Trout Hike – Owens Creek Trout Fishing (MD – Middle)

Owens is a reverse delayed harvest stream that is open to any type of equipment and lures until June. At that point, it flops over to being a catch-and-release stream. Given that, as well as Maryland’s energetic stocking program for this creek, I had high hopes in mid-May as I trudged down the steep hill from a pull-off to cross the rail bed and get to the water.

I was greeted by a scenic view of a small creek shaded by a full canopy of dense trees. The books were right. The trees would be thick enough to keep the water reasonably cold and possibly encourage the survival of a trout or two in the warmth of a Maryland summer. 

As you can see from the map, this section is in a gentle, level stretch between the surrounding steep mountains.  I hoped the geography would produce some dramatic runs with steep pitches, but the map did not lie.  The water is mostly shallow with few deep spot hiding near rocks and cuts where the creek changes course.  To sum this section up, it was mostly a stagnant looking mess.  But the trees softened that perspective. just a bit.

I fished my way up the creek about 0.75 miles and was unimpressed with the trout action.  In the back of my mind, just as when I fished the lower section, I wondered if the stockers had already been cleaned out and the holdovers promised by Gelso’s book (Guide to Maryland Trout Fishing) were hunkered down, smart and wary from seasons of pressure.

The only fish interested in the flies I used were the chubbs and the bluegills.  No trout to be had.  Given the slow water, I relied on streamers and terrestrial patterns as I worked my way up the stream.  I was careful to be reasonably sneaky, but with mostly shallow water, it did not really make a difference.

In this entire stretch, I only found a few pools or deep cuts that would be notable.  The farther up I went, the more it seemed like I was moving into a dead zone.  According to the books, there is a good brookie area way up at the top above Lantz.  I was south of Lantz in this section, and it was clear that they had not been able to penetrate in this direction.

 

Bait is legal here.  I have no problem with folks using it where it is legal.  In terms of Owens, I wonder if that more effective fish catching approach had already cleaned out this section.

Owens Creek Trout Fishing Bottom Line:  While I may go to the top of Owens to check out the brookie fishing, I’m not coming back to this section.  I should have anticipated this from the map and my growing experience with central Maryland trout water.  It’s not the North Branch by a long shot.  If you decide you want to fish here, check the stocking report first.  The water is so low here – even in May – and so slow, that even with the nice shade, I doubt there is much holdover.  I know the NV TU guys ran a trip up here recently, I’ll need to check in with them to see where I went wrong…. or right.  Given the comments on Owens from others, I believe I may have fished in the wrong place.

Getting There:  Mapquest yourself to Thurmont, MD.  Take the exit off Route 15 to 550 and head west.  Pull off at any of the roadside turnoffs.  There is one posted section on the way up to Lantz, so be aware of that and look for it to avoid any problems.

Last pool at the upper end of this trip

Most of the section was flat and slow

At the lower portion, the gradient kicks in and the creek moves faster

This was a very deep pool that was full of chubs

Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

Articles on this site are out of date since some go back to 2006. Regulations and property ownership may have changed since publication. It is your responsibility to know and obey all regulations and not trespass on private property.

Disclaimer and Warning:  The contents of this site reflect the opinion of the author and you, the reader, must exercise care in the use and interpretation of this information.  Fishing is a dangerous sport.  You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury.  You can drown.  You can get hooks caught in your skin, face, eyes or other sensitive places.  All sorts of bad things can happen to you when to go into the woods to visit the places documented here.  Forests, streams and lakes are wild areas and any number of bad things can happen.  You must make your own judgment in terms of acceptable behavior and risk and not rely on anything posted here.  I disclaim all liability and responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading the articles on this site.  If you do not agree with this, you should not read anything posted on this site.

Disclaimer and Warning:  The contents of this site reflect the opinion of the author and you, the reader, must exercise care in the use and interpretation of this information.  Fishing is a dangerous sport.  You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury.  You can drown.  You can get hooks caught in your skin, face, eyes or other sensitive places.  All sorts of bad things can happen to you when to go into the woods to visit the places documented here.  Forests, streams and lakes are wild areas and any number of bad things can happen.  You must make your own judgment in terms of acceptable behavior and risk and not rely on anything posted here.  I disclaim all liability and responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading the articles on this site.  If you do not agree with this, you should not read anything posted on this site.

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