Beginners Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday the 7th of June 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 9:00-12:00pm. 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.

Smallmouth Fly Fishing on the Susquehanna

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.

Beginners Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Saturday the 6th of June 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 9:00-12:00pm. 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.

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.

Fishpond Gear in Maryland

Gene has spent the latter part of the afternoon unloading a few boxes from the folks at Fishpond. He’s also updated our online catalog to reflect this new influx.In addition to host of fresh trucker hats, we have ever popular accessories like the Headgate tippet holders, Arrowhead retractors, confluence magnetic net releases. We also have a host of smart packs in stock including the Thunderhead submersible series slings and lumbar packs and Nomad Native and Nomad Emerger nets.

Fishpond Hats

Headgate Tippet Holder

Fishpond Arrowhead Retractor

Fishpond Confluence Net Release

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Sling

Fishpond – Nomad Native Net

Nomad Emerger Net

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.

Backwater Angler Reopens May 22, 2020

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.

Contactless Curbside Continues: For those in a hurry or not yet comfortable with the easing of restrictions and ask that you preorder online our secure website. Please note approximately what time and what vehicle you will be in so we can place the items in your trunk upon arrival. If you’d rather us put the items in thermal we’re still offering free shipping on all orders placed online.

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.

Used Boots for Sale

As part of some spring cleaning we’re selling some of our lucky boots that have been using in pur guide service and we’re looking to replace. They’re a few years old but still have life in them.

If you place an order plan to pick up curbside from Thursday, please note what time you expect to pick them up.

$45 a pair

  • Simms size 8
  • LL Bean size 9
  • Simms size 10
  • Simms size 11 x 2                  sold
  • Simms size 13                        sold
  • Chota size 13

Used Wading Boots

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.