Category Archives: news

the news section is for shop events and programs

Jakes First Impression of the Savage River

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.

Thanks for your support & have a great 4th! 

End of May Gunpowder River Fly Fishing Report


The Gunpowder River is flowing at 101 Cfs, 55 degrees and clear. Many of us have been waiting all year for these ideal conditions. Plan on seeing a mix of sulphurs, #16-18 caddis and #18-22 midges out there. Wild fish are always a little tricky on bright days so fish early or late if you can. Avoiding “parking lot” water and focusing on riffles is a good bet. Leader length is the 9 to 12 foot range ending in 7x can make all the difference in turning a follow into a take. Thanks to Keir Joyce for the wonderful photo of a Gunpowder River Brook trout and the following stream report from May 26th.

Guys,
Glad to see the shop is back open and I had hoped to swing this weekend, but got too caught up on the river.I wanted to pass along that I fished on Saturday and had a good amount of luck with a Copper John, wet flies, and copper bead midges. It fished really well and I was able to net a few browns, a rainbow, a brook, and a small mouth bass mid morning to after lunch.
Today I fished for most of the morning before the kayak traffic started to pick up. There was some risers that were reacting to more sulfur action and had a few takes with a gray/tan Caddis, but most of my luck was nymphing with a rainbow warrior that brought in a few good sized browns and one rainbow.

Keir

Please note: During the month of June, we will be opening at 8 AM every Saturday and Sunday for walk-in traffic and curbside pickup is still an option.

Memorial Day Hours & River Report

We will be open 10-4 Memorial Day Monday.

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.

Have a nice day everyone.

Opening for Curbside Pickup this Saturday the 16th

Following Baltimore County directive of the state’s reopening of retail business. We are starting contactless curbside pickup commencing tomorrow (5/16). We will be open normal hours 10-4.

To facilitate this and allow us time to put orders together this is how we’ll conducting business:

We encourage you to place your orders online for same day pickup before 3pm and state around what time you will be arriving. Please allow at least 20 minutes for us to prepare your order for pickup. We will bring your gear out to your car.

We can also accept phone orders to discuss specifics on items such as flies, leader, tippet. We still offer free shipping.

Please note: We are not able to accept cash payment, conduct instruction, guide trips or sell licenses at present.

Mid May Gunpowder Stream Report

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.

Spring Fish Stocking Report from MDDNR

We wanted to share this great news with you from the State. To date, the department has stocked 211,450 brown, golden, and rainbow trout across the state, at the locations listed below. Annual production at our hatcheries is about 300,000 trout. This completes trout stocking for the spring. Please obtain your fishing license here.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources conducted limited trout stocking throughout Maryland this spring in an effort to alleviate overcrowding at state fish hatcheries, and also provide opportunity for recreational anglers.

Following Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders to limit spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, state employees suspended all field activities, including regularly scheduled trout stocking.

Without the scheduled stocking, state hatcheries lacked room needed to continue production for future seasons, and as trout in these facilities continued to grow, they were at risk of higher mortality. Removing fish and stocking them into public waters became an urgent matter.

The department encourages anglers to take advantage of the incredible fishing opportunities Maryland has to offer, provided all practice social distancing, avoid crowded areas, and minimize social interaction.

Allegany County:
Battie Mixon: 1,500
Cotton Cove Pond: 600
Evitts Creek: 6,000
Fifteen Mile Creek: 3,700
Flintstone Creek: 1,000
Georges Creek: 500
Jennings Run: 4,500
N.B.P.R. Zero Creel: 1,900
North Jennings Run Watershed: 1,000
Rocky Gap: 4,400
Wills Creek: 5,500

Baltimore County:
Gunpowder Falls, Lower: 7,000
Gunpowder Falls, Upper: 3,000
Little Gunpowder Falls: 3,500
Patapsco River, Daniels: 2,000

