Category Archives: news

the news section is for shop events and programs

2016 Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER® Year End Appeal


Thank you for supporting our efforts to protect the Gunpowder River! This year we championed enforcement and compliance of environmental laws within the watershed to protect and conserve the River for all users. We could not have been successful without your generous support.

The Gunpowder River watershed faces environmental threats that must be argued in a legal context. Our organization works collaboratively and proactively to find solutions to pollution problems. We are effectively using legal action but only after exhausting all other methods to represent member’s interests in protecting the Gunpowder River and its watershed from sources of pollution.


We are asking for your support again in 2017 to address these environmental threats:

PCBs in the Gunpowder River: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s) pose a serious risk of causing significant adverse impacts on the health and quality of the Gunpowder River and its fish and crabs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) plan that will not meet water quality standards for 49 years in the Gunpowder River and 93 years in the Bird River. We are now researching legal solutions to this administrative delay.

Foster Branch Pollution: Riverkeeper is currently investigating several potential improperly regulated upstream point and non-point sources of sediment, nitrogen and bacteria pollution that impacts the Foster Branch section of the Gunpowder River.

C.P. Crane Power Plant Discharge: Riverkeeper has requested a stronger permit for the 53 year old coal-fired powerplant that would provide more monitoring of various potential pollutants ensure pollution levels are properly reported and mitigated. Riverkeeper’s goal is make sure that discharges are protective of the waters of state and of public health.
Gunpowder Riverkeeper links and protects the forests, the fish and the faucet. Our work is a shared waters perspective that is pro-active and respective of the varied economic, recreational and biological aspects of the River. The Gunpowder supports varied recreational interests, habitat for native and wild trout, drinking water for 1.5 million Baltimore-Metro Area residents and important tidal habitat for Rockfish, Perch and crabs.
A few highlights of our work in 2016 include:

Riverkeeper filed an emergency motion in Circuit Court that held Columbia Gas accountable for following the court ordered settlement agreement between Riverkeeper, Columbia Gas Transmission and MDE to provide baseline fish sampling at five sensitive streams crossed by the 21.1 mile interstate Gas pipeline project. The result was that Columbia agreed to alter its construction schedule on the 190 million dollar project in order to perform the required sampling. As a result, Riverkeeper and the public will get information about water quality impacts from the pipeline project.

Riverkeeper garnered significant public opposition to a proposed amendment of the Natural Resource District (NRD) zoning code that would have stripped protection of approximately 1,100 acres of non-tidal wetlands in Harford County. The result of Riverkeeper’s efforts was that the council crafted a more protective amendment that was voted into law.

Clean Water in the Gunpowder watershed is everyone’s right and as a shared resource must be protected for all! Everyone that recreates within the Gunpowder deserves an opportunity to be engaged in the regulatory process. Meaningful public participation results in better projects-those that are protective of drinking water, property interests, sensitive species, recreational and aesthetic values.


We need your financial support to keep the River protected now and in the future. Please consider an annual donation of support or a year–end donation to amplify our outreach, advocacy and legal action.

You may donate at: 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 donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.


A few words from Jackie Guild, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Legal Alliance.
“The Gunpowder Riverkeeper is a true champion for his river and the human and wildlife inhabitants of its watershed. It has been CLA’s privilege and pleasure to support Theaux Le Gardeur’s work on many projects during the past five years, and in particular with regard to his work to prevent environmental harm posed by the Columbia pipeline extension. This project is truly a David versus Goliath undertaking and Theaux has remained undaunted throughout and will persevere to its conclusion.With the support of a team of volunteer attorneys, Theaux took on Columbia on multiple issues in court battles, through submission of comments, and in letters to government agencies.Not only will Theaux’s victories provide greater protection for the Gunpowder watershed, they also establish strong procedural and legal precedent for others facing similar problems throughout Maryland. His efforts also sent a clear message to the Maryland Department of the Environment that it must thoroughly assess potential environmental damage and provide adequate protections through permit conditions before issuing permits under its domain, and it must provide adequate public participation as part of its decision making process.The communities of the Gunpowder River are fortunate to have such a vigilant and stalwart defender of their piece of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. CLA looks forward to future collaborations with the Gunpowder Riverkeeper.”


Holiday Hours at Backwater Angler

Please note: The shop will be open December 19th through the 23rd from 10AM till 5PM and will be closed on the 24th and 25th. We’re happy to email gift certificates for gear, guide trips and/or instruction up until 4 PM on the 23rd. Please call us at 410-357-9557 if we can help bring cheer to your holiday!

Winston Air in-stock at Backwater Angler

We just received a Winston Air 9ft 5 weight 4pc fly rod at Backwater Angler, which begs the question; Why does one need another five weight? Enjoy the answer from our friend Annette McClean and stop up and cast it before it is gone!

Holiday Fly Fishing Shirts at Backwater Angler

Simms Cold Weather Shirts
Have enough fly fishing gear or would rather pick out the techie gear yourself. Here are a few sure bets for other family members to “surprise” you with over the Holidays we’ve just received some very popular Simms Coldweather shirts and a shipment G.Loomis vented fly fishing shirts with the Backwater Angler logo embroidered on the right front chest pocket.IMG_1670

Smash and Grab Sale at Backwater Angler!

Bad news folks! After 15 years in Monkton, and after moving this July a mere 1/5th of a mile closer to I-83 on Mt. Carmel Rd. in Parkton, we experienced our first smash and grab theft at the shop Tuesday morning at 5:31 AM. All told, we lost approximately $4, 500 combined between stolen inventory-including a mannequin and property damage that occurred during the break-in. If one had told me 15 years ago that I would need to have security cameras to protect a fly fishing store, I would not have believed them. For many folks in this tight knit River community it’s been quite hard to take all of this so we’re adjusting by making light of it and are asking folks to shop with us this weekend to help us pay our insurance deductible!

Smash and Grab Sale* details through Sept 25:
Free flyline with any rod and reel purchase.
35% all clothing excluding waders and rain-jackets and boots.
Free pair of socks (a $24.95 value) with any purchase over $100.
Free Loon Dust with any purchase over $50
25% off used graphite and fiberglass rods
* There is always an asterisk* Sale is limited to in-stock merchandise only.

Special thanks go out to the officers from the Cockeysville precinct for responding quickly to the alarm. The Baltimore County Forensic lab for checking out the site with all their cool technology and the genuine concern the Burglary detective assigned to our case has shown us. Thanks to the manager of the Subway, Jen from Crop Salon, Tommy from Hereford Bed and Biscuit and John from Kingsdene for checking in on us this week. Kudos to the excellent crew from Caplan Bros. Glass that helped get our aluminum and glass door fixed up the same day so we did not have an interruption of business. Our hat’s off to Mr. Peter Fenwick who stopped in for a guide trip with Jeff Lewatowski that morning and spent the wee hours helping us pick up the glass off the floor before he connected with some wild fish downstream of York Rd. and to Ashely McGrath at H.U. Dove Insurance who helped file our claim with Liberty Mutual so we could get on with getting the shop back to normal.


Back to School Specials at Backwater Angler

BWA Back Wall
Tired of writing tuition checks? Stop in and take advantage of some hot August deals while supplies last-we call them “Back to School” specials at Backwater Angler. Once the kids are back to school, carve out a little time for yourself to fly fish the Gunpowder River. If you don’t have time to stop in give us a card and an address and we’ll ship any of the items on the board to you for free until the end of the month!
BWA Back to School Shop Specials

Backwater Angler is now located at 107 Mt Carmel Rd #106 Parkton, MD 21120

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 9.30.09 PMBackwater Angler is now located 3/10ths of a mile off of Exit 27 at I-83 at 107 Mt. Carmel RD Parkton, MD 21120. If you find yourself in the old shop parking lot this weekend just take a left out of the old lot, take a left at the light at Mt. Carmel Rd. and a left into the Village Plaza. Easy! If you find yourself in the old shop parking lot this weekend just take a left out of the old lot, take a left at the light at Mt. Carmel Rd. and a left into the Village Plaza. Easy! Coming from somewhere else? Please give our directions to Backwater Angler a look. Tiles courtesy of MapQuest Thanks to Mapquest for giving us birds-eye view of all of that green space in the Hereford Area of Gunpowder State Park!

Please note:
Shop Hours for the new location are:
10 AM till 5 PM Weekdays
10 AM till 4 PM Saturday and Sunday
The shop is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday

Hot July Fly Fishing Gear Moving Sale


Backwater Angler is moving. Thanks to Staffers Justin Gaffney and Gene Howson for all of their heavy lifting this week. Help us lighten the load by stopping in this Saturday and Sunday and getting great deals on (in-stock only) Fly Fishing Gear for the Mid-Atlantic.


25% of all Rainjackets
Free flyline with any reel purchase over $100
25% of all gear bags
Pick three Loon Products and get the lowest priced one for free.
Baker’s dozen flies-buy 12 get 1 free.
Free casting lesson ($75 value) with any Rod Purchase (must book in-advance).
50% off table for things we simply cannot move!!!

Sale is only Saturday and Sunday of this weekend-July 23-24 from 10 AM till 4 PM and is limited to in-store and in-stock items only-no calls please-stop by for details

Thank for your support in our 16th year.

New location to be announced…

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School on June 26th

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, June 26th, 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 11:00 AM till 2:00 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.