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.

Gunpowder Fishing Report

The Gunpowder is flowing at 65 cfs and has been holding steady for the last week. the temperature of the water is 52 degrees, this is perfect for wet wading. if you need a new pair of wet wading socks stop in the shop to pick up the new Patagonia fleece over sock which allows for a comforting feel in the water while fishing. we are seeing fish take caddis and Trestrails off the surface. patterns that have been most effective are as follows, Elk hair caddis, X Caddis, smaller stimulators, and Cubby Chernobyl’s. we have been experiencing the best fishing from 3-7 in the afternoon and from 7-10 in the mornings. stop by the shop to restock your flies and get more Indepth intel.

Central PA Fishing Report

I Have recently gotten back from a fishing trip in central Pennsylvania. With rising water temperatures the end of spring creek season is closer than you may think. Rivers like the yellow Breaches and and Penns Creek have been fishing very well recently with small caddis and mayfly imatations. The set up that I found to work the best was a size 16 caddis and a mayfly nymph 20 inches off the back. This allows you to target two very different sections of the water column and catch more fish. Making delicate casts is essential because these fish are rather spooky and will not eat if the flies are not presented properly. The fishing up in PA is really something special to experience and I recommend stopping in the shop to stock up on flies before you head out there.

June 24th Gunpowder Fishing Report

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 67 CFS and is a cool 52 degrees. As the warmer summer weather sets in, we have been seeing a large amount of fish taking terrestrials and mayfly nymphs. Patterns such as a quick sight beetle, foam ant, and smaller sized chubby chernobyl’s have been working great as indicator flies for dropper rigs. Off the the back of those terrestrials we are putting patterns such as perdigons and pheasant tails. If you are looking to fish single dry flies come on in and check out some of the new flies we just got in; our Adams and caddis patterns have been restocked and are ready to be fished!

Abel Reels

A new line up of Abel reels are in the shop! From large saltwater reels like the new Abel Rove to the lightweight Vaya, we have many different sizes and paint jobs to choose from. The most notable of the new hand painted reels are the Vaya 5/6 in Native Brown Trout, the 9/10 SDS in Blue III, and the Vaya 5/6 in Larko Brown Trout.

Abel Vaya Native Brown Trout

Abel SDS 9/10 in Blue III with Aluminum Handle

Larko Brown Trout Vaya 5/6 Reel

If you’re looking for something a little less flashy, we also have many models in the satin and standard black. These still offer the unmatched quality of Abel without the glamour and price tag. Give the shop a call at 410-357-9557, an email at backwaterangler@gmail.com, order online, or stop in to get one of these reels for yourself!

Notice: The shop will be closed on Father’s Day, June 19th.


Backwater Flat-brim Hat Sale











With the heat rolling in there isn’t a better time to get a new hat. With every purchase over $75 made in the shop we will be giving away one of our Backwater Angler Flat-Brim hats. They come in a heather, blue, and brown colors and will be provided to customers while supplies lasts.

These hats are a $30 value that we will be giving away. If you aren’t going to spend over $75 then you can get the hat directly through our website. These will be a good addition to any Father’s day gift so that they are set to go out on the water.

BWA Embroidered Flat Brim Fitted Hat

Early June Fishing Report

A brown trout picked up nymphing during our Fly Fishing School over the weekend.

With Summer about to hit the flows have dropped down to 60 CFS with temperatures in the low 50s. Even with the drop in flows the bug activity has been quite active with lost of sulphurs coming off throughout the day. The best way to fish effectively is with a slightly longer leader between 10 and 12 feet. This will allow you to present flies without having the fly line bother the fish in the pool.

Nymphing has been quite effective throughout our mornings and in our deeper pools. These fish will often hold deep when hatches are not active and fishing a nymph rig is the best way to go. Our mayfly imitations have been the most effective throughout the river with a midge trailing behind to get any of those picky fish.