Category Archives: fishing report

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Fall Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder

IMG_1144The Gunpowder River is a little green and flowing at 90 Cfs and is 55.5 F. Many fishing this week have been surprised by the excellent flows and ideal water temperatures to fly fish for wild brown trout. BWo’s and small midges have been coming off mid morning in the flats up and downstream of Masemore Rd. Parking has been tight at the upper and lower lots at Falls rd in the past week as many folks are out “leaf watching” so a full parking lot does not denote a river full of fly fishers. Streamers on a sink tip are a good bet in the boulder pools and this weekend may be the last real shot at throwing large terrestrials like madame x’s and Rainy’s hopper patterns.

Streamers and Nymphs in the Rain on the Gunpowder River

Alex and Gray with a Gunpowder Brown

The Gunpowder River is clear, 53 degrees F. and has just dropped in flow from 104 Cfs to 48 CFS. I spent a very enjoyable morning fishing with Tom. We saw a Great Blue Heron, Kingfishers and a Bald Eagle and plenty of fish rising to tricos and a few caddis. That said, water temps have dropped a bit and nymphing might be a better approach through the weekend. Tiny BWO’s and zebra midges-the smaller the better as leaves are starting to drop. This time of year Terrestrials fished among the leaves is always a good bet.

Thanks to Alex McCrickard for the excellent (per usual) stream report and photos of his family fishing the Gunpowder!

Greg, Gray, and I got out on the river for a few hours Saturday morning. The 127 cfs flow is perfect right now. We caught fish in the rainy weather on nymphs and streamers. A few fish were taken on a size # 16 bead head caddis pupa. Fish were also aggressively chasing, rolling, and swiping at our streamers.

Greg at the Falls Rd Riffle

We landed a handful of wild browns in the 7 to 10 inch range and I was able to land one large brown at the end of the morning.The larger brown was 15 inches and inhaled my streamer as it came off the bank. The fish fought hard and put a good bend in my 6wt.MAn, I miss living 20 minutes from the Gunpowder. You really take it for granted when you live in Baltimore.

Alex with a solid Wild Brown

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School on October 23

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, October 23, 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 10:00 AM till 1:00 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 with check or cash the day of the school. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.

Clear water and Wild Fish on the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 127 Cfs and is 56.5 degrees F. With flows now dropping a bit after the rains this week, large streamers on a sink-tip have been working fine in the tailouts, bend pools and logjams. No need to fish 6x, bring your rain jacket and enjoy the fall weather along a River that supports wild fish and is surrounded by 2,500 acres of State park!

Thanks to Gene for the stream report, photo and a Yorkshire take on the gloomy weather.

The high, consistent flow the past week at around 130 cfs have been producing excellent subsurface fishing with nymphs and streamers being extremely effective. Using big, sometimes flashy, streamers will catch the attention of some larger fish which have a taste for baitfish. A 16 inch brown trout I caught last week which coughed up a 4 inch fall fish after I netted him. Using Henrys Sinket from Loon has helped get my streamer down into the lower water column faster. Keep an eye out on weather patterns if you plan to go downstream from little falls as water levels can increase without much notice. Enjoy the beautiful rainy weather now it’s finally here!

Great Flows and Ideal Water Temperatures along the Gunpowder River

Gunpowder River Brown

The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 127 Cfs and is 57.5 degrees F. With flows up, heavy streamers and large terrestrials have been the ticket. Large nymphs such as Red Fox Squirrel and Hare’s Ear nymphs have been working fine in the riffles provided one puts on enough deep soft weight to slow them down.

Thanks to Gene for the stream report and photo!

It has been a week of fluctuating flows on the river due to low levels in Loch Raven demanding more water from Prettyboy dam along with daily spells of low flow Monday to Wednesday for annual electroshocking surveys. The DNR surveys produced positive results for both the dynamics of large and small fish and a very healthy number of juvenile fish indicating the stream is as healthy as ever. I joined them on two of the days seeing firsthand the sheer numbers and size of some of the streambred brown trout was fascinating. Since Thursday the flow has been steadied at the 100 cfs mark allowing for great flows downstream of falls road and consistent flows should make for excellent conditions over this weekend whilst the trees cling to their leaves for the final few weeks of the year. Fishing with streamers will be effective, especially in the evening. Caddis emergers have been reported as being very effective and tricos are still present in the morning. Ants and hoppers will catch fish still. Nymphs are extremely productive now with the larger volume of water passing through.

Slightly Higher Flows in the Gunpowder River

Upper Gunpowder River
The Gunpowder River has come up from 32 CFS and is now flowing at 51 Cfs and is 54 degrees F. With football in full swing folks in the know are getting out early to enjoy some great and challenging dry fly fishing.

