Category Archives: news

the news section is for shop events and programs

Guided Fly Fishing Trips on the Gunpowder River

Recent rainfall has increased the flows in the river, and the fishing has begun to pick up.  We have had many successful trips as we start the transition into Spring. Looking ahead, even better fishing is yet to come. We are currently booking both half day (4hr) and full day (6hr) guided trips on the Gunpowder.

Information here:


If you would like to fish with us, please call the shop at 410-357-9557.

Ross San Miguel Reels In-Stock!

If you’ve ever balked at how light modern fly reels can be, have started fishing Bamboo and want a more refined, classic look, or have taken to fishing with a 9ft or longer fly rod, (think Euro-nymphing) these reels are worthy of your attention.

Ross Reels San Miguel Reel

Description from Ross:

Since Ross Reels started in 1973, there has been one model that epitomizes what a Ross Reel is: the San Miguel. It defined the ultimate in class and finesse, and now, over two decades since it was first launched, the classic returns…”

Gunpowder River Fishing Report

While the flows on the Gunpowder at still at 19cfs and the temps fluctuating between 41 and 43 degrees the fish have still been active. we are finding that the fish are just about done spawning and they are looking for a big meal. We have been having lots of luck on smaller streamers like a black wooly bugger or Complex Twist Bugger. Pheasant tails and hares ears are still a good choice when nymphing. Zebra midges have also produced results. Make sure to keep and eye out for any redds on which with may still be spawning. Happy Holidays.

Any gift certificates ordered past 4pm today will not be sent out until the 26th.

Holiday Hours for the Week of December 18th

We will be open the week of December 18th on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10-3 and extended hours Friday and Saturday 10-5:

Tuesday the 19th (10-3)
Wednesday the 20th (10-3)
Thursday the 21st (10-3)
Friday the 22nd (10-5)
Saturday the 23rd (10-5)

We will be closed December 24th, 25th.

Holiday Hours for the Week of December 11th

You heard it here first folks! We will be open this Tuesday the 12th and Wednesday the 13th from 10AM till 3PM.

That said, for anyone gracing our doors on either or both of those days and spending at least $100 we’ll be providing a $15 gift card to spread some early holiday cheer.

Thanks in advance for shopping with us on days that we are typically, “Gone Fish’n.”

Holiday Fly Fishing Shop Specials

The holiday shopping season is here and we’re ready to outfit the angler in your family. We have a great selection of rods and reels from Scott, G. Loomis, Echo, Ross, and Abel. We will be running many ‘In-store Only’ specials. Some of those specials include a free Scott Tumbler with the purchase of any Scott fly rod, a discount on a staff-selected fly line with the purchase of a new reel, or a free staff- selected fly line with the purchase of a rod and reel combo. When you stop by be sure to check out our 50% off rack with some great cold weather clothing for the season. We will also have gift certificates available for merchandise, fly fishing schools, and guide trips. Gift certificates can also be purchased online and mailed directly to you. Happy Holidays from Backwater Angler.

Backwater Angler Gift Certificate

Here are our special holiday shop hours.

The shop will be open from 10AM till 3PM on Tuesday, November 21, Friday, November 24th and Saturday the 25th from 10 till 3 and he shop will reopen on Monday November 27th.

Please note: We will be closed on Wednesday the 22nd, Thursday the 23rd, and Sunday the 26th.

Gunpowder River Fishing Report

The Gunpowder River has been flowing at 263 cfs for the past 4 days and is at 57 degrees. With the higher and slightly warmer water the fish have been on the move. Higher flows mean excellent terrestrial and streamer fishing. We suggest using hopper, ant, and beetle patterns. Streamer patterns in black have also been very productive. Patterns such as the Gonga and Bond’s Dragon have been very effective. Make sure to stay safe out there while wading-don’t plan on crossing at these flows. Tight lines!

End of August Shop Schedule

With everyone, even staff (my hat’s off to the guys pictured above- Dave, Jacob, Hudson, and Peter) who were so great to work with during the summer season. Great News-Hudson and Dave will be continuing into the fall! If you need to place an order online before September, we’ll still be shipping in-stock products including gift certificates during this time. Thanks to all of you who have supported the shop this season through some wildly strange weather! I gather that between us, we’re all trying to get some fishing in before school starts so we will have limited hours through the end of August as follows

The shop will be open from 10-3 on:

Monday the 21st
Friday the 25th
Saturday the 26th
Monday the 28th

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.

Backwater Angler Employees

Dave, Jacob, Hudson, and Peter (left to right)


Dave Matthews with Backwater Angler. I enjoy helping out at the shop as much as my schedule allows. I grew up close to the Gunpowder River, and still live nearby. However, most of my early years of fishing were spent fishing Prettyboy reservoir for perch and bass. It wasn’t until more recently that I picked up fly fishing.

Jacob – I began my fishing on the Gunpowder and its tributaries. I started fly fishing when I was 11 Years old and have now worked at the shop for the last six years. My experience at Backwater includes both in the shop and guiding on the water. This is my second year guiding for the shop and it has been a wonderful experience. I have experience fishing throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Montanna and lots of fishing down in Florida while at school.


Hudson- I grew up 5 miles from the river right here in Monkton. I’ve had a rod in my hand since I was 5 years old. growing up on the river has helped me learn the behavior of these fish and the bugs they eat. This October I plan to begin guiding for the shop after working here for 4 years. I look forward to getting people out on the river and bring fish to net.

Peter- I grew up in Owings mills Maryland and have been fishing since I was 6 years old.¬† My experiences with the Gunpowder begin with me and my dad thoroughly unknowledgeable stumbling over our feet trying to catch trout. It took us 2 years before we caught our first trout and by then we were far from better fishermen as we refused to learn from our faults. Since then, I’ve improved and gotten an intimate knowledge or the river and its inhabitants. I hope to bring others into the sport alongside passing down some of my experiences.