Mid-March…. after work… I drove over to the Middle Patuxent as it had recently been stocked. I parked in Gorman Park – it’s an odd place. You drive up a residential road that deadends at a barricade. There are no markings that indicate this is a park. I pulled in, dodged some dog walkers and grabbed my 4 wt.
After a short, easy walk down to the river, I looked both up and downstream. Yep. This is a typical central Maryland river – high sides, silt and sand bottom with cuts in the bank where the river turns. Over the last month of hunting for trout, I have become sensitive to where a stocking truck would gain access to the river as it is probably a rare event that the DNR or a kindly TU chapter float stocks a section of river.
Where I stood was about as far away from a road as you could get in the park, so I turned and walked upstream to see if I could spot any fish that may have migrated down from the upper section of the river where a road crosses. As I walked, I became more and more disappointed. Even though we had had recent rains, the water was low; barely bubbling its way downstream.
Most of the river is wide and shallow with a few foot or two deep sections tucked around fallen trees or a bend where the flow would have dug out the streambed. I flipped a BWO with a midge dropper in these holes as I found them. No luck. In fact, I did not see any movement of any fish.
To confirm that they were not there and I was not just “fish blind”, I would wade into these pools after fishing them. It’s always easier to see movement. Nope, no darting submarines racing for cover in advance of my approach.
I continued upstream working hole to hole. Not even a bluegill. This is lousy. This is a delayed harvest stream, so the lack of fish was surprising… but maybe not when you consider the evils of poaching.
At the top end, there is a nice complex of pools that front a cliff face. These were the deepest holes in the river. There may be fish there – it was too deep for me to do the wade test. I worked those sections hard. No go.
Bottom Line: Not worth it unless you know it has been float stocked. Bass Pro Shops in Arundel Mills posts the stocking status of the Patuxent and, from time to time, will indicate that the TU chapter has made a float run. Otherwise, don’t bother to walk in. Just fish the stocking points near the roads.
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.
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the following places:
Guide to Maryland Trout Fishing
Looking upstream from my entry point. Wide and shallow
Downstream from the entry.
Another shot. The trees probably make this a pleasant place in the summer
Upper area. The cliff pools are behind me in this shot. You might be able to park at the bridge and walk downstream
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore