at Corbett Rd. This snowy branch frames a yearling and two geese on the island downstream of the Corbett Rd. Bridge. The yearling crossed the side channel and found itself on this island with a pair of geese waiting out the storm. The Gunpowder River crested at 2,200 Cfs and 7.75 feet at Glencoe Rd. during the heavy rain event that cleared much of the old snow out and down into Loch Raven. Snowy Island on the Gunpowder River

Mid-February Gunpowder River Stream Report

Whale Rock on the Gunpowder River
The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 60 CFs and is just over 33 F. While we have not many folks braving the cold weather, a few folks from out west who thought the weather was “good enough” gave the Bunkerhill, Masemore and York Road stretches an honest try this week. Reports coming back pointed to the effectiveness of zebra midges in the #20-24 range behind rubber legged stoneflies. If you’re dead set on giving the Gunpowder a try, make sure you have an extra set of gloves in your vest or pack and bring along a wading staff to test the edge ice. New snow along the River has improved the footing on the trails this week. With more snow in the forecast and rain on the way, these images from Falls road this morning simply won’t last as the snow and ice lets go upstream along the ridges. This week most of our store traffic as been comprised of folks picking up last minute items before boarding planes to warmer fly fishing destinations like Argentina, the Bahamas, Belize, Chile and New Zealand. We’ve also had a fair share of people picking up Maryland fishing licenses for 2015. If you’re ready for one please bring along your DNRid, last year’s license or a driver’s license and check or cash for payment.
Icy Riffle on the Gunpowder River