Washington County, Maryland, March 2, 2012
I could feel the heavy Czech nymph tick, tick, ticking across the pebbly bottom as the tip of the 9’ 6” 6 weight rod moved downstream, pulling the fluorocarbon 5X leader through the deep pool. I kept my eyes on the tiny blob of orange Loon Biostrike indicator putty as the line moved through the water, just a bit faster than the current--but not too fast. I felt a sudden, heavy weight on the line and I swiftly set the hook. Adrenaline pumped as my heart picked up a few beats. But the weight on the end of the line did not desperately pull for freedom. Instead, a dark shape slowly became visible as I raised the rod. Another tree branch was brought to hand on Beaver Creek.

I had a few hours to fish today and I decided to hit Beaver Creek. Because of the recent heavy rain I expected the water to be high and dirty but was surprised to find it fairly clear. But there was another rainstorm expected in the afternoon so I moved quickly, fishing with big streamers in some areas then switching to deep nymphing in other spots.

As I made my way to the old stone house I noticed the new improvements along the water. Trees that hindered casting have been removed or trimmed back. The banks have been sculpted and reinforced with boulders and more rocks have been added in the creek to create current and cover for trout. It’s just about impossible for anyone to miss the good fishing spots. Just look for the flat rock platforms near the water that put you in an ideal spot to fire off casts at holding water or look for areas along the bank where you have enough room for a short back cast without tangling up your leader in any tree limbs. The work is extremely well done and when everything is settled in and has ‘naturalized’ a bit into the environment it will be a beautiful place to fly fish.

But I’m still not too sure about how I feel about these improvements. It does make fishing a lot easier on Beaver Creek, but a good portion of the spots that I had dialed in, where I knew fish would be hanging out, are now gone. I’m back to being a beginner again. The days of walking to ‘X’ spot, using ‘X’ fly and pulling in some fish are over. Done. But that’s fly fishing. It’s like life--things change. Sometimes for the better and, sometimes, maybe not.

EQUIPMENT: I used a medium-fast action 9' 6” 6 weight rod, weight forward lines and fluorocarbon leaders set up for 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 and instructions.