Over the next couple of months, I’m going to bang out the rest of the trip reports associated with Great Seneca Creek. This is a body of water that is only good immediately after stocking while the water is still cold enough to hold trout — this turns into a bathtub by the time July rolls around with the only thing moving being the bluegills.
As I mentioned in other posts, Great Seneca Creek has good access points along its 16 mile stretch. However, according to the Park Rangers I spoke with, there are only two places that receive routine stockings. These are Black Rock and Riffle Ford. With that in mind, I went to the Riffle Ford access point full of optimism. Immediately after starting downstream, it was clear to me that this creek was not to be anything special. It has that characteristic central Maryland look and feel to it – which means it’s generally low water, marginal scenery, and heavy pressure from the look of the boot prints pressed into the mud.
The following my normal approach, I walked downstream about three quarters of a mile to get a look at the water and to position myself to fish upstream. On the way downstream, I noted that the walking was easy with a brush being fairly low and a marginal trail paralleling the creek. There are plenty of twists and turns to the creek and, as usual, every bend held a deeper pocket of water that would be a likely lurking place for fish. But here’s the rub, how far down would this have been stocked? It’s easy to make that call up where the road crosses the creek, but down here in the middle of the woods was a likely that any trout had penetrated this far downstream? I certainly did not see any tire tracks that could have been associated with a stocking vehicle.
As it turns out, based on my luck this day, the answer was no. I did not encounter any signs of trout until I got within 100 yards of the Riffle Ford access point. So, this trip ended up becoming a good casting practice session as I shook off the winter cobwebs and sharpened my technique for future trips. The creek is generally wide, offering good angles for casting. The trees are kind here, and I did not leave any flies hanging from their branches. But make no mistake about it, the pressure here is intense. In addition to the subtle signs of human activity like the boot tracks, the obvious ones were pulling up in cars at the access point and piling out. All were ready and eager (like myself) to go after the stockers that had been dumped into this water over the previous two weeks.
Bottom Line: Only good during the spring when the water is stocked. Stick closer to the places where the DNR could get to the water to load the fish – I’m not sure you gain anything by walking as far downstream as I did – stick close to the road.
Getting There: In Gaithersburg, MD, go south on Quince Orchard Road (Rt 124). Turn right on Rt 28 and then right onto Riffle Ford Road. Follow it to the creek. There is plenty of parking at this access point.
Looking up to the Riffle Ford bridge which is the access point.
It’s a shame that great structure like this goes to the bluegills
The scene at the place where I turned around
Bends and curves in the creek like this one all have deeper spots.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore