Little Fishing Creek is a native trout stream that wanders for over 2 miles through the heart of the City of Frederick Municipal Forest. The topography of the stream is one of the aspects that makes fishing it an interesting experience. At the southern end, the creek runs through a tight, narrow canyon whose aperture gradually opens into a moderate width valley. While not as well known as the adjacent Fishing Creek, Little Fishing Creek offers a true wilderness fishing experience within an easy walk from the road. This small freestone stream ranges from 5 to 15 feet in width with the narrowest portion being just upstream of the junction with Friends Creek. The dense forest throws plenty of shade in the summer to keep the stream cool and protect the native trout population. The stream bottom ranges from moderate sized boulders and rocks near the junction to a sand and cobble mix at the northern extremity.
Fishing the stream is simple; pick a challenge or an easy day. For a challenge, fish upstream into the canyon from the junction with Friends Creek where there is a broad turnout near the bridge. The creek features a stair step of small plunge pools that continue upstream to approximately 39.52955, -77.46664 where the road heaves back into view. From that point up to 39.55514, -77.46209, the road follows the stream and offers up plenty of places to park within 5 to 20 yards of the water. The banks do not present a challenge to enter or exit the stream. Typically, they are only a foot or two above the level of the water.
In the northern section, where the valley flattens out, the creek runs wide with broad, 1-2 foot deep pools leading to the gradient breaks. Each gradient break is worth fishing since the disruption in the flow creates a deeper pocket of water. As the road climbs away from the creek to the right, the distance from road to water increases and the pressure drops a proportional amount. I have not fished into this notch that runs all the way up to the headwaters of the creek where it dribbles across Gambrill Park Road at 39.57511, -77.46174. From the appearance of the stream at the point of departure, and the indication of two small ponds on the topographic map, this is an adventure I plan to have in the future.
Water levels decrease substantially as the season transitions from Spring into Summer. For the best experience, visit this creek early in the year.
Getting There:From I-270, merge onto US 15 North in Frederick and continue towards Thurmont. Turn left onto Stull Road after passing Utica Park on the right. Follow Stull Road to its dead end on Mountaindale Road. Turn right and follow Mountaindale past the Fishing Creek Reservoir. Turn onto Gambrill Park Road immediately after passing the reservoir and before crossing the bridge.
Access Point: Along Gambrill Park Road – numerous across entire length of the stream
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented on the Maryland DNR website.
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Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore