Potomac River, Washington, DC, April 11, 2015
A report from Mr. Bass Master for mikescatchreport.com

It all started on Friday night.

After arriving home from a long road trip, I texted my go-to shad mentor, the man I humbly refer to as “The Shad Master” (aka: Mike) and asked him if he was planning to head to Fletcher’s the following morning.
Having fished that Friday morning, he replied with some cockamamie story about having to volunteer at his daughter’s high school for some fundraising project on Saturday and he couldn’t go. Like they say on ESPN--“Come on man!” I mean it is shad season for heaven’s sake. But to his credit, he did say he was planning to fly fish the next day (Sunday) and I was welcome to join him. So my question became--do I take Saturday morning and sleep in, get some rest, and fish on Sunday or get up before the rooster crows to get a boat and spend a morning on the Potomac River. No contest. I got to Fletcher’s Boathouse around 5:30am and I was the tenth person in line. I’m glad I got up early because I think every boat in the fleet went out on the river that day.

After anchoring just inside the main current (at a location taught to me by “The Shad Master”) I began to fish. The action started off slow until the sun began to rise. It seemed like once the sun put a little glare on the water, and made the sparkle in my fly catch some light, the shad seemed to respond. During our text messaging exchange the night before my mentor gave me some tips:

A. The shad were running deep.
B. They came in schools, and it didn’t really matter what color fly I used.

So I started slinging and stripping a chartreuse cone head and soon it was game on. For a while it was one shad after another. At one point the shad fishing got so good that they were even hitting my fly on the swing.

However, just as fast as things heated up, the fishing gods decided that enough was enough and cooled things down. Mother Nature played her role and sent a stiff wind blowing directly down the river. The Potomac River began to get some serious chop on the water and the wind sent many boats dragging their anchor rock along the bottom. For the people who didn’t have a motor, the wind made rowing back to the dock a real chore.

Since it was right around lunch time I thought I would head in, grab something to eat, and see if I could find out if the action might be better at a different spot. However, to my dismay, I had managed to wedge my rock anchor on the bottom. The rock seemed to be stuck so bad that I eventually had to cut it away. When I got back to the dock I felt a little better when I was told that I was the fifth boat to do that today.

After learning that the fishing had slowed for a lot of people, and with the wind still blowing hard, I decided to call it a day. The decision to quit wasn’t as bad as it usually is because I knew I would be back the next morning with my ace in the hole--“The Shad Master”.

EQUIPMENT: I used an 8 weight Orvis Access rod and a RIO In-Touch Deep 3 Full Sinking line. Cone head shad flies in size 6 and 8 in chartreuse and pink.