The Gunpowder River is in great shape for fishing and has been continuously improving throughout the month. At Falls rd, the river is flowing around 70 cfs with water temps ranging from the low to mid 50s.
There is quite a bit of didymo on the rocks at the moment, which can cause frustration while nymphing. Luckily there has been good opportunity for dry fly fishing this month, particularly in the upper portion of the catch and release section. In the past two weeks we have seen the first of the annual sulfurs and fish seem more than happy to pick them off. The heaviest hatches are yet to come, but its worthwhile to bring your sulfur patterns to the river from here on out. Swinging a wet fly is a great way to cover water and kill time while you search for rising fish.
Jacob’s first fish on a Sulphur this year.
On cooler days, when sulfurs are inactive, we have also been seeing a number of fish rise to small midges usually in the size 20-24# range.
As we go into the weekend the Gunpowder is flowing at 131 Cfs and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The heightened flows have provided excellent opportunities to nymph the river. Using a heavy anchor fly helps to get small midge nymphs down to fish in the fast current. Fish have been eagerly feeding sub-surface and on the warmer, calmer days fish can be found sipping midges off the surface in the eddies and slower pools.
After a few days of summer like weather this past week, the Gunpowder is starting to act a little more like spring. Water levels are great for fishing, around 88 Cfs at Falls rd, while water temperate has finally broken the 40 degree mark and is peaking around 42-46degrees on a daily basis.Along with the warm temperatures and sun, we are seeing some very small black stoneflies and a number of fish rising to them. Although fishing with nymphs is still the primary way to catch fish, it’s wise to have a few small dries handy like an elk hair caddis in the #16-18 range for when you spot a splashy rise to a stonefly.
If you want a relaxing way to blend the two techniques, swinging small dark wet flies has been effective. When swinging, focus on getting your flies in front of and around rocks and log jams where the emerging stoneflies will congregate to climb out of the water.
The Maryland Department of Natural resources recently stocked the Put and Take section of the Gunpowder River.The River is flowing at 63 cfs and is 36 degrees at Falls Road. Down lower in the River, near Glencoe the river is flowing at 153 cfs. With 2,000 rainbow trout being stocked in the Put and Take section, fishing with small streamers slowly and nymphing with indicators are your best options. With warmer weather in our future be sure to get out on the river, whether it be on the Catch and Release or down on the Put and Take, enjoy it.
A longer rod is the keystone to Euro Nymphing. Echo designed The Shadow X specifically for Nymphing. I acquired my Shadow X 1003-4 (10 ft, 3 weight 4 piece) early in the fall and have thoroughly enjoyed fishing with it since. At 10, 10 and a half, and 11 feet in length you can Tight-line or Euro-nymph without having to wade deep into the pools. The very sensitive tip section is ideal for staying in touch with your flies and , feeling a fish take and protecting light tippet, but have enough backbone to turn fish out of strong currents. I’ve also found it ideal for using indicator rigs, as the longer length of these rods functions to turn over the heavy setups easily with a roll cast.
Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday, the 7th of March, 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 10:00-1:00pm. 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 on the day of the school. Please consider looking at the state license portal online at https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/ to streamline the process of getting to the river on the day of the class. Call us if you have any difficulties with that. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.
The cold is persistent with chances of snow on most days in the upcoming forecast. The trails will continue to be covered in mixture of ice and snow, so wading may well be the safest method of moving spots. The river is staying around 39F and is currently at 65 cfs. Fishing has been difficult for most, but nymphing can still be effective. Especially with small tungsten midges. Fish are mostly feeding on the stoneflies and midges tight to structure and the bottom.
“Philadelphia wraps” (Smoked Patagonia salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and lettuce)
Over the past year I’ve enjoyed a number of meals from Patagonia’s gourmet line of camp foods. I particularly like their smoked products such as the salmon and smoked mussels. Each product can be “dressed up” or simply eaten as is.
The smoked mussels are a rich and savory snack perfect for throwing in your pack for a day of fishing. I like to make chopsticks from tree branches and eat them right from the tin!
No matter how you prepare your Patagonia Provisions, they add quality variety to an otherwise bland outdoor food market. Plus each product is sustainably harvested, keeping in line with Patagonia’s dedication to environmentalism.
The Filson Ridgeway Fleece Vest with the Backwater Angler Logo is a great option for a cold winter day. We currently have Dark Navy and Bark in stock. The vest shines when layered on the cooler days but works well on its own during slightly warmer days. The rubber zipper handles make for easy zipping and offer aid to numb fingers on a cold day. The Ridgeway Fleece vest has three pockets located above the hips and on the left chest. As Filson says, “Our Ridgeway Fleece Vest is made of a lightweight, quick-drying Polartec fleece that’s both warm and breathable for comfort in mild to cool weather.”
Chota Hybrid boots (HY-800’s) in action on the Wind River, WY
As winter 2021 drags on I can’t help but daydream of the approaching summer. When wet wading season finally rolls around I know I’ll be relying heavily on the Chota Hybrid High Top wading boot. I had the pleasure of wearing these boots on a trip to Wyoming last summer and found them invaluable. These boots are lightweight, fast draining, and fast drying. They pair perfectly with a simple neoprene wading sock for a full day of summer hiking and fishing. They also come in at a great price point of $129.99 making them a versatile value item!