Monthly Archives: August 2009

Fly Fishing Central Pennsylvania

Thanks to Steve for the stream report from Central Pennsylvania.

Theaux and staff,
I had the opportunity to spend Saturday the 18th fly fishing with my brother on some Central Pennsylvania streams. The weather was perfect, around 76 degrees, and we hit Penns Creek for smallmouth first. Fishing poppers, streamers and nymphs, we were able to land a few smallies. On the way to Big Fishing Creek to fish the evening rises, we stopped at a small brookie stream…sorry I don’t recall the name of it. I hooked two brookies, and brought one to hand that was just over six inches. My brother caught one about the same size, and a 9 inch brown from the same pool. We got to our destination pool on Big Fishing Creek and watched for about 20 minutes. There were some slate drakes coming off, and I chose a parachute adams. After about 10 minutes of casting, the fish I was casting to hit it hard, and I landed my personal best 12 ½ inch wild brown. My brother then started casting to an upstream rising fish and a few casts later landed a 13 inch brown. It was a very successful trip and I am getting better at this! It’s been less than a year, and I feel like I still have a lot to learn. By the way, the gear is holding up well.

Steve Gutowski

Fly Fishing Maryland in August

Fly Fishing Maryland
The fishing on the Gunpowder has been productive in the past week. Anglers fishing in the mornings can expect to see fish sipping tricos in the flats and tailouts of riffles. With the weekday flows at 30cfs, the fishing has been technical. A stealthy approach is necessary in order to catch these finicky fish-12 foot 7x leaders are an absolute must for fishing these tiny flies. The water temperature is still in the mid 50s. With hot humid days in the upper 90s, alot of fisherman have been wet wading. When fishing the trico hatch, its important to correctly match the hatch. The fish generally start sipping emergers and duns in the beginning of the hatch. Towards the end of the hatch, the fish are almost entirely feeding on spinners. The hatch has been fairly prolific from the middle to upper sections of the catch and release water. Depending on the day, the hatch can start as early as 8 AM and end as late as 1 PM. I like to get to the river early and nymph for an hour or so before the hatch gets going. A size # 16 bead head hares ear nymph with a size # 20 or 22 pheasant tail dropper has picked up lots of fish. You’ll find most of the browns will fall for the smaller pheasant tail dropper which imitates a trico nymph. Small black zebra midges and WD 40s in size 22 have also been producing. During the hatch, black RS2’s and Mike Bachkosky’s trico dun patterns are my go to flies.
Fly Fishing Maryland with Tricos
Later in the day, it’s best to fish terrestrials such as ants and beetles through riffles and tight to the banks. Hoppers have been moving lots of fish for me lately. In the deeper pools I like to really splat the water in order to gain the fish’s attention. Greenie weenies and san juan worms are also effective flies this time of the year. Stay patient on the water and be ready for picky fish. A lot of the fish I have caught lately have refused the first three patterns I’ve tried. It takes skill to fool these fish and a lot of times all they need to see is something a little different.

St. Croix Imperial Fly Rod Review

Thanks to Ben for the gear review on the St. Croix Imperial fly rod penned earlier this Summer.

This past weekend was a fantastic experience in Western Maryland. I started my morning by trying out my new St. Croix Imperial Fly Rod. The 7 ft 3 wt rod was the perfect tool on the small brookie streams that are in abundance near theSavage tailwaters. This rod works magic for the close in fishing that brook troutstreams demand. Whether it was flicking a hopper or twitching a caddis, thisfast action, lightweight rod delivered pinpoint, delicate presentations that had brook trout pouncing on my flies all morning. Hitting the deeper plunge pools in Middle Fork produced several decent size brookies in the 10 inch range. When I had satisfied my penchant for brook trout, the 4 piece rod fit easily in my day pack for the hike back to the car.I took the afternoon to explore the waters of the Savage. There were still Sulphurs coming off sporadically, which I was fresh out of, but a couple browns in the 12-14 inch range were eager to take an elk hair caddis drifted through the pockets. The best fish of the day was a thick bodied 15 inch brown who sucked in a hopper under a leafy bank.

Thanks for all the advice and setting me up with the gear to get it done!


