Category Archives: gear

Filson in Maryland


There are not too many small businesses still around that started back in 1897. That said, I’m happy to report that we have received a fantastic assortment of FILSON clothing and accessories this week in time for some fun holiday shopping. We are very proud to be representing the FILSON in Maryland. This time-tested rugged outdoor clothing is a great fit for those who have traditional tastes and the mindset of buying great gear only once. We have the following FILSON gear in-stock:

FILSON Wildwood Shirt
FILSON Lightweight Alaskan Guide Shirt
FILSON Alaskan Guide Shirt
FILSON Alaskan Long Underwear
FILSON Wool Cuff Hats
FILSON Seattle Hat
FILSON Cover Cloth Mile Marker Jacket
FILSON Tin Cloth Packer Hat
FILSON Logger Hat
FILSON Strap Vest
FILSON Guide Vest
FILSON Travel Bag
FILSON Day Pack
FILSON Outfitter Card Wallet

A quote from FILSON:

“The goods we quote must not be confounded with the cheap and vastly inferior grade with which the market is over-run. Such goods are not only useless for the purpose for which they are intended, but the person wearing them would be better off without them.”

— Clinton C. Filson, 1914 catalog

Patagonia Gear at Backwater Angler

We have received a shipment of Patagonia gear at Backwater Angler! I am going to focus on the gloves, since it is that time of year after all. I have used the fingerless homepool gloves the past two winters. They keep your palm and fingers free whilst the 2.5mm neoprene keeps your hands nice and warm. The touch of your palm on the cork and line allows you to detect subtle takes when fishing delicate nymph rigs through the winter months.

We have answered phone calls over recent weeks regarding the R1 gloves. They are extremely useful when releasing fish and keeping your hands comfortable and dry. In the coldest of days these will have you focusing on fishing and not on how cold your hands are!! This is what Patagonia has to say about them:

When arctic air pushes into the Great Lakes, frozen fingers and numb hands send most anglers to the couch. But the fish are still there. With our toasty R1® Gloves, your hands stay warm and nimble even in icy wind and lake-effect snow. The thin, flexible 1.5mm smooth-skin neoprene outer stops wind and shrugs off moisture, while the fast-drying 100% recycled polyester lining locks in warmth. Three-panel, stitched-and-glued construction with anatomically placed seams provides remarkable form-fitting comfort, dexterity and durability.

Patagonia Hats and Stickers

Fishpond Accessories in Maryland

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We have just received a shipment of Fishpond gear to Backwater Angler! Fishponds range of gear is comfortable, practical and built to last. Furthermore much of their fabric is made out of recycled industrial nylon waste turning it into quality products.

Much of the success of Fishpond’s innovative products is attributable to the passion that we share with our loyal customers for the outdoors and the habitat that drives our inspiration. Together, we practice responsible stewardship and believe that every small act counts.
We call it the “Ripple Effect”- the collective impact of individuals performing in an environmentally conscious manner and leading to lasting change-in thinking, in deeds and in results.
Fishpond is looking for ways to reduce our footprint on the environment, and with this new line of products made from 40-100% nylon recycled commercial fishing net, an industry first, our customer can participate in the process of inspiring others about the importance of a sustainable planet. Conservation of our natural world is a shared responsibility. With each step forward, each new ripple we create, we move closer to becoming a brand that embodies a vision for a healthy and sustainable environment. As in every facet of life, none of us can do everything, but each of us can do something.

Fishpond’s nomad nets are some of the lightest, strongest nets on the market, with a range of handle lengths to cater to your netting requirements.

