My first trip to the Savage River several weeks ago presented different challenges than the Gunpowder. I had been told of the difficult wading and after my first day I would agree. Didymo covers the large boulders that lay in the water which causes very slick conditions. With much more rocks in the water, the currents were more intricate than those of the Gunpowder. For this reason, i found maneuvering through the river and positioning was key to getting a good drift. It may be helpful to bring a wading staff for crossing the river because of the slick rocks and strong current. It was 160 cfs the time we fished it, which was deceptively strong. But, overcoming these challenges can result in some great fish and beautiful mountain scenery.
Another great difference is the presence of pocket water on the Savage. On the Gunpowder, there is very little pocket water to be fished. But on the Savage, the fast currents and hidden holes provide great habitat for trout to hide in. This presented me with the opportunity to nymph effectively using Loon Biostrike rather than an indicator, which was a new tactic for myself.
Sulphurs & Blue Quills were the most predominant mayfly on the river and tan and black caddis were present in large numbers. By the early afternoon, fish could be seen rising consistently to sulphurs. The most spectacular time is the last minutes of the day. Near dusk, the spinner fall gave me the opportunity to see the large amount of fish within each pool and target some of the bigger fish. When fishing in the morning, I fished small nymphs with splitshot to keep flies down in the water column.
Please note: The shop will be closed this holiday weekend on the 4th & 5th.
The Gunpowder remains at 101cfs and 55 degrees. Doesn’t get much nicer for dry fly fishing than that.
Whilst sulphurs are (still!) coming off resulting in bursts of feeding activity, caddis are coming off through the day and midges constantly swarm there is no shortage of food available for the Gunpowder’s trout. Now the hot weather is kicking in & the vegetation is lush fish are beginning switching their attention to terrestrial insects.
The fish above was David’s first trout on a fly rod, caught on a dry fly during a guided trip, call or email to book a trip to tune up your game or get started into the sport whilst the river levels are ideal.
Stop in the shop to check out some awesome new terrestrial flies we’ve been stocking up with from Umpqua and Fulling Mill. In a situation on the river fishing between hatches you’ll appreciate having some ant patterns on you.
The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 115 Cfs and 57 degrees F. Sulphurs in the #16-18 range abound. Spinners are good bet after 7PM. Caddis are a good bet especially emergers-stop in we have a few great ones to choose from. Ants are also a good bet nd it’s never to early to start fishing terrestrials for opportunistic wild fish. New to the shop this week are Echo Trout rods in the 4wt to 6wt range. At $350 with lifetime warranty that are one of the best value-oriented travel fly rods on the market.
The Susquehanna River offers some amazing water to target smallmouth bass. After fishing the river for years with spinning gear, I recently transitioned to fly fishing for smallmouth. My thoughts in presentation are still the same although I’m using a different setup.
I have been using the new Patagonia Swiftcurrent packable waders the last few times I’ve fished there. Studs in your boots are almost necessary if you decide to wade. Big boulders and slippery mud make wading a challenge, so be careful. I used a basic 7 weight combo that I’ve had for years with a floating line. Flies were thrown on a 2x leader, and using a sinking leader may be helpful because of the current, but snags can be a problem.
Mimicking the baitfish of the Susquehanna, I used streamers between 2-4 inches in both a green and brown color.
Near creek mouths, baitfish will often school in current breaks where bass often will be seen blowing up on the schools. I fished patterns with weight slowly, making sure to keep it close to the bottom. Smallmouth will present an amazing fight, and those who haven’t targeted smallmouth on the fly should give it a try.
We have a range of different leaders and tippets between 0x and 3x that will work perfectly for the conditions on the river. We offer several weighted streamers and some poppers that should get the bass to strike on the surface as summer gets closer.
The river is flowing nicely at 106cfs with water temperatures in the low 50’s.
Sulphurs remain much of what the fish are looking for through the afternoon along with tan caddis. Caddis are hatching well into the evening. Sulphurs are most consistent in the afternoon but you never quite know when you’ll encounter a burst of them coming off. It’s a good idea to have a variety of different imitations of sulphur duns and emergers at hand to show the fish if they wise up to one pattern, switch out and try another for an often instant reaction. Spinner falls have been occuring in the last half hour of light.
