Matthew Schenk, Recreational Angler
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Posted on October 25, 2013 | Permalink
Upper Savage River Brookie
Location: Upper Savage River
Before this Monday/Tuesday I had only caught one Brook Trout in upstate NY and never any in MD. Reason being their habitat in the state if MD is almost limited to the Upper Savage River watershed according to the literature I have discovered and researched online. Whenever somebody reports a Brook Trout they never say exactly where it was caught but I don't mind telling everyone because the unknown cannot be protected. I have also seen many reports from the Upper Savage with fisherman saying that they never even saw a thing moving.
Well I had two field days in a row up there and that was without ever having any experience brookie fishing previous to this trip. I saw a very healthy population throughout every portion of the Upper Savage that I had a chance to fish. It seemed that there was a fish in every pool I found and most of them were very aggressive taking a tan or yellow body caddis in size 16 or 14 or BWO in size 20 and 16. Even the tight shallow dribbles of water that were tribs to the Savage or flow into the reservoir (these can all be seen from Savage River Road or in Big Run State Park) were surprisingly loaded with Brook Trout. If it weren't for my short 5'8" 4wt fly rod, which allows for very accurate technical casting, I don't think I would have had the success that I experienced due to the many obstacles that surround these small tributaries. The fish were very spooky also. If I came within 15 ft of a pool I saw wakes from trout flying around frantically, then when you walk up to see what was in there they would all find cover under the incredibly slippery rocks. I discovered quickly that impossible 15-20 foot casts through overhanging branches into the pool before you scout it was the only way to get them. That being said if you have the skill set to do that you will land fish after fish. A stealthy approach is key in these slow shallow streams and NEVER work your way downstream always upstream, the fish see you long before you see them! I wish more people would report Brook Trout locations instead of trying to keep it so low key and under wraps. This was a beautiful ecosystem almost untouched by pollution and development so lets all help keep it that way. Tight lines everyone!