Washington County, Maryland, January 27, 2007
The sun was out, the sky was clear and it was warming up fast! I threw my stuff into the car and drove down to Beaver Creek for an afternoon of fishing. But so did a lot of other people.

I followed the trail and passed an old stone structure that had partially collapsed into the stream. Directly in front of the building there was a dam (beavers?) across the stream. I don't know how long the dam was there but it looked old and it probably prevents fish from getting further downstream unless they manage to make it through the maze of logs, sticks and stream trash.

About 20 yards downstream from the dam there are some nice riffles and fast moving water but the stream flattens out and slows quickly as it gets deeper. My buddy Jin calls this “frog water”--slow, still water that’s usually filled with amphibians instead of trout.

I spotted two fly fishers working an area about 50 yards downstream so I stopped where I was and and started to fish back upstream using nymphs and weight to get down deep.

It took me two hours to fish my way back up to the second bridge near the farm. Along the way I used numerous flies--dries, various nymphs and streamers--depending on the water conditions and insect activity in the area. I caught a few tiny browns and lost something substantial that wrapped the leader around a submerged tree limb.

I met another angler just past the bridge and he told me he caught three trout but they were very small (about 4 inches). We exchanged some fishing lies and exaggerations before I moved past him and began fishing the second section of fast water.

For the next 45 minutes I fished deep, using nymphs from size16 to 20 and was rewarded with a sight of a trout launching itself out of the water to eat the strike indicator! A few minutes later there were trout jumping all around me trying to eat insects hovering near the fast current seam.

I quickly cut off the nymphs and switched to a size 16 paranymph. I had one fish charge up off the bottom but it stopped and refused the fly at the last second. After a few more casts and near misses the action slowed considerably as the sun went down behind the trees. Another angler showed up and told me he had luck using shrimp (scud?) in natural colors and with a black epoxy ant.

On my way back to the car I stopped at the first wood bridge and tried fishing for a monster brown trout that many anglers claim lives in the deep, fast water there. As I threw casts and mends, I wondered about these stories. I heard them from folks I met on the stream or at the local fly fishing shop. Everyone seems to have a friend of a friend who has a girlfriend who knows this guy that once went fishing with an uncle who hooked, fought and lost this monster giga-pound trout (rainbow or brown) that either broke the leader, straightened, or threw the hook seconds before it was led to a net, grassy bank or hand.

After 20 minutes I had enough. I reeled up, cut off the size 2 Wooly Bugger and re-rigged with something lighter as I began to fish back to the parking lot. I gave one last look at the deep, dark water swirling under the bridge and, yeah, there’s probably something big living there. It looks like a spot where a lunker trout would live. No luck today. Maybe next time.

I worked the many riffles and runs as I made my way upstream, using a combination of dries and nymphs, and when I finally made it to the parking lot the sun was gone and it was getting cold...time to head home.

DIRECTIONS: From I-70 heading towards Hagerstown, take Exit 66 (Boonsboro) and turn left at bottom of ramp. Continue down the road and turn right onto Beaver Creek Road, it's a small street sign as you enter a residential area so slow down and look carefully. Make a right turn at Beaver Creek Church Rd., follow the narrow road that will bear right across a one-lane bridge. Turn left and 100 yards up the road on your right will be the flyfishing parking lot. Gear up, cross the road, unchain the gate to enter and please replace the chain on the gate when you pass through. Respect the private property signs and please don't trample any new stream planting.