The Gunpowder has been hit or miss this year. High flows made much of spring unfishable, then we had a stellar sulphur hatch. The transition from sulphurs to summer terrestrial season is usually bridged by significant caddis action. This year, caddis have been there, but caddis patterns have not been as consistently productive as they could be. Fortunately, we are finally seeing signs of moving fully into terrestrial season. Ants and beetles are both productive patterns at the moment.
On Friday, I decided to take a break from the inconsistency of the Gunpowder and travel to Beaver Creek, near Hagerstown, Maryland. There is at least one Beaver Creek in Virginia and at least one in Pennsylvania. Like it’s namesake to the south, Maryland’s Beaver Creek is a ‘limestoner’, or more generally a spring creek. The spring sources keep the temperatures and flows consistently in ranges that trout enjoy throughout the year. In addition to stocked rainbows, Beaver Creek has a nice population of wild browns.
There are roughly 1.5 miles of public catch and release (flyfishing only, I think) waters on Beaver Creek. Nearly all of it is densely wooded, making shorter rods advantageous, in my opinion, unless you are much more interested in nymphing than dries. The stream holds two distinct types of habitat for trout. The first is the classic spring creek flat:
Look for individual risers here
This is one of my favorite kinds of fishing–delicate presentations to individual rising fish. I caught only wild browns here, stalking them one at a time. I also saw, but fortunately didn’t catch, a huge school of suckers.
Wild Beaver Creek brown trout
The other main type of trout habitat is a series of pools, mostly man made, that hold many trout. They are primarily stocked rainbows, some of which are holdovers that act like wild trout, and many of which are HUGE. I watched a 20″ rainbow eye up my nymph before thinking better of the idea in the hole pictured below.
A productive pool
Nymphing was the most productive method for me in these pools, though a variety of methods would work.
All in all, Beaver Creek is a great option. It’s not huge, so more than a couple anglers might make it seem crowded, but there is more than enough excellent trout water to make for a fun day trout fishing.
One additional note: nearly all the land around Beaver Creek is privately owned, and is accessible through the generosity of landowners. Thank you, landowners, for making this beautiful little stream available.