Fletcher’s Cove, Potomac River, Washington, D.C., April 4, 2021
After attempting to fly fish for shad in the frigid temperature of the previous day, we hoped that today would bring a bounty of eager Hickories to the boat. We were wrong.

After dropping the rock off one of our favorite areas that has always produced for us, Jin and I began feeding sinking lines out of the back of the Fletcher’s rowboat. The water was colored, running a bit fast, and there was small bits of debris mixed in from rainstorms further up river a few days ago.

Again, we fished hard. Again, it was tough going. We would hook and land A FISH. Then for the next 45 minutes we would have more casting practice. It seemed just as your mind began to drift and you begin to think about that drink and snack in the cooler, a Hickory shad would strike and you would forget about all that for another 45 minutes.

However, I couldn’t really complain. At least we weren’t freezing and the fishing was at least marginally better than the day before. We got a few, which was an improvement.

EQUIPMENT: We used 8 weight rods, density-compensated full sink line, and flies in size 2 to 8 in various colors.

DIRECTIONS: Fletcher's Boat House is located on the Potomac River in Washington, DC, two miles north of Key Bridge and one mile south of Chain Bridge, at the intersection of Reservoir Road and Canal Road. You will know you have reached the entrance to Fletcher's when you see a traffic signal and the Abner Cloud House, a white stone building, which is next to the canal and will appear on your left if you approach the area from Key Bridge/Georgetown, or on your right from Chain Bridge.

WARNING: The entrance to Fletcher’s Cove is a very narrow entry/exit ramp that can accommodate only ONE car at a time so be very careful. It is VERY difficult to negotiate this ramp if you approach Fletcher’s Cove via Chain Bridge because it faces Key Bridge so you have to negotiate a difficult U-turn to enter. Park in the upper lot on your left or go through the tiny tunnel (clearance is 7 feet) to the lower parking lot and dock access.
During shad season the tackle shack opens at 6am. Rowboat rental is by reservation only via the
Boating In DC website, however there might be a few available for walkup rental. Rental fees are $28 for ONE HOUR, $56 for TWO HOURS, and $112 for FOUR HOURS. A late return fee is $25 and you might be placed on a “do not rent” list. Prices are subject to change.
You also need a D.C. fishing license which is $10 for D.C. residents and $13 for non-residents.

WARNING ON WEEKDAYS: Both lanes of Canal Road become ONE WAY into and out of the District during morning and evening rush hour during the weekdays. If you're hitting Fletcher's in the morning and following the route above you have until 5:30am to get there. If you miss this window you must wait until 10:20am because all traffic on Canal Road is one way into the city. Canal Road becomes one way going towards Chain Bridge from 2:30 to 7pm.