I've never fished the D. C. area, but I did read a book about fishing that area. If memory serves, and it is getting old, Howell Raines wrote a book about fishing and some of the fishing was in the D. C. area. As I recall the name of the book is Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis. I was surprised one could fish for trout yet literally still be in the downtown area. He also covers trout fishing in Maryland, West Virgiania, etc. It's been a long time since I read it.
I don't know if it is still in print, but someone ought to have it for sale.
The Potomac River is a great bass fishery the tidal portion south of DC is excellent fishing for LMB (boat required) and they are catching alot of shad right now at a place called Fletchers landing. North of Dc is some of the best SMB fishing around, lots of wadeable fishing. the further you get from the city the better the fishing and the crowds wont be as bad.
their are plenty of spots around the dc area, the potomac river is great for bass gills and warm water fish, then in maryland their is the upper potomac in western maryland with trout, along with the potaspaco in centural md around b-more, and va and pa have lot's of locations also. just look around on here or google or find a good book
The Gunpowder river offers year-round WILD brown trout fishing about 1.5 hours from DC. I went yesterday and caught 6 or 7 browns in about 3 hours. They are mostly 6-10 inches but there are plenty of fish 14" and up if you have some luck. There is a shop there called Backwater Angler, they'll point you in the right direction.
If you simply check the Maryland DNR, they list stocked streams with dates.
Hey there. I'm new to the sport myself. My son recently moved out to Colorado and I like to visit from time to time, but he likes to ski and mountain bike -- so I picked up flyfishing to see if I liked it and if I did, that's what I would do out in colorado on my visits. So, my son takes us out to places where he can mountain bike while I'm fishing a nice, clear, Rocky Mountain stream. So, far I've fished the South Platte (north fork) and the Poudre river up above Ft. Collins almost in Wyoming. Wow. Plenty of browns and some rainbows to be had in both rivers.
I live closer in towards D.C. but still in Md. I hit the Big Hunting Creek often. It is under lots of pressure though. The water under the bridge is the most pressurized -- but if you start at the first parking pull in spot after the creek passes under the bridge (about 1/2 mile up) and fish upstream all the way up as far as the dam, you'll run into plenty of riffles and pools with brookies in them.
Watch Owens creek, which is also in the Catoctin park. No water now -- but they tell me its awesome in the spring. they stock it with browns in both spring and fall -- although, after the fall stocking, I went up there this year and cant figure out where the fish go. But try that in the spring.
lately I have been hitting the rivers and streams in Va. Thats where you'll find the best water and action outside of Big Gunpowder river. Good luck to you.
If you're new to the sport (and even if you aren't) you might want to consider joining a local chapter of Trout Unlimited. Their HQ are in DC, but they have local chapters in MD and VA. You can find them at Home | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries and click on the links for chapters to find one nearby.
It's great way to get up to speed on casting, tying, tactics, gear and rigging, where to go, and meet some new friends. Most chapters have casting and tying clinics, organize trips to local waters etc as well as have informative monthly meetings. You'll learn a ton and it'll really help your learning curve, while helping to support the resource. Many folks in TU FF for a bunch of other stuff too of course, so you'll get lots of info on smallmouth and other warmwater opportunities in the area, as well as salt water, if you want to take that up at some point too.
I live in DC as well. I'm in NE, where are you located. My friend and I plan on taking a lot of trips to explore all the close waters around the DC area. You are more than welcome to come along when we head out.
There are plenty of places to fish that are relatively close to DC. I used to live in Prince William County, and I've made several trips to the Shenandoah National Park and nearby places. For warmwater fishing, I've had the most success fishing for smallmouth bass on the Rappahannock River, upstream of the I-95 bridge. Check out Mossy Creek Fly Fishing for good stretches of private water to fish in the Staunton/Harrisonburg area