Regional fisheries biologist Alan Klotz sent in this great report from the western region.
Trout streams in Western Maryland are now flowing closer to normal after we had some much needed rain last week. And with the recent warm spell, the aquatic insect hatches are prolific. The Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area had one of the best caddis hatches I have ever seen last weekend, however the river was running fairly high. I was able to see a few fish rising in the slower pools along the near bank and caught several of the gullible yearling brown and rainbows on #16 tan elk-hair caddis. On the far bank I saw a nice trout gulping down the caddis constantly, so I eased my way across the river. The trout hit on the third cast, and the fight that every flyfisher dreams of ensued the big warmwater strain rainbow cleared the water by a couple of feet three times, and had the reel screeching as it had a lot of river to try and escape. When it came to the net, the beautiful hook-jawed male measured in right at twenty inches, the biggest rainbow I ever caught in the Yough!
The warm spell also triggered the smallmouth bass to seek the warmer shallow water in Deep Creek Lake. Kyle and I had an absolute blast Monday evening pitching top water lures along the rocky State Park shoreline. We ended up in the double-digits of bass caught and released, most were scrappy males in the 10 13 inch range. Try fishing floating Rapalas or Husky-Jerks, and let them pause and float to the top during the retrieve and be prepared for an explosive strike! Pictured is Kyle and a good smallie his smile tells it all.
Fisheries biologist John Mullican sent us this report from the upper Potomac. The upper Potomac is still running high and slightly cloudy. With the recent summer-like weather, water temperatures have shot into the low 60s. Walleyes and smallmouth bass can be found along current breaks behind islands, shoreline points and log jambs. Various jigs have been consistent producers with crankbaits and jerkbaits also worth a try. Smallmouth bass between 12 and 19 inches are consistently being caught throughout the river right now. Mark Brown caught and released this whopping 26-1/2 walleye in the upper Potomac recently.
Fishermen are seeing female largemouth bass moving into the spawning areas this week and cruising the shallows for bucks. In some of the cooler waters in the Baltimore County Reservoirs fishermen will have an opportunity to intercept the fish at this stage for some catch and release fishing. In warmer waters such as small ponds and tidal rivers such as the Potomac water temperatures are around 70-degrees and the bass may be on nests at this time. Most bass fishermen will back off during this time and give the breeding fish some peace. Once the male largemouth bass are guarding the nest in a week or so it is a good idea to leave them alone since hungry bluegills and pumpkinseed sunfish are standing by to rob nests of precious eggs and fry. Jennifer Hagenston flew in from Arizona to visit her husband who is temporarily stationed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds and caught and released this nice largemouth bass in the process.
Fishermen will find good fishing for smallmouth bass this week in several reservoirs in the central region such as Liberty and Prettyboy. Fishermen are using a variety of jigs, jerkbaits and crankbaits with good success. Trout fishermen are still enjoying good fishing in a number of stocked waters and the Patapsco River was stocked at Avalon and Daniels on April 28th.
The recent hot weather did much to kick the largemouth bass spawning into action. Female largemouth bass have moved into the shallow spawning areas in many of the regions smaller ponds and lakes and are holding over nests. The males or bucks are close by so that they can fertilize the eggs when the female is ready to lay her eggs. Soon the females will retreat to deeper waters to recuperate and the males will fiercely guard the nest. Itll be a week or two before the females are ready to feed again and anglers will be looking forward to this time.
Much of the striped bass spawning in the upper Choptank and Nanticoke Rivers is completed so fishing for channel catfish is a good option at this time. Farther up the Choptank near Martinak State Park near Watts Creek and Marshyhope Creek on the Nanticoke are good places to look for channel catfish. The Chester is another good tidal river to fish for channel catfish also.
The regions shallow lakes and pond are quickly filling with aquatic vegetation and most fishermen are now switching to weedless presentations of soft plastics and surface lures such as buzzbaits to work the weed beds. Bluegills are a good target this week in a number of lakes such as Wye Mills, Tuckahoe and Smithville Lake.
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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.