The great thing about fishing Piney Run is that you actually have three choices. You can fish the long stocked stretch of Piney that parallels Marriottsville Road Number 2 or, take a hop skip and a jump down the road and fish up or downstream on the Patapsco from the large parking area at the bridge. I arrived at Piney midmorning on March 27 — the implied “opening” of “trout season” as a result of the extended closure Maryland imposes to stock a wide variety of streams.
After casting an anxious eye on the Patapsco river as I drove across, I hung a left and began to follow Piney Run north. My initial impression was that of disappointment as the stream looked like a typical central Maryland flatland trout stream — sandy and shallow. Within 100 yards my perspective changed. As soon as the stream picked up a little bit of gradient as it flowed down the hill to join the Patapsco, its character changed from mud and sand to a traditional trout stream full rocks and small plunge pools.
I was glad that I had fly gear instead of spin because the small pools that speckled the creek would be too small to use spin gear. Spinners would have little time to activate. However, it would be just as easy to float a wad of powerbait down through the seam in the current as it would for me to float a nymph – and there were plenty of folks doing just that – no big deal…. this is put and take water.
I continued north looking for a likely turn off and was not surprised to see many of them already filled with several vehicles. After all, this was the first day after the extended March close. Eventually, I gave up trying to find empty turn off and pulled in next to three other trucks.
I had a brief chat with another guy and asked him how he had been doing. He said he’d just gotten here and did not have any intelligence to report. Typically, when I go fishing, I like to walk away from the crowd, but I realized that with the road running right next to the stream, that was not in a happen in this particular location. Therefore, any place was as good as any other, so I walked over to the stream and began fishing. As I mentioned above, the creek had a classic trout feel to it and, with plenty of water from the recent rains filling its course, it was sparkling and active. Finally, with the stocking of just over 700 trout during the closure season, the fish should have had plenty of time to distribute throughout the length of the stocked section.
My hope was that the fish had moved and that they had become accustomed to living in a natural environment. Therefore, I decided to rig up a nymph within a dropper. My rationale was that it would be easier to fish a nymph on an indicator given the short distances in the tight holes that were interspersed randomly along the creek.
I started to feel my way upstream and quickly found a number of small holes that were perfect for my nymph. There were even some longer stretches over equally deep cuts. In short order, I picked up a few stocked trout. They were happy to hit my nymph as well as the egg pattern dropper I had attached. The key color on this day was red. I used a red Copper John and a red egg. I continued to fish my way upstream and began to run into more and more other fishermen. As I chatted with them, they confirmed that red was the consistent productive color and was working equally well with powerbait blobs.
Bottom Line: This is a nice spot. I recommend it since it’s not a long drive to get here. But, before you come, check to make sure that the stream was recently stocked and that there is a healthy amount of water flowing. I’m sure the water becomes quite skinny once the spring rains end — I would not recommend coming here if there has been an extended dry spell. Pay attention to the stocking schedule because there will be no holdover in this small water. Anything that gets put in here needs to be caught or it will die in the summer months – even if the fish migrate down to Patapsco.
Getting There: From I70 east of Baltimore, take exit 83 north onto Marriottsville Road. Keep right at the fork and continue on Marriottsville Road. Eventually, you will see a large parking area on the left after you cross a railroad track. Continue across the Patapsco River and take the second left onto Marriottsville Road Number 2. The Piney Run parallels the road. Pull off any place that looks good.
Google Local Coordinates: 39.359686,-76.903224
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented on the Maryland DNR stocking table
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Date Fished: 02/27/2010
The view upstream… this looks a lot like Paddy Run in Virginia
The view downstream on a chilly March morning
Ok…. I know what it means to be skunked… and assume that if this were a skunk, I would be screwed for fishing on this particular day.
But… it is a raccoon… lucky?
Maybe… I caught two nice trout in the short section I fished!
I’m willing to be “raccooned” any day.
As a side comment, I had no desire to make a “coonskin cap” out of this critter – despite my fascination with Davy Crockett… the king of the wild frontier… when I was a kid.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore