Monthly Archives: October 2008

Gunpowder River October Fishing Report

Low flows, at 27 Cfs, warmer river temps, almost 57 F today at Falls Rd., and cold October mornings on the Gunpowder have added up to great fishing. The Trico hatch began two months ago and is still going strong with many fish active near riffles and slow pools through out the catch and release section. Many rising trout are eating spinners, which are dropping to the water later in the morning than previous weeks. Anglers and guides are reporting really good caddis hatches beginning when the Trico activity slows. Numerous first time customers and regulars are returning to the river for consecutive days, and to the shop to stock up on patterns after experiencing, “some of their best fishing on the Gunpowder.” The shop has had successful guide trips on the river nearly everyday over the past two weeks. After four guide trips last week my clients, ranging from first timers to experienced anglers, fished over pods of rising trout and landed into the double digits, with many more fish broken off or missed.
Chunky Brown
On days when cloud cover and rain are present, blue wing olives have been hatching and bringing fish to the surface. The terrestrial bite is still good, as many trout are hitting beetles, hoppers and ants fished near structure. Tiny flying ants are also a possibility after a previous days rain, and really get the trout’s attention. On some days toward evening a small number of non-descript mayflies emerge ranging from size 16-20, and result in a short lived spinnerfall at dark. Streamers are also starting to turn some larger fish and I recently lost two of my largest Gunpowder browns of the year in the 17-19 inch range on a 4 inch long pattern I tied. Note the trout’s extended belly in the pic above as a sign that the fish are feeding and bulking up for the next few months.

Fly Fishing Report from Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Thnaks to Roman Kostrubiak for the following stream report and picture from the Snake River in Wyoming sent to us during the last week of September, 2008.

Theaux, Rocky, and Jason,
I have spent the last few days fishing in the Jackson Hole area. My first attempt was on Flat Creek – a spring creek just outside the town of Jackson. When I fished there, it was rather hot and sunny, more like mid-summer weather. Luckily some parts of the stream had a good spinner fall in the late morning and into mid-day. I was successful in fooling some nice Snake River Cutthroats with #18 rusty spinners. The best of these in in the photos below. There were also occasional gray drakes, pmds, and tricos on the water but my imitations of these yielded no success. During my next day, I did a float trip down the Snake River. The weather was again quite summer like, with brief periods of cloudiness in the pm. The ticket there seemed to be terrestrials. Below is a nice pic of a Snake River Cutthroat caught on a “mojo hopper”. After these two days I ventured across Teton Pass and drove up to the Henry’s Fork where I fished the Harriman State Park section. Within my first few casts I hooked and landed a nice 12″ Rainbow. It appeared that it was going to be great day. I spent the next 5 hours casting to fish that rose every half hour or so. All my presentations never even got a good look from these fish. Quite humbling. I have since returned to Flat Creek, again finding success with spinners: this time larger Calibeatis spinners. The weather has now turned with mixed rain and snow expected overnight in the valley. Tomorrow I am off to Yellowstone. Hopefully the trout will cooperate with me.
Hope all is well,

Fishing Bamboo Fly Rods in Maryland

Many thanks to Gunpowder regular Brian Walsh for his thoughts on fishing his first bamboo fly rod.
Dean Turner Bamboo Rod


I wish to thank you for having the foresight to set aside the Little Falls for me. Something tells me that you knew I’d be back after reading A Wisp In The Wind. I’ve since blown-off both a meeting at work and a date with a beautiful girl…….. to stand in my backyard with a beer and the rod, casting to my dog’s chew toys, placed strategically around the lawn. All puns aside, I’m hooked.

I also want to thank you and the guys for renewing my faith. My recent trips to the river and the shop have reminded me why fly fishing is among the purest of passions my Father imbued in me as a boy.

The other day, after a thorough discussion with Rocky on the virtues and vices of trout fishing, I headed up to fish the few hundred yards just below the plunge pool. I had thrilling success there the week before with tan San Juans, and naturally had delusions of repeat business. Around noon, a #10 Woolly Bugger procured at the shop proved most useful in the pools, but unfortunately it was also highly attractive to many panfish, (which I had previously not seen in the river).At one point mid-afternoon, there were some playful Rainbows in the 8″ range leaping, rolling, gulping, and rising to some unknown invertebrate near a cut bank. After the painful rejection of numerous terrestrial offerings, #20 BWO’s worked wonders.The day’s trophy took a #16 bead-head, neon green nymph, (also picked-up off the counter at the shop). Fished this with a little weight, dropper style, through fast ripples…..(see attached pic).

