Category Archives: fishing report

for river related condition reports

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.

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

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

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

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

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.


Rainbow in Flow

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:

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.
Sean Eagan

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

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”.
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

Fly Fishing for Wild Trout over Memorial Day Weekend

IMG_0847The Gunpowder River is flowing at 80 CFs and is clear and 60 to 64 degrees F. Air temps in the upper 80’s this week have resulted in epic spinner falls throughout the catch and release section. Effective patterns include a suite of Sulpur emergers, duns and spinners tied by Mike Bachkosky including Phunny Emergers, Sulphur Unusuals, and his infamous bright Para-Spinners. Unweighted pheasant tails will also result in a few fish especially in the lull between the last emergence and the spinner fall. Small elk hair caddis and caddis emergers in the #16-18 range and BWO’s in the #18-20 range will also trick a few wild fish-especially early. Backwater Angler staffer Carl Cartier and fly fishing guide and instructor Bryan Donoway were recently in the shop together discussing the finer points of Leonard Bamboo Fly Rods and plaid shirts.

Please Note:
The shop will be open over Memorial Day Weekend:
Friday from 10 till 5
Saturday and Sunday from 10 till 4
Monday from 10 till 4