A longer rod is the keystone to Euro Nymphing. Echo designed The Shadow X specifically for Nymphing. I acquired my Shadow X 1003-4 (10 ft, 3 weight 4 piece) early in the fall and have thoroughly enjoyed fishing with it since. 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. I’ve also found it ideal for using indicator rigs, as the longer length of these rods functions to turn over the heavy setups easily with a roll cast.
As winter 2021 drags on I can’t help but daydream of the approaching summer. When wet wading season finally rolls around I know I’ll be relying heavily on the Chota Hybrid High Top wading boot. I had the pleasure of wearing these boots on a trip to Wyoming last summer and found them invaluable. These boots are lightweight, fast draining, and fast drying. They pair perfectly with a simple neoprene wading sock for a full day of summer hiking and fishing. They also come in at a great price point of $129.99 making them a versatile value item!
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
Come stop by to see the new clothing with the Backwater Angler logo. Check out the Filson Ridgeway Fleece vest with Polartec Thermal Pro in brown and dark blue. We also have the Filson Ridgeway Fleece jackets with Polartec Thermal Pro in gray.
Come check out the 7 new Abel reels that just came in, 5 Vaya, 1 SDS, and 1 TR. We know have a total of 14 Abel reels in stock!!
Abel TR Reel
The detailing of the native brook trout on the TR 2/3 reel makes for a beautiful finish. This design requires at least 7 hours of hand painted craftsmanship.
The return of a classic. The new Abel TR stays true to the roots of the original, but with a striking modern design and feel. The partial porting of the frame draws from the Abel lineage, and its unique features are as inventive as anything Abel has ever produced. -Abel
Abel SDS Reel
The Abel SDS design shows off the stunning patterns and beautiful green and blue colors of a bonefish on the best new saltwater reel.
Winner of the best new saltwater reel at the 2016 ICAST/IFTD show, the Abel SDS (Sealed Drag Salt) takes all the power, reliability, and smoothness of its smaller counterpart and combines them in a larger package capable of taking on saltwater gamefish of all sizes.- Abel
Abel Vaya Larko Brown Trout Reel
The Abel Larko Brown Trout Reel features a unique and technical design of the brown trout perfected to create this impressive look. Andrea Larko’s design requires at least 11 hour’s to finish per reel, adding bright and fun colors for new creative look.
We’re honored to feature, and replicate the work of a few of the most talented artists in the fly fishing industry. Derek DeYoung, Andrea Larko, and Jon Osiris are also each great ambassadors for our sport, and we’re proud to have teamed up with them to provide select examples of their beautiful artwork on Abel Reels. -Abel
Abel Underwood Vaya Series: We now have three Underwood On The Hunt Vaya reels available.
Abel Vaya Underwood On The Hunt in Slate Gray Reel
Casey Underwood, an amazing artist partnered with Abel Reels, creates designs that fit perfectly with Abel’s models. On The Hunt design is laser engraved into the reel.
Each of these original designs was created to correspond with a specific model in the Abel lineup. Individually laser engraved, and put through a proprietary polishing/texturizing process, these reels feature an innovative, first of its kind finish.
Abel Vaya Underwood On The Hunt in Deep Green Reel
The On The Hunt reel is also available in the rich, but not too bright, color of deep green. It adds a subtle pop of color for a very sleek fly fishing set up.
Every now and then, we come across an artist whose work naturally fits Abel’s palette of custom finishes. This time, that artist is Casey Underwood. – Abel
Abel Vaya Underwood On The Hunt in Black Reel
We also carry the Underwood On The Hunt in a traditional, classic black color.
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!
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.
We’ve got some beautiful new reels in from Abel! The Vaya is a new favorite along with the time tested Super Series. Have a look on our online store!
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.
Thanks for your support & have a great 4th!
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:
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
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