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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone stop in Fletchers or Chain Bridge over Easter weekend??? Now that flows have dropped to ~6', I was wondering about water visibilty. There might still be a little time left to catch the last of the hickory run and maybe a few Americans if water clarity is adequate.
 

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I was on the river at Harpers Ferry both Sat and Sunday, the water was clearer on Sunday for sure--more of a greenish tint and less brown. That clearer water on Sunday at Harpers would be in DC on Monday. I think this week would be a good time to target shad even if its a bit high--the Po is stable at 6 ft at LF on Monday evening, so it is clearing up even though its at high level.

Also, this looks like a DC Metro VA trib of the Po herring and Am shad report from 4/24:
http://www.tidalfish.com/forums/showthread.php/302383-Herring-still-around

Good luck Howard!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Steve - Thanks for the intel. One of the problems with really big floods is that a lot of the lakes that flow into the Potomac go completely muddy. These lakes will then bleed dirty water for a lot longer than they would after medium or low grade floods. Even though flows have dropped to fishable levels it might take a few more days before clarity at Fletchers reaches 2' or better.
 

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I went and looked at the river at the mouth of Great Seneca Creek at the Potomac yesterday afternoon. GSC was as muddy as it could get down there with little or no flow. The mud line went out about 100 yards where it hit the potomac which was clearer but not great at all. Still like only a few inches of vis there. Probably fishable though. Today and tomorrow should start to get interesting again.

I also looked at Rock Creek this weekend. It was a muddy mess but I've never seen more gizzard shad shooting up the fast water. Then went to check it out on Sunday and it was clear for the most part. Herring were further up the creek than I've ever seen them. Lots of them too. Gizzards everywhere. Didn't see any snakehead though. Not sure why. Didn't fish, just looked. Lots of bass too.
 

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After submitting an application I took a ride down to Fletchers today around 5pm. I have recently joined the unemployed. I was laid off last week. Well, it is April after all so I might as well take advantage of what is left. Tide was high and I first stopped at the bridge to the creek. I immediatley saw two snakeheads cruising around. They both would pop up from time to time. They're back for sure. Fletchers said someone caught one earlier that morning. The water looked very dirty still though. The snakeheads ignored everything I threw at them, just like last year about this time when they showed up in numbers. I'd expect a few eddies up river to be absolutely full of these snakeheads. I've never seen one around fletchers before and today I saw two in 5 min.. Both were over or about 24 inches or so. There were a lot of small minnows like an inch long in the creek so maybe they were after them. But I think they just prefer slower moving water and are not feeding. The regulars I talked to last year said smaller was better for the few they caught. But just because you can see them, doesn't mean you can catch them. I think it's a different story when the fish are on the grass beds later in the summer as I hear they are far more aggressive then. I talked to one guy who said he caught one that morning on a top water frog lure. He said he saw the fish chasing bait fish first and casted to it. Well, not sure what to believe because I've always just seen those fish just lazily come up for air and that's about it.

I later went down river anyway with a fly rod, shad spinning and a few heavier casting rods. I connected with a few hickories. Two or three tiny ones, no larger than herring but they were def. male hickories. There's still a ton of current and the water is still up. I fished a spot I've never fished before because my usual spots were well under water or there was just too much current there. I managed a few hickories on gold spoons and snagged a few too. There was a strong south wind so I didn't mess with the fly rod but also because I didn't have room to cast. THere were herring flipping everywhere in the cove. Or what was left of the cove at that flow. There was one canoe out anchored near the creek mouth jigging, for perch I'd expect. The bait crew up river reported numerous large white perch. I think the water conditions improved just in the short time I was there. The clarity was about a foot when I left at sunset. Tomorrow will be prime.
 

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Sorry about the job situation for sure Salmo. Good luck to you. On a happier note the shad fishing in Va is the best in several years. Not just the usual spots either. Some small tributaries have them this year.
 

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Dittos on the job loss, Salmo. On the flip side, spring arrived up here yesterday. Now that some leaves are finally appearing on the trees (a gazillion unfolding buds draw up no little water), and barring another deluge, our flows ought to be settling down shortly. And since you might have a more flexible schedule in the immediate future, and I have lots of spare room, send me a PM if you'd like. The grannom hatch is just getting underway, actually. I'd offer you a complimentary stay for any weeknights over the next month... no problem at all. You buy the beer, maybe get the pasta, frozen pizza or whatever for supper? Can eat in.
(www.streams-and-dreams.net)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I take back all the flood related doom & gloom I predicted for the remainder of the shad run at Fletchers. I fished Fletchers today, Wednesday, 4-27-11, 11:00am-2:30pm. Decent day of fishing. I caught about 30 hickories. Nearly all were small bucks with a few mediums to spice up the catch. I caught no egg-laden females and no Americans. I saw more surface flipping and boiling than I saw all other trips this year. Most of the surface activity seemed to be from herring. Water vis was about 2’.
 

