February 2018 Club Meeting: Fly-Fishing the Gunpowder

By Larry Forte

At our next meeting on February 13, 2018, we take a short drive to Baltimore County and learn more about fly-fishing the Gunpowder, a tailwater stream loaded with beautiful brown trout. Join us as we welcome Gene Howson, a guide on the Gunpowder.

The Gunpowder

Gene Howson is 27 years old and living in Sparks, Maryland (MD). Gene grew up in the British countryside before moving to MD in 2006. Since then the Gunpowder has become his home from home. An Ecologist by training with a MSc in Ecosystem Management & Biodiversity Conservation, Gene taught high school Biology and Chemistry and IB Environmental Systems and Socities in an International school in Lima, Peru. When in 2016 Theaux Le Gardeur, owner of Backwater Angler Fly Shop in Hereford, MD, offered him a chance to work at his favorite fly shop, Gene moved back to MD from Peru. Along with fishing, his hobbies include mountaineering, football (soccer), playing pool and bird watching.

Fishing the Gunpowder
Now, working full time at Backwater Angler, he especially enjoys working in such a friendly atmosphere and offering his assistance to customers in the same manner this shop has served him over the years. Gene is in his second season of guiding out the shop and takes immense pleasure showing people this wonderful river he knows so well.
The Upper Gunpowder Falls is situated between Prettyboy Reservoir to Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore County, 18 mile long, with 9 miles managed as a “Catch and Release Only” fishery, it has been producing excellent fishing opportunities for wild trout since the mid 1980’s when the MD Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the MD Department of Natural Resources negotiated an agreement with the City of Baltimore on regulated flow rates and installed new bottom release values at Prettyboy Dam. This fishery is dominated by wild brown trout with a scattering of both stocked and wild rainbow trout, along with wild brook and tiger (brown x brook) trout.

Gene will also give an overview on the historical background of the Gunpowder. He will then discuss in detail access points, hatches and seasonal changes.

Hope to see you on the 13th!