Author Archives: Hudson Weber

New Abel Vaya’s in Stock

We have just restocked our reel case with some beautiful Abel Vaya’s. There is simply no other reel like it. The Vaya is one of our favorite reels here at Backwater Angler not only for its stunning looks but also for it durability and technology. Crafted by avid Colorado anglers, the VAYA series debuts an all-new technical look and feel paired with outstanding performance. The partially-ported VAYA frame offers the unique combination of minimized weight, incredible rigidity, and just enough surface area to highlight Abel’s hand-anodized finishes. The frame interior also features varying sets of CNC-milled fly patterns, relevant to each size of reel. The large-arbor spool features a precision-balanced, dual-pawl drag engagement design that eliminates the need for a counterweight. The spool’s mechanical incoming click compliments the audible, smooth feel of the outgoing drag. The carbon / stainless multi-disk drag system produces substantial resistance, while providing a wide range of adjustability for delicate tippet.

Abel Vaya 4/5 Classic Brown Trout

Underwood On The Hunt Slate Gray Vaya 7/8 Reel

Underwood On The Hunt Deep Green Vaya 5/6 Reel

Abel Vaya 7/8 Blue III

Abel Vaya 4/5 Native Brook

Abel Vaya 4/5 Satin Black

January 8th Gunpowder Fishing Report

The river is running at 61 cfs and the temperature is 41 degrees. Over this last week with the colder temperatures and snow the river has dropped in temperature and has raised in flows.  have been fishing a lot of small zebra midge patterns and also some small dry flies such as a sz 20 Griffiths gnat or a very small parachute style fly. although it has not been as productive the past couple of days, streamer fishing has been pretty good as well. Black and olive buggers have been working best with the occasional  Maddison sculpin picking up a few fish here and there.

We will be closed Sunday January 9th due to harsh weather conditions

The Gunpowder River New Year Stream Report

The river is flowing at 138cfs and the temperature is 45 degrees, both dropping quickly with the cold front hitting today. The Gunpowder has been fishing best with streamers and small nymphs. With the cold streamer fishing could slow down, but with the water being higher fish may still be active enough to chase a bigger fly. Some patterns that have been effective have been the slump buster, grey ghost, and wooly  buggers.

Nymphing should be the go-to tactic if you want to maximize the amount of fish caught in the winter months. The most effective patterns have been those imitating midges: Zebra midges, WD-40s, etc. We often pair these with a hare’s ear or a euro-style nymph to help get the smaller flies down. It’s best to target the faster runs because there will be more food available so fish will eat more readily.

As always, keep a look out for the redds on the river, especially through the areas with more gravel.

Ross Animas Fly Reel Review

A fully-redesigned frame and spool are highlights of the new Animas. The spool shows off the cutting-edge manufacturing techniques Ross Reels has developed, delivering a design that is incredibly strong and visually stunning. The Animas also re-joins the family by incorporating an ultra-light canvas phenolic handle which gets tackier when wet. along with the new drag system that includes composite discs that are more reliable and a smaller drag nob.  A new trouble-free spool release yields zero-maintenance performance, allowing the Animas to be ready for any fresh or saltwater excursion.

Ross Animas


Patagonia Shelled Insulator Pants

As we are expecting some cooler temperatures into next week now is a great time to try out the Patagonia shelled insulator pants. they are great pants to fish in and excellent pants to have when the snow needs to be cleared from the driveway.

The Patagonia shelled insulator pants are one of the best winter pants made. These versatile, highly water-resistant, insulated soft-shell pants provide stretch, warmth and windproof protection for fishing in cool or cold conditions. They also excel on days of clearing show or leaves in cooler weather.

Patagonia M’s Shelled Insulator Pants



Gunpowder River Stream Report for November 12th

Cooler temperatures are right around the corner. This means cooler water and happy fish. The river is flowing at 140 CFS and has been holding there consistently. The water temperature has ranged from 58 down to 54 degrees throughout the day. with the rain last night the river is up but it will go back down soon. Streamer fishing has been very productive as well as euro nymphing and the occasional caddis emerger. Flies such as a classic prince nymph and copper johns are working exceptionally well right now as well as most euro nymphing style flies.One can’t go wrong with a classic wooly bugger, royal coachman or even a grey ghost. My personal favorite ly to fish this time of year is a big sculpin pattern. Flies such as the Maddison sculpin and the near Nuff Sculpin are great patterns.

Gunpowder River Stream report for October 23

Now is the time to break out the streamers and October caddis patterns. The time of year has finally come around again and the Gunpowder River is looking good. While the river is flowing at 34cfs, the water temps are staying between 50 and 55 degrees. Sculpin patterns such as the Near Nuff Sculpin and my personal favorite, the Maddison Sculpin are working well mid to late afternoon. Caddis patterns such as the cornfed caddis are working exceptionally well in the evenings. Although tricos are gone the fish in the upper river are still looking for them. I recommend using a lighter tippet size due to the lower water conditions. Stop in and fill a brand-new Umpqua fly box with all your favorite seasonal flies and get on the water prepared.

Its Crazy to think that both of these fish were caught in the upper gunpowder.

Echo Shadow X Review

Over the past couple of weeks that I have been back from Montana, it seems that many people have been heading out there themselves. I couldn’t be more excited for them to experience the amazing landscape and big fish water. A longer rod is the keystone to Euro Nymphing.  Echo designed The Shadow X specifically for Nymphing. At 10, 10 and a half, and 11 feet in length you can Tight-line or Euro-nymph without having to wade deep into the pools. The very sensitive tip section is ideal for staying in touch with your flies and, feeling a fish take and protecting light tippet, but have enough backbone to turn fish out of strong currents. Though I have only have been using my Euro Nymphing rod for close to a year now I have been more than happy with the results. I’ve also found it ideal for using indicator rigs, as the longer length of these rods functions to turn over the heavy nymph rigs easily with a roll cast. As stated earlier the ultra-sensitive tip on the rod allows for the ability to tell there the bottom is and when a fish takes your fly. I am currently using the 10′ 6″ 3wt Shadow X. While it is slightly more flimsy than the 10′ Shadow X it was still able to turn some larger fish in the strong sweeping currents of the Madison and Gallatin Rivers.

Echo Shadow X