Another Weekend Release on The Gunpowder River

Choppy Water Bend
The shop just received word that yet another release on the Gunpowder will provide perfect conditions for fishing through this weekend. Anglers should expect clear, ice cold flows in the low fifties and levels in the 120 Cfs range. Tricos swarms are getting thick and many spinners may fall as late as 11:30 a.m., as described by customers stopping by the shop today. As I write this a few calls have come in confirming the water is already on the rise, by those anglers who braved the low flows for an afternoon’s fishing. In addition to dry fly fishing, nymphing, streamers and dry-dropper rigs are also great in these flows. We just received a shipment of ants and beetles from Rainy’s Flies, and also have a variety of foam and deer hair hoppers, too.

Guided Fly Fishing Trips in Western Maryland in August

Favorite Stretch on The Savage
Backwater Angler guides will be available for guided four and six wade trips on the Savage or North Branch of the Potomac Rivers during the week of August 17th through the 21st. Late Summer low flows on the North Branch of the Potomac means easier wading and better concentrations of trout in the deeper pools. Hopper dropper fishing on the North Branch can be a lot of fun and great way to effectively cover water this time of the year. The low flows on the Savage River can make for challenging dry fly fishing, but in many pools fish can be selectively feeding on tiny flies throughout the day. Numerous deep pools on the Savage also provide options for nymphing for anglers looking to catch more fish. 
North Branch of the Potomac River
To book your Western Maryland fly fishing guide trip please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at
Food and lodging will not be provided, nor will transportation to and from the river. Details on lodging and camping options, meeting times & places, and recommended gear will also be discussed prior to the trip.

Low Water, Tricos and BWO’s on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder river is flowing at 32 Cfs, is 54F and gin clear. Passing clouds this week have made tiny Blue Winged Olives a good bet. The Trico hatch has been consistent from Falls Rd downstream through Bunkerhill. We’ve had some reports this week of Tricos spinners falling as late as 1 PM. Long leaders in the 9 ft to 12 ft range ending in the 6 to 7x range will make a difference between fishing and catching wiley Gunpowder river brown trout. We have Mike Bachkosky’s Tricos on the front counter sized #20-#24 and lots of 7 and 8x should you need it!
Al's Trico by Mike Bachkosky
If you’ve grown tired of the “dreaded tinys,” try a small hopper in front of them, then “drop” the Trico behind the large fly and hold on. Caddis pupa in the #14-16 range are also worth a shot but are best fished with a small Hare’s Ear dropper.

Related Video post:
Clouds of Tricos along the Gunpowder River

Tricos and a Great Blue Heron on the Gunpowder River

Paul Young Perfectionist Taper Bamboo Fly Rods by Dean Turner

Dean Turner formerly of Monkton, Maryland now resides in CT, a state also known for a few trout streams. He’ll will be swinging by the shop this Thursday to show off his wares. Even with the resurgence of Bamboo that anglers are currently enjoying he’ll never be accused of beating his chest. Dean keeps a low profile and we like it that way. In fact, the rods he quietly delivers to us, leave the shop very quickly. Each model features unique taper designs with swelled butts that make these rods very powerful indeed.
Dean Turner, Little Falls Paul Young Perfectionist Taper Bamboo Fly Rod
They are ideal rods for the angler just “moving into” bamboo. All the rods are 2/2, that is, they are two piece rods with two matched tips. They come with a divided poplin sack and a powder-coated aluminum tube with a brass cap and are priced at $1,350. The rod featured is based on a Paul Young Perfectionist taper, 7′ 6″ 4wt 2/2, and is fitted with a nickel silver slide band over a circassian walnut spacer and a cigar grip…It is a parabolic rod that feels at home on small to medium sized waters. Swing soft hackles with this one and get ready to smile…

Related post:
Fishing Bamboo Fly Rods in Maryland

Gunpowder River Weekend Release at 120 Cfs

 Great Levels for Terrestrial Fishing
The Gunpowder is up from 30 Cfs to 120 Cfs for the duration of the weekend. The continued work by Baltimore City on Prettyboy Dam midweek and recent heavy rains has led to an off load of water to keep the Gunpowder’s flow solely bottom release. The resulting rise in levels will spread many fish out, and make them much more aggressive. Tricos, tandem nymph rigs, streamers and big terrestrials are all good options on the river in these flows. The Trico hatch in the morning has provided great surface action, even in the lower flows, but at higher levels the trout are much easier to fool. Large terrestrials and large streamers will produce bigger trout, although nymphing may produce more trout.  Water levels may drop by Monday morning, so be sure to stop by the shop and pick up some good high water patterns before the weekends over.
Tail in Water Brown Trout