New Abel Vaya’s in Stock

We have just restocked our reel case with some beautiful Abel Vaya’s. There is simply no other reel like it. The Vaya is one of our favorite reels here at Backwater Angler not only for its stunning looks but also for it durability and technology. Crafted by avid Colorado anglers, the VAYA series debuts an all-new technical look and feel paired with outstanding performance. The partially-ported VAYA frame offers the unique combination of minimized weight, incredible rigidity, and just enough surface area to highlight Abel’s hand-anodized finishes. The frame interior also features varying sets of CNC-milled fly patterns, relevant to each size of reel. The large-arbor spool features a precision-balanced, dual-pawl drag engagement design that eliminates the need for a counterweight. The spool’s mechanical incoming click compliments the audible, smooth feel of the outgoing drag. The carbon / stainless multi-disk drag system produces substantial resistance, while providing a wide range of adjustability for delicate tippet.

Abel Vaya 4/5 Classic Brown Trout

Underwood On The Hunt Slate Gray Vaya 7/8 Reel

Underwood On The Hunt Deep Green Vaya 5/6 Reel

Abel Vaya 7/8 Blue III

Abel Vaya 4/5 Native Brook

Abel Vaya 4/5 Satin Black

January 8th Gunpowder Fishing Report

The river is running at 61 cfs and the temperature is 41 degrees. Over this last week with the colder temperatures and snow the river has dropped in temperature and has raised in flows.  have been fishing a lot of small zebra midge patterns and also some small dry flies such as a sz 20 Griffiths gnat or a very small parachute style fly. although it has not been as productive the past couple of days, streamer fishing has been pretty good as well. Black and olive buggers have been working best with the occasional  Maddison sculpin picking up a few fish here and there.

We will be closed Sunday January 9th due to harsh weather conditions

New Scott Centric Fly Rods in the Shop

Recently we received three new Scott Centrics this week at Backwater Angler: The 9 foot 4 weight, 9 foot 5 weight, and 10 foot 4 wight, all 4 piece rods. Each rod provides advantages in different situations and are Scott’s top of the line rods.

The 10 foot 4 weight is the most specialized of the three rods. The extra length makes it ideal to use for nymphing, both tight-line and indicator nymphing. The tip section provides enough sensitivity to use for tight-line nymphing, however still has the back-bone to lift heavy nymph  rigs and cast them upstream. The biggest advantage of the extra length is the ability to mend over currents to provide yourself with the best drift. Although this rod may be ideal for nymphing, it does cast a dry fly very well. The extra length requires a slower cast to unroll longer casts.

Both the 9 foot 4 and 5 weight rods are going to be the best all-around rod you can find.  Both rods will be efficient in streamer, dryfly, and nymph fishing. The 4 weight is going to handle the bigger streamers and nymph rigs slightly worse than a 5 weight, however the extra sensitivity will help you maneuver your flies in smaller water. Both are strong enough to stand up against the bigger water and fish. Whether you need a 4 or a 5 weight rod truly comes down to what water you fish the most, but either option will provide an excellent fishing experience on the water.

If you are interested in getting one of these rods please stop by the shop or order online and we’ll get it shipped out as soon as possible.

Scott Centric

The Gunpowder River New Year Stream Report

The river is flowing at 138cfs and the temperature is 45 degrees, both dropping quickly with the cold front hitting today. The Gunpowder has been fishing best with streamers and small nymphs. With the cold streamer fishing could slow down, but with the water being higher fish may still be active enough to chase a bigger fly. Some patterns that have been effective have been the slump buster, grey ghost, and wooly  buggers.

Nymphing should be the go-to tactic if you want to maximize the amount of fish caught in the winter months. The most effective patterns have been those imitating midges: Zebra midges, WD-40s, etc. We often pair these with a hare’s ear or a euro-style nymph to help get the smaller flies down. It’s best to target the faster runs because there will be more food available so fish will eat more readily.

As always, keep a look out for the redds on the river, especially through the areas with more gravel.

End of the Year Gunpowder River Fishing Report

The Gunpowder is flowing at 58.2 cfs and 44.2F. With warmer temperatures in the next few days, fishing should be exceptional until we get a cold snap. You can find fish sipping midges in the slower pools. Fishing Griffiths Gnats and small parachutes in sizes 16-22 will be the most productive. Often the smaller sizes work better this time of year.

Although nymphing has been effective on the river, the blooms of didymo can make nymphing tedious. One of the best ways to combat this is fishing a dry-dropper. The most effective nymphs this time of year are going to be midge imitations. Putting these nymphs a 12-18 inches off the back of a bulky dry allow you to cover all the water in the river effectively.

This week’s warm weather and possible rain could make for good conditions for streamer fishing. Target the biggest structure on the river: a large boulder, a deep drop-off, a log-jam. As always look out for redds alone the gravel beds and avoid those areas to ensure we have a good population in the future.

Backwater Angler will be open on the 28th, 29th, and 30th. We will be closed for the New Year(30th and 31st) and will be open again on January 2nd. 

New Winston Bamboo

We are now listing a new 7’9″ 5 weight bamboo fly rod from Winston. The rod comes with a spare tip section and has three pieces making up the rod. If you are looking to get into Bamboo rods you will not find a better rod to purchase. This rod is listed at $3500 from Winston. If you are interested please contact us at 410-357-9557 or at and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Winston has been making BAMBOO rods since 1929, when Robert Winther and Lew Stoner first began innovating using split bamboo cane. We have patented the hollow-fluting bamboo rod building process, set numerous bamboo world distance fly casting records, and maintained an uninterrupted 92-year commitment to building the most beautiful, highest performing bamboo fly rods available anywhere. A Winston bamboo fly rod continues to set the standard for hand-crafted fly rod perfection. Each of our new bamboo fly rods can take up to a year to build. Cast one and you will experience a wonderful slow action with delicate line and loop control. Fish one and you will understand why anglers become devotees of bamboo and a part of the ultimate fly fishing tradition.



Holiday Gift Guide

Naughty or nice? Sometimes the best approach is to treat yourself or consider sharing this post with someone in the gift giving spirit.

1. Backwater Angler Gift Certificate

Backwater Angler Gift Certificate

2. Abel Classic Brown Trout Vaya

Abel Vaya 4/5 Classic Brown Trout

3. Patagonia Winter Weight Fleece Oversocks

Patagonia Winter Weight Fleece Oversock

4. Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip Waders

Patagonia Men’s Swiftcurrent Expedition Zipfront Waders

5. Personalized Fly Selection

Personalized Fly Selection

6. Backwater Angler Fly Fishing School Gift Certificate

Backwater Angler Fly Fishing School Gift Certificate

7. Scott G Series Fly Rod

Scott G Series

8. Patagonia River Salt Boots by Danner

Patagonia River Salt Wading Boots

9. A Backwater Angler Guide Trip Gift Certificate

Backwater Angler Guide Trip Gift Certificate

10. We believe that the River is a gift. Please support our efforts to protect and conserve the Gunpowder, Little Gunpowder, Bird and Bush River watersheds by joining us or purchasing a gift membership to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER. Find out more about our work.

Donate or Purchase a Gift Membership to Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER

Gunpowder River Early December Stream Report

The Gunpowder River is clear, 47.5 degrees F and flowing at 43.7 CFS. Fish are still midging in the flat water until the sun breaks through the clouds. Approaching wild fish this time of year requires limited wading and long, light leaders. Midge and midge emerges patterns in the #18-22 range will be most productive. Larger streamers will certainly move bigger fish but sometimes they just won’t commit to the fly. Sparse, traditional streamers twitched along the deadfalls, logjams, and bend pools may be more effective and are certainly easier to cast. Bald Eagles, as in the picture above, are frequently seen gliding among the tops of the Sycamores along the river corridor.