Category Archives: fishing report

for river related condition reports

Better Water Levels on the Gunpowder River

The river is slowly dropping from 254 cfs, and is clear with a green tint to it and warming up to 46 degrees F.

The Gunpowder looks beautiful at the moment. The level has fallen to a much improved volume for both wading and fishing but is still on the high side. Early season stoneflies size 16 are coming off throughout the river and the trout will be looking up for these typically by early afternoon. Midges are hatching in thick numbers, especially upstream from Masemore road but the fish are predominantly eating the pupa subsurface, with the levels still being unseasonably high. In  the slower pools you can find some sipping midge emergers. Pheasent tail and hares ear nymphs size 14-18 are producing in the riffles now this years mayfly nymphs are starting to stir. On cloudy days and/or early morning or evenings streamers are definitely worth a shot.

The Gunpowder is Blown Out! Let us help you prepare for the upcoming season this weekend.

After almost an inch and a half of rain yesterday through last night resulted in the Gunpowder cresting at 1700 cfs at Falls Road. It’s now at 1500 cfs, slowly dropping and heavily stained. Best put off fishing for a while until it drops to a safer level. Streamer fishing from the bank can be productive at around 400 cfs but I wading is not recommended until it’s under 300 cfs. Remember all of Little Falls is closed from any forms of fishing until Sunday March 31st.

The wet weather trend of last year looks like it isn’t leaving anytime soon! So we have a great selection of fully waterproof, submersible packs from both Fishpond and Patagonia. Be ready for rain when you’re out on the water this season & keep your valuables nice and dry.


March Fishing Report on the Gunpowder

The river at Falls road is flowing at a steady 214 cfs. The water temperature is now climbing above 40 degrees F at Falls road.
Prettyboy reservoir has been spilling over since last summer and with the ground completely swollen any rainfall occurring above the dam causes the Gunpowder to rise. Before planning a trip look at the USGS gauge at Falls Road. If it’s above 250cfs, it’s tough to wade. With this continuous high water many anglers have been throwing streamers but with the water still being cold and insects starting to stir, if you fish small nymphs and midges in the back eddies and softer water around some structure, you’re more likely to catch more fish. A nice benefit from the high flows is that didymo hasn’t managed to take hold as much, especially when compared to last year. For those wanting to fish dries, you can find fish rising to blue winged olives size 18 and midges size 20 in slow runs in the afternoon through the catch and release section especially on warmer days. Particularly from Bunker Hill downstream little black stoneflies size 16 have began hatching, this should provide some great dry fly fishing in the coming weeks from now. We have some excellently tied stoneflies for skating in the riffles and snowshoe midges from Mike Bachkosky that will be just the ticket this early spring.
Note: The lower river in the Put and Take section on the Gunpowder & Little Falls are closed to any fishing whilst the state stocks them with rainbow trout. Fishing reopens in these areas on Sunday, March the 31st.

February Report on the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder is clear, 240 cfs and 40 degrees F.

This winter 300 cfs has became the new normal on the Gunpowder, these high levels have limited good fishing opportunities.  When the river is at this level the water temperature doesn’t climb much even on a sunny or mild day – bad news for those looking to find fish rising to midges. Trout will eat a slowly worked streamer or a midge pupa, pheasant tail or prince nymph dead drifted close to the bottom. Given the river volume and temperature getting your fly down to the bottom is important as the fish won’t generally move much. The trout in the Gunpowder are in great shape post spawn and some beautiful fish are being caught by those willing to work for them.

With snow thawing out the trails are very slippery so take care getting in the river. Wading staff and studs in your boots are recommended to keep your footing in these higher flows.

If you’ve been out lately on the Gunpowder submit a fishing report and photos to, we’d love to share your experiences on the website. Thanks!

Streamer Fishing in Maryland?

