The Gunpowder River is in great shape for fishing and has been continuously improving throughout the month. At Falls rd, the river is flowing around 70 cfs with water temps ranging from the low to mid 50s.
There is quite a bit of didymo on the rocks at the moment, which can cause frustration while nymphing. Luckily there has been good opportunity for dry fly fishing this month, particularly in the upper portion of the catch and release section. In the past two weeks we have seen the first of the annual sulfurs and fish seem more than happy to pick them off. The heaviest hatches are yet to come, but its worthwhile to bring your sulfur patterns to the river from here on out. Swinging a wet fly is a great way to cover water and kill time while you search for rising fish.
Jacob’s first fish on a Sulphur this year.
On cooler days, when sulfurs are inactive, we have also been seeing a number of fish rise to small midges usually in the size 20-24# range.
As we go into the weekend the Gunpowder is flowing at 131 Cfs and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The heightened flows have provided excellent opportunities to nymph the river. Using a heavy anchor fly helps to get small midge nymphs down to fish in the fast current. Fish have been eagerly feeding sub-surface and on the warmer, calmer days fish can be found sipping midges off the surface in the eddies and slower pools.
After a few days of summer like weather this past week, the Gunpowder is starting to act a little more like spring. Water levels are great for fishing, around 88 Cfs at Falls rd, while water temperate has finally broken the 40 degree mark and is peaking around 42-46degrees on a daily basis.Along with the warm temperatures and sun, we are seeing some very small black stoneflies and a number of fish rising to them. Although fishing with nymphs is still the primary way to catch fish, it’s wise to have a few small dries handy like an elk hair caddis in the #16-18 range for when you spot a splashy rise to a stonefly.
If you want a relaxing way to blend the two techniques, swinging small dark wet flies has been effective. When swinging, focus on getting your flies in front of and around rocks and log jams where the emerging stoneflies will congregate to climb out of the water.
The Maryland Department of Natural resources recently stocked the Put and Take section of the Gunpowder River.The River is flowing at 63 cfs and is 36 degrees at Falls Road. Down lower in the River, near Glencoe the river is flowing at 153 cfs. With 2,000 rainbow trout being stocked in the Put and Take section, fishing with small streamers slowly and nymphing with indicators are your best options. With warmer weather in our future be sure to get out on the river, whether it be on the Catch and Release or down on the Put and Take, enjoy it.
The cold is persistent with chances of snow on most days in the upcoming forecast. The trails will continue to be covered in mixture of ice and snow, so wading may well be the safest method of moving spots. The river is staying around 39F and is currently at 65 cfs. Fishing has been difficult for most, but nymphing can still be effective. Especially with small tungsten midges. Fish are mostly feeding on the stoneflies and midges tight to structure and the bottom.
As 2021 kicks off, it seems like we’ve gotten into a pattern of crisp winter weather. Water flow on the Gunpowder is good, around 65 cfs. However, the water is on the colder side, peaking at around 42-43 degrees on most days. Due to the chilly temps rising fish are difficult to find, but these conditions provide a great opportunity to practice your tightline nymphing skills.
We’ve also had a number of anglers in the shop reporting good results from streamer fishing. Personally, I’ve enjoyed dead drifting small streamers close to the bottom this winter. Sometimes giving your fly an occasional jigging motion while it drifts through a run can go a very long way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!