Based on the County Executive’s order, Backwater Angler will our reopen our doors for retail business tomorrow, May 22 at 10AM.
Big Changes you need to be aware of for our reopening:
Mask requirements are in effect-if you’re not wearing a mask we won’t welcome you in. Period.
We will limit the total # customers to Three(3) in the door at a time.
Our restroom will remain closed to the public.
If you’re sick, stay at home. We can always “talk fishing” remotely.
Extended Hours on the Weekends:
Because we’ve missed a good part of our busy season and because we want to follow social distancing guidelines and allow time for cleaning following CDC guidelines we will begin earlier on the weekends and will now be opening at 8AM on Saturdays and Sundays through May and June.
Guide Services resume:
Our guiding and instruction related activities will resume June 1. We have quite a backlog of schools and guide trips since mid-March so if you have a future date in mind don’t delay in calling us to set up a date and time so we can get you on the calendar.
Other services resume:
We can know spool up reels.
We greatly appreciate all of the support our online and curbside customers have given us during the closure and as always wish that you and your families stay well.
The river is at a ideal 115 cfs, clear and water temperature in the low to mid 50’s.
Sulphurs hatching in the afternoon, spinner fall has been happening late after dark. Warmer days should bring this forward. Tan caddis coming off in the afternoon through evening. Midges have the fish looking up earlier in the day.
The Gunpowder is running nicely at 110 cfs and warming from 45 early in the morning towards 50 degrees F.
With spring feeling like it’s here and the current requirement for ‘social distancing’ the park has been busy with people enjoying the outdoors and trout anglers are no different.
Young angler Jacob Warner has been out plenty recently:
The trout have been active and very hungry in the Gunpowder. Trout can be seen aggressively feeding on stoneflies and midges throughout slower water, with an occasional sulphur being taken. Nymphing has been an effective tactic as well, although the excessive amounts of Didymo presently in the water (particularly around Falls road and above) can make it a tedious process.
The Gunpowder is at 72cfs, clear and 43 degrees F swinging up to 47 F.
Little black stoneflies size 16 have been coming off and the fish are looking for them during the warmer part of the day.
Plentiful midges and the very occasional mayfly has been reported by customers including some small sulphurs! I would imagine the warm winter we’ve had can bring the hatches forward, we saw a similar thing occur in spring 2017 after a warm winter. Don’t be without some unseasonable patterns on the river just in case.
With the water being so clear and many of the fish holding in shallow water, fishing a dry dropper has been effective as you can present a nymph well without getting close enough to spook them.
The Gunpowder River is flowing at 78.4 Cfs and is 42.5 degrees F. Temperatures are swinging nicely up now from 39 degrees F in the morning so it’s fine to wait until mid afternoon to get out there. Rumblings of stoneflies are always heard this time of year but a safer bet would be to give the black flies a look up top in the catch and release section. Stop in and pick up some of Mike Bachkosky’s little Lehigh snowflies to imitate these and bring along some 7x. Bright, mild days can make streamer fishing tough so don’t feel compelled to wade all day-use the trails instead and cover the log jams quickly by drifting rather than stripping streamers. Fishing above Masemore? Small zebra midges and tungsten jigs can be effective as long as they are visually inspected every few casts. Otherwise, Didymo can accumulate on these heavy small nymphs within the first few drifts fouling them and spoiling one’s chances of hooking up.
We’ve had an equal number of folks traveling to Chile and the Bahamas this week and so have taken in a few notable used fly rods including a few bamboo Fly rods.These rods need new homes-call or stop in for details. Like new and shiny? We’ve been checking in some NRX+ rods in 9 foot 5 weight and 9 foot 10 weight from G. Loomis, all new leader and tippet from Scientific Anglers, and Tacky fly boxes from Fishpond. Stop in and give our Winter clothing sale a look-It’s all 35% off until they are gone…