Re: Trout Fishing Near Northern Virginia
I'm not sure how the Casselman would be in the fall/winter. Unless they do a fall stocking it will be pretty much empty. It doesn't holdover well.And the bait guys clean it out pretty good after the delayed harvest kicks out/in.
If you don't mind stockies they stocked Owens about a month ago. A friend that helped with the stocking told me how many they put in but I forgot. The fish should be pretty well aclimated to natural feed by now. I've also caught what appeared to be wild brookies in there. It has good holdover and I believe some reproduction.
I'm not a big fan of the Gunpowder although I haven't been there in ten or so years. When I first fished the C&R section a couple times some years back, I ran in to a guy and we started talking. I found out all the little bitty fish that kept getting in the way of my fishing were the fish. For such a nice stream the average size of fish was too small for me. I think that has improved some but I just can't get into the drive when it's only 1/2 hour further to the Savage or North Branch for me. The way it is promoted as a blue ribbon fishery puts me off. Makes me wonder if it's status is more about $$$ than fishing. If I lived close I would fish it regular but I wouldn't plan a trip around it.
Just noticed you have D.C. as your location. The Paint Branch is real close and has wild browns. They are very spooky but eat about anything if you don't spook them. They blend in to the stream bottom extremely well. This is small water and smaller fish. It can be fun if you're already close. I fished it some for a few years when I wanted to let traffic die down in the evening.
That section of the Patuxent below Brighton dam I just started fishing this year. I've spent a couple afternoons there and only caught one brown. I've caught a bunch of smallies there and that doesn't bother me. I even caught a yellow perch there. There's a ton of fallfish and some are big enough to be fun. I haven't really made up mind what I think about this area but it has the potential to be killer good.
Hopefully some of my experience is useful.