Author Archives: Theaux Le Gardeur

Keep a Tight Line this December on the Gunpowder

Gunpowder Wild BrownThe Gunpowder is at 74.4 cfs, clear and starting the day 44.5 degrees F. With the drop in air temperatures the fishing has been tricky on the Gunpowder. That said, fish are being caught, particularly for those anglers willing to tight line nymph. Jim Czawlytko enjoyed two snowy days of fishing over the weekend on the Gunpowder and got into plenty of wild brown trout. Jim found the action was on size 20 grey wd40 midges and size 22 pheasent tail nymphs. Fished with a tungsten beaded jig nymph on the point, which also caught fish. When the going gets cold, getting down to the bottom of the river is neccessery and czech nymphing is the most effective means of achieving this whilsts detecting delicate takes. As the afternoon wears on try a small streamer in the slacker water and back eddies.

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 the 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

Fly Fishing the Gunpowder River

Thanks to Bryan Donoway for the stream report and photos:

The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 40 Cfs and is 46F. Most have found fly fishing the Gunpowder challenging during the past few bright days. Sometimes a longer leader and 7x makes all the difference in the flat water.

The Gunpowder is Flowing at 42 CFS and temps are ranging from 46- 48 degrees. With the past weekends mild weather, active fish could were rising throughout the catch and release sections of the river.

During a recent outing below the York Road access, fish could be found rising to midges in the slower sections. With the appearance of stoneflies along the river, try fishing a brown or black caddis (size 16-18) imitation with a Griffiths gnat dropper to draw some strikes.Fishing streamer patterns with a slow and erratic retrieve will draw some attention of hungry trout. Also, with cold weather approaching don’t be afraid of fishing a mouse pattern tight to the banks and retrieved steady and slow in a downstream and across presentation may surprise you. The trout above slammed a mouse pattern after the first slow strip.

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.
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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.

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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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Fishpond Accessories in Maryland

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We have just received a shipment of Fishpond gear to Backwater Angler! Fishponds range of gear is comfortable, practical and built to last. Furthermore much of their fabric is made out of recycled industrial nylon waste turning it into quality products.

Much of the success of Fishpond’s innovative products is attributable to the passion that we share with our loyal customers for the outdoors and the habitat that drives our inspiration. Together, we practice responsible stewardship and believe that every small act counts.
We call it the “Ripple Effect”- the collective impact of individuals performing in an environmentally conscious manner and leading to lasting change-in thinking, in deeds and in results.
Fishpond is looking for ways to reduce our footprint on the environment, and with this new line of products made from 40-100% nylon recycled commercial fishing net, an industry first, our customer can participate in the process of inspiring others about the importance of a sustainable planet. Conservation of our natural world is a shared responsibility. With each step forward, each new ripple we create, we move closer to becoming a brand that embodies a vision for a healthy and sustainable environment. As in every facet of life, none of us can do everything, but each of us can do something.

Fishpond’s nomad nets are some of the lightest, strongest nets on the market, with a range of handle lengths to cater to your netting requirements.

We have the following accessories in stock:
Headgate tippet holder $19.95
Piopod (pack it out pod) $12.95
Dryshake bottle holder $8.95
Confluence net release $29.95
Floatant holder $8.95

Gunnison Guide Pack $129.95
Summit Sling Bag $99.95
Waterdance Guide Pack $99.95
Emcampment Lumbar Pack $89.95

Nomad Native Net original $125.95
Nomad Emerger Net $149.95
Nomad Mid Length Net $159.95

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Little Black Stoneflies on the Gunpowder River

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The Gunpowder river is low and clear. It is flowing at 40 CFS and is 50F. Little black stoneflies or winter stones are now making their appearance along the banks of the Gunpowder. This photo, (thanks Jennie!)shows one of dozens that were found along a river bridge abutment this afternoon. Rainbows that were stocked in October along Upper and Lower Glencoe, Sparks and Phoenix Road access points are still being found up to 11 miles upstream in the catch and release section. Small prince nymphs and aug bugs are worth a shot. Try nymphing with 5x tippet and very little weight. Small traditional streamers are also worth a shot.

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