April 5, 2009 Fishing Report

The Fishing on the Cassleman River in western Maryland (Garrett County) is heating up. I fished it Sunday, April 5th from 2-6 pm at several locations. Water was at 180-190 cfs and falling slowly after Friday and Saturday's deluges. Water temp was 46 F and a tad warmer in slow sections as sunlight hit later in afternoons. Rainbows and browns were hitting well in specific areas:
1) just behind lips or ledges downstream of big pools or runs.
2) in fast water 2-2.5 feet deep downstream of rocks, especially if located near shore with weedy cover.

Most fish came on a size 8 Black Chicago Fly fished on a sinktip with 2-foot 3X l eader. Some minor blue quill mayfly activity was seen from 2 pm throughout afternoon. Water was still too swift and cold for major hatch activity. Hatches will pick up as water hits above 50 degrees in next few weeks. Rainbows were 10-13 inches, browns from 9 inches to chunky 16-inchers, all well-colored and healthy. As you walk along, look for water that isn't too rough and isn't too still. Fish were in mildly "nervous" water, but not in rapids or rolling chop water. Watch underwater for silver flashes of rainbows eating nymphs 6 - 12 feet downstream of rocks in 2-foot of water. By the way, ramps in the area are up and diggable for the natural food lovers...morels are a few weeks away still.
(Brett Billings)

March 11, 2009 Fishing Report

With the spring temperatures warming the waters, we're already seeing increased fishing and bug activity. The weekend of March 7-8th saw a large hatch of BIG winter stoneflies on the Potomac River at Shepherdstown. (Size 10-12, black, long, slender wings) Lots of midges on the water as well. A survey of fishers at the ramp March 8th revealed there was some good fishing that morning, including one angler who caught a 22-inch walleye and an early smallmouth bass. Walleye should be heading towards Dam 4, so the stretch between Shepherdstown and Dam 4 should be increasingly good in weeks to come. Crappie should soon be moving in behind bridge pilings and brushpiles in deeper stretches of the river. Best fishing is generally on cloudy days.

For those who came to the March Creekside Angler's Meeting, Maryland DNR biologist, John Mullican, gave out lots of great info on bass, walleye and muskie. Here are some of John's hints for those wanting to pursue muskie with other than the fly rod:

"As far as lures and baits for muskie, I don't usually use live bait because it's too much trouble and I don't think it offers many advantages. I find lures are more efficient in covering water and finding fish. A small selection of a few different types of lures is all you really need. I suggest having a topwater, a spinnerbait, a bucktail spinner, and 6 to 7" minnow-type crankbaits. Also, those that have no experience handling muskie may want to start with lures like bucktail spinners (mepps musky killer) and spinnerbaits that have single hooks or a singe treble hook - makes removing hooks much easier. Once you have located fish, don't overlook large flies."

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