Monthly Archives: December 2007

Chota Wading Boots Have Arrived!

A recent shipment of Chota boots in a complete size run of the Citico Creek Boot (top) and STL+ Boot (bottom) are in stock. Chota boots feature felt soles and the ability to screw studs into rubber grommets in the sole.The patented footbed is shown to the left.

Chota Wading Boots

Anglers can easily replace or remove studs with a screwdriver when changing from treacherous wading conditions to fishing in a boat, or streams that don’t require studs. Both shoes feature the same sole design, but the Citico Creek is a lighter weight, entry level synthetic shoe, while the STL+ has more support, and durability in a leather design.

A review on the STL+ boot

Baltimore Canoe Club Update

For those of you who have read the following;

from the North County News,
No Fines in River Incident, Canoeists get Warnings for Cutting Down Trees,
by Robbie Wheelan.

and from the Washington, (DC) City Paper,
Field & Stream & Chainsaw, Boaters Wreck Maryland Fishing Haven,
by Dave McKenna

and are still interested in this topic…

The initial call to MD Natural Resources Police, (NRP) about these illegal activities was placed on November 4, 2007 describing 3 adult subjects with chainsaws and a young person that were seen cutting downed trees in the Gunpowder River downstream of the Falls Rd. Bridge. On November 5, 2007 a written statement, pictures of the subjects engaged in the activity, vehicles at the scene, and names and phone numbers of two witnesses were provided to Natural Resources Police. Concurrent with this activity, members of the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club posted information on a club bulletin board that indicated that individual members took credit, and in fact, celebrated these illegal acts.

On November 19, 2007, I testified on behalf of my retail shop Backwater Angler, the seven guides that work with me, as a DNR license agent and a DNR Nature Tourism Partner before the Sport Fish Advisory Comission, (SFAC). I testified at that the time that I felt that the Maryland Natural Resource Police and Gunpowder State Park Officials were being non responsive in enforcing illegal activities that had recently occurred in the Hereford Area of Gunpowder State Park.
Most of my guides, and customers not only fish but also float the river. I have paddled kayaks and canoes AND have fly fished since I was seven. We routinely give directions and advice to folks planning a fish or float along the river and are happy to share this great resource with those that have an interest in protecting it.

However, we have no interest in sharing this resource with and do not support any user group that conducts illegal activities in  a designated Maryland State Wildlands area.

So I’d like to relate that I’m not anti-boat just anti-chainsaw.
Wildlands are the closest lands designated “in a wilderness state” that  we have in Maryland. No user groups should alter, destroy or modify Maryland’s Natural Resources in designated Maryland State Park Wildlands to suit their own recreational pursuits at the expense of Maryland’s Natural Resources.

Here is an abbreviated description of the Gunpowder river from Maryland DNR’s Gunpowder Falls State Park Hereford Area Trail Guide.

The Big Gunpowder Falls is a favorite paddling destination for canoeing, kayaking and tubing. Spectacular views of the park’s undisturbed forest and impressive rock outcroppings promise to inspire river users… …The river encompassed within the Hereford Area offers recreation opportunities for both advanced and novice paddlers, ranging in difficulty from Class l to lll… …Solid paddling skills are required on this stretch to negotiate potential hazards, such as fallen trees that can block passage on the narrow stream.

Following are links outlining activities in State Wildlands:

Comprehensive list of rules for State Wildlands.

.06 Restricted and Conditional activities—State Wildlands Preservation System

Members of the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club willfully and without proper permissions, or permits destroyed parts of a designated Maryland State Wildlands area. These activities described on the club’s own website show intent, malice and disregard for laws that were put in place to protect Maryland’s Natural Resources.
Here are a few choice quotes from members of the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club, under the following threads that have since been removed from their very own bulletin board:

Title: What Strainer

“A GBCC group removed the strainer on 11/4 Sunday by cutting all of the logs in pieces less than 2’ long. when the water comes up, the pieces will wash downstream. This is standard operating procedure for cutting large wood in rivers. We have intentions of cutting all strainers from Falls Rd to Masemore or Bluemount.”

Title: Strainers on the upper Gunpowder, (not the Gorge)
“I have already planned to run this section at lower water level with two chainsaws…We will also hit the GPG logs and go as far as we can plan in one day. Chainsaws are sorta my thing so it’s no big deal.”

“We did indeedy already get the one that was in between York and Big Falls, we just got it Tues.”

“I will do the work project anyway as there will be numerous trees throughout both sections anyway. When I am done trees will be gone.”

“Finally there is a riverwide strainer 100 yds below Corbett Rd. One tree, One trunk-needs a chainsaw or a very patient person with a big saw.”

While dissent existed among bulletin board members regarding the topic of strainer removal, a link submitted by a member that provided American Whitewaters take on the issue, titled: Large Wood Debris Removal Ecology and Ethics describing the benefits of these features was ignored.

I remain very concerned about the response of NRP and Gunpowder State Park Officials to these recent illegal activities undertaken by members of the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club in an area designated as a Maryland State “Wildlands”. I also feel that these activities, had I not testified before the SFAC, would have gone unchecked by NRP and Gunpowder State Park Officials, in part because of the Gunpowder State Park Officials’ self described, “good relations” with this club. With the investigation now closed, with 4 warnings issued, I still find it hard to believe that the witnesses were never contacted by NRP for statements.

I’d like to leave all of you with a few more words from MD DNR’s Wildlands Preservation System Web Page:

What activities are permitted in a wildland?
In general, those activities which are consistent with the wilderness character of the area; including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, horseback riding, nature interpretation, bird watching, research, and appreciation of natural processes.

I find it curious that boating is not on this list.

We would like to hear from you on this issue.

Drop us a line at

Related Post:

Greater Baltimore Canoe Club Members Illegally Cut Trees in Wildlands Area Of Gunpowder State Park

Update: December 7, 2007,
A few words on fair use and providing links…
This post is copyright Backwater Angler Inc.
Please do not cut and/or copy and paste this post and/or insert it into another form of web media, ie:bulletin board, ect. in it’s entirety without express written consent from Backwater Angler Inc.. However, it is acceptable to quote or cite part of this post in it’s original form as long as you provide a link to the original post. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.


The Gift of Big Fish

Trout fishermen now cringe at the thought of killing and mounting a trophy trout merely to hang on the wall. Today’s technology now allows photographs of trout complete with measurements to be turned into life-like reproductions. Pennsylvanian George McGinty of McGinty’s Taxidermy has recently brought a selection of large browns, rainbows, brook trout and char reproductions for display and sale in the shop. Seven of these mounts are ready for sale off the wall and can be shipped for the holidays.
Anglers mounts created to match a personal trophy require only length, girth measurements and a photo to recreate the exact markings and coloration. A six to eight week time frame can be expected for reproductions to be created.
Many anglers can appreciate these trophies despite having never fished for or caught char, browns, rainbows or brook trout so large. The mounts make great conversation starters, and can be inspiring additions to tying rooms, game rooms and fishing cabins.

Greater Baltimore Canoe Club Members Illegally Cut Trees in Gunpowder State Park Wildlands Area

Thanks to Candus Thompson, from the Baltimore Sun, for writing about the recent illegal tree cutting by members of the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club that took place in a “Wildlands” designated area of Gunpowder State Park in her Outdoors column. Her article aptly titled, “Paddlers with Chainsaws Bark Up the Wrong Tree” hopefully reminded all of us that Maryland’s State Parks were established, and still serve to protect, the natural resources of the State of Maryland.
For those of you unfamiliar with State “Wildlands”, the following description was posted by a dissenting bulletin board member of the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club under a since removed thread titled,

“what strainer”

The Hereford Area, located in northern Baltimore County, is one of five designated recreation areas in Gunpowder Falls State Park. The area’s 3,620 acres feature a scenic wilderness setting preserved under State Wildland status for nature appreciation and outdoor adventures.”
it continues…
“What activities are prohibited in a wildland? In general, those activities which are inconsistent with sustaining a wilderness environment or which leave a lasting imprint of human activity; including the use of motorized vehicles and mechanized equipment, the harvesting of timber, the construction of new roads, buildings, and other structures, manipulation of vegetation for wildlife management or other purposes and the introduction of non-indigenous species.” If anyone would like to read the comprehensive list of rules for State Wildlands, check out this link:
or for more detail, this little gem:

We would like to hear from you on this issue.
Drop us a line at

Update: December 5, 2007,
A few words on fair use and providing links…
This post is copyright Backwater Angler Inc.
Please do not cut and/or copy and paste this post and/or insert it into another form of web media, ie:bulletin board, ect. in it’s entirety without express written consent from Backwater Angler Inc.. However, it is acceptable to quote or cite part of this post in it’s original form as long as you provide a link to the original post. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Backwater Angler Hat & Customer Sighted While Fly Fishing the Taylor River in Colorado

Thanks to Leland Newcomb for the following:

I just read your last two posts on your website and thought this story may be of some interest:
This past August, a friend and I were traveling through Colorado, fishing some of the well known streams. Early one morning we were gearing up on the Taylor River when a guy came off the stream to his car that was parked next to mine. We said hello and asked how he’d done. He had caught one of the slabs that the Taylor is known for. He said he hits this stream once a year, gets on the water before light and usually catches one fish. Since the fish are so educated on this stretch, by dawn you might as well forget about it. We talked for a little while longer and said our good lucks and goodbyes. As he turned to head to his car, I noticed “Moncton Maryland” on the back of his hat. I called back and asked him if he lived in Monckton. Of course as he turned I saw ” Backwater Angler” on the front of the cap. We exchanged some more talk about the chances of meeting on a stream so far from our homes and the Gunpowder. I’m sorry I forgot his name, but he said he frequents your shop. Maybe I’ll run into him again some day. Glad to see that you’re getting some more hats in.

Leland Newcomb
Cambridge, MD

Big Gunpowder River Rainbow

The river is low at 34 Cfs, clear and 48F. The wind has made fishing tough the past few days. Fish are still responding to nymphs and streamers in riffles and pools. The lower river downstream of Bluemount Rd has more flow and has been easier to fish.Our latest report and picture comes
from our shop intern Max. Enjoy!
Lower Gunpowder River Rainbow

Hey Theaux, I was fishing below Monkton rd. access at 2 PM on Sunday when this monster fish inhaled my black wooly bugger. It fought for about five minutes, and it bent my 5 WT rod all the way to the grip! Another fisherman was on the trail behind me when I landed the fish, and was quite surprised when he saw how big it was. Definitely the biggest fish I’ve gotten on the Gunpowder.
See ya
Max Meneveau

I ‘d also like to mention that we’ve had a number of folks calling and stopping in the shop this week that have been dead set on fishing over spawning fish. This is a particuarly sensitive time for these fish and we do not condone fishing over spawning fish, heck we don’t even sell egg patterns, so please give the fish a break, let them do their thing unimpeded, and we’ll have a stronger population of fish next year.
Up Close Redds
If you’re not quite sure what these areas look like, Jason du Pont has provided us with a picture of an area that should not be fished, trodden upon, or disturbed in any fashion. The future of the Gunpowder’s healthy trout population depends on it.

Related Posts:
Skating in November

Backwater Angler Hats in Stock in Monkton, MD

All hats feature stitched BACKWATER ANGLER logo on the front, and MONKTON, MD on the back.
These hats are available in four fabrics, (tactel, oil-cloth, wool and supplex)  nine colors and are currently in stock.The wool and supplex hats are not pictured but feel free to pick one up in store or online.
The Tactel brushed nylon hats are great for all around wear and available in Sienna, Olive, Khaki and Mocha. These hats feature a Velcro closure, Cool-Tech sweatband and water repellant, quick drying Tactel material. Stop in Backwater Angler or shop online for these hats.

The oil cloth hats above are my favorite for Fall and Winter fishing. These hats feature water repellent English Oil Cloth, dark underbrim to prevent glare, Cool-Tech sweatband and Velcro closure. Available in Dark Green, Dark Oak and Khaki. Stop in Backwater Angler or shop online for these hats.

Backwater Angler Now Open on Wednesdays, Means that the Shop is Open 7 Days Each Week in December

You heard it here first.

Whether you’re fishing or rounding up a few gifts leading up to the holidays, we’re here seven days a week in December.

That’s right! The shop will be open from 10AM till 6PM on Weekdays,  including Wednesdays in December .

We’re also open from 10AM till 4PM Saturdays and Sundays

Shop early,  shop often, and thanks for supporting a Full Service Fly Shop along the Gunpowder River  only 35 Minutes from downtown Baltimore, Maryland.