Author Archives: Theaux Le Gardeur

Gunpowder River Levels at 20 year Record for Today


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.

Cyber Monday Fly Fishing Gifts

So here is the Cyber Monday fly fishing gifts story. We’ve missed seeing many of you in the shop during this uncertain time. I’ve quickly come to the conclusion today that it would also not be prudent to go fly fishing on the Gunpowder River today during the flood watch and associated 30-40 mph gusts.That said, we’re making it easier for you, while you stay safer at home, to shop with us. Here are a few items that have been garnering the most attention from our website. Treat yourself or allow someone else too-that’s a win-win! Take advantage of free shipping on any of these items. Gift certificates can also be e-mailed right to your inbox during the shop’s normal operating hours.

BWA Knit Cuffed Hats

Backwater Angler Gift Certificate

BWA Knit Beanie Hat

Backwater Angler Fly Fishing School Gift Certificate

BWA Bayside Hat

Backwater Angler Guide Trip

Fly Fishing the Gunpowder River Over the Fall Holiday


Here’s an update on stream conditions a few pictures of the new shop and shop protocols during the Fall Holiday. The Gunpowder River is flowing at 33 CFS and is 54 degrees F. Small unweighted streamers in the bend pools and around the log jams and drifting nymphs on a tight line are worth a shot… With water temps on the rise, count on fish midging and use a longer lighter leader to trick them in bright and low conditions.Limit your wading and use the trail network through the catch and release area.The river is too shallow to float. Please don’t risk damaging potential spawning habitat by attempting a float in low to no flow conditions. If you fish early or late or can wait for some cloud cover you might find some more willing wild trout.

Covid update From Governor Hogan’s office

Based on the Governor’s guidance we are going to 50% of capacity, so we’ll be temporarily halting Hunting and Fishing license sales until we are back to 100% retail capacity. You may buy a license online here: https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov

We’re limiting store traffic to three people at a time in the shop, limiting store traffic to one person from each family or party in the shop and continuing curbside pickup during regular hours. Just add curbside to your online or phone order and text us when you are in the parking lot up to 15 minutes before closing and we’ll place everything in your trunk.Please note our bathroom is STILL not open to the public so plan accordingly.

We are expanding online shopping with socially distanced fly selections for curbside or mail delivery.

Personalized Fly Selection

We have hand sanitizer on the front porch and counter area and will provide you with a mask if you forget yours. All of our employees are undergoing temperature checks are busy wiping down touch points between customers, and are happy to help you at a safe distance. Instead of stopping in just to chat consider giving us a call or sending us an email with all the questions you can muster. we’ll answer them to the best of our abilities and if we can’t we won’t give you any rigamarole and want you to succeed in this lifetime, quiet sport. Stay well!

Mid-June Gunpowder River Fishing Report


The Gunpowder River is clear, flowing at 115 Cfs and 57 degrees F. Sulphurs in the #16-18 range abound. Spinners are good bet after 7PM. Caddis are a good bet especially emergers-stop in we have a few great ones to choose from. Ants are also a good bet nd it’s never to early to start fishing terrestrials for opportunistic wild fish. New to the shop this week are Echo Trout rods in the 4wt to 6wt range. At $350 with lifetime warranty that are one of the best value-oriented travel fly rods on the market.

Echo Trout Fly Rod


This week we have new reels from Ross including San Miguels in stock.

Ross San Miguel


On the river expect to see Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurel in full bloom. If you need a rain jacket for Saturday and Sunday stop in while they are 50% off…

Father’s Day Fly Fishing Sale

Thanks to all who have supported our small shop online and curbside during these challenging times. We are still taking online, curbside and have been welcoming folks in the shop now for two weekends at the counter for flies, gear and for booking future instruction related activities.The above graph shows the dramatic support we’ve received from new and old customers alike online and we are very thankful that the river and shop (as shown by your financial support) has become essential to your recreation. This week we’ve received a wave of inventory from Scientific Anglers, Dr. Slick, Trout Hunter, Simms and drum roll please….AIR-LOCK indicators-the “secure, adjustable kinkless and biodegradable indicators we’ve all been waiting for…

For those of you pinching pennies, we have discontinued outdoor clothing in stock at 50% off this weekend through June 21st and in-store only.

We’re also taking an additional 15% off all used fly reels and graphite fly rods in stock. Here is a quick listing:

Fly rods:
G. Loomis Whisper Creek GLX 8ft 8 inch 3wt 4pc $300
T&T Vector 9ft 4wt 3pc $400
T&T Vector 9ft 5wt 3pc $400
Scott G series 9ft 4wt 4pc $600
Sage Z Axis 11ft 7wt 4pc $450
Scott STS 9ft 8weight 3 pc $375
Sage XP 9ft 8weight 4 pc $395
Echo E3 7ft 3wt 4pc $200

Fly Reels:
Ross G2 $175
Ari T Hart F2 with extra spool $595
Orvis Battenkill III with two spools $350
Bauer MXP 1 $375
Islander 4.0 LX $450

End of May Gunpowder River Fly Fishing Report


The Gunpowder River is flowing at 101 Cfs, 55 degrees and clear. Many of us have been waiting all year for these ideal conditions. Plan on seeing a mix of sulphurs, #16-18 caddis and #18-22 midges out there. Wild fish are always a little tricky on bright days so fish early or late if you can. Avoiding “parking lot” water and focusing on riffles is a good bet. Leader length is the 9 to 12 foot range ending in 7x can make all the difference in turning a follow into a take. Thanks to Keir Joyce for the wonderful photo of a Gunpowder River Brook trout and the following stream report from May 26th.

Guys,
Glad to see the shop is back open and I had hoped to swing this weekend, but got too caught up on the river.I wanted to pass along that I fished on Saturday and had a good amount of luck with a Copper John, wet flies, and copper bead midges. It fished really well and I was able to net a few browns, a rainbow, a brook, and a small mouth bass mid morning to after lunch.
Today I fished for most of the morning before the kayak traffic started to pick up. There was some risers that were reacting to more sulfur action and had a few takes with a gray/tan Caddis, but most of my luck was nymphing with a rainbow warrior that brought in a few good sized browns and one rainbow.

Keir

Please note: During the month of June, we will be opening at 8 AM every Saturday and Sunday for walk-in traffic and curbside pickup is still an option.

Fishpond Gear in Maryland

Gene has spent the latter part of the afternoon unloading a few boxes from the folks at Fishpond. He’s also updated our online catalog to reflect this new influx.In addition to host of fresh trucker hats, we have ever popular accessories like the Headgate tippet holders, Arrowhead retractors, confluence magnetic net releases. We also have a host of smart packs in stock including the Thunderhead submersible series slings and lumbar packs and Nomad Native and Nomad Emerger nets.

Fishpond Hats

Headgate Tippet Holder

Fishpond Arrowhead Retractor

Fishpond Confluence Net Release

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Sling

Fishpond – Nomad Native Net

Nomad Emerger Net

Backwater Angler Reopens May 22, 2020

Based on the County Executive’s order, Backwater Angler will our reopen our doors for retail business tomorrow, May 22 at 10AM.

Big Changes you need to be aware of for our reopening:
Mask requirements are in effect-if you’re not wearing a mask we won’t welcome you in. Period.
We will limit the total # customers to Three(3) in the door at a time.
Our restroom will remain closed to the public.
If you’re sick, stay at home. We can always “talk fishing” remotely.

Extended Hours on the Weekends:
Because we’ve missed a good part of our busy season and because we want to follow social distancing guidelines and allow time for cleaning following CDC guidelines we will begin earlier on the weekends and will now be opening at 8AM on Saturdays and Sundays through May and June.

Contactless Curbside Continues: For those in a hurry or not yet comfortable with the easing of restrictions and ask that you preorder online our secure website. Please note approximately what time and what vehicle you will be in so we can place the items in your trunk upon arrival. If you’d rather us put the items in thermal we’re still offering free shipping on all orders placed online.

Guide Services resume:
Our guiding and instruction related activities will resume June 1. We have quite a backlog of schools and guide trips since mid-March so if you have a future date in mind don’t delay in calling us to set up a date and time so we can get you on the calendar.

Other services resume:
We can know spool up reels.

We greatly appreciate all of the support our online and curbside customers have given us during the closure and as always wish that you and your families stay well.

Spring Fish Stocking Report from MDDNR

We wanted to share this great news with you from the State. To date, the department has stocked 211,450 brown, golden, and rainbow trout across the state, at the locations listed below. Annual production at our hatcheries is about 300,000 trout. This completes trout stocking for the spring. Please obtain your fishing license here.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources conducted limited trout stocking throughout Maryland this spring in an effort to alleviate overcrowding at state fish hatcheries, and also provide opportunity for recreational anglers.

Following Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive orders to limit spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, state employees suspended all field activities, including regularly scheduled trout stocking.

Without the scheduled stocking, state hatcheries lacked room needed to continue production for future seasons, and as trout in these facilities continued to grow, they were at risk of higher mortality. Removing fish and stocking them into public waters became an urgent matter.

The department encourages anglers to take advantage of the incredible fishing opportunities Maryland has to offer, provided all practice social distancing, avoid crowded areas, and minimize social interaction.

Allegany County:
Battie Mixon: 1,500
Cotton Cove Pond: 600
Evitts Creek: 6,000
Fifteen Mile Creek: 3,700
Flintstone Creek: 1,000
Georges Creek: 500
Jennings Run: 4,500
N.B.P.R. Zero Creel: 1,900
North Jennings Run Watershed: 1,000
Rocky Gap: 4,400
Wills Creek: 5,500

Baltimore County:
Gunpowder Falls, Lower: 7,000
Gunpowder Falls, Upper: 3,000
Little Gunpowder Falls: 3,500
Patapsco River, Daniels: 2,000

Carroll County:
Farm Museum Pond: 1,200
South Branch Patapsco River: 1,400
South Branch Patapsco River. (Mariottsville Road): 2,500
South Branch Patapsco River (River Roa): 1,250
Taneytown Pond: 1,100

Cecil County:
Big Elk: 2,500
Howards Pond: 1,750
Rising Sun Pond: 1,100

Charles County:
Hughesville Pond: 300
Myrtle Grove: 2,000
Wheatley Lake: 2,500

Frederick County:
Brunswick Pond: 1,000
Carroll Creek: 1,000
Catoctin Creek Park: 500
Cunningham Falls Lake: 4,000
Fishing Creek: 1,000
Frank Bentz Pond: 1,000
Friends Creek: 2,500
Hamburg Pond: 500
Middle Creek: 4,700
Owens Creek: 3,000
Rainbow Lake: 2,500
Whiskey Springs Pond: 500

Garrett County:
Accident Pond: 1,500
Bear Creek: 9,000
Broadford Lake: 3,000
Casselman River:4,000
Deep Creek Lake: 7,400
Glades Park Pond: 1,000
Herrington Lake: 3,500
Jennings Randolph Lake: 6,000
Little Youghiogheny River: 2,000
Mill Run: 1,000
Muddy Creek: 1,800
North Branch Potomac River, Gorman: 600
North Branch Potomac River: Kitzmiller: 4,500
North Branch Potomac River:.Westernport: 5,000
Parkview Pond: 500
Piney Reservoir: 1,000
Savage Reservoir: 2,300
Savage River: 6,000
Snowy Creek: 1,000
Youghiogheny River: 2,100
Youghiogheny River, Friendsville: 2,000
Youghiogheny River, Oakland: 6,000

Harford County:
Deer Creek: 6,500
Forest Hill Pond: 500

Montgomery County:
Great Seneca Creek: 3,500
Izaak Walton Pond: 500
Lake Needwood: 1,500
Martin Luther King Jr. Pond: 1,400
Northwest Branch: 4,500
Patuxent River, Laurel: 1,000
Prince George’s County
Cosca Lake: 2,000
Lake Artemesia: 3,000
Laurel Lake: 600
Melwood Pond: 250
Queen Anne’s County
Unicorn Branch: 500

Washington County:
Antietam Creek: 2,000
Beaver Creek: 6,500
Blairs Valley: 6,500
Greenbrier Lake: 4,000
Indian Springs Pond: 500
Israel Creek: 2,500
Licking Creek: 3,000
Little Antietam Creek: 1,500
Little Tonoloway Creek: 300
Little Tonoloway Creek, Upper: 300
Sharpsburg Pond: 500
Sideling Hill Creek : 1,000

Catch and Release Fishing and Boating Closed Statewide in Maryland

Here is the latest Covid-19 update from DNR from Wednesday April 8, 2020. Governor Larry Hogan has issued an executive order on March 30, 2020, which institutes a Stay at Home directive and says that no Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes.

While the order does allow for outdoor exercise recreation, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reaffirming the need for members of the public who engage in outdoor recreation to follow all rules and guidelines in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Hogan has stressed that safely practiced outdoor recreation time is essential to health and well-being. Most Maryland state parks and other public lands remain open, and residents may engage in safe, isolated activities.

Under the executive order, no Marylander should leave their home except for an essential reason. Therefore, recreational boating is not allowed. Subsistence hunting and fishing — limited hunting and limited recreational fishing and crabbing for sustenance — can continue, however social distancing must be adhered to strictly. No permits for fishing tournaments, including virtual tournaments, will be issued by the department until further notice. Commercial fishing is deemed essential and may continue since it is part of the food supply chain.