Washington County, Maryland, May 11, 2012
After spending most of the day fishing at Big Hunting Creek I decided to spend the late afternoon and evening fishing at Beaver Creek.
The fly fishing parking lot was empty when I arrived around 3pm. I had not been back to this section of Beaver Creek in a while but I heard from other anglers that it was fishing well and I wanted check it out for myself. I geared up and went to open the gate that led to the creek and my first thought was I should have brought a machete. The place had gone wild. Native trees, shrubs and flowering plants totally obscured the creek. There were various trails snaking through the overgrowth and I followed one of them to the water. The creek was flowing strong but the water had a bit of color to it. Lots of water plants had also taken hold and the whole place had a wild, natural look to it. However you could still tell that someone had helped Mom Nature a bit when you came across a bunch of rocks that puts you in a perfect spot to cast a fly at a deep pool that probably holds several trout.
I poked my way down several paths and fished as I went. I finally crossed the creek and fished with the pasture to my back as I moved downstream. About 40 yards downstream the heavy undergrowth abruptly ends and there is a white fence with a private property sign nailed to it. This section of Beaver Creek is off limits to fishing. It’s a short 20 yard section in front of a home fronting the creek so I bypassed this spot and resumed fishing where there is a small footbridge spanning the water.
Other anglers were appearing so I reeled up and drove to another area. When I got there, three cars parked in the lot and for this section of the creek that can be a bit too crowded so I headed for another location. Nobody was around at my fallback spot so I began fishing downstream. I pricked a few fish but then saw another angler walking upstream towards me. He lived in the area but was new to fly fishing and this was the first time he tried this section of Beaver Creek. He was heading up to the upper fly zone near the bridge so I filled him in on how many people he might find there and what flies were working at the time. He told me there were several spin fishermen working the water about 200 yards further downstream so he turned around to go fish somewhere else.
I continued to fish my way downstream until I saw the spin guys working the bank then turned around to fish back upstream. There was a particularly sweet spot that held a bunch of fish so I figured the water had rested for almost an hour so the fish should be ready for some flies. I was setting up to begin casting when I heard a flutter of wings and some very angry quacking behind me. Three ducks--two males and a female--came tumbling down into the water in the spot I was about to fish. It was a duck battle-royal. They were rolling and tumbling across the water, splashing, shoving and biting and making an awful racket. There was a lot of chest-puffing by the males before they’d fly head-on into each other and cartwheel across the creek and crash into the bank. This went on for five minutes before one of the male ducks gave up and swam upstream. So much for my plan of resting the water and fishing.
I was thinking about sitting on the bank and letting the water rest again when I smelled a cigar. About three minutes later another fly fisher, puffing away, came around the corner and waded right through the water I wanted to fish. At this point I just gave up and headed back to the car, passing several more anglers heading downstream.
EQUIPMENT: I used 8’ 6” 3 weight rod and an assortment of dry flies.
DIRECTIONS: From I-70 heading towards Hagerstown, take Exit 66 (Boonsboro) and turn left at bottom of ramp onto Mapleville Road (66). Continue down 66 and turn right onto Beaver Creek Road. About 100 yards past Beaver Creek Church Road on your right is the fly fishing parking lot. Follow the signs and instructions.