Monday, November 12, 2012

Fishing New Water: Catoctin Creek

Hooray, no more politicking.  Maybe some more fishing.   I was in western Maryland and had a few hours to poke around.  I had intended to fish nearby Antietam Creek, but I'll be damned if it wasn't running two feet high, with water the same muddy blonde color of the cut banks.  Oh well.

Backtracked a little bit over to another Blue Ridge creek and found it at a trickle - nearly bone dry.  Hmmm.  Tried a third creek - Catoctin - and found it running shallow, but wide and fairly strong.  Best yet, there were fish. Caught up with this little smallmouth right off the bat.

When I say shallow and wide, I mean it.  The bulk of the creek is less than a foot deep, but over 100 feet wide.  Not happy that I left my fly tackle in the truck, because the relatively clear water gave me away over and over. So many big shadows in the water.  Rainbows? Fallfish? Not sure.  But they only stayed in pools, and they moved out at the first sign of a ripple, so that was a real challenge.

However, in addition to a few more of those little smallmouths, I'll tell you what was biting.  Redbreasts.  Hundreds and hundreds of them.

I don't think I've ever caught so many redbreasted sunfish.  Ever.  They are just as mean as green sunfish, and almost as meaty.  They hung tight underneath big floating logs in pools, so getting to them with the ultralight rig really wasn't too tough.   Overall, it was neat to get on some new water - something I rarely get to do anymore - and see what its potential might be.  The access is not easy, but with smallies (and possibly rainbows) reproducing in Catoctin Creek, I'd bet there are some hot spots.  Maybe one day I'll find them.


Fat Boy said...

RM, Catoctin Creek has been one of my favorite getaway streams for many years. It's a lot of fun when you want some time alone in a scenic place, and catch a variety of fish. I've had many fond memories there over the years. Contact me if you ever want to meet up and fish there with some company.

Kirk Mantay said...

FB, let's do it!

Fish Whisperer said...

I fished Catoctin yesterday for the first time and did quite well. Among the 40 or so fish I caught were a 15" and 16.5" smallie. Caught many sunnies and 2 largemouth. I'm no flyfisher, but you're right about the wide access. It appears to be a flyfisher's heaven. Didn't see a sole on the creek, even on free fishing day 4th of July.

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