Frederick County, Maryland, October 9, 2009
(UPDATE: Web visitor KentW sent me a brief note saying I should fish this creek again at a later date. The low water level is normal for this time of year and fish are here. I just didn't look hard enough for them.)

Over the past few years I've driven many miles on Route 15 on my way to and from various streams and creeks in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York and just outside the town of Frederick, Maryland, I always pass a tiny sign posted next to a small concrete bridge that marks a body of water called Fishing Creek. This is a really small sign and most folks, unless you fish a lot, will blow past it at 65-plus miles per hour and never see the marker. As other fishers often do, I would slow down a bit in the right lane and peek over the crash barrier at the water flowing below and I would wonder if the creek was worth fishing. But there's a lot of traffic on Route 15 and my attention is always dragged back to the road and my intentions about the creek are quickly filed away as more important things are pondered--like whether to stop at the 7-11 to grab a hot dog and Coke or wait until I reach the McDonalds in Leesburg.

So I finally decided to try fishing at Fishing Creek. One of the first things I discovered is that there is very little information about Fishing Creek (and later in the expedition I would find out why) but armed with some Google maps and my GPS I set out on a clear Fall day with temperatures expected to top out at 80 degrees.
After exiting Route 15 I headed up Mountaindale Road until I hit Fishing Creek Reservoir. At this point there are really two branches of the creek and both meet at a junction near a fork in the road where Gambrill Park Road splts off from Mountaindale Road. I should mention that from this point the term "road" means a narrow gravel path riddled with shallow potholes and ruts.

Fishing Creek closely follows Mountaindale Road, which eventually becomes Fishing Creek Road but there are no posted signs to tell you this so just trust me. The body of water that follows Gambrill Park Road is Little Fishing Creek and it flows under a small concrete bridge on Mountaindale Road before merging with Fishing Creek which then flows into Fishing Creek Reservoir.

According to the Maryland fish and game, Fishing Creek is stocked and managed above the junction of the two streams as a put-and-take trout stream (fish and game puts them in, you go and pull them out). Little Fishing Creek is not stocked and has a limit of two trout per day.

I drove up Mountaindale Road into the Frederick Municipal Forest and saw lots of pull-offs and large parking areas which are well marked with fishing regulation signs. And at an intersection the creek actually flows OVER Delauler Road because there is no bridge. You have to drive through the creek if you're using this side road.
I stopped at many of the parking areas to check out the water and discovered that the creek was either visible from the parking lot or maybe a couple dozen yards away. I also noticed that the water was pretty low and I don't know if this is the normal Fall condition of Fishing Creek or the area is experiencing a drought but in many spots the water was only several inches deep. The creek itself is very narrow and tight. Short rods, long leaders and fine tippets rule but you really have to watch your backcast. Water clarity was excellent and standing several yards away it was easy to see everything on the bottom of the creek which consisted mainly of leaves, twigs and microscopic fish which turned out to be hungry juvenile creek chubs or blunt nosed minnows about 1/2 to 2-inches long that were all to happy to wolf down a size 18 caddis.

Unfortunately that was about it. No trout. Unless there was a secret spot that I missed somewhere along the creek, every nice pocket of water was devoid of trout of any size. I can imagine that this is a great spot for put-and-take fishing when it's stocked. Some of those pools are really nice and would hold lots of trout with very little cover for them to hide. And judging from the size of some parking areas and the proximity to the creek, it's pretty easy to figure out where the stocking truck will pull in to dump trout.
EQUIPMENT: Short 3-weight, full flex rod with long leaders tapered down to 7X tippet and size 18 to 26 caddis, paranymphs, Montana Mud Snakes or CDC emergers.

RECOMMENDATION: This place might be fun to fish after it's stocked, but get there soon after fish and game dumps the trout because this creek will be quickly cleaned out.

DIRECTIONS: Follow Route 15 to Frederick, Maryland, and turn left on Powell Road. Follow Powell Road and turn right onto Mountaindale Road. Follow Mountaindale Road, which will narrow considerably and become a gravel path as you pass through a residential areas as you head into the foothills of the Frederick Municipal Forest and the entrance to Fishing Creek Reservoir. The reservoir will appear on your left as you head up the mountain. Stay on Mountaindale Road and as you pass over a small concrete overpass you will see Little Hunting Creek and Gambrill Park Road, another gravel pathway, on your right. There are NO posted street signs. Stay left on Mountaindale Road. Fishing Creek will be on your left.