I realized that I had not finished the story on Great Seneca Creek. I failed to put the posting up that describes the Rt 28 access point. Like Black Rock and Riffle Ford, this is a key stocking location. Unfortunately, like the others, there is no way for the stocking truck to move anywhere beyond the parking lot. Although I have not seen or participated in the stocking activity at this location, I imagine that they just dump all the guys into the deep pool that stretches under the bridge.
I visited this location at the end of the stocking season in 2007. At that time, I had not done the research to discover the embedded proclivity for trout to migrate downstream after stocking. Instead, I walked half mile upstream, slid down the steep bank after walking through an open field and began fishing upstream as was/is my habit. I continued upstream for a significant distance and had great luck catching sunfish in the cool water but no trout. A better choice, now that I know better, would have been to walk downstream as that is where the stocked trout eventually head.
That said, this section of Great Seneca Creek continues the trend set upstream. The creek is reasonably wide and has a sandy bottom with easy walking in the creek. In fact, if you were going to teach someone to fly fish Great Seneca Creek would be a good place. Not only is the creek wide enough to minimize overhead cover that will snag a halting back cast, but there are plenty of sunfish to provide positive reinforcement on a well delivered dry fly. While the creek bed does support easy wading, it continues to features steep banks that require caution on entering and exiting the stream. There is plenty of downed structure in the river providing ample holding locations for the teeming sunfish.
I am always optimistic in hoping that a smallie to would migrate up the creek, but have been routinely disappointed. After walking upstream, I took a quick walk downstream to see if the character of the stream changed. It does. Downstream moves you closer to the Potomac and the water will back up all the way up to Rt 28. I slid into the creek in a few places and found it to be much deeper than it was above the bridge. In fact, my movement was generally restricted and I eventually gave up.
Bottom Line: Great Seneca is the perfect place to fish during the trout stocking season if you work in Gaithersburg area. You can make a quick detour over to the Riffle Ford or Black Rock access points and have a decent few hours of fishing either before or after work. Granted, both of those locations are hammered with pressure because people follow the Maryland stocking schedule closely. If you fly fish, you need to wait a week before the trout will pay any attention to natural looking lures. Spin fisherman can jump in the water as soon as the fish are planted and have a good day using brightly colored spinners.
Getting There: From I-270, take exit 6 onto MD-28/W Montgomery Avenue. Follow it to the bridge. There is a turn on the east side of the bridge that leads into a large parking lot.
Google Local Coordinates: 39.128246,-77.335382
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Maryland DNR stocking plan.
Date Fished: 6/21/2007
Typical central Maryland stream – fallen logs, shallow
Plenty of sunfish, no trout
Popular walking path
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore