Lows Flows on the Gunpowder River and lots of Small Wild Fish

With water levels returning to a somewhat “fall normal”, The Gunpowder River of flowing at 43.7 CF
s and is swinging between 54 and almost 58 degrees. As long as one doesn’t pick a bright day you’ll be greeted by lots of eager yearlings and young of the year-even smaller wild trout clobbering small terrestrial patterns. Longer leaders ending in 6and sometimes 7x can make a big difference in low flows. If the idea of squinting evinces a wince, give the pocket water a go above Falls Rd! It is fun section to fish this time of year especially with larger terrestrials and dropper rigs. Floating the river, while tempting, is still challenging with fall flows resulting in more of a push/drag. The numbers of strainers introduced during the last few storms has certainly resulted in some “must portage” bends.

Please note: We still have room in Beginner’s fly fishing schools scheduled for this Saturday the 17th and next Saturday the 24th. Please call us at 410-357-9557 to reserve your space!

Please note: The shop will be closed on Monday, September 26th.

Labor Day Weekend Gunpowder River Fly Fishing Report


The Gunpowder River is low at 43.7 Cfs and is swinging from 54 in the morning up to almost 58F. That said, longer leaders in the 10 to 11 ft ending in 7x have been productive in the shade. Small, not large, terrestrials will produce this time of year. Small beetles, CDC and foam ants should be in your box. Henryville caddis, tiny BWO’s and midge cluster patterns are all worth a shot. Unweighted streamers are also fun especially when fished upstream rather than on a swing. With leaves just turning get out while you can…

Please note: The shop will be closed this Sunday and Monday and will reopen on Thursday, September 8.

September 24th Beginner’s Fly Fishing School

Early fall is the perfect time to learn how to fly fish. We have 4 spots available on Saturday, September 24. Our Fly Fishing Schools are 3 hours long and included the use of gear. In the first half of the course we cover basic knots, casting skills, fly types and techniques for the river. Following instruction bankside, during the second half we’ll practice the techniques on the water. One gets to try the four main techniques while fly fishing including: dry flies, wet flies, nymphs and streamers. Our guides will go over the techniques and help each individual to best prepare them for a trip on their own.

Please contact us at 410-357-9557 to confirm availability, prepay and book the trip and we will send you an email confirmation for your very own fly fishing school on the Gunpowder River.

September 17th Beginner’s Fly Fishing School

Early fall is the perfect time to learn how to fly fish. We have 4 spots available on Saturday, September 17. Our Fly Fishing Schools are 3 hours long and included the use of gear. In the first half of the course we cover basic knots, casting skills, fly types and techniques for the river. Following instruction bankside, during the second half we’ll practice the techniques on the water. One gets to try the four main techniques while fly fishing including: dry flies, wet flies, nymphs and streamers. Our guides will go over the techniques and help each individual to best prepare them for a trip on their own.

Please contact us at 410-357-9557 to confirm availability, prepay and book the trip and we will send you an email confirmation for your very own fly fishing school on the Gunpowder River.

Savage River Fishing Report

 

Western Maryland is home to some of the some of the best water on the east coast: The Savage River and North Branch of the Potomac River. Both bodies of water hold Rainbow, Brown, and Brook Trout. Like the Gunpowder River, these Rivers are tailwaters or are dam controlled. This means that the water temperatures stay consistently cool throughout the year, even in the heat of summer.  Right now, the water levels on the Savage and North Branch are low, at 48.8 CFS and 229 CFS respectively. These are great levels to fish as you don’t have to battle the strong currents present during higher flows.

Both rivers have many challenges, one of the most notable being the wading. Slippery round boulders cover the banks and the bottom, providing many opportunities to fall. Studs and/or a wading staff are highly recommended. The other challenge anglers face is the intricate currents on the rivers. High gradient and big boulders make for lots of different currents in each run. It is important to read the water correctly in order to present your fly well. This river will test your c

Hudson and I were using terrestrials throughout our trip. Opportunistic browns and rainbows were eager to rise out of the pocket water and take a dry or dropper. If you’re interested in more information on Western Maryland, we can set you up with all the gear and knowledge necessary.

A glimpse at the beautiful yet rough terrain along the Savage River.

Early August Fishing Report

This picture was taken at Falls Road immediately after a steep drop in water.

 

 

Summer low flows have finally hit the gunpowder. Although this picture was taken at the minimum of 26.7cfs on Wednesday, the water has bounced back to 38.0cfs. Water temperatures have seen an increase, ranging between the mid 50s up to 60F. Although this is still a safe water temperature for trout, understand the water lower in the river will be warmer and you must use your best handling of fish to ensure their survival.

Despite the drop in water, our tactics have not changed. Beetles, ants, and small hoppers have been on the menu for fish in our faster water. The slower pools will hold consistently rising fish; however, they will be eating very tiny flies like midges and trico patterns. To target fish on the surface, a long leader will be almost necessary. We have been fishing a 10–12-foot leader to minimize the chance of spooking fish with our fly line. A longer leader will also give you more time before your fly starts to drag in these slower pools.

A dry dropper has been a go-to for subsurface fishing. Nymphing can still be effective in the deeper and faster water however that water is hard to come by in these conditions. Fishing with a dry dropper in the riffles and runs is often the best way to present a nymph without spooking fish.

Late July Fishing report

A great brown trout caught on a nymph during a guide trip last week.

The Gunpowder is still sitting at a beautiful 60cfs with temperatures swinging from 51-57F. Although the water is cold, try to limit handling for the fish’s safety. Terrestrials have been the key to fishing on these hot summer days. Using beetles and ants to cover the water shaded by trees has been very productive with opportunistic fish willing to take them. Putting a nymph under the larger foam patterns is an effective way to pluck the more hesitant fish from the moving water.

Nymphing has been a successful tactic when the fish are hesitant to come to the surface. The faster water will be the most productive. I usually use a larger nymph paired with a midge imitation. The larger nymph is used to help get the flies down in the current and deeper water, however the midge is often the most productive of the two.

The last of our Patagonia and Filson clothing will be 50% off for the summer. These are mostly vests, jackets, and pullovers, however there are some other gems in the mix.

*Clothing does not include waders and boots*

Gearing up For Montana

Over my last few years working here at Backwater we always have a stream of anglers itching to go out to Montana and chase after its beautiful fish. but there is always the same question from all of these anglers: “what do I even bring out there?” But don’t worry we are here to help you on your way to an amazing trip. To begin with, you will be needing a sturdy rod with a nice backbone to handle those larger fish and cast larger flies. The rod for the job is the Scott Centric

Scott Centric

The Centric is the perfect Montana rod. It’s strong enough to combat stronger winds and still delivers the perfect presentation. It’s also stiff enough to cast larger streamers but has a lighter tip which allows you to feel the bottom while tight line nymphing.

I you are looking for a spring creek rod for more delicate presentations then we suggest the Scott G Series

Scott G Series

The G Series is the perfect rod for making that delicate cast at a rising fish or that stealthy mend for the perfect drift. The G series is truly a fly fishermen’s dream. With its delicate capabilities it is still able to hold large fish and fish larger flies if needed but excels in lighter flies and tighter spaces.

Next, you’ll be needing flies. We suggest looking at a hatch chart for the Area you will be fishing but if you don’t have time to or can’t find one, we have many great fly options here in the shop. Montana is known for its larger bugs, and even more so for its fish loving to eat these big bugs on the surface. Here at the shop, we have what you need.

As far as waders and boots go, it is a necessity that you have a quality pair to wade the rough waters and hike the rugged terrain. To compete with these conditions that Montana has we recommend the Patagonia Foot Tractors or the Patagonia River Salts.

Patagonia River Salt Wading Boots

Patagonia Foot Tractor Boots – Sticky Rubber (Made by Danner)

The price on these boots will be rising this Fall by $100+. If you are looking for that new pair of boots that that has an amazing warranty and will last a long. We highly suggest the River Salt or the Foot Tractor for any of your wading needs.

 

July Fishing Report

This fish sipped a size 22 midge off the surface during a guide trip earlier this week.

With Summer in full swing the bug activity has definitely slowed down. Although the heavy rains yesterday caused spillover at the dam, the Gunpowder has returned to 63 cfs and the temperature is in the low 50s. Occasional sulphurs and caddis are still present through most of the river; however, their numbers and size have dwindled. Ants, beetles, and midges have started to become the main food sources off the surface. It is best to cover as much water as possible with terrestrials and adding a dropper off the bend of the hook won’t hurt. The fish rising to midges will be localized to the slower pools where the rises are more subtle. This is when the light line, long leaders, and small flies are essential to getting these picky fish.

Nymphing has been the most consistent tactic along the river with the mornings seeming the most active. We have had luck fishing a caddis pupa paired with a zebra midge or other midge patterns. Allow these flies to drift below you and you will often pull fish up on the swing. Targeting the fastest and deepest water will result in the most successful trip. This depth and current provide more oxygen, food, and protection for these fish to hold in during these hot summer days. Come stop by the shop to get anything you need for your next trip.