Even after one and a half inches of rain on September 2nd, flows on the Gunpowder remain clear and below 30 CFS with temperatures ranging between 56 and 60 degrees F. Despite the low water, lots of wild fish can be found rising to midges and some Tricos. Using small dries in the #18-22 range in the morning and evenings can result in subtle takes from these fish. Fishing a terrestrial around overhanging branches and grass is still an effective tactic.
Come visit the new shop labor day weekend. Directions to the new shop can be found here. We will be open:
This week the Gunpowder River flow has been fluctuating often. Recently it has been at ideal levels, and flowing at about 85 cfs, 57.9 F and clear. Terrestrials are still going to the most effective way to fish a dry fly. Targeting structure like trees and other formations along the bank will give you the best opportunity to catch a fish, but some opportunistic fish may rise in the faster runs.
Fishing a nymph rig can be very effective as well. You will find fish holding deep in the bigger pools, these fish are best targeted with nymphs. It is best to go small, imitating midges has worked best. We often pair the midge with a larger, heavier fly. The flow has been fluctuating often but recently has been at ideal levels, about 85 cfs.
The release from Prettyboy remains 29 Cfs, with the water temperature starting in the mid 50’s. Progressive stain in the water downstream from Masemore after localized thunderstorms. Nymphing is worth shot, the smaller the better. Terrestrial can still be effective especially in the riffles.
Thanks to Warner for the great stream report!
Just checking in after a nice afternoon/evening on the Gunpowder after my recent Abel reel purchase. Big thank you to Gene for his continued support and patience as he answers my numerous questions about gear and fly presentations. He also was instrumental in helping me find this rod/reel combo of a Winston Super 10 and Abel Super 4/5. It was spectacular today! Thanks again. See attached photo.
The Gunpowder is 29 cfs, clear and water temperatures start the day at 53-54 and can swing up to the low 60’s on hot sunny days.
Since Wednesday evening the releases from Prettyboy dam have dropped from 85 to sub 30cfs. All of a sudden this presents a much changed river. There are little to no sulphurs and much reduced numbers of caddis around compared to 2 weeks ago. Now many fish have switched their attention to midges and terrestrials like ants and beetles along the banks. On darker days or after some rain, try swinging a small streamer. The trout are active and will eat if a fly is presented well, the key is not spooking them; if you can see them, they can usually see you. Try to reduce wading to a minimum and fish long light leaders to help your presentation.
We’ll be open at 8am both Saturday and Sunday.
We’ve just checked in a couple of the fantastic and new Shadow X rods from Echo which will help in these often challenging fishing conditions.
My first trip to the Savage River several weeks ago presented different challenges than the Gunpowder. I had been told of the difficult wading and after my first day I would agree. Didymo covers the large boulders that lay in the water which causes very slick conditions. With much more rocks in the water, the currents were more intricate than those of the Gunpowder. For this reason, i found maneuvering through the river and positioning was key to getting a good drift. It may be helpful to bring a wading staff for crossing the river because of the slick rocks and strong current. It was 160 cfs the time we fished it, which was deceptively strong. But, overcoming these challenges can result in some great fish and beautiful mountain scenery.
Another great difference is the presence of pocket water on the Savage. On the Gunpowder, there is very little pocket water to be fished. But on the Savage, the fast currents and hidden holes provide great habitat for trout to hide in. This presented me with the opportunity to nymph effectively using Loon Biostrike rather than an indicator, which was a new tactic for myself.
Sulphurs & Blue Quills were the most predominant mayfly on the river and tan and black caddis were present in large numbers. By the early afternoon, fish could be seen rising consistently to sulphurs. The most spectacular time is the last minutes of the day. Near dusk, the spinner fall gave me the opportunity to see the large amount of fish within each pool and target some of the bigger fish. When fishing in the morning, I fished small nymphs with splitshot to keep flies down in the water column.
Please note: The shop will be closed this holiday weekend on the 4th & 5th.
The Gunpowder remains at 101cfs and 55 degrees. Doesn’t get much nicer for dry fly fishing than that.
Whilst sulphurs are (still!) coming off resulting in bursts of feeding activity, caddis are coming off through the day and midges constantly swarm there is no shortage of food available for the Gunpowder’s trout. Now the hot weather is kicking in & the vegetation is lush fish are beginning switching their attention to terrestrial insects.
The fish above was David’s first trout on a fly rod, caught on a dry fly during a guided trip, call or email to book a trip to tune up your game or get started into the sport whilst the river levels are ideal.
Stop in the shop to check out some awesome new terrestrial flies we’ve been stocking up with from Umpqua and Fulling Mill. In a situation on the river fishing between hatches you’ll appreciate having some ant patterns on you.
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.
The Susquehanna River offers some amazing water to target smallmouth bass. After fishing the river for years with spinning gear, I recently transitioned to fly fishing for smallmouth. My thoughts in presentation are still the same although I’m using a different setup.
I have been using the new Patagonia Swiftcurrent packable waders the last few times I’ve fished there. Studs in your boots are almost necessary if you decide to wade. Big boulders and slippery mud make wading a challenge, so be careful. I used a basic 7 weight combo that I’ve had for years with a floating line. Flies were thrown on a 2x leader, and using a sinking leader may be helpful because of the current, but snags can be a problem.
Mimicking the baitfish of the Susquehanna, I used streamers between 2-4 inches in both a green and brown color.
Near creek mouths, baitfish will often school in current breaks where bass often will be seen blowing up on the schools. I fished patterns with weight slowly, making sure to keep it close to the bottom. Smallmouth will present an amazing fight, and those who haven’t targeted smallmouth on the fly should give it a try.
We have a range of different leaders and tippets between 0x and 3x that will work perfectly for the conditions on the river. We offer several weighted streamers and some poppers that should get the bass to strike on the surface as summer gets closer.
The river is flowing nicely at 106cfs with water temperatures in the low 50’s.
Sulphurs remain much of what the fish are looking for through the afternoon along with tan caddis. Caddis are hatching well into the evening. Sulphurs are most consistent in the afternoon but you never quite know when you’ll encounter a burst of them coming off. It’s a good idea to have a variety of different imitations of sulphur duns and emergers at hand to show the fish if they wise up to one pattern, switch out and try another for an often instant reaction. Spinner falls have been occuring in the last half hour of light.
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.
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.