Carroll County:
Farm Museum Pond: 1,200
South Branch Patapsco River: 1,400
South Branch Patapsco River. (Mariottsville Road): 2,500
South Branch Patapsco River (River Roa): 1,250
Taneytown Pond: 1,100

Cecil County:
Big Elk: 2,500
Howards Pond: 1,750
Rising Sun Pond: 1,100

Charles County:
Hughesville Pond: 300
Myrtle Grove: 2,000
Wheatley Lake: 2,500

Frederick County:
Brunswick Pond: 1,000
Carroll Creek: 1,000
Catoctin Creek Park: 500
Cunningham Falls Lake: 4,000
Fishing Creek: 1,000
Frank Bentz Pond: 1,000
Friends Creek: 2,500
Hamburg Pond: 500
Middle Creek: 4,700
Owens Creek: 3,000
Rainbow Lake: 2,500
Whiskey Springs Pond: 500

Garrett County:
Accident Pond: 1,500
Bear Creek: 9,000
Broadford Lake: 3,000
Casselman River:4,000
Deep Creek Lake: 7,400
Glades Park Pond: 1,000
Herrington Lake: 3,500
Jennings Randolph Lake: 6,000
Little Youghiogheny River: 2,000
Mill Run: 1,000
Muddy Creek: 1,800
North Branch Potomac River, Gorman: 600
North Branch Potomac River: Kitzmiller: 4,500
North Branch Potomac River:.Westernport: 5,000
Parkview Pond: 500
Piney Reservoir: 1,000
Savage Reservoir: 2,300
Savage River: 6,000
Snowy Creek: 1,000
Youghiogheny River: 2,100
Youghiogheny River, Friendsville: 2,000
Youghiogheny River, Oakland: 6,000

Harford County:
Deer Creek: 6,500
Forest Hill Pond: 500

Montgomery County:
Great Seneca Creek: 3,500
Izaak Walton Pond: 500
Lake Needwood: 1,500
Martin Luther King Jr. Pond: 1,400
Northwest Branch: 4,500
Patuxent River, Laurel: 1,000
Prince George’s County
Cosca Lake: 2,000
Lake Artemesia: 3,000
Laurel Lake: 600
Melwood Pond: 250
Queen Anne’s County
Unicorn Branch: 500

Washington County:
Antietam Creek: 2,000
Beaver Creek: 6,500
Blairs Valley: 6,500
Greenbrier Lake: 4,000
Indian Springs Pond: 500
Israel Creek: 2,500
Licking Creek: 3,000
Little Antietam Creek: 1,500
Little Tonoloway Creek: 300
Little Tonoloway Creek, Upper: 300
Sharpsburg Pond: 500
Sideling Hill Creek : 1,000

Recreational Fishing Reopened in Maryland

Some good cheer in announcing that restrictions have loosened a bit in Maryland to allow recreational fishing again. 

In addition from tomorrow (Saturday the 9th) some reservoirs including Prettyboy, Loch Raven and Liberty will open up for fishing for those abiding by CDC regulations.

We are still offering online orders with free shipping. Ten percent off Gift Certificates whilst the shop is restricted from allowing customers in.

Time to enjoy some spring fishing! Stay well out there.

Please Note: We are prohibited from curbside pickup under current state regulations. 

Catch and Release Fishing and Boating Closed Statewide in Maryland

Here is the latest Covid-19 update from DNR from Wednesday April 8, 2020. Governor Larry Hogan has issued an executive order on March 30, 2020, which institutes a Stay at Home directive and says that no Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes.

While the order does allow for outdoor exercise recreation, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reaffirming the need for members of the public who engage in outdoor recreation to follow all rules and guidelines in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Hogan has stressed that safely practiced outdoor recreation time is essential to health and well-being. Most Maryland state parks and other public lands remain open, and residents may engage in safe, isolated activities.

