Category Archives: fishing report

for river related condition reports

Ants, Winston and Abel for Father’s Day

IMG_0130-2The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at a near perfect 75 Cfs and is in the mid 50’s F throughout most of the day. Thanks to Gene for the great shot of Backwater Angler Staffer Carl Cartier showing how to handle a solid Brown trout in a bend pool on the Gunpowder with a short Leonard and a long leader. The last of the Sulphurs can be found above Falls Rd each evening. If you are starting earlier, Ants and caddis are worth a shot. Be sure to stop in a pick up a few parachute ants and some 7x tippet. We have lots of Happy Father’s day items – from 5 piece Winston LT Fly Rods to Abel Zingers. Check out our new long-sleeved button down embroidered Backwater Angler logo shirts. When all else fails, gift certificates are always a sure bet and a walk in the woods along the river is priceless.
Please note Shop Hours Father’s Day weekend are:
10 till 5 on Friday
10 till 4 on Saturday and Sunday

Fly Fishing on the North Branch of the Potomac

Summer seemed to arrive almost overnight a couple of weeks back, whilst freestone streams can struggle with warm water, tailwaters continue to produce great fishing opportunities. I fished out in western Maryland earlier this month on the Savage and the North branch of the Potomac. Both tailwaters like the Gunpowder – but aside from that they offer much different fishing experiences. I floated with guide Tony Lohr from Savage River Outfitters down a spectacular section of the North Branch downstream from Westernport. This was my first float and it was an experience to remember! In this fast, heavy water a 5 to 6 weight rod is ideal and the raft allows you to fish the best of the river that otherwise can’t be reached.

Whilst nymphs and streamer were catching fish, the dry fly fishing from midafternoon until dark was outstanding. The rainbows in this river gave the strongest fight from a trout that I have ever encountered and going any lighter than 4x is both unnecessary and too weak to properly handle these fish. The icing on the cake was an 18-inch brown trout that annihilated a streamer on what ended as the last cast.

– Gene

Please note we have the following rods in stock ready to cast from:
Scott – 9′ 6wt Radian and Meridian, 9′ 5wt Flex
R. L. Winston – 8′ 6″ 5wt WT and 8′ 9″ 5wt LT
G. Loomis – 9′ 5wt NRX LP, 9′ 5wt Pro 4x and 8′ 6″ 6wt Shorestalker
St. Croix – 9′ 6wt Bank Robber, 9′ and 8′ 6″ 5wt Imperial

brown trout

Sulphurs, Caddis and Olives on the Gunpowder

IMG_2542The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at 85 CFS and 63 F. The cold front headed in before Preakness should cool things down a bit over the weekend. We’re hoping for more shade coupled with evening temperatures that might prompt a spinner fall. Look for tiny BWO’s in the backeddies and slack water and caddis in the riffles. Sulphurs in the #14 range are present throughout the River mid-afternoon on. If you’re getting an early start try a #16 partridge and yellow followed by an unweighted pheasant tail.

Sulphurs and Caddis on the Gunpowder

Gunpowder Wild Brown Trout
The Gunpowder is flowing 147 CFs, is 56 degrees F and is clearing.Thanks to Gene for the stream report and to Ethan for the great photo of a wild Gunpowder Brown caught and released on a caddis. We have guides available next week. Call the shop at 410-357-9557 to reserve one today-don’t wait until June to fish the Sulphur hatch!

Flows on the river have been perfect for fishing. Fish have been stacked in the riffles looking for food. Sulphurs have been coming off starting in the morning and continuing on and off until the evening. Air temperatures have not been high enough to bring on any large spinner falls but the emergers and duns are keeping the trout occupied. Cloudy days often bring size 20 blue winged out to hatch. Caddis also have been coming off through the day that many of the fish are keyed into. Fish for these using x-caddis size 14-16. Enjoy the conditions whilst they last!

Great Streamer Water on the Gunpowder River

Thanks to Gene for the stream report and photos. We have Airflo polyleaders in stock that will make the difference when swinging flies in fat water. The River will be clearing by Sunday.Limit your wading and don’t wade across the River if you can help it. Watch out for boaters this weekend as flows are high for safe paddling. New jams can be found throughout the River from Bunkerhill downstream to the NCR trail Bridge below Corbett so it’s best to scout the river on foot prior to any float to check out portaging spots.

The Gunpowder is flowing at 285 cfs and temperature is a little under 60 F. The river is off color and high this weekend but as it drops the streamer fishing is the way to go, try dead drifting wooly buggers, or stripping them in slacker water. Nymphing will work too but using heavy patterns to get the flies down to the fish.


Caddis on the Gunpowder River


The Gunpowder is clear, flowing at an ideal 116Cfs and is 59.5 F. A mixed hatch of the last of the Hendricksons, Sulfurs, Quills and Caddis. Don’t postpone joy! Gi fly fishing this weekend.Thanks to Gene for the stream report and photos:

Plenty of fish have been caught on hendricksons on the top the past two weeks from noon through the afternoon. Sulphurs will catch fish in the upper river around masemore to the dam. Caddis size 16’s have been effective during the day between masemore and big falls, emergers are working great in the riffles, swinging wet flies such as hares ear wets or partridge and orange soft hackles. The fish are really active and with ideal water temperatures the fishing is about as good as one could want for the time of year.


Easter Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder River is clear, low at 30 Cfs and 58 degrees.Thanks to Gene for the great stream report and great shot of a wild brown with a Sulfur Comparadun.

March Brown and Hendricksons have been coming off the past few days from Masemore through to Big Falls. Trout have been looking to the surface in the afternoon through the evening. Pheasant tail nymphs are still the ticket in the faster water along with soft hackles and hares ear wets. Sulphurs are still to be found from Masemore up to the dam and you can use emergers and CDC duns to match the hatch. Mike Bachkosky’s snowshoe rabbit emergers, unusuals and red quill parachutes have been working fantastically.

Please note: We will be closed Easter Sunday-find an egg or find a wild fish!

Clear Water in the Gunpowder after Heavy Rain

The Gunpowder River is clear flowing at 37 CFs and is 48 degrees F. Thanks to Gene for the stream report!

Heavy rain yesterday saw Little Falls rise to 2500 cfs. Downstream from where it joins the main stem of the Gunpowder saw levels of almost 3000 cfs – 2 feet above the flood level.

Whilst the upper Gunpowder was stained yesterday and high with surface runoff from roads, levels quickly fell back to normal overnight and its back to 38cfs and clear by today. For the weekend nice temperatures and sunshine should bring out more Sulphurs and Hendricksons in the catch and release sections of the river. Look to fish the faster water with pheasent tail nymphs and emergers size 12-14 and you’ll encounter feeding trout.

Mayflies in March on the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 32Cfs and is 47 degrees F. Thanks to Gene for the great stream report and photos!

As we end March on the Gunpowder march browns and hendricksons are hatching. However what is most unusual is the fact that sulphurs size 14-16 are hatching alongside them, mainly in the upper sections of the river. The mayflies are being picked off by trout of all sizes from the nymphs in the morning, emergers to the duns by the afternoon. The low flows mean that long leaders and 6-7x tippet are required for presenting a dry fly. Don’t wait until June to fly fish sulphurs this year!
–Gene Howson


Warmer Water Temps and Active Trout on the Gunpowder River


The Gunpowder River is clear and flowing at 38 CFs. Water temps this week have been swinging as high as 48 degrees F. Wind has been the only detractor. Thanks to Gene for the stream report and photos.

Spring is around the corner & with the pleasant spells in weather we’ve been having dry fly fishing has been particularly productive on the Gunpowder. Small grey midge patterns are the go-to when fish are rising. Nymphing in riffles has been been consistent on zebra midges and brassies. Darin Crew caught this healthy looking 13 inch fish doing just that. I have been fishing streamers recently, stripping them slowly tricked this 15 inch fish that ate a black and green wooly bugger.