Washington County, Maryland, May 23, 2009
Jin was in town with his family for the Memorial Day weekend and managed to snag a day pass to fish and since the shad season was over we decided to hit Beaver Creek and fish downstream from the Cool Hollow Road access point.

The water was high and stained. The water temperature was 58 degrees which felt pretty good in the hot, still air. We geared up and headed downstream.

For the first hundred yards there were riffles and runs and some good holding spots near downed trees. Our plan was to walk down then fish back upstream to the car. With very little insect life in the air or coming off the water (except mosquitos) we began nymphing the water. Jin took the point and I followed behind by 20 minutes. We walked downstream to a point where several blow-downs had blocked the creek. Jin began fishing upstream but the slack water below the downed trees had my interest. It was similar to other water on the creek where I had some success in previous trips so I told Jin I was going to explore further downstream and would catch up with him.

I pulled myself up over the bank and found a well worn footpath next to a large open pasture heading downstream. I followed the path and noticed that there were indications that it was a heavily fished area. There was heavy fishing line hanging from the trees and well-beaten offshoots from the main path that led to areas next to the stream where the feet of countless anglers had pounded the vegetation into the mud. I even found a makeshift camp site complete with a fire pit, small piles of beer bottles and empty
nightcrawler containers. This was put and take water and the evidence that fishing was good was everywhere.
The water looked slow and deep and there were lots of undercut banks and downed trees. Perfect brown trout water. So I clipped off the light nymph rig, tied on a 'big juicy' and began streamer fishing for trout.

I worked through several likely spots that the bait anglers ignored but drew no strikes. I threw a few casts then reeled up, pausing to check the water downstream for movement before continuing down the path. I came up on another angler outfitted as a fly angler but throwing a
baitcasting reel. We spoke for a bit and he said he fly fished the area in the morning and landed two but gave up on the long rod when things got slow and broke out the heavy hardware. He told me I was close to the end of the public water, where a cable was stretched across the creek. Since he was fishing downstream I yielded the water to him and began fishing back upstream.

I bumped into more anglers as I headed back towards Jin and I stopped to chat. All were throwing heavy iron and they said fishing was ok but not great today. A couple of them gave me some tips as to where some big fish were hold up and mentioned several other spots on Beaver Creek where I had fished before and had good luck. One guy said he wanted to take up the fly rod so he could get into the fly fishing only sections of Beaver Creek. I was hoping he knew it was catch and release there and not put and take.
I caught up with Jin who by this time had caught a few fish on a size 18 emerger. I cut off the heavy streamer and rigged up light and went at it but had no luck. Jin pulled up a wild brook trout as we continued back towards the car and that was about it for us on this section of the creek. We drove up to fish the Upper Fly Zone for a little while but got no bites. It was interesting that Beaver Creek was almost devoid of fly anglers on a weekend but I figured most of them were probably headed out of town for the Memorial Day holiday. By early afternoon we'd had enough so we packed it in and headed for home.

EQUIPMENT: I uses a 8' 3-weight rod with floating dual taper line and an assortment of small dries and nymphs.

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. Follow the road until you come to a low bridge spanning the creek. Parking is on the left after the bridge on Cool Hollow Road. It's tight.