On the 15th, I bailed on the proposal I was working on to take advantage of the weekend fishing with my son in western Maryland. Unfortunately, our plans were changed by the torrential rainfall the area experienced in the few days before we arrived. Instead of fishing the North Branch, we headed for the small mountain streams that were not blown out.
Previously, I had done a reconnaissance of Crabtree Creek and was extremely impressed by what I saw. This was my opportunity to fish it. After parking at the extreme west along Spring Lick Road, we walked down the eroded dirt road that led to the edge of the creek. The best approach to fishing upstream is to cross the creek at that point and walk up on the level and relatively unobstructed bank on the southern side. Once the creek leaves the road, it enters into a narrow gorge that forces movement to the creek itself. Despite that, it was not that hard to fish upstream. The initial section was the best in the one-mile trek we undertook.
In that section, there were frequent deep pools connected by the normal shallow runs. Upstream from our turnaround point, it looked like to the creek ran down an extended period of small elevation drops that created a limited number of pools. Since my son was spin fishing, he would not be able to cover those effectively, so we fished upstream to the point where it began to look unproductive for him and turned back at that point.
The fall foliage was in full bloom and it was a spectacular sunny day. A slight breeze kept the air moving. The water was a crisp 51° and the fish were reasonably cooperative. The largest catch of the day was a brilliant 9 inch bright orange brookie.
This is not the place for the out of shape to fish. You need to be reasonably mobile, agile and prepared to scramble across rocks once you move farther away from the road. There are other sections of the creek farther to the east that are accessible directly from the road. Of course, those portions experience an increase in pressure.
Bottom line: A brilliant place to fish, protected by Zero Creel regulations.
Getting There: From Westernport, take MD 135 west towards Bloomington. Turn right onto Savage River Road. At the first hard, hairpin turn at the west end of the reservoir, take a right onto Spring Lick Road. Crabtree Creek runs on the south side of the road
Google Local Coordinates: 39.492061,-79.171935
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Mid-Atlantic Budget Angler
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Date Fished: 10/15/2011
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore