Posted on November 1, 2011 | Permalink
Pangborn Pond Fishing Rodeo
Location: Pangborn Pond, Carroll Creek, and Owens Creek
Eeen,eeen eeen, there goes my alarm at 6:30. I wake up to snow falling in the street lights. I was for sure the rodeo was going to be canceled but it went on. We arrived up at Hagerstown about 8:30 and didn't see anyone. After a walk around the pond we spotted the registration table.And at 9:00, the rodeo started and so did the snow. Before 9:00 it wasn't snowing up there...yet. Although there were only 2 other kids at the rodeo it was really enjoyable. But, at about 9:35 the snow kept getting harder and thicker. The rodeo was stopped and they handed out the prizes. I caught 6 Rainbow Trout all in the 10-13" range but one was about 16" or so. I got most, biggest, and smallest fish of the competition. (Well, I caught the only fish of the competition.) I won a Mitchell Avocet II, it's an UL rod that sells for $30.00 at Walmart. I also won like $15.00 or $25.00 in fishing tackle (mostly Trout tackle). The Trout were holding in about 8 feet of water, near the bottom. Although I sometimes could see the Trout come up to get something off of the surface. They were all near a deep dropoff. I was casting farther than them and bringing the lure back in front of them. You know you did good at a Rodeo if an adult fisherman asks what lure you were using :) We got a cup of coffe at Sheetz and headed back to the pond once the snow calmed down a little. I caught two more Rainbows, and lost a couple. I crimp down my barbs for Trout so that it makes for an easier release although, 1 or 2 Trout might get off of the hook while playing 'em. 20 minutes in, 2 guys come in (obviously way over 16) and they start fishing. I did not want to see them catch any (since it would be against the law) and I left. As soon as I left they went and fished where I fished since they saw me catch one. All fish were released. Here's a couple reports from earlier this week. Sorry, no pics.
I've been waiting for Carroll Creek to be stocked all summer and fall, I couldn't wait, I only had about an hour to fish it because of the pouring rain. It's great if you just want to catch fish. This stream is for the blind and under 16 only, so it doesn't receive as much pressure as some of the other streams. Parts of the stocked area are remote, for instance right below the Route 15 bridge it's very hard to get through to the creek and cast. And above the Route 15 bridge is Waterford Park that I haven't been to yet, so I'll have to check it out. But from Fairview Ave. downstream to the dam on N Bentz street it is very easy access and provides plenty of room for the kids to cast. We parked beside Culler Lake and walked downstream to W College Terrace Road and I fished my way upstream. I was mostly Fly-fishing with Black Woolybuggers sizes 8-12 because you can catch a bunch of chubs on them too. I landed 8 Trout, all in the 10-13 inch range with the exception of two, one being 8'' and the other was about 15''. Also caught a couple chubs. I caught most of them Fly-fishing but a few on my finesse tackle. I fished a 3 1/2 foot BPS UL Rod with a Flueger Trion GX-7. The short rod helped out in some places where you have only a couple feet to cast. I used a 12'' Fluoro leader, although it probably didn't matter this early in the season, but it is a necessity later in the winter for catching more fish. This stream also has a lot of Sunfish and a few small Largemouths. Most fish do eventually get caught after a couple months, but I have caught a couple in the summer. All fish were released into their (new) home.
Owens Creek- We stopped by the Roddy Road Covered Bridge first and with no hits it was off to the mid section. I fished right above where there was a landslide a couple months ago. After doing the regular finesse tactic with no hits I decided to Fly-fish with Woolybuggers. All of a sudden my line went slack and...and I set the hook, and I had a big one on. After about 30 seconds of fighting him, he made a "v" right for me and he shook out the hook. There are some nice Wild Browns in this stream and some nice holdover stocked fish, of course it also could've been a holdover stocker that they just stocked. I changed my fly to a #4 Brown Woolybugger, and nothing. I headed upstream and managed about a 12-13'' Rainbow on my finesse tactics. The Bown was released after a hard fight of him running in and out of the current. Another great day in the Catoctin Mts.