Please Note: The shop will open at 8AM tomorrow for those wanting to get an early start!

Thanks to Gene for the stream report and great photos.

The relentless heat of summer is behind us and it’s a beautiful time to be out on the river. I have been fishing nymphs a lot, catching plenty of brown and rainbow trout in the 8-12 inch range, with a few 14-15 inch fish. Larger fish are beginning to show themselves so it’s worth fishing streamers too. Yesterday evening I had the stream to myself upstream from falls road and found the fish eager to whack a black wooly bugger and grey ghost. If you’re looking for hatches, trico’s are still hatching in the morning, downstream of Masemore to big falls, between 9-11 in the morning. Evening midge hatches upstream from Falls road in the evening are also common.

Gunpowder River Wild Brown

Labor Day Weekend Fly Fishing with Tricos over Low, Clear Water on the Gunpowder River

Flies, Muffin Tins and MapsThe Gunpowder River is flowing at 32 CFs, is 52 degrees F and is clear at Masemore Rd. Tricos are still making an appearance during the morning hours and hoppers, ants and beetles have been working fine in the afternoon. For a better chance of catching fish without spooking them skate a caddis in the meadow stretches at Masemore and Bunkerhill and try the bend pools below York through Big Falls and Bluemount. Stop in and choose from a baker’s dozen (buy twelve get one free) or take advantage of our Trico special (buy 12 and get a spool of 8x free) on flies this weekend. Little Falls has been acting flashy with bigger flows and muddy water after recent rainfall events-with rain in the forecast stick to the catch and release section unless you’re looking for larger fish moving upstream from the two fish a day and five fish a day sections. Fly Fishing the lower River calls for covering more ground and slightly heavier gear. Be careful wading and don’t leave home without a sink-tip, streamer that will result in larger but fewer fish to hand.
Labor Day Weekend hours:
Saturday 8 till 4
Sunday 10 till 4
Monday 10 till 2

Wild Fish and Clear, Cool Water on the Gunpowder River

Gunpowder River at York RdThe Gunpowder River is clear, low and flowing at 32 CFs and is 55 degrees F. Tricos are about at York Rd. and Masemore Rd. access points each morning. Try a Letort Cricket on a 9ft 6x leader and drop a size #20-22 Al’s Trico about 18 inches behind the cricket. We have plenty of Mike Bachkosky’s reverse-hackled Al’s Trico’s in the muffin tins. This time of year, the lower river below Sparks might be up to 15 degrees warmer than the catch and release section. Small streamers in sizes #8 through #12 are worth a shot if you’d like to cover more water in the bend pools. Try tiny cream midges in the Falls Rd section or a hopper-dropper style rig in the boulder pools substituting a foam ant followed by a zebra midge. Low water conditions can can make for challenging fishing but consistently cool water temps make the Gunpowder a safe bet for fly fishing the Mid-Atlantic through August.

Please note: The shop will open tomorrow at 8 AM for those wanting to get an early jump on the Tricos!

Gunpowder River at York Rd

Low, Clear Water and Terrestrials on the Gunpowder

Chunky  Wild BrownThe Gunpowder river is clear, low at 32 CFS and warming up at 58 F. Bright sun and burning hot days has made the fly fishing quite challenging. Thanks to Gene for the stream report and great photos:

After a brief spell of 80 cfs flows the dam has reduced the flow to the mid 30’s yesterday morning. Long leaders and small dry flies have been still been tempting plenty of fish in the faster water. Small caddis patterns and ants (size 18) are great go-to flies all day long.

Lower Catch And Release of the Gunpowder

5, 000 New Rainbows in the Catch and Release section of the Gunpowder River

Rainbow in hand

The Gunpowder River is clear upstream of Bluemount road, flowing at an ideal 78 CFs and is 55 degrees. Fish are taking terrestrials, small streamers and midge patterns. Five-thousand (5,000) fingerling rainbows were stocked in the upper catch and release section in the past two weeks.

Thanks to Gene for the following stream report and photos:

Since Friday, the flow has been bumped up from the mid 40’s to the 80 cfs mark, providing much greater fishing opportunities. The water temperature in the upper sections ranging from 50-55 through the day. At time of year, with temperatures being well in the 90’s, its often best to give the lower sections a miss due to high water temperature and lots of river traffic from others enjoying the river.

The fishing is most consistent in the morning. Bigger fish are falling readily for an opportunistic hopper or beetle. I’ve been catching more rainbows than usual lately, including a large one which was 17 inches long. Many fish will be tempted by caddis (size 16-18) and midges. I like using small streamers like sculpin patterns, wooley buggers and traditional’s like grey ghosts and Mickey Finns, being effective when fished up against any structure. As we enter August, keep an eye out for tricos as well in the morning.


Rainbow in Flow