Under the executive order, no Marylander should leave their home except for an essential reason. Therefore, recreational boating is not allowed. Subsistence hunting and fishing — limited hunting and limited recreational fishing and crabbing for sustenance — can continue, however social distancing must be adhered to strictly. No permits for fishing tournaments, including virtual tournaments, will be issued by the department until further notice. Commercial fishing is deemed essential and may continue since it is part of the food supply chain.

FAQ About Governor Hogans Stay At Home Order Related To Fishing

We’ve been getting many calls with questions on how the stay at home order affects their fishing and recreational pursuits. Whilst we’re not in a position to give an opinion on it we have asked for further clarification. As for now here is the latest from them.

March 31, 2020

Governor Hogan has issued a Stay at Home Order in response to the global COVID-19 public health crisis. While there are certain exceptions for essential functions, the primary intent of the order is for people to stay at home in order to limit the spread of the virus.

With that in mind, here is some additional guidance in response to questions the department has received. This is current guidance and subject to change throughout the duration of the public health emergency.

Can I go fishing?

Limited fishing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but the social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

Can I go boating?

Recreational boating is prohibited until the governor lifts the executive order or until the State of Emergency has ended. However, if an individual is boating to seek food for them or their family, boating is permitted. Boats used to transport essential employees or goods as defined in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce are also permitted.

Does kayaking or paddle boarding count as recreational boating?

Since kayaking and paddle boarding are a form of exercise, they are permitted under the executive order. Guidance on social distancing and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

Can I go to a state park?

Hiking, biking, and walking are allowed under the executive order but social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. Most state parks are open but some have been closed or have restricted areas. Please choose a park nearest your home to limit travel and be sure to check our website before you leave for the park and read our guidelines for social distancing in state parks. Natural Resources Police and Maryland Park Service rangers are authorized to enforce the governor’s executive order and will close areas and disperse crowds as necessary.

Can you fish in a state park?

Limited fishing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but the social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

Can you fish/crab from a boat if it is for sustenance?

Limited recreational fishing and crabbing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed.

For the page in full here is the link: https://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2020/03/31/frequently-asked-questions-about-governor-hogans-stay-at-home-order/

 

Maryland Fly Fishing Gear Curbside Pickup Halted

OK folks, as they say, we’re all in this together. Stay well. Thank you for your patronage. The shop would not exist as a small retail specialty shop without your loyalty, kindness and friendship. We wish nothing more but for you and your families to stay healthy and happy.

While we greatly appreciate that many of our loyal and quite a few new customers were able to get out on the Gunpowder River during opening day weekend and take part in our curbside pickup offerings, today’s order COVID19-07 from the Governor’s office halts our curbside pickup. The silver lining being that people will be safer at home. We can still sell products on a delivery basis and for that reason have waived all priority mail shipping costs from orders placed during this time. If you can’t find what you need in the catalog please call us at 410-357-9557 and please let us know what you need.

We have instead instituted website https://www.backwaterangler.com/shop/ and phone ordering 410-357-9557 during regular business hours.

We will not be updating stream reports at this time-however please view the archives in the sidebar to get a sense of how the river has historically fished during the 19 years we’ve freely shared our knowledge of the River by visiting and scrolling down the sidebar of the Backwater Angler website. Need a break? One suggestions would be to use the search by typing in Hendricksons or March Browns to get a glimpse of what we’ve been reporting on…

We do not have flies on the website for sale individually and so have grouped fly selections based on river location and category. i.e. Dries, Nymphs, and Streamers Euro Nymphs.

We suggest that you call the shop at 410-357-9557 to place fly orders. We will ship any order free freight USPS priority mail during this time. Please email the shop or check the stream report if you need additional guidance.

For online orders over $25, customers can choose between a pack of Patagonia Provisions Mellow Curry Savory Seeds or Classic Barbecue Savory Seeds
a Patagonia Provisions Inca Berry and Almond Bar, Mango and Almond Bar or an Apricot and Almond Bar.