All the above rigged on 12′ 7X.

The fact that so many different patterns produced, coupled with the chance encounter of three unattended horses on the trail during hike-out, made for a great day……

Anyway, see you soon, and thanks again.

Brian Walsh

Gunpowder River Shocking Survey Update

I recently took part in the Maryland DNR Shocking survey of the Gunpowder River and am happy to report that everyone that participated saw some very nice fish at Falls, Masemore and Bluemount. Thanks to all that participated! Later this Winter, Charlies and his staff will report their findings…Stay tuned!
Pat van dem Beemt from the North County News also covered the event in an article titled;
Gone Fishing, Shocking, Counting Trout in the Gunpowder Falls

The other news is that the river has been a little cloudier this week than our normal “gin clear” description as the reservoir has been turning over. This slightly off color water had made for some exciting streamer fishing. The river level dropped Wed from around 70 Cfs to 27 Cfs and the water temp at Masemore is 52 F. Folks are catching quite a few fish in spite of, or perhaps because of, the low flows with long, fine leaders, (12ft 7x) small flies, (Bwo’s in the #18-20 range) and a good measure of stealth. Midday Caddis in the #14-16 range have been accounting for a number of fish on the surface in riffles. Zebra midges and Green weenies have been working down below and fly fishing with streamers is once again, exciting.

Worried about low water and catching big fish on a fly? Last year Guide Capt. Jeff Lewatowski released a 20″ Wild Gunpowder Brown during one of the shocking survey days when the river level was just as low as it is now. The message, “get out and fish”- you could be doing far worse things with your time.

Farmington River Fly Fishing Report

Thanks to John for the following report and picture.

Hey guys this is John Webber and I just wanted to say hi to all the guys in the shop that have helped me so much. I have moved with my family to Winsted, Connecticut and live about 10 min from the Farmington River. This was my first year on the Farmington and I wanted to send you guys some photos of what is going on up here in the North. I have had a lot of fun on the Farmington this year but I must confess I do very much miss the Little Gunpowder River and I hope that the fishing has continued to get better after the dam improvements. I also look forward to fishing it again asap and when I am in town I will make sure to stop and say hello.

Nice Brown in Net from the Farmington River, Connecticut

When Backwater Anglers last knew me I was a construction worker who loved to fish so much I spent every waking hour trying to figure out how to fish as much as possible. I traded that all in to homeschool my two daughters and as a result have got to spend almost every waking moment on the water fishing or fishing with my daughters. I just want to say thanks to you guys for feeding that frenzy in my brain, it can be hard to find people who are so excited and passionate about fly fishing that they could talk it all day every day. Thank you for teaching so much about flyfishing and flytying, Theo I can remember a few times that you actually lent me flytying videos, well I can’t thank you enough. But I figured it was a good start to send you some photos of the Farmington River. I hope you enjoy them. I just saw the moving to the new store stuff on your website. I just wanted to say congratulations. The new store looks great and I cant wait to see it with my own eyes. I am glad you enjoyed those pictures, I have been enjoying the pictures on your website for years now. Recently I had a visitor from Jarretsville Md. he was here in the middle of September to visit and we got the opportunity to get out on the Farmington River for a couple of days. I was freaking out the day that he got here we had this massive cold front come through plummeting the temperatures to a bone chilling 40 degrees on the water at first light. Needless to say this did have adverse affects on the fishing, however we did manage to catch and release a few fish. We were catching them on #22-26 Bwo spinners.

Beginners Fly Tying:Streamers

Fly tying in Maryland? Please join us for a Beginners Fly Tying Class on Saturday, September 18, 2008 from 11:00 AM till 2:00PM. It’s an introductory fly tying class that focuses on Gunpowder river fly patterns. One of our Maryland river guides will be teaching this fun-filled beginners class. Cost of the class is $45 per person, and includes the use of tools and materials. The class is limited to six and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at to pre-register.

Beginners Fly Tying: Favorites

Fly Fishing Maryland? Please join us for a Beginners Fly Tying Class on Saturday, October 11, 2008 from 11:00 AM till 2:00PM. It’s an introductory fly tying class that focuses on Gunpowder river fly patterns. One of our Maryland river guides will be teaching this fun-filled beginners class. Cost of the class is $45 per person, and includes the use of tools and materials. The class is limited to six and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at to pre-register.