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Fly Fishing Tricos and Beetles to Wild Trout on Labor Day Weekend

Wild Brown on a Terrestrial

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 78 CFS and is 55.5 degrees F. Conditions on the Gunpowder River are improving leading up to the holiday weekend! We’ve had quite a few guide trips this week with people new to the sport. Many have connected on dry flies patterns including Tricos and Olives in the upper catch and release section. For those that would rather see their flies before the fish take them and would rather not fish 7x wild fish will take terrestrials just fine. Josh Reider recently caught and released this beautiful wild brown in the two fish day stretch on a foam hi-vis beetle.

Labor Day Weekend shop hours:
Saturday and Sunday from 10 till 4
Monday from 10 till 2:00 PM

G. Loomis NRX review from Alaska

Alaska Fly Fishing
Thanks to Terry for the stream report, review and great shot from Alaska:

Here’s the biggest of the week, 33” and 20lbs, from the Swishkak River in Katmai National Park, right where river empties into the saltwater. The silvers were big and shiny chrome. And packed up in knee-deep, clear water – just like bonefish in the Bahamas. Sight casting with 8wt (Loomis NRX that you sold me), was a delight. Saw every fish, every chase, every take – and then they’d go deep into the backing every single time! It was a terrific experience!

All the best,

Ants, Beetles and Trout

G. Loomis Pro 4x 10 ft 4wt Fly Rod
The Gunpowder River is gin clear and flowing at 78 CFS at 54 degrees F. This week ants, beetles and small grasshoppers have been fooling wild fish. A number of stocked rainbows have been caught as they move from the 5 fish a day section into the upper reach es of the River. Long leaders in the 10 ft to 12 ft range ending in 6x or 7x. Cloudy days have resulted in a few Blue winged Olives in the #18-22 range and we’re even seeing some Trico’s in the afternoon now that the water has warmed up a bit. Slate drake or two has been spotted downstream of the catch and release section. Lots of new fingerling rainbows were recently stocked by Fisheries in the upper catch and release section above Falls Rd. Thanks to Josh for the following stream report from August 11:

Since the water level was dropped a few days ago the Gunpowder River is flowing at 36 CFS. Terrestrial season has heated up and many have found some fish on small beetle and ant patterns. One in particular, tied by Eric Snyder, with a black foam and a peacock underbody has been successful when fished near the banks during the afternoon. In the evenings I have seen a few caddis hatching off above the Masemore Road access. A size #16 tan elk haired caddis should do the trick to fool those finicky fish.With rain in the forecast for tomorrow we may see an increase in flows. That will offer good streamer fishing for the next day or too.

Bright Gunpowder Rainbow Trout

Fly Fishing for Carp

Thanks to Josh Reider for the great photo and stream report.
Fly Fishing for Carp

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get up to the North Branch of the Susquehanna for a smallmouth trip. The day we fished we got on the water early, about 4:00AM. We had a blast fishing topwater flies and landed about five 4 pound smallmouth. As the sun got higher in the sky the topwater bite died off and were forced to start fishing streamers to the fish. Around lunch time we pulled up in a back eddy where there was a little bit of shade. About four bites into my turkey sandwich I saw what I thought was a beaver, but at a closer look I realized that it was a massive carp. I quickly changed flies to a small Vaverka’s Mantis Shrimp, then made about a 30′ cast to the fish. Once my fly hit the water, the fish turned and went the 6 feet directly to it, and ate it right away. Once I set the hook on the fish, it made about a 100 yard run out into the middle of the river. The current was relatively strong in the riffle I fought it in and made the fish feel twice as big. Quickly my uncle had to fire up the boat and chase after it so I wouldn’t break it off, and about 30-40 min after I hooked it we finally landed the fish on a 7 weight G.Loomis NRX. It weighted in at nearly 35 pounds.


Wild Browns and 53.5 degree Water in July on the Gunpowder River

Wild Brown Trout in Maryland
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 106 Cfs is 53.5 F and gin clear. Fish are looking up for caddis and flying ants. Tricos are just starting at Masemore. Long leaders and 7x are a safe bet. Fish are holding in the shade. Terrestrials like Shenk’s hoppers and crickets are worth a look. Pheasant tails followed by a midge or midge larva pattern are a nice way to cover the riffles. Thanks to Josh for the pics of wild browns.
Wild Brown Trout in Baltimore County

4th of July Weekend Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder

Eastern Brook Trout
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 106 Cfs is 52f and clear above Masemore Rd access. While the shop will be closed on the 4th, it will be open this Saturday and Sunday. The 4th is the last free fishing day in Maryland this year so be sure to take advantage of it. With cooler weather ahead, plan on a few Blue Winged Olives early. River temperatures have moderated a bit and are now starting in the low 50′s. Unless you’re planning on nymphing–sleep in, eat a hearty breakfast and get out on the River as it is warming up.The Sulphurs are all but gone and caddis are a good bet. We’re also seeing a few ants and beetles making their way into the stream. Long leaders are still the trick. Typically as the water drops mid-summer a 10 foot leader in 5x is a good starting point-add some 6 and/or 7x and you’ll be in the game. Think short cast, long drift and you’ll be on the right track. This shot of a native Brookie Josh Reider released just across the border was too pretty to leave archived as it would give even the best fireworks display a run for the money. Have a safe 4th!

