Washington County, Maryland, March 28, 2008
It was still dark when I arrived at the second fly fishing parking lot off Beaver Creek Road. As I geared up behind the car, dawn began to fill the sky and I could hear local traffic zooming down the road to join the daily commute heading into metro Washington on I-70.

I brought a fast action 5-weight rod this time. On
my last trip I used a medium flex 4-weight rod and I felt undergunned. Some of the fights turned into long back and forth affairs which isn't too good for the fish and increases the chance it won't survive the fight.

The water was a bit lower than the previous trip. I thought it might be higher due to the rain that moved through the area the day before but it looked lower and the flow slower. The water was a bit stained and water temperature was 55 while the morning air temperature was a brisk 42 degrees with overcast skies.

I began casting to one of the deeper runs and on the third cast there was a huge strike and the line I was stripping in shot out of my hand and I had the fish on the reel. This was a big one and I got a brief glimpse of the fish as it flashed before taking off for a huge tangle of tree limbs sitting upstream. It was a rainbow. I tried to stop the fish from ducking under the snag and managed to turn his head but he zipped downstream a bit then quickly turned back upstream and dove into the snag and broke me off. I was using 4X tippet.

After upping the tippet to 2X and tying on another fly I moved up to the next run since all the previous commotion probably disturbed everything else in this section of the stream. I put out a few casts and watched a beaver slowly swim past, giving me the evil eye for invading his space so early in the morning. A couple of more casts later the fly was swinging midstream when there was another savage strike. The line went tightand there was a huge boil of water as the fish pounded the fly. I power-stripped line in but the fish took everything back out again as it headed for the opposite bank and it was at this point of the fight that I noticed that there was no place to land the fish.
The banks on this section of Beaver Creek are three feet above water, vertical, muddy and extremely slippery. Downed trees were on both sides so I couldn't work the fish to a lower area. I freed my landing net and had to lie prone while holding the rod behind my back to get the fish close enough to slip into the net. A very nice, fat rainbow! I quickly moved to a shallow area for some quick pictures (and almost dropped the fish and fell into the water) before releasing it.

After reorganizing myself I continued upstream, stopping to fish at various runs and pools. Fishing was great and I tied into another huge rainbow, possibly the biggest of the day, but it slipped the hook inches from the net!

Around noon I could hear the sound of thunder in the distance and the sky looked pretty ugly so I decided to be a gas stop gourmet and called it a day
EQUIPMENT: I uses a 9' 5-weight fast action rod, Scientific Anglers GPX weight forward line, short fluorocarbon leader tapering to 2X 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 to Beaver Creek. Please respect property owners and do not trespass.