Author Archives: Jacob Warner

Limited Access To The Gunpowder After Heavy Storms

Following the violent thunderstorms on Monday evening, access to the Gunpowder is limited. The Bunker Hill lots will most likely not be accessible throughout the weekend due to down trees. The access at Masemore Road is also limited as there are trees down on the Mt. Carmel side of the bridge. While on the river, it is very important to monitor the trees surrounding you as there are many loose or weakened branches that are still falling around the river. If you’re planning fishing this weekend, just be conscious of where you’re standing as falling branches are not something to mess with.

Despite the rough weather this week, the river is still fishing very well at its low flows. With all the down branches the terrestrials have been extremely productive. Black and brown ants and beetles have been the ticket for most fish. Mid-morning has been the most productive for the terrestrials but we have still had some luck in the evening as the sun begins to get behind the trees. Early morning has been good for nymphing. Split shot is generally not necessary during low water season as most bead-headed flies will have more than enough weight to get down.

Early August Fishing Report

It’s just past midsummer and it is hot outside. The river has been fairly empty of fisherman many of whom are out of town or wish to avoid the heat. We here at Backwater thoroughly discourage this position. The weather has been fairly pleasant as of late and the fish are very active in the early morning and late evenings. When we get morning Caddis’ hatches the Gunpowder can be incredibly productive. We highly suggest taking some time to do some early morning dry fly fishing. While the heat may be oppressive during midday, the river and nearby banks are far cooler than many assume. At Falls Road the river is around 55F meaning that most of the river is still bone chillingly cold even in the hottest summer day.
My advice on taking advantage of the summer lull is to use caddis for your dries or beetle patterns. For droppers I have liked San-Juan worms, Caddis emergers are doing well along with pheasant tales and zebra midges. We recommend fishing shallow riffles and faster moving water. Avoid wading and approach the water as stealthily as possible. The water is low, and the fish will see you if you are not carful.

For those planning to use streamers white and Olive is working. We discourage sink tip at this time unless fishing upper falls or fast water. Smaller fish will be your primary takers with the occasional larger fish if you’re fishing in the late evenings or early morning. Streamers are usually the most productive during or after heavy rains.

Gunpowder Fly Fishing Report: Late July

A recent fly fishing school where anglers had bites on streamers, nymphs, and dries all in one morning.

With Summer in full swing the fishing in the gunpowder has been great. Flows are still low at 34 cfs with temperatures ranging in the mid to high 50s at falls road. Anglers have had lots of success fishing with small caddis, beetles, and ants. These have been particularly effective throughout the mornings while targeting the riffles. Beetles and ants will continue to be productive into the fall and anglers will have the most success along the larger rocks, trees, and brush that lay in the gunpowder. With a bright sun and low water, it is important to minimize your wading and maximize your leader length. This will minimize the number of fish you spook by keeping your presence on the water subtle.

Nymphing has been another effective method for fishing the deeper portions of the river, with most of our success coming on midge imitations. A great way to nymph this time of year is with a hopper-dropper system. Using flies like Stimulators or Chubby Chernobyls as an indicator dry with a small pheasant tail or zebra midge is an easy and effective way to trick the picky fish and get the opportunistic fish on a big dry.

If all else fails, throwing a small streamer through the deeper and faster water may convince some fish to bite. A trusty black wooly bugger has been successful on more cloudy days and similar patterns should entice an aggressive fish.


Get Ready For a Trip Out West!

This past week I was lucky enough to fish Yellowstone National Park and many of the surrounding waterways. This was my fourth time visiting the park and it was for sure one to remember. After fishing 16 different bodies of water in the area I am sure on what is necessary to have a great trip.

A good pair of waders is key to an enjoyable fishing trip. Leaky, worn, or uncomfortable waders can hinder your maneuverability, create unnecessary wet clothing, and cut your fishing trips short. I have been using the Patagonia Swiftcurrent waders this summer and they provide the perfect balance of comfort, breathability, and durability. Heavy enough to protect you from the cold water and light enough to not be sweating buckets. Even more important are the boots. You need to ensure that your boots are fresh rubber or equipped with studs because the currents, rocks, and algae make for difficult wading on many of the rivers.

Your rod is another major factor to your success while fishing. Depending on the size of the water you’re fishing the rod needs to change. Larger water like the Madison River and many of the lakes a 5 or 6 weight rod is ideal. With larger fish and stronger currents, you need a rod with a little extra backbone to turn the heads of fish. Larger rods also help fight the wind commonly found out on western streams. If you’re looking to fish smaller water like the firehole, gibbon, or water similar to them a 4 or a 5 weight is ideal. Rods like the G. Loomis NRX, Scott Centric, or Echo Trout all have a fast action to battle these tough fish and conditions.

A large Yellowstone Lake Cutthroat caught on an articulated streamer.

The last and possibly most important is your fly selection. From the biggest streamers to the smallest dries, it is important to be prepared for any situation on the water. We can set you up with the perfect assortment of flies for your trips out west and cater them towards the bodies of water you plan on fishing.

The Best Saltwater Fly Rods On The Market

Between G. Loomis and Scott Fly rods we have never had a better assortment of saltwater weaponry. From the stiff and fast action NRX + S to the subtle presentation of a Sector we have just what you need for every species of fish you plan on targeting.


The NRX + S is the perfect fast action rod for your bigger flies and tough conditions. The extra stiffness greatly improves your longer casts and help fight the windier conditions. This rod will turn over bigger flies with ease and is great for all sorts of saltwater applications. With the fast action and stiffness, you do lose sensitivity in the close range however the precision is still there.

G. Loomis NRX+ Saltwater | BACKWATER ANGLER

The Scott lineup includes the Sector, Wave, and Tidal rods ranging from a 7 weight to a 9 weight. These rods provide the most sensitivity a saltwater rod can offer and are perfect for any flats or low tide situation where precision and accuracy is key to an angler’s presentation.  The added sensitivity is a drawback for larger flies and heavy winds however the rod will still be effective in these conditions.




Stop by the shop to cast these rods or order you can order them through the links provided on the post!

Scientific Angler Leader Sale!

A look at our extensive selection of Scientific Angler leaders and tippet.

Through July we are going to be running a sale on Scientific Angler leaders. We will be selling 4 packs for the price of three. This is a great value and helps you stock up on leaders for your summer fishing or trips in the future. The leaders are very high quality and come in a variety of sizes and styles for your needs.

Stop by the shop and stock up on all your fishing necessities.

Mid June Stream Report

A quality Brown Trout landed on Sulphur dry during a guide trip this week.

On the evening of June 16th The flows on the Gunpowder River raised to 74 cfs out of Prettyboy dam with temperatures in the low 50s. The increase in flow should improve our fishing and make fish a little less wary of us. Nymphing has been very successful throughout the day, but particularly good in the mornings. Most of our success has come on midge patterns, but imitating caddis or mayfly has been productive as well. If you want to fish streamers now is the time. While the water is higher the streamer bite should be more productive, however getting out early will still improve your chances with them.

The sulfurs are still prevalent throughout the afternoons. We will see caddis mixed in earlier in the day so fishing a caddis with a small nymph dropper is effective. As the afternoon progresses you will see lots of Sulphurs in the upper sections of the river. It is important to have a variety of Sulphur patterns as the fish catch on to your imitations quick. The evenings are also fishing well with dries as you often can find a spinner fall just before dusk. Get out and enjoy the river!



The Perfect Father’s Day Gifts!

With Father’s Day steadily approaching Backwater Angler is a great place to look for that perfect gift for a father in your family. Whether they are a seasoned fisherman or just looking for a new hobby, you can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to Backwater Angler. You can specify these certificates for guide trips, fly fishing schools, or store credit so that they can choose just what they need for the next time they’re out fishing.

Backwater Angler Gift Certificate | BACKWATER ANGLER

Backwater Angler Guide Trip Gift Certificate | BACKWATER ANGLER

Backwater Angler Fly Fishing School Gift Certificate | BACKWATER ANGLER

An assorted box of flies is another great gift as fisherman can never have too many flies. These flies can be specified or employees at Backwater can pick a selection for you.

Personalized Fly Selection | BACKWATER ANGLER

A Fisherman’s bag is essential to their excursions on the water. The sling style packs are great at maintaining mobility while also having easy access to the pockets in the bag. The packs come in waterproof and fabric materials based on the needs of the user.

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Sling | BACKWATER ANGLER

Patagonia Stealth Sling | BACKWATER ANGLER

Another great option is a new fly line. Recently Airflo release a new generation of fly lines in the Ridge 2.0 series. These lines are perfect for any freshwater needs and are no doubt the top of the line.

Airflo Ridge 2.0 Universal Taper | BACKWATER ANGLER

Airflo Ridge 2.0 Tactical Taper | BACKWATER ANGLER

Airflo Ridge 2.0 Power Taper | BACKWATER ANGLER

Airflo Ridge 2.0 Streamer Max | BACKWATER ANGLER

If you’re really looking to spoil a father in your family the best place to look is in the rod rack. We have a great assortment of rods for both fresh and saltwater at a range of different prices. Check out the online store, give the shop a call, or stop by the shop to find what you need!


Late May Fishing Report

As of May 25th, the Gunpowder River has dropped down to 38 CFS and is ranging between 46-53F. With no rain in the near future, it is expected to stay low for a while.  This will cause the need for longer and lighter leaders. Fishing a 10-12ft leader will greatly improve your drifts in the low water. It is best to avoid the slower water as fish will have lots of time to analyze your fly and the fish generally spook much easier. Target the riffles and deeper pools for the most success.

In the morning, we have had success swinging wet flies through the riffles in between pools. This has been an easy and successful method to catch fish consistently. As the water warms up throughout the day the sulphurs are prevalent. Again, the riffles will be more productive even while fishing the dries.  Nymphing is still an effective method on the river when the water is low, however it is key to target the deepest water and limit your disturbance in the pool.

Stop in the shop to get all the gear needed for a good trip out on the Gunpowder!

Best Three Weight Fly Rods in Maryland!

Our Line-up of Three Weights!

In the shop we have a wide variety of three weights for all of your small water needs. From fiberglass to Euro style rods, we have all the bases covered.

For the extra small creeks look no further than the Scott F series and Scott G series These rods are both under 8 feet long and provide excellent precision on the water. The F series is the best fiberglass rod we have come across and is perfect for your backcountry fishing as it breaks down to just 18 inches.



If you want something delicate yet sturdy enough to handle larger water the best options are the G. Loomis IMX Pro Creek and NRX+ LP. These rods come in at 7′ 9″ and 8′ 3″ respectively and provide precision like no other. The fast action on the rods help cast in tight areas and will provide the delicacy needed to present a fly in tight conditions while having enough backbone to stand up to larger fish.



With the popularity of Euro nymphying greatly increasing recently, it is important to bring the right gear for the tactic. The 10′ 3 weight shadow II and shadow X from Echo have been spectacular Euro rods for our customers and employees. The extra foot makes an incredible difference in presentation and a very sensitive tip sections allows the user to feel every strike or rock throughout their drift. Despite being a 3weight, these rods can withstand large rivers and turn over large nymph rigs.



Stop in the shop and cast these rods for yourself!