Father’s Day Sulphurs and Caddis

Gunpowder River Sulphurs and Wild Trout
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 171 Cfs, is 58 degrees F. and clear. Sulphurs are sporadic mid-day along the catch and release section within the Hereford Area of Gunpowder State Park. Caddis and Olives are worth a shot in the morning. Stop in and give the flies in the muffin tins a look. Sulphurs sized #18 and #20 and caddis in the #16-20 range area also a good bet…Longer leaders will help to trick wild fish this time of year so start with a 10 ft 5x leader and plan on adding some 6 or 7x tippet. Thanks to Josh Reider for the stream report and pictures:

Fishing has been very good the past couple of days after the storm. The water level dropping back below 200 Cfs this weekend has allowed the fish to return back to feeding on the surface. Fishing caddis in the shade during the middle of the day will produce a few fish. Many anglers have also reported catching fish nymphing small pheasant tails, hares ears, and zebra midges.

Fly fishing the two fish a day stretch on the Gunpowder River

Sulphurs on the Gunpowder River are in Full Swing

Sulphurs on the Gunpowder River
The Gunpowder river is clear, flowing at 229 Cfs and 60 F. Sulphurs are in full swing. Stop by the shop and check out the muffin tins. Mike Bachkosky just sent us more of his Unusual and Phunny emerges. The CDC Biot Comparaduns are great to fish as dries or cast them on a tight line and let them track down and across. Fish are holding in deeper softer water and river conditions are such that one should pick a bank and stick to it. Crossing at most of the river access points through the Hereford Area of Gunpowder State Park at 150 CFs or below can be tricky but attempting to cross at over 250 Cfs is downright dangerous. Caddis are always a good bet in the late afternoon. IF you must work try some evening fishing for the Sulphurs and bring a rain jacket just in case…
photo 4

Cloudy Days and Dry Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 277 CFs and is 57 F. Cloudy days and full leaf out of trees along the River have resulted in a bit more shade. The fish are looking up and are taking small caddis in the #18-20 range.The last of the Hendricksons and Quill Gordons are on the wane. Just a few Sulphurs are coming off throughout the catch and release section. These bright mayflies can be imitated with a variety of emergers from the muffin tins on the front counter. Comparaduns and loop wings are sometimes easier to fish than traditional dries-especially on the swing. Leaders in the 10ft 5 and 6x range are a good bet. With River levels still on the high side and crossing the River safely is not an option so be sure to limit your wading. Thanks to Capt. Jeff Lewatowski for the great photos from a recent guide trip this week.
Wild Brown Trout in Maryland

Wild Brown Trout minutes from Baltimore

Wild Brown Trout minutes from Baltimore
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 178CFs and is 40 F and is clear. Accessing the river has been one of the most challenging aspects of fishing this winter. The snow covered and iced over, frozen trails are now yielding to warmer, wetter conditions. The thaw, melt refreeze scenario has left most of the trails along the Gunpowder greasy, slick and downright dangerous. Best approaches have been for anglers to get in the water quickly and stay in-a difficult solution when the water is hovering under 40 F, but much safer than ending up on one’s backside. While the stocked section of the Gunpowder River is closed till the 29th (please see note below) the wild fish stretch upstream of the gas line below Corbett to Bluemount is open year round as is the catch and release, artificials only stretch from Bluemount upstream through Big Falls, York, Bunkerhill, Masemore and Falls Rd access points. With relatively high flows over the weekend, Didymo algae is just starting to let go along the catch and release stretch of the Gunpowder River. Often the algae breaks up in long tendrils making it difficult for anglers to nymph without fouling the double fly rigs that are commonplace in winter fishing. Until we have cleaner gravel, try a variety of small dries such as Black Flies in the #20-22 range and Blue Winged Olives sized #18-24. If you don’t want to start the fishing year squinting, a Renegade or Griffith’s Gnat in a #16-18 will usually do the trick in the flat water between the riffles. For folks with bigger flies and fish in mind, large streamers twitched on a downstream drift delivered with an Airflo sinking polyleader will get the big flies slow rolling along the bottom, into the log jams and in front of wild fish.

Thanks to Vince Crisler for the beautiful photo and fishing report from March 11:

Was great to stop into the shop and catch up! Was surprising to see
how much snow there still is on the banks of the Gunpowder, but it
looks like things are starting to wake up. Spent a couple hours
nymphing and ended up catching this guy at the very end dead drifting
a big articulated streamer. Looking forward to many more trips up
there from DC this year!

Shop Schedule:
Closed on March 19, 20, 21
Backwater Angler will be open this Saturday, March 22nd and this Sunday, March 23rd from 10AM till 4PM.
Closed on March 24, 25, 26

Licenses for 2014: If you should need to purchase a license after hours please call 855-855-3906 or visit COMPASS You’ll need a nontidal (freshwater) license and trout stamp to fish the Gunpowder River for trout.

Please note: Little Falls and the lower Gunpowder River (called the “upper river” in the MDDNR Fisheries stocking schedule because it is upstream of Loch Raven) and regulated as a 5 fish a day stretch from the Gas line above Upper Glencoe through Lower Glencoe, Sparks and Phoenix closed on March 9 and will reopen at 5:30 AM on March 29th.

CATCH A POACHER 24-HOUR HOTLINE # 800-635-6124 This spring help Natural Resources Police (NRP) protect Maryland’s natural resources by keeping this number handy and at the ready. All streams in the state are signed with closure information upon stocking. If you see anglers fishing during closure periods make a call from a safe place and be sure to provide a physical description of the poachers, the closest road/stream intersection, vehicle description and license plate number.