Maryland Streamer Fishing

Streamer fishing in Maryland? These beauties including Near Nuff Sculpins, Supper Buggers, Baby Gongas and Slump Busters are ready for a swim! The Gunpowder River is at a steady 245 Cfs and warming to right at 40 degrees. Bring along a sink-tip and some studs and focus on the wood and any jams that you can find. Limit your wading watch those muddy banks-especially while getting in and out and enjoy sunshine and milder weather while it lasts…

Streamer Fishing in Maryland

Year End Gunpowder Fishing Report

The Gunpowder is at 245 cfs, clear and 43 degrees F.

Update 11 am 12/28. Gauge at Falls road is at 440 cfs and rising, with more rain forecast through this afternoon. Remember level over 300 cfs are unsafe for wading, keep it to the banks!

The river is in good shape. Gradually the flows have came down to a more optimal level for wading and fishing. Backwater Angler Guide Bryan Donoway & I fished yesterday and found a good amount of fish rising for blue winged olives and midges along the banks, in the back eddies and softer water. Nymphing was especially productive with small pheasent tails, miracle nymphs, hares ear and zebra midges accounting for a plenty of feisty brown trout. With wetter weather around the corner, streamer fishing should be the ticket once again.

It’s that time for renewing licenses, we’ll be here normal hours including New Years Eve, stop by for some friendly advice and some flies that will help get you some fish in the net.

We also have a good amount of Filson Cold Weather Hats, Tin Packer Hats & Insulated TIn Cloth hats that we are selling at 35% off. Pick one up while stocks last!


December Fishing Report on the Gunpowder

The river is at 182 cfs and 44 degrees F.

Water levels have gradually fallen to a better level for fly fishing. Streamers are working well, with the recent high water the trout are spread out. There are plenty of tiny white midges hatching, especially in the deeper boulder pools, on warmer afternoons you can find risers in the softer water sipping emergers. If wading watch out for redds as there are lots of them throughout the catch and release section and please don’t fish for the trout on them.

Anyone fishing Masemore lately lost a rod tip for a Winston? We have it safely behind the counter.


Holiday Hours at Backwater Angler

Need a break from the home front this week? We have some great sales this week in store only. We will be open this Tuesday and Wednesday 10 – 2 both days and will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving. Open again normal hours on Friday. 

The river is at 290 cfs and gradually dropping. Water temperature is at 52 degrees F and the water is clear.

The river is quite full and many fish are spawning so please take care when wading. Since the air and water temperature have dropped recently the fishing has been quite slow. However now the river is coming  down to a better level for fishing and we’re experiencing some milder, still days – this fishing should be easier this week.

Enjoy the turkey dinner & hope you get out to catch a trout or 2!



Midges and Olives on the Gunpowder

The Gunpowder is at 131 cfs, 60 degrees F and is carrying a green tint to it as Prettyboy reservoir turns over.

The fishing is great at the moment. The mild weather has a lot of fish looking up. Trout are eating cream midges and blue winged olives after mid day through until evening. Flying ants are also working well in this blustery warm weather.

Enjoy the weather whilst it lasts!

Fall Colors and Spillover on the Gunpowder

Currently the Gunpowder is at 89 cfs, 58 degrees F and rising.

The dam is pulling water at 30 cfs and the reservoir is over capacity, leading to spillover. With rain on the way, keep an eye on the gauge this weekend if you’re planning to fish. If it gets above 250 cfs, maybe a walk in the woods would be better use of your time.

I fished above falls road during the week and I found a number of trout rising to cream midges size 20. Along with trout there were lots of bluegill rising for midges and smallmouth bass patrolling. I’ve never seen such abundance of warm water fish so close to the dam, the resident brown trout have plenty of good sized meals available, so streamer fishing early & late would definitely be worth your time. Miracle nymphs and wd40 emergers 18-22 or pheasant tails and prince nymphs size 16-20 are catching fish. Fishing these behind a elk hair caddis is a great searching set up at this time of year when the fish are eager to eat before spawning in November.

Thanks to Ethan Lawson who caught this chunky wild brown on a streamer.