Despite the lack of significant rainfall in Western Maryland, this cool summer is allowing for an extended trout fishing season in our stocked waters. We have been surveying a lot of trout streams during the last couple of weeks and finding good numbers of holdover trout. The Savage River Put and Take Trout Fishing Area contained a few of the large rainbow trout that were donated by the Freshwater Institute. (Pictured is my daughter Jessica with one of these lunkers). The upper North Branch Potomac River Delayed Harvest Trout Fishing Area still has a good number of holdover rainbows, and they are taking dry flies readily. We stocked the entire portion of the Delayed Harvest Area by rail-truck earlier in the year – so these trout are spread throughout this remote portion of the river. I surveyed the Casselman River earlier this week and found brown and rainbow trout in the better habitat areas.
The special trout fishing areas of the Savage River Tailwater and the North Branch Potomac River Catch and Release Areas have good wading flows, and trout are taking Sulphurs, Lime Sallies, and terrestrial patterns such as ants and beetles.
Impoundment fishing has been productive as well. My son Kyle and I fished Broadford Lake last weekend and caught about 30 bluegills up to 8 inches just using small garden worms fished under a small bobber. Also, we fished Deep Creek Lake at the 219 Bridge and did well on walleyes and smallmouth bass using small minnows fished in 5 to ten feet of water.
Alan W. Klotz, Western Region Fisheries Manager
Mt.Nebo Work Center
1728 Kings Run Road
Oakland, MD 21550
We are well into summer-time patterns on the upper Potomac. Water temperatures are hovering near 80°F and the river is suffering a bloom of blue-green algae. The best fishing action will be early and late in the day with the evening hours generally more productive because of the evening insect hatches. The much anticipated white miller hatch is underway bringing out the fish and the fly fishermen. I witnessed a pretty strong hatch in the Shepherdstown area last weekend and recommend wading the Packhorse Ford area off of Canal Road for big redbreast sunfish and smallmouth bass. To take advantage of this hatch, which doesn’t begin until dusk, you must stay late. Remember to bring a headlamp or flashlight to safely make your way off the water after dark. Don’t feel left out if you are not a fly fishermen. Small white poppers and/or white buzzbaits will take plenty of smallmouth as well.
We have begun our annual assessment of the Potomac River smallmouth bass hatch. Our efforts began near Seneca this week and will advance upriver in the coming weeks. Although we have most of our survey yet to complete, the abundance of young bass is predicted to be very low. Wet springs that result in frequent high flows with muddy water reduce the survival of young fish.
MD DNR Inland Fisheries
Central Region inland fisheries continued stream survey work on brook trout tributaries in Baltimore County and continue to find excellent numbers of young-of-the-year brook trout.
Earl McJett III, who works with DNR as a summer intern at the Southern Region Fisheries Office, went to Mattawoman Creek on one of the roads leading out of Waldorf and caught bass, bluegill, warmouth, and pickerel at a little hole near the road. The creek in that area is a small drainage that most people would drive past without noticing. He showed me a cellphone picture of one of the bass he caught and it was a really fat fish. Earl had also tried the creek below the lake at Myrtle Grove WMA and found a spot further down where there were hundreds of crayfish walking along the creek bottom and he caught some with a fishing lure to be used as bait later. Then he fished the Greentrees at Myrtle Grove (long narrow ponds for waterfowl) and caught a number of bluegill.
Ray Borras, who monitors tournaments for DNR, says that his two buddies at Smallwood State Park catch bass from the bulkhead nearly every week. Recently someone caught a snakehead from the shoreline there as well. The tournament fishermen are continuing to bring in plenty of largemouth bass from all over the river. After June 15, the 12-inch season started for bass and the tournaments were doing well in from Nanjemoy Creek all the way up to Woodrow Wilson Bridge in the Potomac. “Some of the bass fishermen go north and some go south from the ramp at Smallwood and seem to do just as well” Borras said.
Maryland DNR - Inland Fisheries
ALGAE!!!! That’s the word of the week here at our office. Many anglers have called concerned about the massive amounts of filamentous algae being encountered in our impoundments right now. More than likely, the above average rainfall this spring and early summer washed lots of excess nutrients into out waters. The opportunistic algae have been waiting for it, and BOOM! It’s everywhere. The good news for fishermen is that the bass and bluegill love to hide under those mats of algae, you just have to coax them out. I heard of a 23 inch, 6 pound largemouth being caught just this morning on a “scum frog” on a local impoundment, so the big fish are still willing to bite. Bluegills will attack small spider and ant imitations fished in the holes of the algae.
The SAV in the upper Bay is very thick this year in many areas. That bodes well for the bass and the bass anglers. I love fishing the edges and holes of it with plastics and other weedless baits. But by far, my favorite way to fish the grassbeds is with a buzzbait. Seeing a bass explode out of the grass to smash it is a thrill! White is a great color, but give a black one a try after dark, you won’t be disappointed.
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
Reservoir Bathymetry information:
The Maryland Geological
Survey has bathymetry maps on their website:
Links to freshwater flows:
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls near Parkton.
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls At Glencoe.