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  1. #11

    Default Re: Trout Fishing Near Northern Virginia

    For Md. trout I would recommend the book "Guide to Maryland Trout Fishing" by Charlie Gelso and Larry Coburn. It covers the special reg streams and is broken into central and western Md. It also covers most of the hatches and effective patterns, access points,etc. I'm not sure if it's been updated recently.

    With the North Branch and Savage it's a good idea to check the flows first. I haven't made it up there in a couple years, but as long as the flows are good the North Branch is my favorite. You have the chance of BIG fish. Although most are stocked as fingerlings they aren't pushovers. It is pretty big water and can be difficult to wade. A few 20"ers in a day isn't unrealistic. I like a 9' 5wt. on these.

    Beaver creek I've fished a couple times and the water flows cold in the summer. There are good numbers of fish and doesn't appear to get poached hard. I believe it's all private land open to the public. The public areas are well marked. This is a limestoner. An 8' to 9' rod is comfortable for me here. But 8' is better for me.

    Big Hunting I won't go near on a weekend. The browns are wild and can go to 16" but 10"-12" are most common. Move slow for them, they're spooky. I love them in Jan.-Mar. on the black and brown stonefly hatches. This is fairly small water. The browns tend to be spread out in the pockets more so than the stocked bows and brookies.I use anything from a 6' 3wt. to a 9' 5wt. here. Although 8' and under is more comfortable for me.

    Morgan Run seems to have a poaching problem again. Used to have lake run browns in the fall but I doubt there are any left (stripers in the resevoir). I've also caught up to 3.5 lb. smallmouth here in the lower part. If the fish are there you can normally find some rising and sight nymphing is possible.I use anything from a 8' 3wt. to 9' 5wt. here.

    The upper nine or so miles of the Patuxent is pretty small water and can be tough one day and fantastic the next. The browns are all wild and can get pretty big for small water. Best I've done there is about 18" but have seen pictures of bigger and been broke off quite a bit. The stocky bows holdover pretty well in the faster water. Buggers and Patuxent specials do me best here. It muddies up easy. I like a 7' 5wt. here. The water normally stays below 70 degrees. The browns blend in very well and the water clarity is seldom good enough for sight fishing.

    The Casselman is good for big stockies in the spring. I've caught 8-10 five pounders in a day there several times. Some of the bows are shaped like footballs. I've only streamer/bugger fished here.I use a 9' 5wt. here.

    Since you brought an 8 with you and said something about being in Rome... You might want to try some rockfish and bluefish out if you've never done it. Some areas kayak accessible in the Northern Neck can be insane on an outgoing tide. This time of year they are keyed in on bay anchovies and silversides. Only 1.5"-3" or so. So easy to throw. Once you find and figure out a good spot 50+ fish in a few hours is realistic. I carry wire bite tippet in case I get into blues over 15". Even that small they will start biting you off. Them things are hard on flies too. They can turn an epoxy spoon into a hook and a piece of wire.

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  3. #12

    Default Re: Trout Fishing Near Northern Virginia

    Awesome run down tfrank...Where would you suggest in late fall and winter?

  4. #13

    Default Re: Trout Fishing Near Northern Virginia

    In the late fall I'm normally 15'-25' up a tree with a bow in my hand. If not I would be on the Bay or lower Potomac. I still haven't broken that 40" mark on rockfish with the fly.

    As far as trout, with the browns spawning in the fall I don't like to mess with spawning fish. I don't have anything against somebody that does. It's just that in a state with so few wild trout streams I want to give them every chance I can.

    But in late December and January the little black stoneflies start. When there is a warm enough day and I feel like getting out, I will hit Big Hunting or Savage. I have had both fish well high sticking pocket water, sight nymphing when possible and my favorite is when they are taking dries. I have had both fish well with dries when the only rise I saw was on my fly. I seldom (never) do weekends and have never felt crowded in the winter on these two. And I get to feeling crowded easy.

    I'm not sure about Beaver Creek. I've only been there a couple times. I just keep forgetting about it as it was closed to public for many years. I'm sure a call to Beaver Creek Fly Shop will get better answers than I can give.

  5. #14

    Default Re: Trout Fishing Near Northern Virginia

    Thanks so much...I've recently been to Big Hunting and Gunpowder. I'm relatively new to a fly rod and have had zero luck at Gunpowder. I'm sure I'm just spooking the fish. I did stop in Beaver Creek Fly Shop looking at rods, but didn't get a chance to fish there. The Casselman/Savage/Beaver Creek are on my list for this winter.

    I get the crowded feeling very easy, as well. Never felt crowded at Gunpowder, even on the weekends...maybe I've just been lucky.

    Again...thanks so much

  6. #15

    Default 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.

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