If you have another choice, go there.
The great advantage of Accotink Creek is that it is “trout water” that is within a stone’s throw of the beltway. In fact, it is almost 2 miles of stream. That said, you can imagine the pressure that piles onto this small body of water during the weeks after stocking. I visited the creek in early May and was clearly at the distant fringe of time where you could fish here and have a shot at a trout. I had the feeling that it was heavily poached. Per the delayed harvest regulations, you should not keep trout until after May 31.
The VDGIF site describes this water pretty well:
“The delayed harvest section of Accotink Creek extends from Route 236 (Little River Turnpike) downstream 1.9 miles to Route 620 (Braddock Road). …. The stream contains numerous riffle-run-pool sequences with good holding pools, and it has an abundance of large woody debris. “
This is absolutely true. Once you bushwhack your way across the field created for the power lines and drop down to the stream, you cannot see any houses. The only noise is that of the bikers on the trail that runs next to the stream for long stretches. The stream itself is typical for this part of the country. It’s not really trout water. Rather, it’s water that trout have been dumped into for the remainder of their short life. By June, this water has to blow through the temperature ceiling for Rainbow survival even though it is well shaded by the dense forest cover. It was pushing 70 degrees when I was there. The stream runs about 15 to 20 feet wide for most of it’s length and does sport some deeper pools where the trout would hang out.
I probably caught the last rainbow in the stream the day I was there on a Patuxent Special. Of course, the bluegills will line up to give you a little bit of fun!
I don’t know… I just felt nasty fishing this water. Maybe I had a bad day at work that day, maybe it was the idea of parking in a huge parking lot with several hundred people playing soccer and tennis while I walked to the stream, maybe it was the heat… it just did not feel right. My take is that this is probably a nicer place to fish if you hit it after the fall and winter stockings. The cold weather probably keeps folks away and the water would be running a bit higher and wider.
Getting there: Get off the beltway on to Braddock Road and turn right into the Wakefield Park facility. Drive down to the main complex and park there. I recommend you walk to the stream down the path that goes by the tennis courts at the northwest corner of the parking lot. You will get to the stream faster than if you just cut west and bushwhack.
Bottom Line: I’ll probably come back and try here again over the winter or late fall just to see if my opinion was flavored by a single bad impression.
Typical stretch of the creek. The overhanging trees make casting difficult of those of us whose skills have not been perfected
If I were to ignore the map, I would think this is Seneca Creek in Maryland – it’s almost identical.
There are small runs like this. Generally, these dump into the deeper spots
This was the deepest hole I ran into. There were beavers active in this stretch
The highly reliable bluegill!
Don’t be put off by the densely packed parking lot. The vast majority of these folks are not there to fish
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore