Don Cosden, Fisheries Biologist
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Posted on May 29, 2013 | Permalink
Western MD Fishing Report
Location: Deep Creek Lake, North Branch of the Potomac
I just spent a week fishing and camping in western MD. The smallmouth fishing on Deep Creek Lake was great. This trip is an annual rite of spring for me. I try to time it during the pre-spawn when bass are shallow and aggressively attack streamer flies, soft plastic jerk baits or tubes. A boat makes the fishing much more productive and if you’re camping at the State Park you can leave it at the docks right at the launch ramp. It doesn’t get any easier than that. This year was exceptional for the average size of fish. DCL doesn’t produce giants but it has a great population of 12” to 15” smallmouth and an occasional larger one. Mixed in will be lots of big Rockbass, Pickerel, Largemouth Bass and Yellow Perch. If the water gets in the upper 60s and the Bluegill and Pumpkinseed move shallow you’ll have a shot at some of the biggest ‘gills you’ll find anywhere. Of course if you want to change tactics you can head to deeper water for Walleye which are also abundant in the lake. But I have a hard time putting down the flyrod and leaving the shallow water action. You can often watch the fish in the clear water as they rocket out of nowhere, grab your fly and all too often spit it out before you make your first move.
I was also lucky enough to float the North Branch of the Potomac for trout one day with guide and former Western Region Fisheries Manager, Ken Pavol. The river was high which meant weighted nymphs and indicators but the wild rainbows and several nice browns were plenty of reward for our efforts. There are a number of great guides floating the North Branch now days and they can usually show you an experience which will have you convinced you’re in the Rockies rather than 3 hours from DC.