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Thanks for the words and the offer. Tidal fish is a good group of people. I had a friend who is just getting into shad fishing and he said yesterday he caught so many shad his body hurt. And one snakehead. But there was no picture and this guy is known to stretch the truth. He did say he saw them though. So there are more than a few snakeheads to play around with. Good to hear Howard's predictions were not quite correct. Fear the worst, and anything left over is well received. I think for the next 5 days to a week the river should offer world class fishing from Little Falls down through DC and Woodrow Wilson. An easy and productive float for all types of species would be from fletchers down to Georgetown right now. There are quite a few spots that offer shad all the way down that far. Mostly Americans down there, huge perch, smallmouth measured in pounds, not inches, largemouth, man eating catfish, and stripers in decent numbers and just about anything else you could think of. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
 

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We got another big slug of rain last night, and I thought I saw a smaller blob of intense dopplar color coding pass just west of DC late last night. So you think the Potomac will still hold up OK? If I have no other biz to attend to (there's a reservation pending as I type, however) I might just wann'a slip down your way and give that float a go. Have only put-in and taken-out again at Fletchers before. So, where would one take-out in Georgetown, btw? I find metro areas with insane traffic kind of intimidatingly busy places to wander around in without a clue trying to figure it out on the fly...
 

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I hit Fletcher's yesterday with a fair amount of success as well, from 5:15-5:45PM the fishing was on fire. Then some fellows came in and crowded in my spot and began asking to have my fish, which seemed to be the only English they knew. After a few fish caught and released, it became more uncomfortable, worrying about casting into them as they didn't understand my warnings and there perturbation at my release of fish, I just decided to head up stream farther. I found a couple spots with reasonable casting room but didn't manage to land any more fish, the tide had just turned around (slack to incoming) and I heard from another guy that the shad bite had turned off about the time I moved.

Jon, I believe I met your buddy in the parking lot, he was leaving as I was gearing up. He said he mostly caught them on spinning gear but got a few on the fly, and had caught his first snakehead.

Don, the take out in Georgetown would be at Thompson's boat house, right at the mouth of Rock Creek. Parking is supposedly difficult here and they might charge a little money. The other option is taking out at Roosevelt Island right off the GW Parkway, there's no ramp but I've launched kayaks here. With this being said, I wouldn't count on fishing here for another week or so with the forecasts....


http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lwx&gage=brkm2
 

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Thanks Dalton. I guess that in addition to your local latest precip, 'our' latest pulse had to go somewhere (in part, down your way!). Its been a LONG time since I've been to Roosevelt Island. I seem to recall the island being connected to the shoreline by a causeway or bridge or something. Do you park the shuttle vehicle on the VA bank then? I have a homemade combo milk crate/kayak cart, but its not an ATV or anything (wheels have inherently low clearance). When you add up ALL the gear one totes along to fish, one doesn't want to carry it in multiple trips.

I'd forgotten about the river forecast center site since last year, so thanks for that reminder too.

You tried your best to indicate your fellow anglers were making for cramped air-space. I probably would have done the same as you, but might have (unbeknownst to them) instead swapped out with a hookless fly and then temporarily gotten VERY sloppy with my casting ability. I think most folks speak that language (potential body piercing) just fine.
 

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The Roosevelt Island access point is a parking lot on the VA side, there is a foot bridge to the island but there's no need to use it with your car being less than 20 ft from the water in the parking lot. It could get very tricky to set up a shuttle car there with another car at Fletcher's. You have to worry about leaving (and entering) the Roosevelt Island parking lot heading North on the GW Parkway, then getting across the river and your car at Fletcher's. This is much easier said than done with one way traffic on Canal Rd at different times during the day.
 

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Yea I may have jumped the gun on my prediction. Looks like everywhere got more rain than I thought last night. Too bad too. It was shaping up nicely. When ever there is a high water event, this brings in more fish. The river is probably at or near maximum capacity right now and now more water is on its way. Today would probably be fishable, then look out. THe monocacy and bennet creek are raging now so that will bring the mother load of mud. THe time to go would be now or never. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself to procrastinate a little longer.

Dalton, it was high tide yesterday around 5pm. You had an outgoing about that time. Which is usually the best tide as it adds more current. It makes a huge difference when you are further down river in Georgetown or below. IT makes little difference around fletchers as there is always current there. You want that outgoing tide downriver as the incoming almost has not current as it cancels out the natural outgoing of the river. When you have no current, you have no fish.
 

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I gather that getting around in DC is almost always quite a challenge, much less trying to time it with a falling tide, Dalton. If I were going to try the shuttle, I might leave a vehicle overnight at the island... that is if THAT were permissable (life is quite a bit simpler here in the mountains). The mere twenty foot carry sounds sweet, though. I'm not as eager to take portages as I once was.

So Salmo, what general kinds of spots/habitats attract fish downstream of Fletchers? I'm not looking for a spot burning reply of course, just general notions of what to look out for. No matter where one fishes, most of the catchable fish are occupying only a small fraction of the available water area. That's a BIG river down there, and I'd hate to waste a lot of fishing time on basically empty water types.
 

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I launch my kayak from the parking lot at Roosevelt Island and according to a sign posted at the entrance, parking is limited to 3 hours during the weekdays to prevent people from parking there for the whole day and walking to work nearby. It warns of towing, fines, blah, blah, blah, etc. I've launched several times at 4am and stayed well into the afternoon with no problems, but on my last trip there several official vehicles were parked in the lot with tow trucks. An officer approached me and asked my business there and I told him I was going fishing with the kayak. He said OK, but please note the time limit--so I went somewhere else.
 

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THANK YOU, Bluetarpon for saving me a double or triple hassle. There's nothing like finishing a float and not finding your vehicle waiting. How about floating from Chain bridge down to Fletchers? What water level max would 'do' for a SOT kayak, if anyone knows? I realize its not very far to go, but that's OK. Presumably one could use a bike on the canal path rather than a second vehicle, right? Any/all insights from experience appreciated.
 
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