We have the following accessories in stock:
Headgate tippet holder $19.95
Piopod (pack it out pod) $12.95
Dryshake bottle holder $8.95
Confluence net release $29.95
Floatant holder $8.95

Gunnison Guide Pack $129.95
Summit Sling Bag $99.95
Waterdance Guide Pack $99.95
Emcampment Lumbar Pack $89.95

Nomad Native Net original $125.95
Nomad Emerger Net $149.95
Nomad Mid Length Net $159.95

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A Video about the Importance of Small Fly Shops

Our hats are off to Rajeff Sports for this fine video from the excellent ECHO line titled Fly Shop Strong. We are very pleased that the connection between small fly shops and the waters they serve is recognized herein.#flyshopstrong We’ve greatly enjoyed and benefitted from the support this company has provided to our small fly shop over the years including the following in-stock current product offerings: Airflo poly leaders, Super-Dri fly line, Exceed fly lines and specialty fly lines like the Chard’s Tropical Punch, Galloup’s Nymph Taper fly lines, Cold saltwater Intermediates and the industry leading Ridge Clear Tropical Clear Tip. Stop in when you have time and cast the ECHO GLASS series of 3 piece fiberglass fly rods in 6’9″ 3 weight; 7’4″ 4 weight and 7′ 10″ weight priced at $199.95. We also have the 11′ 7 weight 4 piece spey at $279.95 and the mighty 13′ 8 weight spey rods at $299.95. We also carry the Echo Solo fly lines at $29.95, the Echo Base reels at $34.95 and the Echo Ion reels at $79.95!

Fly Fishing on the North Branch of the Potomac

Summer seemed to arrive almost overnight a couple of weeks back, whilst freestone streams can struggle with warm water, tailwaters continue to produce great fishing opportunities. I fished out in western Maryland earlier this month on the Savage and the North branch of the Potomac. Both tailwaters like the Gunpowder – but aside from that they offer much different fishing experiences. I floated with guide Tony Lohr from Savage River Outfitters down a spectacular section of the North Branch downstream from Westernport. This was my first float and it was an experience to remember! In this fast, heavy water a 5 to 6 weight rod is ideal and the raft allows you to fish the best of the river that otherwise can’t be reached.

Whilst nymphs and streamer were catching fish, the dry fly fishing from midafternoon until dark was outstanding. The rainbows in this river gave the strongest fight from a trout that I have ever encountered and going any lighter than 4x is both unnecessary and too weak to properly handle these fish. The icing on the cake was an 18-inch brown trout that annihilated a streamer on what ended as the last cast.

– Gene

Please note we have the following rods in stock ready to cast from:
Scott – 9′ 6wt Radian and Meridian, 9′ 5wt Flex
R. L. Winston – 8′ 6″ 5wt WT and 8′ 9″ 5wt LT
G. Loomis – 9′ 5wt NRX LP, 9′ 5wt Pro 4x and 8′ 6″ 6wt Shorestalker
St. Croix – 9′ 6wt Bank Robber, 9′ and 8′ 6″ 5wt Imperial

brown trout

Essential Gear for Maryland Fly Fishing

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Over the past year since I began working here I have been lucky enough to use some top of the range equipment across Maryland, Pennsylvania and the Adirondack mountains in New York. Besides the Gunpowder I try to make it out to western MD to fish the north Branch of the Potomac and the Savage as often as I can. The gear I use all has it’s uses for each of these three different rivers.

On the Gunpowder being much more pressured in skinny water I use NRX LP 3wt with a Royal Wulff Triangle taper line. The smooth casting action with the softer tip than the standard NRX along with the non intrusive design of the triange taper aids the delicate presentation needed to catch fish here more often. Patagonia ultralight sticky’s are the choice of wading boots due to their light and comfortable fit which allows you to walk trails and banks without the discomfort of dragging heavy feet!

For the Savage & North Branch the wading environment brings a whole new challenge to contend with along with the fishing. The fast water along with the outrageously slippery riverbed means I use Simms G3 Guide boots with studs. The tough, rigid design gives my ankles the necessary support and the material can stand up to the abuse that these streams put on them. For rod choice the Winston BIIIX super 10 is a rod I chose with these rivers in mind. The abundance of deep pockets mean that in order to achieve a consistently better drift, the extra reach provided with this rod makes all the difference. The boron in the taper can handle the biggest of trout in the fast water whilst the sensitive tip allows you to detect the most delicate of takes.

-Gene Howson