Finally! A sunny day with reasonable water levels combined with the Spring Classic at Bass Pro Shop gave me the perfect excuse to throw the rod in the trunk and get out. After dropping the Basswife off at her twin sister’s house, I made a guilt free beeline over to Bass Pro Shop to do a quick check to see if anything interesting was going on with their event. After picking up a few things that I probably did not need, I headed out the door to the Middle Patuxent. The Maryland website noted that it had been stocked late in the week.
I was not a fan of this location the last time I was here as noted in my earlier post. During that excursion, I walked upstream from the Kindler Road access point, so I decided to move downstream in case the structure in that direction would change my perspective on the overall river.
Prior to walking down to the stream, I had a short chat with a Dad who was taking his two sons fishing. I regret that I did not have more time to speak, but I was in a hurry to get to the river, fish and then move over to another location. He told me that when he arrived, a few other guys came staggering up the hill with bad news. They had been to the river and nothing was moving. We both shrugged it off and headed down anyway. My one concern was that the water would be too high from the melting of the dense snowpack. After walking down a gentle slope to the river bank, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the river was reasonably clear and wadeable. I fumbled in my vest looking for my thermometer and realized that it was still in my bass fishing vest, but my toes told me that the temperature was probably not more than 40°. Ouch. I have never been successful catching trout in frigid water.
While standing at the edge, I looked around to see evidence of stocking. I was worried that they had just dumped the fish in at the bridge crossing and had not leveraged the road that runs on the south side of the river to distribute to fish throughout the entire section. The remaining snow clustered in the shade and extending to cover the road revealed the sad truth. If they had stocked this river, they had not used the road. I also noted fresh footprints in the snow and assumed those belonged to the disappointed fisherman the other guy told me about.
Less than optimistic about my chances, I debated whether I should go upstream towards the bridge in the anticipation that the stocked fish would not have had time to move the half mile downstream to this point or should I investigate new water downstream? My addiction that demands I see new water quickly overcame my better judgment and I pointed my rod downstream. On the way, I scanned the bank anxiously looking for any movement in the murky water. None. The river itself was identical to what I observed upstream with the exception that the banks were even steeper than I remembered. The river bottom is generally smooth and sandy with a few scattered rocks. At the water levels on this day, there were plenty of pools that could provide holding locations for trout. Encouraged, I walked about a quarter-mile down and then hopped into the river to try my luck. There are a limited number of places where you can scramble down the steep bank to get safely to the river. I leveraged a stream cut to make my entrance at a bend in the river where the water ran over a slight gradient break to dump into a small pool. I fished a 100 yard section with no results. Granted, it was my first fishing event of this year and I was happy to load up the rod, get some practice and was overjoyed to see that my problem with tailing loops had not returned for another season. But there were to be no fish caught on the Middle Patuxent.
Bottom Line: This excursion did not change my perspective of the river. It remains a place only to go within days after stocking. While the water temperature conspired against me on this day, I am convinced that anyone who goes out over the next two weeks should have a pretty decent time. Fish will disperse farther downstream and you should be able to leverage the Kindler Road access point to reach them.
Getting There: Mapquest yourself to Scaggsville, MD. From Scaggsville, go north on 29 and exit onto John Hopkins Road going East. Go through the roundabout and then take a left on Kindler Road. Follow it to the end.
Google Local Coordinates: 39.163342,-76.877432
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the following places:
Guide to Maryland Trout Fishing
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Date Fished: 3/6/2010
Good wide trail to the river
No stock truck tracks in the snow… bad news
Upstream from the access point
Downstream from the access point
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore