Category Archives: fishing report

for river related condition reports

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.

Patagonia River Salt Wading Jacket Review

Patagonia River Salt Jacket
Thanks to Josh Reider for the photos and gear review of his lucky Patagonia River Salt Jacket. We have a ready supply of these waterproof, breathable and durable wading jackets in stock ready to ship.

After fishing today in the freezing rain I found out two things: One, fish don’t care how miserable the weather is; and two, a nice rain jacket is a must. A friend and I fished in the dismal weather for 3 hours and were able to pick up close to 10 fish; hooking nearly twice that. We landed a few nice fish and a lot in the smaller 8-12 inch range. Fishing the Gunpowder this time of year is very productive and can be a lot of fun if you’re dressed properly. We were nymphing small pheasant tails and zebra midges with the most success. I switched to a streamer later in the day and had some fish chase it but none would commit.
My Patagonia Riversalt jacket kept me dry and warm in the miserable weather. I’ve had it nearly a year now and it works just as well as when I took it out of the box. It is great length, the cuffs work and because it is longer than most wading jackets it can be worn as a normal rain jacket. I use it whenever I fish and recommend it to anyone serious about staying comfortable fly fishing in a host of conditions.

Wild Trout in Maryalnd

Snow along the Gunpowder River

Gunpowder River, Masemore Rd Upstream in Snow
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 104 Cfs and is 40 F. The Hereford Zone received between 5 and 7 inches of snow and Thursday night through Friday morning we dipped into the low single digits. The high winds made it pretty difficult for folks to get out Friday during the day but we had a surprising number of folks despite the cold weather getting out over the weekend. Most of the lots remain unplowed so York and Masemore are still the easiest to access with a car. Lots of edge ice is forming along the banks of the main stem and some of the smaller low gradient tributaries are starting to ice up. Consider giving the Falls Rd section a break. Fresh snow on the ground makes its tough to gauge where the holes are so stick to the flats until the condition of the trails improve. With rain on the way through today expect water temps to dip a bit and flow to increase as some of the snow slowly lets go. The shots in this post were taken at Masemore on Friday from the Gunpowder North Trail across from Bush Cabin Run and the Lefty Kreh Trail.
Masemore Rd Downstream Gunpowder River in Snow

Fly Fishing the Gunpowder River New Year’s Week

Gunpowder Brown Trout
The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at 119 and 41.5 F. A few stoneflies and Blue Winged Olives are flitting around but stream temps are still on the cold side. Fish the faster, shallow water with small nymphs starting in the #16 range and midge larvae sized #20-26. Streamers will also elicit a few takes and many more follows on a five or 10 ft sinking Airflo polyleader. Get ready for some snow along the upper river by Friday. If you bought studs for your wading shoes over the holidays now is the time to spend a few precious minutes this week putting them in-your backside will thank you!

Thanks to Josh for the stream report and photo:

Fishing the past couple days has been ice cold, but for those willing to brave the weather have found luck on the Gunpowder River. Nymphing small midge and black fly larva has proved the most successful. I have been fishing shallow as the fish that will eat are holding in water in the sun. I’ve also been staying warm by using a switch rod in the more open stretches and fishing streamers deep and slow with a sink tip. If you head out on the river for a couple hours this time of year, it won’t be hard to find serenity on many stretches of the Gunpowder!

Gunpowder River Wild Brown

Fresh Snow and Wild Trout on the Gunpowder River

Alex McCrickard with a Gunpowder Brown
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 137 Cfs, is 42.5 F and clear. Most of the trails are frozen and the fresh snow has already left the grassy areas. It’s time to put in studs and bring along a wading staff. Stoneflies in the #14-16 range have been coming off on warmer days. Starting early-try zebra midges in the riffles. Black fly larvae in the #20-22 range are a good bet-especially behind Blue Winged Olives sized #16-18. Traditional streamers in the jams will trick a few fish along the edges. Try a Grey Ghost or small marabou muddler on 6x. Baltimore County Trout Streams

Fly Fishing the Snowy Gunpowder River

The GunpowderRiver is flowing at 90 CFs and is 44 F and clear. Now is the time to stud your wading shoes. With 6 to 8 inches of snow blanketing the Hereford Zone of Gunpowder State Park, the trails above Falls Rd are tough going. Try Masemore, Bunkerhill and York Rd in the catch and release section for easier and safer access. Be sure to bring a wading staff and an extra pair of gloves. Most are better off using the trail along the river. Watch for edge ice in the flats and move slowly out there. Consider sitting and sliding in to the River rather than taking a large step from a cut bank. Small patterns are a great way to trick fish this time of year. Midge larvae this time of year can be found in submerged leaf piles. The lower river in the 5 fish a day stretch along the NCR-now the Torrey Brown trail-is worth a look. It’s a nice way to stay warm and cover more water. While the lower river is stocked with rainbows each year, it still hosts a sustainable, wild population of brown trout
Thanks to Josh Reider for the photos and stream report.

