After fishing on the Middle Patuxent, I drove over tothe Hipsleys Mill access point on the Patuxent. I felt like it was an anniversary. In 2007, when I first started fly fishing, this was one of the first places I fished – maybe just the second. Since I had walked upstream on that trip, I resolved to head downstream and see new water.
Three steps onto the trail and I felt like I was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”. The pricker bushes were thicker than I had remembered and I sarcastically thought to myself that it would be a good start to the trout fishing season to add 1,000 pinhole leaks to my waders. But, with agile dancing, hopping and sidestepping, I believe I minimized the damage. Sadly, I won’t discover whether I was successful until I get wet on my next trip. I’ll mitigate that risk by carrying some of the instant repair tapes (Aquaseal Repair Kit)in my backpack. Pricker bushes aside, they were no defense against the hordes of people that descended on the river in response to the stocking announcement earlier in the week. I’m sure that the fish were dumped in at the bridge crossing because there is no easy trail next to the river. I can’t imagine people carrying fish very far from the road. There were three or four guys working the first 50 yards of the river, and, when I asked them, they told me that they had not seen anything or had any luck to this point.
I continued downstream on the dim trail on the north side of the stream and ran into another fly fisherman within the next fifty yards. He was using a black woolly bugger and told me that he’d seen at least one fish — so we knew they were present. After exchanging a few more pleasantries, I moved downstream another hundred yards to put some distance between us and entered the river. The Patuxent is an easy river to fish in once you get into it. While the pricker bushes form an almost impenetrable defense, the banks give up the ghost easily and with a quick step or two you can be in the gently moving water. The bottom is sandy with only a few rocks, so footing is firm; you do not need a wading staff.
I entered below a hole formed underneath the leaning tree shown in the picture below and began to fish around it. No luck — so I turned to fish the gradient break just downstream. I did not see anything moving in the reasonably clear water and nothing reacted to my Patuxent Special. I continued to fish downstream and ran into another angler and had a brief chat with him. He said that he had walked another half mile down the river and fished his way back up with no luck.
With the sun starting to droop low in the sky, I knew I needed to start the long walk back to the car to be back at the time I committed to the Basswife. Happy that I had been able to get out, thrilled with the scenic vistas provided by the snow and hoping that I had not added holes my waders, I threw the gear back in the trunk of my car and called it a day.
Bottom Line: I like the Patuxent much better than the Middle Patuxent. While not that different in the quality of the water, it has a troutier feel to it. Well… at least it’s as trouty as it can get in this part of Maryland.
Date Fished: 03/06/2010
Getting There: In Mapquest, get yourself to Unity, MD. Stay on 650 and to the west of town, turn north on Hipsley’s Mill Road. It’s a straight shot – once you cross the river, the parking lot is on the right.
Google Local Coordinates: 39.265371,-77.114797
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the following places:
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Clearly, not going to be a solitary day
Sparkling water and snow… pretty!
Somebody every 50 yards or so
Good holes under structure… but sandy bottom
The water level was not high… easy to wade
Gentle banks make it easy to reach the water
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore