Category Archives: news

the news section is for shop events and programs

Beginners Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday March the 11th a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on fly fishing in Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear and fly selection. Class is held from 11:00am – 2:00pm. Cost is $125 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased at the shop with check or cash the day of the school. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.

Abel Super Series Reels

 

Abels Super Series Reels

We have 3 beautifully finished, hand painted reels from Abel in store. We have a Brook Trout 4/5, a Brown trout 5/6 and a Redfish 7/8. The tried and tested cork drag system, along with the bomb proof design, balances excellently with Bamboo, or a 10 foot + rod. These slightly heavier reels offset the weight of the rod, reducing fatigue on your arm after a long days fishing. At the end of the day, they make everything look and feel right!

The Brook Trout 4/5 is $995, is 5.92 oz and holds 80 yards of backing with a 5 wt line .

The Brown Trout 5/6 is $1055, is 6.32 oz and holds 95 yards of backing with a 6 wt line.

The Redfish 7/8 is $1045, is 6.74 oz and holds 200 yards of backing with a 8 wt line.

Here is the Abel description of what they have changed on their outstanding Super Series reels:

For 2017 we have redesigned the original Super Series reel with an all new line of lighter weight sizes that feature a quick change spool system achieved by eliminating the previously removable locknut and drag knob.

The proven drag system is what makes the Super Series equally at home on the trout stream, the salt flats, and demanding deep blue water: It can be set light enough to protect the finest tippet, but can also be cranked to slow down the toughest Bluefin. No matter what species you prefer to chase, a Super Series reel is there to help you land it!

Abel Super Series Reels

Nice Levels on the Gunpowder this Holiday Season

Thanks to Gene for the following stream report and photos:

The Gunpowder is flowing at an ideal 87 cfs, clear and the water temperature has dropped below the 40 degree mark.

Fishing has been quite good considering how cold the air temperatures are. Edge ice is forming in increased amounts downstream from York road. Fishing between York road up to Falls has been the most consistent. Above Falls road the didymo is blooming as normal at this time of year. Streamers are worth a shot up there, fish them slowly and close to the bottom. Trout will eat in these cold temperatures but typically don’t move far to intercept food items. I’m finding that tiny pheasant tails, miracle nymphs zebra midges are effective. Anything bigger than a size 16 I find does not produce as much at these temperatures. The most productive time of the day is between 11-3 when the sun is at its highest.

At 1 pm today I walked the access points in the catch and release section, i counted 8 fishermen braving the sub zero temperatures, despite having to clear their guides of ice, wild fish were still being caught. Despite the challenges the cold brings to fishing, you won’t catch fish sitting on the sofa.

Happy Holiday Hours at Backwater Angler

Gunpowder Falls in Snow
Whether you are early or late-fish nymphs or dries or are naughty or nice, Backwater Angler will have extended hours this Holiday season. In December, in addition to our regular weekday hours from 10 AM till 4PM, the shop will also be open Tuesday the 19th and Wednesday the 20th and Tuesday and Wednesday the 26th and 27th. That said, the shop will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will be open New Years Eve till 2 PM and will be closed New Year’s day and will revert to being closed on Tuesday and Wednesdays through 2018.Gunpowder River  in Snow

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 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

Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® 2017 Year End Review and Appeal

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Thank you for supporting our efforts to protect the Gunpowder River! We could not have been successful without your generous support. Our work links and protects the forests, the fish and the faucet. Riverkeeper respects the varied economic, recreational and biological aspects of the River. Clean water in the Gunpowder watershed is everyone’s right and as a shared resource must be protected for all.

Unfortunately, we are faced with many environmental threats that harm people’s ability to enjoy the River. The organization works collaboratively and proactively to find solutions to pollution problems and represent member’s interests in protecting the Gunpowder River and its watershed.

We are asking for your support again in 2018 to address these environmental threats:
In the upper Gunpowder, we filed a petition for judicial review in Circuit Court on the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) discharge permit for the Hampstead Waste Water Treatment Plant. The conditions of the permit were weaker than the previous permit allowing water temperatures higher than state water quality standards that protect wild trout streams. This facility discharges directly into Piney Run that joins McGill Run and forms the Western Run, notably one of the best wild trout streams in Baltimore County.

In the lower Gunpowder, we are tracking a proposed Tire Pyrolis Plant after being approached by a number of members and residents who are very concerned about the potential for impacts in their backyards. We are currently working with concerned citizens and the relevant companies to increase public engagement and knowledge about this proposed project.
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A few highlights of our work in 2017 include:
Our legal research for the Hampstead Waste Water Treatment plant uncovered 119 violations of its discharge permit for various pollutants including temperature, phosphorous, nitrogen bacteria and ammonia all upstream of Baltimore City’s drinking reservoir, Loch Raven.

We testified before the Harford County Development Advisory Committee against a Royal Farms project that would allow tanks with the capacity of 60,000 gallons of fuel to be placed within the critical area of the Chesapeake Bay despite concerns about the potential for community and environmental impacts.

We protected Bush Cabin Run, a known Brook trout tributary by identifying an out of compliance in-stream construction project. Approximately 9, 925 square feet of area in, along and upland of the stream was disturbed which resulted in the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) issuing and enforcement letter to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) which has since stabilized and replanted the impacted area.

We identified invasive New Zealand Mudsnails in the Upper Gunpowder River and DNR fisheries issued an alert about cleaning and disinfection methods to contain the snails.

We sponsored an Eagle Scout project that provided outreach maps across 18 miles of River that highlighted fishing regulations, recreational interests and drinking water supply information. Riverkeeper hosted 65 Brownies on a streamwalk to connect wild trout habitat with drinking water for a Wonders of Water Journey.

Riverkeeper testified at EPA headquarters opposing the rollback of the Effluent Limit Guidelines, “Fly Ash Rule” that regulates the discharge of these known carcinogenic materials in the Lower Gunpowder.

Our work in asking for stronger permit conditions for the MDE permit on C.P. Crane Powerplant was featured in the Wilderness Society’s, “False Promises, Why Coal Isn’t Coming Back” study and may have led to the facility filing a deactivation notice to the grid for plant operations.
dundee
A few highlights of our work in 2016 include:
We reviewed the Lower River fish kill study by MDE and DNR and asked the agencies to conduct more baseline monitoring to assess actual pollutant loads prior to these events.

Signed on to important regulatory letters that:
Opposed changes to the Endangered Species Act that would leave implementation to the states, relax the “best available science” standard, while delaying judicial review; Opposed Maryland SB314 that proposed to siphon up to $10 million annually from the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF) that has supported upgrades to 49 major wastewater facilities in order to purchase undefined nitrogen and phosphorus credits; and Opposed Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” that would have revoked or significantly altered protective environmental regulations.

The Gunpowder supports varied recreational interests, habitat for native and wild trout, drinking water for 1.8 million Baltimore-Metro Area residents and important tidal habitat for Rockfish, Perch and crabs. Additionally water touches all of our lives-our brains are 75% water! Riverkeeper protects drinking water, property interests, sensitive species, recreational and aesthetic values.

canoes
We need your financial support to keep the River protected now and in the future. Please consider a year-end donation of support to amplify our outreach and advocacy. You may donate at: http://www.gunpowderriverkeeper.org/#support or by sending a check to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER®, P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111

Thank you for your support,

Theaux M. Le Gardeur

GRK is a 501(c)(3) non-profit categorized by the IRS under Natural Resource Conservation and Protection. Your charitable contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. A copy of the current financial statement of GRK is available by writing P.O. BOX 156 Monkton, MD 21111 or calling 410-967-3526. Documents submitted under the Maryland Solicitations Act are also available, for the cost of postage and copies, from: The MD Sec. of State, State House, Annapolis MD 21401 (410) 974-5534

Jerry Kustich Book Signing at Backwater Angler on December 2nd, 2017 from 11 AM till 1 PM


Our good friend Jerry Kustich is at it again with a new book just in time for reading weather! Please join us this Saturday, December 2 from 11 AM till 1 PM for a book signing. Jerry will also bring some of the wonderfully light, powerful and smooth Sweetgrass Bamboo rods for folks to cast and admire. Here is a press release description of the new book:

In the latest collection of essays and fishing tales by Jerry Kustich the title story depicts the potential desecration of the pristine Holy Water section of Michigan’s fabled Au Sable River. As in his other books Kustich takes us on an insightful journey of happiness and sorrow with words that are as humorous as they are thoughtful. From Montana to Russia to Mexico to Newfoundland and beyond Kustich emphasizes that wherever we go to seek fish, on so many levels, all water is holy. This book is a journey well worth taking.

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

Happy Thanksgiving! Save 15% on Guide Trips Gift Certificates for 2018 Purchased this Weekend!

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The shop pictured above and below will be closed Thanksgiving week from Tuesday through Thursday and will reopen Friday from 10 till 5 and this Saturday and Sunday from 10 till 4.

We are especially thankful this year for our customers that support the shop. Working in a job that allow us to take a walk along the river before, after and sometimes during work is something we’ll never take for granted. Without your support we would not be celebrating our 17th year in 2018.

Call us during shop hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and save 15% on any fly fishing guide trips that are paid in full. We will issue a gift certificate redeemable for a guide trip to be taken during the 2018 season on the Gunpowder. Finding a day to go fishing with us next year is up to you!
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Gunpowder River November stream report

Rainy day at masemore

Thanks to Gene for the photos and following report:

The Gunpowder is 40 cfs at falls road and temperatures remain around the 50 degree mark.

November has brought chilly temperatures finally and some needed rain. Swinging small streamers or wet flies such as hares ear and royal coachman has made for very good fishing in the riffles and runs. Fish that are on the lookout for an opportunistic meal tend to be tight up against the banks. When targeting these areas, focusing on making shorter more accurate casts will produce more solid hook ups.

brown trout in net