Monthly Archives: July 2011

Summer Fly Fishing on the Gunpowder


The river is flowing at 35 CFS and is 55 degrees at Falls Rd. Fishing has been productive throughout the day. Ants and caddis have been go-to patterns in the mornings and afternoons, while small midge and pheasant-tail nymphs have been working during mid-day. Tricos have just started coming off and the fish will begin eating them in the next week. A long leader ending in 7X has been the key to fooling the wary fish in low water. Fishing the upper sections of the river is a good idea if you want to fish pocket water and deep pools. Stop in and pick up some caddis and terrestrials from the muffin tins before you head out.

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School on Sunday, July 31

Please join us for a flyfishing school. On Sunday, July 31 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, fly selection and an hour of on-stream instruction. Schools are held in a meadow overlooking the Gunpowder river by a Maryland state licensed and insured fishing guide. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $100 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased prior to the class with check or cash at the shop. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-payment is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 or drop us a line at to register.

Heat Wave Fly Fishing On The Gunpowder

Morning Mist On The Gunpowder
The heat this week is approaching triple digits, but the Gunpowder River is still well below the threshold where trout become stressed by warm water. The upper reaches are still below 50 degrees in the morning, and may climb into the sixties in the mid to lower accesses of the catch and release sections. Areas below Bluemount Rd are likely to be too warm for fishing, so consider taking a water temp before fishing. Generally the trout become less active once the water gets into the 68-70 degree range, so fishing farther up river will be far more productive, and less stressful on the trout. The cooler water temps along the Gunpowder really drop the ambient air temps, and the rolling fog and a slight breeze act as air conditioning. In weather like this when yard work is a miserable chore, fishing can still be a way to cool off, and get out of the house.
Doubled Over

I fished quite often over the past weeks in fluctuating flows, before taking a non fishing hiatus to the beach. I returned to low water, and decided to dust off a smaller 7 foot 3 weight fiber glass rod. I knew of a few good riffles holding lots of trout, and fished a small caddis dry on a long leader. Fish were taking caddis sporadically, but would hammer the fly on the first drift. In one run I rose ten fish without moving a step, landing five browns. The 8-11 inch fish really put a bend in the fiberglass rod. The most productive areas were the faster runs and riffles where the trout wouldn’t spook as easily. In the flatter, shallow sections I watched as trout spooked from as far as sixty feet away. In some cases I watched fish dart for cover before my boots got wet. Avoiding these areas and focusing on the deeper areas will result in better fishing. In the lower flows it can be feast or famine in terms of catching trout, but in some areas it can be quite productive. On a different day I spent an hour fishing where a lot of smaller trout hold, armed my six foot one weight Scott Fiber Touch rod. The rod and smooth drag on the reel was a blast on the 6-10 inch trout. I only saw one other angler between the two days on the water. Despite the low flows and excessive heat, the river is fishing well. The latest video post features some wild browns I caught on fiberglass rods.

Gunpowder River Tricos, Flying Ants and Beetles…

Healthy Wild Brown Trout
The river is low at 34 CFs, clear and 58 to 61F by mid-afternoon. Look for active fish in riffles and shade lines and stop by the shop and give the muffin tins a once over-we have plenty of terrestrials and caddis on the counter and are always happy to lend a hand in suggesting the most productive access points along the river.

Thanks to Josh Reider for the stream report and photos:

The Gunpowder is at 34 CFS and fishing at this level has its advantages. Fish will be stacked in deeper pools and riffles, making it easy to see and target individual fish. Use a long 12-15 foot leader ending in 6X or 7X. Summer on the Gunpowder river is one of the most fun times of the year to fish. You can throw a variety of different dry flies such as; Elk Hair Caddis, BWOs, Sulfurs, Hoppers, Ants, and Beetles–even larger attractor patterns can draw fish. The past four days we were able to fish, each night we had large numbers of tan caddis in a size #16. Also, try fishing BWOs in sizes #14-18 and Sulfurs in a size #16. What I found was the fish targeted in on the caddis and small terrestrials such as an ant. Be sure to be stealthy, “if you can see the fish, they can see you”, stay low, and make few false casts. Tricos have been seen buzzing up and down the river, while the fish have only started to eat them, fishing will be heating up as we approach the weekend. A good pattern to use for Tricos is a reverse hackle pattern in a size #22-24. If you can take anytime to fish in the next few days, there have been great caddis hatches anywhere upstream of Big Falls Road. The fish above fell for a size #16 tan caddis while the fish below fell for a size 14 “Acid Ant”.

Brown Trout with Abel Super Series New Brown Trout Reel