Washington County, Maryland, March 14, 2008
Drifting nymphs or stripping streamers through deep water was the key to drawing hits on this section of Beaver Creek.

It was going to be one of those rare winter days when the temperature climbs into the mid-60's. Although there was the chance of heavy showers in the afternoon, I packed up and left the house at zero dark thirty to hit the lower fly fishing section of Beaver Creek.

Last week the Maryland fish and game sent a response to my email answered a few of the questions I had when I fished
Lower Beaver Creek at Tom's Road Bridge earlier in the month. In their response was a suggestion that I try fishing the lower portion of the creek just before it flows into private property, later emerging into public fishing water and becoming Middle Beaver Creek at the stone bridge at the intersection of Beaver Creek Road and Cool Hollow Road. I had the time, it was going to be a nice day so I decided to go for it.

I arrived at the parking lot around 6:30am. It's located in an empty field and it's huge. I geared up and headed down the well marked trail and followed it for several hundred yards until it hit the stream. The first thing i noticed were all the NO TRESSPASSING signs downstream. There is even a cable stretched across the water marking the private property. The many signs say you can fish upstream but never downstream. Judging from the number of signs I could see posted on trees downstream, the owner wants privacy and so I pounded the trail upstream.
At the end of the trail from the parking lot, signs spell out exactly where you can and cannot fish on this section of the creek.

It's quite obvious that the local Trout Unlimited folks are working hard at stream rehabilitation. Along the path I passed new tree plantings, boulders placed in the creek to improve flow and offer hiding places for trout and a few makeshift work areas. I finally reached a major bend in the creek and recognized the ruins of a stone house sitting just off the creek. I fished this area in January last year after walking downstream from the upper fly fishing area. I noticed the area had been cleared of brush and there was a picnic table (with another disassembled but ready for setup), logs for sitting, a fire pit, extensive stream bank stonework and strategic limb trimming to allow clear casting.
I moved a little ways upstream and began fishing back downstream hitting the faster, deeper water with tiny nymphs in sizes 16-22. Pheasant tail (with and without bead), Brassies, Hare's Ear (with and without bead), soft hackle nymphs (black), MMS (tan and black) and since there was water lettuce I also drifted a few scuds. I picked up a few fish then moved further downstream and fished some of the deeper cuts near the bank. I was stripping back a MSS after a long drift through a deep run and was just about to pick it up to cast when there was a vicious strike that bent the rod tip to the water. It was a huge rainbow and it had taken the fly just as I was stripping back line so it was stuck good. This one was played off the reel. We did a back and forth dance for a bit but then the line went slack and when I brought everything back I still had the fly--but only a portion of the hook. Everything after the straight shank was gone.

I continued to fish downstream and just before 1pm I met two other anglers using streamers and I watched them work over a number of large rainbows. We swapped lies for a short bit but I had to get back home so I wished them luck and headed back to the parking lot.
EQUIPMENT: I uses a 9' 4-weight rod with floating dual taper line and an assortment of nymphs and streamers.

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 do not even think of trying to trespass.