I was privileged to speak to the Potomac Valley Fly Fishers last Tuesday. Given the long drive from Virginia up to Frederick, I decided to turn that minus into a plus and spend as much time as possible fishing all three sections of Beaver Creek.
My first stop upon arrival was to check in with James at the Beaver Creek Fly Shop for advice on what was currently working. If you go, do not skip this step! We chatted for about 30 minutes, covering the hot flies, the right way to approach the different sections of the creek and the best direction to move. When I look at the number of trout I caught at the end of the day, that time was well spent!
Armed with some cressbugs as well as orange and green scuds I purchased from the store, I moved quickly over to the upper put and take section based on James advice of a good population of wild brown trout between the store and the upper boundary. While the initial hotspots he indicated at the lower end did not produce for me, I sat on a deep hole up by a “suicide” bridge consisting of a few logs dropped across the creek for about an hour capturing both brown and rainbow trout using the small gray cressbug with the scud trailer.
Since I wanted to hit the middle section, the flyfishing only section, I forced myself to pack up, headed to the truck and drove to the entry point near the bridge. I started at the lower end of the bend below the farmhouse and instantly realized that the 5wt rod I used up above was going to get me into more trouble than it was worth in this densely vegetated section. Thankfully, James warned me about this and I pulled my Tenkara rod from my pack and rigged it up with the same hot set of flies floating beneath a small orange floatmaster indicator.
The first 25 yards was unproductive, but I knew my luck would change as I looked at a deep cut protected by the waving fronds that dangled as moving obstacles from the adjacent bushes. A quick flip with the flexible end of the Tenkara dropped my set of nymphs into exactly the right place. Bang! A big brown trout swooped up and sucked in my indicator! Geez. It is frustrating when that happens. Another flip, another drift. Bang! He hit the indicator again!
With that, I switched to a large orange stimulator pattern and hung a midge (James indicated those were working as well) as a dropper.Another flip, another drift. With a huge splash, the stimulator disappeared and I had him! I was surprised to see that he had hit the midge and not the stimulator. But, I was not complaining – see the picture below. I continued to work up around the corner to the boundary of the private property and picked up several more nice browns just like this one. On this heavily pressured water, I believe the ability to gently place the flies using the very light line attached to the end of the Tenkara was the ticket to my success. Of course, the stealthy approach is absolutely required and given the vegetation on the side, I was in the water the entire time. If I had not spoken to James, I would’ve started from the parking lot and worked my way downstream and I can see now that that would have spooked every fish with the noise created shuffling downstream – not to speak of the sediment disturbed.
With only an hour left before I had to leave to go to the meeting, I bounced down to the lower entrance to the flyfishing only section and quickly walked the half-mile to the edge of the stream. My eyes almost fell out of their sockets when I came up on the small pool at the boundary of the lower private property. I was so stunned, I sat down on the bench to watch. There were some huge brown trout pigs swimming around just in front of me. Eagerly, I re-rigged that Tenkara and flipped the same successful pattern out into the water. Sadly, these guys were big because they were well educated. No matter how gently I placed the flies upstream, they let them drift by without a second thought.
I worked my way upstream for another quarter-mile without success and then turned around to head to the meeting.
Bottom line: Beaver Creek is a tremendous year-round wild trout fishery as a result of the thousands of gallons of spring cold water that shoot from the ground at the upper end. If you fish Beaver Creek, and I recommend you do, be sure and stop in to coordinate your attack with James. Buy the flies he recommends and your day will be productive!
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Date Fished: 10/9/2012
Highway bridge corner hole
Deep pool above the “suicide bridge”
Typical Beaver Creek brown!
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore