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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Too much water to fish the Potomac. Right smack in the middle of the best part of the year too. So.... thoughts?

I think I'm heading to the susky right now actually. But I did that last Thursday and camped along the river and guess what? The flood gates opened up. Not good. No fish for us. Didn't mess with shad, hit the flats and it was a mess times 100. Cut our trip early and came home Friday night. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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It is just starting to chill out up there again. But not for long. Not sure what Deer Creek looks like. Going to find out anyway. By the weekend the big water will have hit the lower portions of the susky again I think. <o:p></o:p>

Or I could hit the Rapp for the first time maybe? What's the closest boat ramp to the good shad water? I have a john boat I'd like to take down. What about the stripers? I sold the big boat so no more bay trips for me. I had a good run with it, over a 1000 hours and 7 years later sold it for near what I bought it for. Can't complain but she will be missed. <o:p></o:p>

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I know a few points to wade on the bay maybe this weekend. Usually not much there yet though. Who knows but they are in C&R water now. So that takes me back inland? Trout? Why not. Trout it is. I think I'll take some kids for the second opening day for MD on Saturday morning. That will get redundant in about an hour though. Then I have Monday off that I planned for sometime. The biggest event of the year, maybe 5 years. The mid April full moon. I've only hit this once before on the Potomac and it was awesome with torpedoes and cannon balls every few seconds in the coves up river. Massive surface attacks. Last year the full moon came early, maybe too early. This year it's perfect. But she's blown the heck out and I'm going to cry now. Maybe the Nanticoke in DE? She's closed in MD for targeting our striped friends but not in DE. Maybe, just maybe. <o:p></o:p>
 

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I think all the free-flowing rivers are going to be at high flow and very muddy. Either freshwater lake/pond, trout stream, or a tidewater stream would be my choices. The Jim Range Casting call at Flechers will be completely blown out.

Good luck whatever you try, I am sure you will fish somewhere!
 

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Too much water to fish the Potomac. Right smack in the middle of the best part of the year too. So.... thoughts?

I think I'm heading to the susky right now actually. But I did that last Thursday and camped along the river and guess what? The flood gates opened up. Not good. No fish for us. Didn't mess with shad, hit the flats and it was a mess times 100. Cut our trip early and came home Friday night. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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It is just starting to chill out up there again. But not for long. Not sure what Deer Creek looks like. Going to find out anyway. By the weekend the big water will have hit the lower portions of the susky again I think. <o:p></o:p>

Or I could hit the Rapp for the first time maybe? What's the closest boat ramp to the good shad water? I have a john boat I'd like to take down. What about the stripers? I sold the big boat so no more bay trips for me. I had a good run with it, over a 1000 hours and 7 years later sold it for near what I bought it for. Can't complain but she will be missed. <o:p></o:p>

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I know a few points to wade on the bay maybe this weekend. Usually not much there yet though. Who knows but they are in C&R water now. So that takes me back inland? Trout? Why not. Trout it is. I think I'll take some kids for the second opening day for MD on Saturday morning. That will get redundant in about an hour though. Then I have Monday off that I planned for sometime. The biggest event of the year, maybe 5 years. The mid April full moon. I've only hit this once before on the Potomac and it was awesome with torpedoes and cannon balls every few seconds in the coves up river. Massive surface attacks. Last year the full moon came early, maybe too early. This year it's perfect. But she's blown the heck out and I'm going to cry now. Maybe the Nanticoke in DE? She's closed in MD for targeting our striped friends but not in DE. Maybe, just maybe. <o:p></o:p>
Salmo,

Just stay calm and breathe man... you won't have to go cold turkey... you're not alone, and it'll be OK I promise!

Was worried about'cha... you were all over the map there, all helter-skelter it sounded like (to me). Perhaps only
because of that, I'm confused. After talking about taking the kiddos after stocker trout, you're talking about torpedos and cannonballs somewhere on the Potomac, and the full moon. Sounds pretty good, but what the heck are you talking about (its a big long river with so many different fisheries between the mountains and the sea. Is all this moon madness closer to your end of the river, or mine, and what's it for?

LOL, and takes one to know one (I'm in recovery now),
Don
 

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Yeah Salmo... wipe that foam from your mouth. If Friday/Saturday rains fall as predicted that'll about knock out the whole 3rd week of April. During the good shad years, like 4-5 years ago, hickories could be caught in decent numbers thru the 4th week in April and sometimes into May. Maybe a few American shad will show up again on May1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All over the map, that's me to a T. So the cannon balls and explosions are the surface feeding binges going on around DC on the Potomac on a full moon. There are fish spawning everywhere, there are predators on the prowl and the attack, prey is fleeing, jumping, trying to escape. It's a sight to see. The most intense I've ever seen a fish party like that was about 5 years ago on the April full moon. I think I wrote a long report on here after that event and compared the event to "Planet Earth" or something to that affect. The predator/prey interactions were like an aerial dog fight as you could see the smaller fish in the lead with the F15 right on its tail in the skinny water. The pursuit often ended in a giant splash or explosion. Pretty wild stuff. Of course the striper population has practically crashed since then but I still think the shad are holding on well. How did I do that night? I was more in shock and awe from the sight to properly fish. I kept changing flies and lures every two seconds. I did okay but it was just an event I'll never forget. Now it's blown out and there's no reliving that experience until probably next year. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

So, I got home last night at 5am and now I'm in work preparing for my day, and waiting on someone so that's why I'm on the internet. We fished the susky below the line on the flats. Tough, tough fishing. Only people out there after 10pm. A friend got a nice one, really nice. Me, not a thing. Actually, ripped a bran new pair of waders, broke a rod, spent $65 to fill my 17 gallon tank and lost I don't want to know how many lures. Flies were ignored. I'm tired, and beaten. I think I need some delicate trout to make me feel better. <o:p></o:p>
 

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Well I fished a pond the other day. Big bluegills are showing up in the shallows.Caught about 30. Thier starting to get the itch. Dam forgot what that feels like. bwahahaha
 

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Fished Deer creek on Wednesday water was high and muddy, not many fish caught but the ones i did were fat and frisky females. They put a bend in the old 5wt. I had to leave about 5:00pm but a friend that stay later said things picked up a bit as the sun went down.
 

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Unfortunatley ponds only for the next few days at least. 'doah and Potomac are way, way up and we are getting an inch or more forcast rain this weekend. Even local trout streams are up, but they will come down quickly and will be fishable by Mon or Tues. Brookies are biting in the SNP really well right now and the Morel mushrooms are up. I am thinking a visit for SNP this week.
 

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PA trout season opens this weekend.

Lots of shad IN Deer creek and right now it looks good, the mouth is a mess
 

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Thanks Salmo. I'll try to remember that phenomenon the next time the stars all align.

So you wade fished the edges of the Susky, in that high water, 'till O-dark-thirty, eh? I don't know whether to congratulate you or convene a TF intervention on your behalf! Seriously, you gotta love to feel that 'thump' an awful lot to do that. I gather that was the idea behind camping last week, so you wouldn't have to drive all bleary-eyed? I used to legitimately night fish (remaining out a lot closer to dawn than to midnight), but the last time I tried it I nearly fell asleep while trailoring my boat home (three times). After that I just took a sleeping bag along and tied up to a bank somewhere for zzzz's until morning. Maybe I've felt enough thumps, am getting old, or both... but I'm very much mostly on day shift, just overlapping into darkness at one end or the other now. I did get to see some pictures taken maybe a decade ago from that venue... and the participants likewise indicated that both gear and body parts were typically the worse for wear afterwards. They'd even used the long rod with success. More power to 'ya! With big winds and more rain forecast (ugh!) maybe let your example inspire me to cast some plugs this evening for 'eyes at DCL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yea, We set up around lapidum do do the river thing. Well it turns out I didn't tear my new waders. Just when I dropped a live kopplers blue back herring into the river prior to ever tying it on, I basically swam to the bottom looking for it. That lure is so life like it isn't even funny. I've never seen a lure with that much detail before. I've day dreamed about its effectiveness for weeks now as I bought it some time ago. Then when I go to tie it on I drop it in the water. It was a slow sink. I never found it plus submerged myself past my waders quite a bit chasing afer it in the dark. But the water wet my mid section and my feet but somehow missed my knees. That's why I thought I ripped them. I figured that out along Seneca Creek this morning. We caught more than a limit but kept just shy of that. Two of the 8 fish we kept the meat was pink and salmon like. No rhyme or reason why that is but that's the way it is. Sometimes you get lucky I guess. We'll be eating them tomorrow. My step son's friend joined me for the morning shift at 5am and my 4 year old joined me for the late morning shift at a 11. Both boys cut the trip early because they said their hands were too cold. Actually my son didn't last 30 minutes between rock skipping before a dounut sounded like a better idea. No need to force the issue, I hope there are plenty more fishing trips in our future. I just didn't have the heart to wake my son up this morning. Sorry he missed the good bite.
 

