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Streamin’ on the Fly

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This morning was spectacularly beautiful, if a bit chilly. The winds were whipping in gusts and so dawnpatrol on the boat was null and void. Instead, I made the call to venture to middle Maryland in search of trout on the fly. This plan put me at Savage, Maryland, where I took the easy (kind of) road and fished the first quarter-mile of river from the Bollman Truss Bridge at Foundry Road up to the falls. We’re talking Little Patuxent River, wading with fly rod in hand, and high hopes to hook into the brown trout that Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently stocked on site.

Wading upstream in the Little Patuxent River, fly rod in hand.

To go into the minutiae of each step would be a needless mental exercise. Suffice to say that the wading in—at most—waist deep water went quite well with no tumbles or wet undergarments. For most of the stretch, the boulder- and pebble-strewn river bed was skinny water (a foot or two deep in most places) with a couple holes worth paying more attention to and casting in and around. My setup for the day was an 8′ five-weight rod paired with the Pflueger Medalist reel, floating line, a 4x leader and tippet, and a dry/nymph dropper rig. On the top side of the business end, I tied a small Chubby Chernobyl (size 14) and a dropped a gold beadhead nymph (size 18) about 18 inches below it.

Being just a few hours removed from a light on/off overnight rain made for a strong current. The water was flowing closer to 2–3 feet per second by my estimation in the middle of the river. Outside edges and cuts offered some relief from this flow. Wading upstream into a westerly breeze made casting tricky at times, but during others the wind died down and I was able to hit my targets.

Beautiful little bluegill hit the bottom nymph on the float/dropper rig.

All this to say that, unfortunately, the brown trout eluded me. I didn’t see any in this small stretch. It took me about two hours to work the water over thoroughly. The good news is that a few fiesty bluegill licked the nymph and made for delightfully cute catches. I look forward to revisiting this stretch and the water above and below it very soon. As autumn temps continue to nosedive, the fishing should skyrocket. See y’all on the water again, real soon!