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! 

Beginners Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday the 5th 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.

Terrestrial Fishing on the Gunpowder

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.

Beginners Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday the 28th 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.

We have 2 spaces available please call the shop to register, if out of hours, leave a message & we’ll get back to you when we reopen Thursday. Thank you.

Mid-June Gunpowder River Fishing Report


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.

Echo Trout Fly Rod


This week we have new reels from Ross including San Miguels in stock.

Ross San Miguel


On the river expect to see Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurel in full bloom. If you need a rain jacket for Saturday and Sunday stop in while they are 50% off…

Father’s Day Fly Fishing Sale

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:

Fly rods:
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

Fly Reels:
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

Beginners Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Saturday the 20th 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.

Beginners Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Sunday the 14th 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.

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.