June Fly Fishing Schools!

With our Hatches in full effect the month of June is the perfect time to learn how to fly fish. We have 3 spots available on June 12th and on June 18th. Our Fly Fishing Schools includes a 3 hour course with all gear necessary to learn. In the first half of the course we go over our basic knots, casting skills, fly types and choices, and our techniques on the river.

Following Instruction on the bank we practice our techniques on the water. You will get to try the 4 main techniques we use while fishing this river: dry flies, wet flies, nymphs and streamers. Our guides will go over the techniques and help each individual with to best prepare them for a trip on their own.

Please contact us at backwaterangler@gmail.com or 410-357-9557 and we will get you set for trip on the Gunpowder River.

Late May Fishing Report

With hot temperatures in the forecast we can only expect the fishing to heat up over the weekend! The river is flowing at 113 CFS and fluctuating between 55 and 62 degrees F. There have been great sulphur hatches throughout the day and into the evenings allowing for exceptional dry fly and wet fly fishing. Swinging wet flies like a partridge and yellow have been very effective throughout the warmer portions of the day. Into the evening this will continue to be effective however we begin to see more dry fly action as the day goes on.

The heat this weekend could provoke some really good spinner-falls in the evenings and result in an incredible time fishing. We have been fishing our sulphur patterns throughout the evening followed  by variations of rusty spinners just before dark. Stop in the shop and get yourself ready for one of the best hatches on the river.

May Stream Report and New Shop Hours

The Gunpowder River is flowing at a beautiful 127 Cfs and fluctuating between 57 and 59 degrees throughout the day. The decreasing flow and warm temperatures have created incredible conditions for fishing of all kinds. Earlier in the day nymphing has been the most effective while imitating the mayfly nymphs. If you watch your waders you will see these bugs latched onto you as your day goes on.

As the water warms up throughout the day more sulphurs have been hatching and the fish respond accordingly. Having several different patterns and patience are the key to fishing the hatches. Take your time through the pools and and don’t get too caught up over one fish, there will be plenty more a few feet from it willing to eat. These hatches show you how many fish this river truly holds. Stop by to get some patterns and enjoy the fishing this spring!

Backwater Angler shop hours for May:

Monday: 10am-3pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Thursday: 10am-3pm                                                                                                                                      Friday: 10am-3pm                                                                                                                                          Saturday: 10am-3pm

We are closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday.



Late April Gunpowder River Stream Report

Water levels in the Gunpowder have been falling steadily from the 180’s last week to 110 mid-week and are plateauing a little below 70 Cfs and well into ideal wading and fishing conditions. With the cold nights seemingly hanging on water temps have been swinging down from 56-57 F earlier this week to 49.5 F this morning. As to hatches, we’ve seen a few speckled, gray winged caddis and tiny Blue Winged Olives. Find time to explore the tributaries bounded by Mt.Laurels and Rhododendrons and fringed by Mayapples. Now is the time to fish below the confluence of these small noisy runs moving groundwater from the upland seeps and springs dotted with Skunk cabbage and leaving only bits of mirrored Mica confetti strewn in the quiet gravel filled pools. Though small, they have enough flow to warm up the downstream segments if for just a few yards adding vital surface water from the land to the otherwise frigid cold waters emanating from the Dam. Here one can catch a glimpse of a ramshackle cadre of Sulphur yellow mayflies with wings too wet to lift off mired in current and fumbling around the surface film before they disappear down the hatch of a wild trout nosing in the foam laden shallows.

April 8 Gunpowder River Stream Report

Unsettled weather carries cold fronts passing, April showers in full swing and the Gunpowder River rising. Looking skyward to catch a notion of light and a bit of blue foretelling of fair winds ahead I send a wish upstairs that my garden plot may dry out enough so I can get back to working the soil…That said the Gunpowder River is flowing at 277 Cfs and falling. That’s 277 cubic feet, say the size of a basketball, pouring over one’s favorite rock through the Upper Gorge every second. Unless it’s a bank fishing outing that’s mighty quick through the narrow upper river corridor.If you have a kayak bring your helmet and scope any snags and deadfalls before committing…Wade fisherman will be better served under 125 Cfs so check the gauge-it will move downward quickly. Water temp is climbing from 47.5 F and the magic # is 51 F that will surely wake up a few wild browns hanging on the bottom and behind wood. We’ve had a few in today chasing fishing with sinking lines and tips and streamers. Better fishing is just ahead, particularly when the River calms down and stops resembling sheet flow.

March 31 Gunpowder River Fishing Report

March went out like a Lion!–Quiet on the Gunpowder River before the storm this eve…I felt very thankful to take in a Bald Eagle with a wriggling Northern Watersnake, a Kingfisher flitting between the Sycamores, and a few wild fish sipping tiny Blue Winged Olives.The Gunpowder River is waking up and on the rise! The River is flowing at 100 Cfs and rising and is holding between 48 and 46.5 degrees. By Saturday the heavy rains and resulting flows will have moved through the upper River creating ideal conditions for nymphing or swinging small streamers in the #6-10 range on sink-tips. Over the weekend the River will be both dropping in flow and warming up a bit pointing to dry fly opportunities-stoneflies anyone? Midges and tiny BWO’s are making up the balance of the insects in the flat water-especially below riffles and drops but windy afternoons have not allowed them to drift on the surface very long. Start early before the wind picks up and watch your footing-trails are recently cleared and a bit muddy!

Gunpowder Stream Report 3/26/2022

We are happy to announce that the Gunpowder River river is flowing at a consistent 80 cfs and the temperature is 46 degrees. The bug activity is starting to pick up. We are seeing little black stone flies, Hendricksons and March Browns. If you want to probe the depths, stop in to check our fantastic selection of nymphs.  Streamers have been working great! Patterns like the baby gonna and the full sized gonna have been able to move some bigger fish in the river. The lower river is opening  back up today from its stocking period. If you are looking for some stocked rainbows plan on fishing bright flies to attract the attention of some of those fish.

Vernal Spring Equinox on the Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River this week after blessings from the vernal Spring Equinox-equal time dark to light. After 21 years along the River, I still find it hard to believe that 16 million people live within fours hours of this invaluable resource. In spite of this or maybe in part because of it, on most days, it’s still easy to spend time in quiet reflection among some of the oldest rock formations on the East coast and bear witness to the only other sounds of flowing waters and bird songs greeting the warming air.

Early Spring Gunpowder River Stream Report

The Gunpowder River is flowing at 78 Cfs, is 46 degrees F and is clear. With the last snow having retreated quickly, this week we’re back to sunshine and warming water temperatures. Look for wild fish in the tailouts and shallows taking tiny BWO’s and small stoneflies. Stop by to see our new Hi-Vis Klinkhammer that can do double duty alone or as a parachute lead fly to support an emerger. One might even chance upon a Hendrickson or early March Brown. The shop is full of new lines from Airflo including sinking polyleaders for those intent on fishing big streamers or trying for Shad.No matter your worries or cares, the smells, sounds and the promise of spring found along the Gunpowder River will welcome you with open arms.

Beginner’s Fly Fishing School

Please join us for a fly fishing school. On Saturday, April 30, 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 AM-12:00 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.