Category Archives: fishing report

for river related condition reports

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

Sulphurs and Sunshine on the Gunpowder

Sefan Babij going deep in the Lower Gunpowder River
The Gunpowder is clear, flowing at 110 Cfs and is 56 degrees F. Lime green to a carrot colored orange Sulphurs have been the trick. Caddis emergers from a 16 on up are also working in the riffles. The ongoing rain has one positive result, especially if one has a rain jacket handy–water temperatures have remained mild and hatches are slowly coming off throughout the afternoon.

Sulphurs on the Gunpowder River

Sulphurs are just starting on the Gunpowder River! The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at 124 Cfs and is 55F. Leaf out is about a week and a half early this spring. Now the banks are providing some much needed shade. Cadddis emergers and Sulphur wets are working fine. Fish will still take a Hendrickson or rusty spinner late in the evening but with water temps in the mid 50’s count on a late emergence of Sulphurs. We just picked up some great Sulphur patterns from the Post office today that Mike has been tying for us in NY. Check out the new rain jackets from Simms and Patagonia so you can focus on fishing instead of that “old damp feeling”. Want to learn some new tricks? Stop in and talk to the young folks behind the counter at Backwater Angler. Thanks to Justin Gaffney for the stream report and great shot of an upper river wild brown.

It took one of Mike’s Hendrickson patterns underneath a low limb beside a big rock against a bank. When I saw it rise, I thought it was a much smaller fish before It took the fly. I’m glad I had a net with me.
Justin Gaffney

Hendricksons and Black Flies on the Gunpowder

Scott G2 Dry Fly Fishing with a Hendrickson and Red Quill Pattern
The Gunpowder is clear, flowing at 127CFS and is 50.5 F. Thanks to Mike Colegrove for the Hendrickson pics and to Gene for the great stream report. Still knocking the dust off your gear? Please visit with him in the shop on Monday, Thursday and Saturdays to get the latest on River conditions. Red quills, emergers and tiny midge patterns have been the ticket-be sure to bring along some 6 and 7x.

This April, variable weather conditions is resulting in equally variable flow levels on the Gunpowder, it’s always useful to check the water gage link during this time of year before heading out. Streamers are taking lots of fish at the moment, olive wooly buggers for crayfish and sculpins along white zonkers for the baitfish, both being particularly effective as water levels drop after a spell of spring rain. Black ‘snow’ flies, hook size 20, are reliably peeling off the surface throughout the day. Keep an eye out for Hendricksons and March Browns, especially closer to the dam above Falls road where the large rocks on the streambed provide optimum habitat for the nymphs to thrive. As water temperatures steady at 50 degrees there should be greater abundances of Hendricksons and heavy spinner falls occurring throughout the next two weeks. All patterns readily available in our muffin tins will put you onto wild trout in the catch and release section. Recently stocked rainbows are moving up from the stocked water and settling into the lower stretch from Bluemount Rd. downstream.

Gene Howson

Easter Stream Report

IMG_20160325_175154The Gunpowder is flowing at 104 CFS and is 50 degrees F. Stoneflies are still buzzing around and the Hendricksons are just around the corner. Stop in and pick up some March Brown wets and some Picket Pins. Small stonefly nymphs in the #16 range have been tricking a few wild fish. With opening day on the lower river today we’ve had a number of folks stopping in to pick up large streamers for the bright, heavy rainbows between Glencoe and Sparks. We have a number of new items in this week from Scientific Anglers including the Sonar fly lines for Susquehanna Flats trophy Striper fishing and the new Grand Slam Saltwater lines for folks traveling South for Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit.Thanks to David for the great photo and stream report.

Here’s a nice brown I caught Friday afternoon. The stoneflies you have in the shop were working well on Big Falls, upstream of the bridge and around the first bend. Fish were hanging in the deeper pools and sipping the fly as it skated down.

Tight lines!
-David R.

Please note: We will be closed on Sunday March 27.

Stoneflies and Snow Flies along the Gunpowder River

Gunpowder River StoneflyThe Gunpowder River is flowing at 126 CFS and 47 F. Stoneflies in the #16-18 range between Masemore Rd and Big Falls Rd have accounted for a few fish on dries this week. If you’re up for a hike, the stretch upstream of Falls Rd is worth a shot with little black flies a.k.a. snow flies-especially in the flat water. Be sure to use 7x or 8x tippet when fishing these patterns as they start at a #20.

A Wet Snow and Great Trail Conditions along the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 157 CFS and is 40.5 F. After talking people out of going fly fishing on the Gunpowder for the past three weeks, trail conditions are improving dramatically with very little ice remaining except on the slopes in the Falls Rd section. A light dusting of snow last night brightened up the river birch and sycamores along the Gunpowder. If you’re after larger fish, stop in for a sink-tip and a dumbbell-eyed streamer or two. Stoneflies are buzzing along the meadow banks from Masemore downstream through York Rd access but until the river water temperature stays in the mid 40’s it might be more productive to swing a small dark wet fly in a #16 along the banks. While most fly fisherman associate the “upper” with the gorge section upstream of Masemore closer to Prettyboy dam, we’ve had quite a few calls from anglers interested in what section of the Gunpowder is closed this month. To clarify, the “upper” Gunpowder as described in the regulations book is the five-fish a day section above Loch Raven from the Gas line below Corbett through Upper Glencoe, Lower Glencoe, Sparks and Phoenix Rd. Please note: This section will close on Sunday the 6th and will reopen at 5:30 AM on March 26th. Anyone fishing the catch and release section from Prettyboy Dam, Upper and lower Falls, Masemore , Bunkerhill, York, and upstream of Bluemount, in the artificials-only, or downstream of Bluemount, through, Monkton, Corbett to the gas line is open leaving over 11 miles of catch and release or wild trout water for anglers to explore 365 days a year-conditions permitting. We have 2016 fishing licenses, a stack of stocking schedules and reservoir permit applications on the front counter.

Streamers and Stone Flies on the Gunpowder

Thanks to Stefan for the Stream report and pics!

With air temps on the rise the water in the Gunpowder has finally touched the 40 degree mark. Looking at next weeks forecast water temps should climb to the mid forty’s in no time. The river is still flowing quite fast at 150 cfs. Wild ish will start to take little black stone flies off the surface in the slower areas and close to log jams as the river warms Steady subsurface action nymphing with black and red zebra midges and dead drifting streamers has been the ticket. If your planning on fishing the river in the next week or so be sure to stop in the shop and pick up some streamers and an assortment of stone fly patterns.