Category Archives: news

the news section is for shop events and programs

Fly Fishing the Gunpowder River Over the Fall Holiday


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.

Covid update From Governor Hogan’s office

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.

Personalized Fly Selection

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!

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School Nov. 15

We still have 3 spots open in our fly fishing school. 
Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday the 15th of November a Backwater Angler Guide will be teaching a fly fishing school that is ideal for beginners. If you’re planning on fly fishing in Maryland, or anywhere else for that matter, this course is a great introduction to the sport. The school covers knots, casting, gear and fly selection. Class is held from 11:00 AM till 2:00 PM. Cost is $125 per person and includes the use of gear. A Maryland non-tidal fishing license and trout stamp is required and may be purchased at the shop on the day of the school. Please consider looking at the state license portal online at https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/ to streamline the process of getting to the river on the day of the class. Call us if you have any difficulties with that. Class size is limited to 4 and pre-registration is required. Please give us a call at 410-357-9557 to pre-register.

Learn about Backwater Angler’s fly fishing school services here.

Filson Ridgeway Fleece Clothing in Maryland

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.

Filson Ridgeway Fleece Vest With Backwater Angler Logo


 

The silver Backwater Angler really pops on the dark blue vest.

 

We also have Filson Ridgeway Fleece jackets in gray with an orange Backwater Angler logo.

Filson Ridgeway Fleece Jacket With Backwater Angler Logo

Abel Artistic Finish Fly Reels

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

Native Brook TR 2/3 Reel

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

SDS Bonefish 7/8 Reel- Ported

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

Larko Brown Trout Vaya 5/6 Reel

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.

Underwood On The Hunt Slate Gray Vaya 7/8 Reel

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

Underwood On The Hunt Deep Green Vaya 5/6 Reel

Abel Vaya Underwood On The Hunt in Black Reel

We also carry the Underwood On The Hunt in a traditional, classic black color.

Underwood On The Hunt Black Vaya 4/5 Reel

 

 

Gunpowder Labor Day Fishing Report

 

 

 

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:

  • 8-3 on Saturday
  • 10-3 on Sunday
  • closed on Monday the 7th.

Jakes First Impression of the Savage River

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! 

End of May Gunpowder River Fly Fishing Report


The Gunpowder River is flowing at 101 Cfs, 55 degrees and clear. Many of us have been waiting all year for these ideal conditions. Plan on seeing a mix of sulphurs, #16-18 caddis and #18-22 midges out there. Wild fish are always a little tricky on bright days so fish early or late if you can. Avoiding “parking lot” water and focusing on riffles is a good bet. Leader length is the 9 to 12 foot range ending in 7x can make all the difference in turning a follow into a take. Thanks to Keir Joyce for the wonderful photo of a Gunpowder River Brook trout and the following stream report from May 26th.

Guys,
Glad to see the shop is back open and I had hoped to swing this weekend, but got too caught up on the river.I wanted to pass along that I fished on Saturday and had a good amount of luck with a Copper John, wet flies, and copper bead midges. It fished really well and I was able to net a few browns, a rainbow, a brook, and a small mouth bass mid morning to after lunch.
Today I fished for most of the morning before the kayak traffic started to pick up. There was some risers that were reacting to more sulfur action and had a few takes with a gray/tan Caddis, but most of my luck was nymphing with a rainbow warrior that brought in a few good sized browns and one rainbow.

Keir

Please note: During the month of June, we will be opening at 8 AM every Saturday and Sunday for walk-in traffic and curbside pickup is still an option.

Memorial Day Hours & River Report

We will be open 10-4 Memorial Day Monday.

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.

Have a nice day everyone.

Opening for Curbside Pickup this Saturday the 16th

Following Baltimore County directive of the state’s reopening of retail business. We are starting contactless curbside pickup commencing tomorrow (5/16). We will be open normal hours 10-4.

To facilitate this and allow us time to put orders together this is how we’ll conducting business:

We encourage you to place your orders online for same day pickup before 3pm and state around what time you will be arriving. Please allow at least 20 minutes for us to prepare your order for pickup. We will bring your gear out to your car.

We can also accept phone orders to discuss specifics on items such as flies, leader, tippet. We still offer free shipping.

Please note: We are not able to accept cash payment, conduct instruction, guide trips or sell licenses at present.

Mid May Gunpowder Stream Report

The river is at a ideal 115 cfs, clear and water temperature in the low to mid 50’s.

Sulphurs hatching in the afternoon, spinner fall has been happening late after dark. Warmer days should bring this forward. Tan caddis coming off in the afternoon through evening. Midges have the fish looking up earlier in the day.