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Inspired by your example, I did get an 'eye (and a smallie) last evening, casting a plug from the shore for a spell. Wind gusts nearly knocked me off the rocks. Given what good lures cost these days, you must've been peeved something awful. Next time... use heavy duty snaps maybe?
 

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Concerning the Potomac's hickory run I'm thinking it's all over this spring except for the crying. The lower Potomac will crest at ~12' on Monday. The National Park staff had just cleaned up all the tons of woody junk and seeded the area. Now they have to do it all over again. I glad I got in a few decent shad trips before this most recent flood.

Here's a pic I took in late March before clean-up started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
All is not lost. When this ever does come down, like next weekend or later, the fishing should be very good. This time we can honestly say we had high enough water during the peak of the run to get fish above little falls rapid and dam too. Might be worth poking around there when or if the river ever does settle down. Who knows, with a little luck she might fish again by next weekend.
 

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All is not lost. When this ever does come down, like next weekend or later, the fishing should be very good. This time we can honestly say we had high enough water during the peak of the run to get fish above little falls rapid and dam too. Might be worth poking around there when or if the river ever does settle down. Who knows, with a little luck she might fish again by next weekend.
I like your optimistic outlook Salmo!!

I agree that the high water may be very good for the fish, even if its not good for fishing. We are definitely in a wet spring weather pattern right now, I hope we have not seen the last of the 2011 shad run.
 

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When I read your post HJS, you might have faintly heard a "Noooooooooooooooooo........" coming from the west! I knew I should've gone the last time you reported fishing Fletchers, I just knew it. Gott'a listen to that little voice inside more often. But with all due respect in light of your professional experience (really) I hope your prognostication regarding the end of the hickory run is a little pessimistic. What with all the high water, I haven't really been checking the water temps via USGS, but perhaps its been a little colder than average the entire time to date, and the fish will linger a bit? Maybe not. How 'bout the whites Howard, don't they continue to run at Fletchers into May? Assuming the river ever settles down this spring, are they found there in catchable numbers?

Salmo, I do hope you are right about the shad benefitting from better than average fish passage (and that the snakeheads somehow missed the op). So, how far can the shad go... Great Falls? I'm guessing this is a dumb question, but does very high water ever result in it being passable? Are there any records of shad upstream of that point? Oh well, I can dream, can't I? Philosophizing, I guess having Great Falls block the shad is worth having it block the snakehead.
 

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The blue cats are upstream to at least Anglers, which means all the way to Great Falls. So are the snakeheads. All these fish are blocked at Great Falls during all but the very highest water levels. During the really big flood events like the twin '96 floods fish can likely pass Great Falls when the river is out of the gorge and in the woods on both sides of the falls. The shad migration would have to coincide with major floodwaters for them to pass Great Falls, which is generally unlikely but could be possible in certain years.

Americans have been caught at the base of Great Falls under the VA middle overlook in the years since the fishladder was built in Brookmont (LF) dam. High water events like this week are likely good for the fish and would help them get up to the base of Great Falls. The river between GF and Brookmont dam is extremely high value rearing habitat for shad and other resident and migratory fish.
 
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