Catoctin Mountains National Park, March 6, 2009
After scouting
Little Hunting Creek and Owens Creek I had a few more hours to fish before heading for home so I decided to hit a spot on Big Hunting Creek that had produced fish for me on previous trips.

There was only one other car in the parking lot and after a short hike to the creek I saw that there was nobody around and I had the place to myself. The ambient temperature was approaching 74 degrees and bug love was in the air. Lots of little
early black stoneflies, which were crawling down the back of my shirt collar. I also noticed the dimpling of the water as fish began to feed.

I sat back and watched for awhile before approaching to cast. There were at least eight fish feeding in several locations just off the current on a shallow riffle however two of them were very substantial fish. Their takes were strong and you could see their backs as they lunged for any insect careless enough to get too close to the water. At first it looked like they were keying in on the black stoneflies but if you get down low to the water there were tiny midges flying inches above the creek surface. They were dark grey and black and extremely small and this is what the fish were after.

I started with a size 18 CDC midge but after several good drifts over the feeding areas with no takes or looks I downsized to a size 22. This too was ignored so I broke out the magnifying lenses and tied on a really tiny CDC midge and cast it just outside the main current.

About half way down the seam I got a solid take and brought in one of the bigger fish I spotted earlier--a nice brookie. I rested the area for a bit then three casts later landed another nice brookie. That became the fishing pattern for the rest of the remainder of the day but unfortunately all nice fishing time comes to an end and it was time to pack it in and head for home.

EQUIPMENT: I used a 8' 9" 3-weight rod with weight-forward floating line, but not much of the line was out of the tip of the rod. I used a leader that was 12-feet long that tapered down to 3-feet of 7X tippet (so 15-feet overall length). Small flies and very gentle presentations.

DIRECTIONS: From Virginia it's Route 15 north (to Gettysburg). You'll see signs saying your in the Catoctin Mountain National Park. Take the left exit in Thurmont to Route 77 west then onto Foxville Road into the park. You will see the creek on your right then after you pass the ranger station it will appear on your left. Park and fish.