Late August Gunpowder River Fly Fishing Report

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 30 Cfs, is clear, and is ranging from 52 to 58 F at Falls Rd. In the past month, we’ve had some tough fishing on the Gunpowder River owing to low flows and lots of high, sunny days. ¬†The fishing should improve as we move into fall. In the past couple of weeks I have been fishing a Chernobyl Ants sized #14-16 with a small, #18-20 BWO dropper 12-16 inches off the back with Trout Hunter tippet such as 5x-7x on these hopper/dropper rigs. Longer leaders, such as a 10-12 footers will help keep the fly line out of the fishes line of sight. As stated in some earlier posts, the High N’ Dry products are doing an excellent job of keeping dry flies on the surface where they are most effective.



August hours

We will be adjusting our August Hours as follows:

Thursday the 18th and Friday the 19th, the shop will be opening at 11:00 AM.

The shop will be closed from August 24th-27th and will reopen on Saturday the 28th.

High ‘N Dry Fishing Products


The new High N Dry products have been spectacular. The new brush applicator has worked perfectly to get each an every part of the fly. The super fine powder coats the brush and fly well, absorbing the water after catching a few fish or keeping the fly dry to begin with.

The High N Dry gel floatant has been the new go-to for the shop. Paired with the powdered floatant, you can guarantee a moisture free fly for quite a while. When the water is low, your first cast is more important than ever, so a properly floating fly can make or break whether the fish rises or not.

Below is a chart provided by High N Dry showing their findings on the water absorption of different products. You can see they are among the best on the market.










High N Dry Gel Floatant

High N Dry Powdered Floatant and Desiccant

High N Dry Powdered Floatant with Applicator Brush

Airflo Fly Lines In-Stock

Airflo’s newest run of fly lines have been effective for everyone at the shop. Our two favorites, the Universal taper and the Tactical taper, are great options for anyone going out trout fishing. With the peak of summer passing, now is the time to replace a beaten up line from the past season.

The Universal taper is the go-to for most fisherman. The Universal taper provides enough delicacy to fish small dry flies but has a thick enough head to turn over some bigger indicators rigs or hopper-droppers. The Universal will suit most rods very well, and should be the line you can take out fishing wherever.

Airflo SuperFlo Universal Taper

The Tactical taper is the most delicate of the lines Airflo offers. The best uses for this line is certainly with a standard or small dry fly. The very gradual taper will be perfect for low water conditions and fishing slower pools where fish often spook easily. This line best suits slower action rods, but will still load a moderate to fast action rod well.

Airflo SuperFlo Tactical Taper

Higher Flows in Late July


Note: As of 7/23, the water has dropped back to 30 CFS. While our tactics are still the same, be careful to limit your wading.

With thunderstorms hitting the area quite often this past week, the city raised the flows to 50 CFS. Although this may not seem like a significant jump, the added water will give the fish more security and more food to eat. Unlike other creeks and rivers in the mid-Atlantic, the Gunpowder has stayed cool through the heat and low water, with temperatures swinging from 50-55 degrees through the day. Fishing terrestrials have been the most successful method lately. Lots of fish looking for the bigger beetles, ants and even hoppers throughout the Gunpowder. Stop in the shop to pick up some of the many terrestrial patterns we have.

Nymphing will be more effective now that the water is higher. The added flows will allow you to get closer to the fish, but you should still limit your wading. The best water to nymph is often close to big structure or current. Even with added flow, the smaller mayfly and midge imitations have worked the best.

New Terrestrial Box Bundle

It is the peak of summer and its time to fish Terrestrials! Backwater Angler has selected some of their favorite ant, beetle and small hopper patterns to fill a box for a beginner getting into fishing or a veteran looking to add some great summer patterns to the box.

The Umpqua’s LT Mini Foam Box is filled with 10 patterns, with 3 of each pattern for a total of 30 terrestrial flies. From a small CDC ant to a Chubby Chernobyl hopper this box will cover all bases for your terrestrials.

With this Box Bundle, you save just over 10 dollars at the price of 88.76

Backwater Angler’s Personalized Terrestrial Box

Mid-July Fly Fishing Report


A foggy July morning on the Gunpowder.

This past week the water has dropped down to our low summer flows at 30 cfs and is swinging from 50-58 degrees as the day goes on. Fishing has been particularly good in the morning before the water starts to heat up. Fishing a caddis in the riffles and faster water has been effective, while targeting the banks and structure with terrestrials has brought up fish for many. One of the most effective methods to fish this time of year is a dry-dropper. A midge or small mayfly imitation dropped off the back of a caddis or beetle allows you to effectively nymph but staying subtle enough to not spook the fish you’re targeting.

If you are really itching to nymph, tight-line nymphing is the way to go. A hefty indicator can often spook fish this time of year, so by getting rid of it you increase your likelihood of getting some fish to net. Targeting the faster runs and deeper pools will also increase your chances and will allow you to still get close to those fish in the low water.

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Saturday, the 17th of July, 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 9:00 AM-12:00 PM. 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 on the day of the school. Please consider looking at the state license portal online at to streamline the process of getting to the river on the day of the class. Call us if you have any difficulties with that. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.

July Clothing sale

A Christmas in July! We are having a sale for 50% off of all clothing in the store through the month of July in-store only-no special orders! This includes all jackets, shirts, pants, and socks; However, waders, boots and hats are still at full price. Come in and pick up some great clothing!

Backwater Angler will be closed on Sunday, July 4th for the Holiday, but will be open everyday of the week besides Tuesday and Wednesday for the rest of the month. Have a safe 4th!