It was an unusually warm Christmas Eve day so Jin and I decided to fish the lower section of Holmes Run to see if we could raise some trout.

It rained the previous day and the water level at Holmes was up, but not quite back to the normal water flow for this time of year. Water temperature was 42 degrees.

We started at a pool where we hooked a few a couple of weeks ago and saw a few fish but they were nervous and spooked so we moved further upstream and began nymphing a deep pool.

Using 5X and 6X tippets we tied on indicators and used weighted nymphs to get down deep fast. We could see the fish holding off a large rock and it was deep here so we had five feet of leader hanging under the indicator. Flow in this area was minimal so it was cast and watch for subtle takes as the nymph moved past the rock.

Jin quickly had four hookups but each time you could see the trout on the line but it would pull free after a short fight. On his fifth hookup he landed a nice trout and proceeded to hook several more on a size 16 soft hackle wet fly. I was using flies in size 18--olive soft hackle, pheasant tail with and without bead--and having no luck although I hooked and lost four. After Jin hooked a few more we left fish to find fish further upriver.
At a deep bend in the Run I cast into a deep pool after switching up to a size 16 olive soft hackle nymph. On my second cast I had a decent fish. We continued to fish this area before calling it a day.

We noticed that all the fish we landed today were all hooked on the upper lip. I also noticed that since the improvements to the pathway that runs along Holmes Run, there is more graffiti appearing on the rock face along the stream.

Each time I fish at Holmes I see more spray paint art added to blank rocks. What has been a relatively untouched area due to an undeveloped trail (narrow dirt path) has now become more accessible to everyone--good or bad. The paved path and stream crossings make the Run a wonderful place for a walk or bike with family and friends but it also allows those who have nothing else better to do to an easy access to deface nature and spoil the view for everyone.

EQUIPMENT: You should use 3 or 4-weight rods with a floating line. These are stocked fish so they're not that picky and around this time of year you want to use anything that's subsurface and buggy looking in Size 16 to 18.

DIRECTIONS: Holmes Run Stream Valley Park is located on Columbia Pike (244) amid apartments, residential housing and strip malls. As you drive on 244 towards Leesburg Pike (Rt. 7) the road will slope downhill. To your right you will see a large apartment complex and on your left will be the face of the Lake Barcroft Dam. You will drive cross a bridge with a covered pedestrian walkway. At this point SLOW DOWN and get into the RIGHT LANE. The road will begin to go uphill. To your right is a small, paved road that looks like a bike path. THIS IS THE ENTRANCE. It's a sudden right turn so make sure the car on your tail knows you're turning. Park and follow the paved path to Holmes Run Stream Valley Park.