Monthly Archives: May 2019

Great River Levels on the Gunpowder!

The river is at 173 cfs and gin clear with temp’s 50 F. The recent marked drop in water temperature is due to warm surface water being replaced with frigid water pulled from the 55 foot gate of the dam.

The fishing has been great so far this spring. When water levels allow, fish are now stacked in the riffles and faster water. Trout are eating sulphurs size #14-18 and tan caddis #14-18. For those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, the dry fly fishing has been exceptional. Midges have been keeping trout occupied through the morning. Fishing tends to improve in the afternoon once the water warms a bit triggering mayfly and caddis hatches.

The shop will be open all weekend from 10 till 4 this Saturday and Sunday and 10 till 5 on this Monday, Memorial Day.

Sulphurs and Caddis on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 214 Cfs is clear and 54 degrees F. Caddis and Sulpurs are in full swing. While it has not been warm enough for “epic” spinner falls we are seeing quite a few drop in very close to dark. Mid- morning and late afternoon into evening fishing has been productive with caddis and caddis emergers in the #14-16 range and Sulphur patterns, from nymphs, emergers and duns in the #12 -16 range. We have many patterns in the muffin tins on the front counter the guides have been using this week. Just quick look at the fly towers reveals that we have over 30 sulphur patterns and 16 caddis patterns to chose from. When faced with choosing between being hemmed up inside cleaning out the garage, mowing the lawn or going fly fishing for wild trout on the Gunpowder on a beautiful spring weekend the answer is clear…

Flows and Temps are Improving on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 211 Cfs and is 53.5 degrees F. Caddis and Sulphurs are making their presence known as are plenty of wild fish. With the forest in full leaf out This spring don’t wait to go fly fishing on the Gunpowder! We have just received close to 100 dozen dry and wet flies including duns, spinners and hard to find caddis and sulphur emergers from expert tier Mike Bachkosky. Hint: The ones that work best are in the muffin tins on the front counter and won’t last…

Songbirds, Soft Hackles and Mayflies on the Gunpowder River

Thanks To Sean for the great stream report and photos from his Spring Forays.

Hey guys.. going to give the stream report a go. I spend enough time on the Gunpowder Watershed drainage… been writing some stuff down recently. This time of year, last 2 weeks in April to the middle of May, is up there for me as being one of my favorite times within the Gunpowder River drainage. Whether it be above the reservoir or below, there is a lot of activity continually moving and growing. On land and in water. This week I concentrated on the Falls portion in the catch and release area. Mayflies are waxing and waning, caddis are getting more consistent and ants are all along on land, hopefully making their way in the water to the fish. The hendrickson hatch has given way to the epic sulphur hatches that we saw last year. The forecast seems great on that front. Last spring and summer we saw some of the more prolific sulphur hatches and especially spinner falls. I suppose the higher water levels created optimal conditions for our iconic mayfly. Im assuming 2019 will be much of the same as our water levels have been now consistently higher.

Streamers, swinging wets/ soft hackles were the way to go on overcast days. However, my best fish this week came in full sun on a small streamer pattern with a really long leader. I have been fishing small weighted streamers on a floating line with a 9 to 10 foot leader, casting directly at and around structure. On the warmest days and in full sun I found some shade and was euro nymphing while letting the presentation turn into a swing before I reset my position to cast. On the swing, as the flies lift toward the surface, the fish down deeper have been giving chase. Sulphur dries in 14 and 18 sizes accounted for fish during the hatches. I fish in the afternoons, so my observations pertain to this time period. But a good presentation, no matter subsurface or on top will net fish.

On a side note for all the birding enthusiasts, this week as like clockwork, has brought the migrating songbirds that make the Gunpowder River their home. During your angling endeavors, pay attention to the prairie warblers passing through and listen for the wood thrushes that have appeared this week. I pay attention to certain birds on the river, with some practice they will hint to you that bugs may be lifting off the water. Fish ON!


Beginners Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Saturday May the 11th 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 11:00 – 2:00pm. 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 with check or cash the day of the school. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.

May Day Gunpowder Fly Fishing Report

The Gunpowder river is at a great level, 140 cfs, running clear once more with water temperature in the upper 50’s.

Abundant caddis are hatching throughout the river. Trout on the lookout for them in strong numbers. Try skating a caddis in the riffles for some aggressive takes. Mayflies, mostly sulphurs with the occassional Hendrickson are starting to come off well from early – mid Afternoon. Stop in the shop for local patterns and advice.

We still have availability in our guiding calendar this May and June, give the shop a call at 410 357 9557 to reserve a trip. We are guiding 7 days a week.