Posted on October 12, 2011 | Permalink
Trout Fishing the South Branch of the Patapsco River
Location: South Branch of Patapsco River
Friday night I saw that DNR had stocked the South Branch of the Patapsco, so we made plans to go down the next morning. It was about a 30 minute drive down, we decided to stop at the parking lot where Marriotsville road goes over the river. I geared up and headed upstream towards where the railroad crosses the river. I waded to the island, and began fishing, fishing finesse since I knew the "less smart" trout would already be taken out with powerbait. I went with 2 lb Mono with an 18 inch leader of Fluoro. I fished with my new 9' UL rod from Trout Magnet that handled amazingly and created the perfect natural drift, it was paired up with a Shimano Sedona. I also Fly-fished some with no luck drifting Woolybuggers in the current. It was in the 60's and 70's around 8:00 and 9:00 A.M, so I was getting quite hot in my waders and vest. I got a few small hits, probably from Fallfish or small Smallies. I didn't see any Trout. We would have gone upstream but it didn't look like the riverbed had too good structure. Next it was off to the uppermost section of the stocked river, by W Friendship Road. There's a very deep hole above the road that I caught a decent Smallie out of. I headed downstream to the bridge and fished my way through the riffles. Each pool was at the most 2 1/2 feet deep with the exception of 2 holes. There were 6 other fisherman (all fishing w/ powerbait) and one guy caught a decent trout out of one of the deeper holes where I got some hits out of but I just couldn't hook him. Another guy caught a big 12'' Fallfish out of a hole, but that's it. The water was running fine and pretty easy to cross the river in the upper section. The lower section was good to wade acroos too. It makes me wonder how many fish were caught and if DNR stocked the same amount of fish as they do in one stocking in the Spring.DNR's response: The fall stocking is much smaller than the traditional spring trout stocking. For instance, this past spring well over 300,000 fish were stocked state-wide (close to 6,000 for the South Branch of the Patapsco alone), this fall an estimated 27,000 fish will be stocked state-wide, 200 have fish were put into the South Branch on Oct. 7.
Posted on September 7, 2011 | Permalink
Catoctin Mountains Report
Location: Catoctin National Park
I fished all the tiny streams and headwaters three different times in five days in Catoctin National Park and Cunningham Falls State Park. The first day I headed to Big Hunting Creek (above the lake.) Very hard to sneak up on fish this time of year, when the water is low and they can hear and see you coming. This is also a fly-fishing only section, and since I just started fly fishing and fly tying this year, I stuck to the easy stuff. I fished a 3 weight rod and as my fly choices, I used size 10-12 black woolybuggers, and a size 16 Elk hair caddis. I managed a few hits on a woolybugger. Then I switched to a mayfly imitation size 16 fly, then I hooked into a 16.5 inch wild Brown Trout. This was by far the biggest wild trout I have ever caught. No pic though. Safely released back.
Next it was onto Little hunting Creek, for hopefully some native Brook Trout action, around where Route 15 goes over the creek. This time I fished a few spinners with no luck, then I tried Trout Magnet with no hits. They were all hiding under boulders and a big concrete overhang. Ever once in awhile a big brown trout would come out and take a look around. But then I took a closer look and he was all scared up. A big snapping turtle would sometimes bite the trouts tail, but the trout would always barely escape. Nothing, no hits, no taps, none caught.
Next to a trib creek of Big Hunting Creek, I really don't fish this tiny stream much and have never caught anything in it. And to a beginner with one glance to this mere 4 foot wide stream would simply fish elsewhere. But, I have seen the native Brook Trout there, and I won't give up on it. The native population in this stream is not too good, but I still need to scout more of this stream.
Finally off to the headwaters of Owens Creek, I managed to land a very nice 13 inch wild Brown on the first cast. I also landed 2 Native Brook Trout, all within an hour. The brook trout were very nice nice in size, one was 6 1/2 inches and the second one was 8 inches. The 8 incher is the biggest native brookie I've ever caught. They will sometimes grow to 9 or 10, or mabe 11inches in these streams but it's rare. All fish taken on ultra light spinning tackle (2 lb Fluoro.) It takes a lot of scouting and walking to search for good holes in these small streams and creeks, but with experience and knowledge you can catch a lot of wild browns and native brookies. Catching a wild (or native) fish is one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I have had a 3 1/2 hour fight with a 36 lb Grass Carp on 2 lb test, yet catching a big wild brown trout or a small native brookie has meant more to me.
You'll never forget the first native brookie you caught.
Posted on August 26, 2011 | Permalink
Location: Gambrill State Park
A couple weeks ago I saw about 4 or 5 Common Carp at Gambrill State Park (Rock Run Pond.) Later that week I managed to hook up with one there, 10 lbs 12 ounces, and 27 inches. I caught him on corn and oatmeal on the hair rig. He was a tough fight on 6lb test. But my question is, who puts the carp in; I know very well it could have been just other fisherman or was it the fisheries service? After a snapshot I released him. I also caught a few Largemouths under an overhanging bush, on a Yum 5' Dinger (Junebug.)
DNR's Response: Carp were widely distribution throughout Maryland and the country over 100 years ago, before the issues of invasive species was fully understood. The carp found in Gambrill State Park could have been placed there by fishermen and/or a government agency years ago, for more on carp go to our carp web page.
Posted on August 25, 2011 | Permalink
Smallies in a Small Creek
Location: Catoctin Creek
I hit Catoctin Creek on 8/22, and for a small creek there was a decent population of smallmouths. The creek is really low and clear; a quiet approach is ample to catch fish. The best way to fish this creek is wading. I caught 6 smallies with the biggest being around 2 1/2lbs, but most were in the 7''-13'' range. I caught some on a little Joe's Flies' Spinner on 2lb Fluoro. Most were caught shaking a 5'' Yum Dinger (Watermelonseed.) There were some redears and creek chubs that were caught on the spinner too. All fish were released back to their home.