Fishing in the winter can be a very productive time for fishing. Nymphing small pheasant tails, stonefly imitations, zebra midges, and black fly larva is the best way to target cold finicky fish. I fished the coldest day of the year yesterday, and was able to pick up 3 fish in the lower river using these tactics. Many of those willing to brave the cold will often find a quiet serene river filled with fish that have not been fished over in a couple days; as compared to fish that will be fished over multiple times a day during the spring and summer. Fighting the cold with good gloves, warm socks, and insulation is a must if you want to enjoy your time on the river during the coldest days.


Gunpowder River Stream Report–Streamers are Working Fine!

Gunpowder River Fly Fishing for Brown Trout

The Gunpowder River is gin clear, flowing at 40 Cfs and 52 F. Using smaller nymphs will prevent all of those leaf hook-ups. Small, traditional streamers are still a good bet. Small caddis larvae and pupa are especially effective in the riffles. Try to limit your wading and use longer leaders in the 12ft 6x range. In the flat water, fish are taking Blue Winged Olive emergers. A few anglers late this afternoon reported that a few slate drakes were coming off as the water warmed up through the catch and release section. This week we have been checking in plenty of hardy winter gear from Patagonia including warm hats, gloves, socks and rainjackets-feel free to stop on in if you’ll be fishing this weekend.

Thanks to Alex for the stream report and pics:

My good buddy Gates Blair and I floated a section of the lower Gunpowder River below the catch and release area this past Tuesday the 19th of November. We floated a three-mile stretch of the river and mostly focused our efforts on streamer and nymph fishing. The streamer fishing was slow at first but once the water temperature warmed up the streamer bite turned on. We were having success with large bead headed white and tan woolly buggers in the size # 4 to # 8 range. The browns were aggressively chasing our streamers throughout the riffles and deep pools. Nymphing with small caddis pupas and pheasantails was also very productive. A number of fish were also taking a large size # 8 rubber legged squirrel tail nymph. Gates and I caught a large number of browns in the 8 to 12 inch range throughout the day. We also boated two larger browns taping in at 13 and 15 inches long. The larger 15 inch brown pictured below was tricked in a riffle on a size # 14 bead head caddis pupa on 6x tippet. The browns are becoming more aggressive as the fall is coming to a close. Streamer fishing and nymphing should continue to produce into December.

-Alex McCrickard

Fly Fishing the Gunpowder River

Big Spring, PA Stream Report

Fly Fishing for Rainbow Trout

Thanks to Josh Reider for the stream report and pictures from Big Spring:

Fly fishing the ditch at Big Springs is a completely different game, there is virtually no flow, the water is gin clear, and it embodies the idea of sight-fishing. It is a rewarding and fun time. I have been fishing it the past couple of weeks attempting to catch one of the 20 plus inch rainbow that you can see cruising the channel. I have not had the luck to land one yet but have landed lots of brook and rainbow trout. The most productive way of fishing is to nymph a scud behind an indicator fly. Unlike other streams I have not hooked on fish on the indicator fly but have watched many eat the scud. I have also been fishing a tiny BWO to fish I see rise and have had almost every fish eat. On this stream it is essential to watch the water before fishing, then to crawl and cast from a seated position so the fish cannot see you. Otherwise you will end the day frustrated that you didn’t see a fish all day. Big Springs offers a great unkept secret fishery that makes for a great day trip and is only an hour and a half from the Gunpowder River.


Rainbow Trout Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing in Northern Italy

Alto Adige, Passer River Rainbow Trout
Thanks to Werner Mueller for the photos and stream report from the Passer River, Alto Adige in Northern Italy:

Hope you are well. Per our discussion a couple of weeks ago I am including a couple of images in regard to my fishing trip to Alto Adige in Northern Italy this past September. The Passer river section I fished is 10 KM of fly fishing only . You will need a fishing license for Italy 30 EU/10 years validity and a daily license fee of 20 EU . The water is club owned and extremely well maintained. There is one guide- daily rate EU 250.00 -great guy . Please let me know if you desire more information. I am thinking of dropping in on Thursday may fish in the afternoon for a couple of hours.

Best regards,

Passer River, Alto Adige Rainbow Trout

First Dry Fly Caught Trout on Homewaters

Gunpowder River Fly Fishing

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 42 Cfs is 52 F and clear. BWO’s have been accounting for wild fish in the flats and tailouts, small streamers like Grey Ghosts are still tricking fish in the log jams and over leaf piles. Nymphing remains challenging, if only because the likelihood of snagging leaves with weighted flies remains high. So try smaller pheasant tails in the #16-18 range are small enough to keep you out of trouble and still find a few fish. Now is the time to explore the area outside of the catch and release section. Remember that the Gunpowder has 18 miles of water that supports wild trout. Stop in the shop over the weekend and let us show you some new places to discover on the Gunpowder River.

Thanks to Josh for the Gunpowder River stream report and photos from November 8:

This past week I was able to come home and visit – and of course made time to get out on the Gunpowder for a few hours with my girlfriend. I have started to peak her interests in fly fishing and taught her how to cast. She has caught many fish nymphing and fishing streamers but never on a dry. This past weekend our goal was to catch a fish on the surface. About 15 casts in she hooked a nice fish but lost it in the current. Later that day she was able to land the nice fish above, for her first fish on a #16 Olive Caddis. Needless to say we have another hooked on fly fishing!


Gunpowder RIver Colorful Brown Trout