Trout and Smallmouth Fishing on the North Branch of the Potomac
There is a new breed of EBooks available for fly fishers written by Steve Moore. The first book in the series is Trout and Smallmouth Fishing on the North Branch of the Potomac.
A review of The CatchGuide series of online EBooks.
I found Steve’s writing to be easy reading and I had no trouble understanding the information. It is a fishing book written by a fisherman. You will note that there are a few references to Spin Fishing. Almost the entire book is about fly fishing and the couple of references to Spin Fishing were not distracting. The data and description of the fishing areas would also be very helpful to Spin Fishers.
Why is this different than other EBooks on the Internet? For one thing it has 198 pages of information and much of it is not available in other form without a lot of digging and studying. Even then you would come up short compared with this EBook. In these pages you will find maps, water flow tables, places to park, gear, fly selections and section by section descriptions of where and when to fish. The author has fished all of these areas and we benefit from his experience. If you don’t like to use an EBook you can also buy a hardcopy book. When you buy the hardcopy book you can buy the EBook for only Five Dollars. Believe me that is a bargain.
To download and use this EBook you don’t need any special computer skills and the EBook will take 11.31 MB of memory. So make sure you have enough available memory on your computer. When you download the EBook be sure you note the title of the file. The EBook is a pdf document. This cause me a little problem the first time I tried to open it. I was looking for a Word.doc and couldn’t find it. It was my problem but keep that in mind the first time you use your EBook. Your software will save the EBook in “Your Documents” with the file name assigned to it. The best way to open it is to click your Start Button and then select Your Documents. The EBook will be listed in Your Documents with the file name assigned and it is an Adobe Acrobat Document.
So let us now take a look at some of the information provided in this EBook.
The Index is laid out in double spacing and is very easy to read. All of the Index entries are hot linked to the subject matter. So if you wanted to read: “What Flies and Lures to use” you simply click on that Index listing and you are taken to the subject. It is very slick and easy to use.
The most useful part of the EBook is the description of the various sections of the river and where to fish. Here is the list of the river sections that are covered.
Bloomington – Barnum Lower Catch and Release
Barnum Catch and Release (Lower Section (North))
Barnum “Put and Take”
Barnum Special Regulations (Lower Section (South))
Jennings Randolph Lake
Lostland Run (Mile 1 and Mile 2)
Wallman (3 Access Points)
I have not fished this area but from looking at the maps this list seems to cover just about everything a fly fisher would be interested in. About thirty miles of water is covered.
Technical Data Provided
The Author has done his homework and you will find many charts with useful information. From the charts you can determine water flows, best times to fish, Maryland stocking schedules, best flies and when to use them. There is also Gear Recommendations for the fly fisher and the spin fisher. Not only are the charts listed but links to many sources are included. For instance, there is a link to the Maryland DNR Web Site so you can obtain an up to date stocking schedule. The Author has provided link after link to valuable information throughout the EBook.
Then there is the Rating System for fishing all of the various locations. There are two very comprehensive tables listing how the Author judges that particular water. I have never seen this type of information in another guide book. The listings are somewhat complicated at first but each rating is explained before the charts are presented. After spending a little time understanding the ratings I found them very useful. Here are the basic items that are rated.
Standard Rated Items:
Hard to Find
The author rates Physical Fitness, Access and Hard to Find locations. These are even rated from Normal Perspective and Aggressive Perspective. So just about anyone who has never seen a section of the river system can judge if they are physically fit to enter that section. How many times have you gone to a new spot to fish and found it was loaded with people or had small fish? With these charts you can know what to expect before heading out. There are sixty-four Charts/Tables in the EBook.
Average Water Flows in CFS for Key Gages
Average Gage Height in Feet for Key Gages
Average Water Temperature
I think by now you are getting the idea that this is a pretty complete Guide EBook for fishing the North Branch of the Potomac. Not only does the author give you a lot of water information, he identifies the specific Gauge where readings are taken. Then he tells you where the Gauges are located.
There are many maps in this EBook. Some are Road Maps and some are Topographical Maps. I found the road maps to be easy to read and had no problem using them. I found the small Topographical Maps used in the content of the book to be hard to read. I think anyone who is not familiar with the areas will have a hard time with these small maps. Fortunately the Author has provided larger Topographical Maps at the end of the book. You can print these maps and use them on stream. I did find even these maps too small for my old eyes. I think I would buy normal sized Topographical Maps to use. There are thirty-four Maps in the EBook.
All through the EBook you will find pictures. There are one-hundred-forty of them in the EBook. The description of the second picture is taken directly from the EBook. That gives you an idea of the kind of information you will get.
North Branch downstream from Kitzmiller
“Upstream from the lake, you cut around the
Curve and the river will look like this.
It’s narrower, faster and has plenty of rocks
to create transition areas holding fish.
Upstream, this leads into the section near the
There is so much information in this EBook that I would have to write a book to cover everything. I have tried to give you the highlights. There is one problem that I had due to the length of the information provided. Some of the descriptions of the river section are a few pages long. Sometimes as I was reading I wasn’t sure what section I was reading about. The title of the section is only shown at the beginning of the section. I would have to return to that page to see the title of the section and then return to where I was reading. This is a very minor thing considering the overall information that is provided by this EBook. I almost forgot to mention that many of the locations in the book are provided with GPS coordinates. That will really help someone from outside of the area.
So who should be buying this book or one of the many more to come? Anyone who lives and fishes in the local of the North Branch of the Potomac should have one of these EBooks, no matter how long you have fished there. If you were a new comer to the area or was traveling to the area to fish, this EBook could make your trip very rewarding. You will know where to stay, where and how to fish and what you should be fishing with. I am a big fan of Guide Books and I find The CatchGuide EBook to be one of the best I have seen. It is a great tool and I can’t even imagine the work that the Author put into publishing this EBook. I highly recommend it.
Where to buy: Trout and Smallmouth Fishing on the North Branch of the Potomac.
It is available from switchfisher.com or watch out for the banners on the forums!
The EBook is $9.95
The Hardcopy Book is $14.95
With the purchase of the Hardcopy Book you can buy the EBook for $5.00
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