Washington County, Maryland, May 23, 2008
Fishable water roughly 30 yards below the entry gate to the fly fishing only area--lower section of the upper fly zone.
After several weeks of really bad weather the sun finally poked out from behind heavy clouds. I had to be home by late afternoon so I decided to quickly hit several spots along Beaver Creek.

I arrived at the lower parking lot of the upper fly fishing zone around 6am. But so did another angler. However he quickly disappeared far upstream so I settled into my favorite spot and began casting to trout. The water was running high, fast and dirty so I pinched on more weight onto the leader and started fishing. Every once in awhile a huge boil would disturb the water as fish began to feed. About an hour later I had a take but it was a long distance release (LDR). I fished for two more hours before surrendering and taking off for the upper fly zone.
Anything goes area, put and take (catch and keep) near the hatchery. The fly fishing only zone begins about 100 yards downstream.
There was nobody around when I arrived at the upper fly zone. The water conditions were the same as the lower section. I walked downstream to the second bridge then began to fish back towards the parking lot.

Nymphing a deep slot. Two steps forward and it’s neck high water.
At least I got more fishing action along this stretch. I had several more LDR on some rainbows and one brown sitting tight on the bottom in deep water. I sucked. The fish were on the hook but all pulled free after a few moments on the line.

Because of the fast, high water I piled on the weight to get the nymphs and streamers down to the bottom quickly but kept at least 24-inches of 4x tippet between the nymph and the first split shot. I would cast upstream, pause the line to let the lighter fly carry past the heavier shot, then lead the line downstream. This allows the fly to be presented first without a bunch of shot bumping along with it. After another two hours I decided to leave and check out the extreme upper portion of Beaver Creek near the fish hatchery and I-70.

I have never fished this section of the creek although I've seen it mentioned on other blogs so I was interested to see what it was like. Finding the location was easy. Finding out exactly where to park and where to access the stream was a little tougher but thanks to one of the store employees (who probably has helped a lot of anglers) I was pointed in the right direction.

I started off by walking down to the stream and turning right, heading toward the hatchery. The path goes through the back yards of residents along the stream. The water was moving fast and a bit clearer but it was very shallow. I decided to backtrack and head downstream instead.
I met another angler, a spin fisher, and he told me that this portion of the creek was catch and keep (he had two in the bag) but the fly fishing only zone was a good 200-yards downstream where there's a cable and sign indicating it's a fly only, catch and release area. He added that there were some deep pockets where fish and game "stocked some monster trout...I seen 'em do it."

I began fishing just past the sign and hooked up on the third cast. At first I thought it was stuck on bottom debris because I was throwing a lot of shot, but then whatever it was on the other end just took off, ripping line off the reel as it headed downstream. The whole thing ended with my line wrapped around a huge downed tree that was lying half in and half out of the water.
After rebuilding the leader I quickly moved further downstream, my time was limited so I would do only a few drifts through likely spots before moving on. At one deep pocket a rainbow rushed the fly on the swing so I quickly threw upstream into the fast water and let the fly drift down again. Just as it was about to clear the pocket the rainbow rushed it again and it was fish on. And I blew it. I was so confident that I had this fish that I was more concerned about getting the landing net ready rather than pay attention to fighting the fish. I fumbled around, trying to get the net off my back and took my eyes off the fish for a few moments. I had the net in the water and the fish close by when it got free. I suck. And that was about it for the day--I had to get back to town.

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 just as you clear the overpass onto Country Store Lane. Turn left and park in the large gravel lot. Access to the water is to the right of the Country Store building next to a large sign. Go right and you will hit the hatchery. Go left and you will eventually make it to the upper fly zone parking lot. NOTE: there is a cable and sign that marks the beginning of the catch and release, fly fishing only section. Everything else before this sign is catch and keep.
Enter here to fish the upper section of Beaver Creek near the hatchery. The Beaver Creek Fly Shop is to the left.
To get to the lower section of the upper fly zone, follow 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. To get to the upper fly zone, turn onto Beaver Creek Church Road, cross the bridge, turn left and 100 yards up the road on your right will be the parking lot for the upper section of the creek which is fly fishing only. Gear up, cross the road, unchain the gate to enter and please replace the chain on the gate when you pass through.