The Gunpowder River is flowing at 131 CFS and dropping while reaching temperatures around
45 degrees during the afternoon. With the water levels up, using tungsten nymphs will be very helpful in getting your flies down towards the bottom. We just received a bunch of tungsten Euro-Nymphs and Jigs. Fishing current seams and wooded structure will be most effective throughout the day so don’t just target the deeper pools
Thanks to Hudson, a new employee at Backwater Angler for the following stream report.
I was out fishing yesterday above Big Falls road. The fishing was decent and the river looks great. The water has started to go down back to a normal level. I saw a lot of small midges but had better luck on leeches yesterday.
In the evenings one can find small cream midges and olives hatching with fish rising to them in the slower moving pools. These hatches tend to be more prolific as you move closer to the dam but bugs can be found throughout the catch and release section.
We will be open Tuesday the 29th and Wednesday the 30th from 10AM till 3PM.
We will be closed on Thursday the 31st and Friday The 1st.
For those of you home for the holidays and practicing in-law-avoidance week, please put fishing the Gunpowder River squarely in the NO GO ZONE this weekend. Full reservoir levels at the Baltimore City DPW managed Prettyboy Reservoir, a forecasted, full day of rain and the resulting snow melt has triggered widespread, dangerous flooding within a typically peaceful River corridor. So while water temperatures are 48 degrees F, the Gunpowder River is flowing at a new 20 year record high for December 25th of 1,111 Cubic feet a second. That is 5.41 ft at the Falls Rd gauge! Last year on this day the river was flowing at 208 CFS. If you don’t believe in CFS, Please see the graph expressed in river level in Feet. We don’t take people fly fishing at levels over 275 CFS and the range we’ve found young and old alike are safe wading is under 175 CFS. If you must escape the homefront, we are in the shop all weekend, the hiking trails are open if a bit squishy and one may still enjoy the river this holiday weekend without getting in it.
Flows on the Gunpowder have been favorable recently, fluctuating between 60-120cfs. This provides enough water to make the fish feel comfortable, but not so much that wading is too difficult. That being said, please use care when walking the banks of the river as recent snows have formed a lot of ice. This is particularly true for rocky sections such as the boulder pools above the Falls rd access point where the sunlight rarely reaches the trail deep in the river valley.
As for the fishing, it seems to be improving as December progresses. On days when the water level is rising streamer fishing tends to be most productive. For days like that it’s best to pick your favorite streamer pattern and fish it close to the bottom. More commonly, when the water level is dropping, nymphing will be most effective. Trout in the Gunpowder have seen quite a lot of pressure from anglers this year. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different nymph patterns, hotspot colors, and rigging options until you discover a combination that works for you!
Despite cold temperatures, midges are still hatching quite abundantly and trout can be seen rising to them. Most midge hatches have been occurring during the heat of the day (12-2pm) and require 6-7x tippet and small dries around size #22. Luckily, the slight increase in water has made the fish just a bit less discerning toward flies than they were when the water level was at 30cfs.
From the sulphur hatch, to the brief fishing ban, to the tuber hatch, to last Wednesday’s snowfall, 2020 has certainly been an eventful and challenging year. As this year full of uncertainty comes to a close we can’t help but reflect on all the fishing we’ve done and we invite all of you to tag our instagram account @backwaterangler with photos of your favorite fishing moments of 2020!
Happy Holidays Hours: December 22 10-3PM
December 23 10-3PM
December 24 Closed
December 25 Closed December 26 9-3
December 27 10-3
December 28 10-3
December 29 10-3
December 30 10-3
December 31 Closed
January 1 Closed January 2 10-3
January 3 10-3
After a long period of low water, Friday nights (12/4) rain increased the flow on the Gunpowder to ~100cfs. The higher water levels have temporarily put down most of the rising fish in the river, but streamer fishing and nymphing have increased in effectiveness.
When streamer fishing we recommend using small streamers in darker colors such as black and olive. In slower runs and deep pools a short strip of ~6inches can be effective, while dead drifting a streamer on a tight line tends to be more effective in riffles and fast cuts. Nymphing with small zebra midges, caddis pupae, and pheasant tails has been productive, as always. Heavy leech patterns dead drifted near the bottom have been particularly effective since the increase of water. if you’re hitting the river blind, rigging up a leech pattern along with one of the aforementioned nymphs in a size 18-22 is a great way to start the day.