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The winds were a stiff 20mph coming from the opposite shore when I started so I left the fly rod in the car. BIG MISTAKE. I thought I would just concentrate on muskie fishing with 10 inch wooden jerk baits, 30 pound fire line on a 7' flipping stick. Not your typical fly fishermen’s weapon of choice. But I thought I just might luck into a monster muskie. Maybe today will be the day….

As I was fishing the shoot at dickerson with monster plugs amongst the kayakers (almost hooked one too) I kept getting little spots on my glasses and in the middle of my vision. Then I'd feel something crawling down my neck. What the heck! They were the winter stone flies I've seen in the past while fishing dickerson. You know, the size 12-14 brown stone fly that usually hatches in February on nice days. The kind that are impossible to get fish to rise to the adult because the fish key in on the emerging nymphs in the surface film. In the past I've tried everything from clipping elk hair caddis wings to match a squirming nymph in the surface, to adding a small amount of foam to a stone fly nymph pattern. I’ve had some success but to say it was frustrating is an understatement.

Anyway, on my way back to the car the sun had set and looked spectacular as the last few rays reflected off the river. But the river looked a little strange, almost as if it were raining sporadically with large rain drops or small hail. The skies were as clear as can be and the 10-20 MPH winds that were previously in my face had all vanished with the sun. I walked off the high bank to the river for a closer look and there were several, hundreds, thousands, of fish rising from MD to Va for as far as the eye could see. Some decent size swirls too. But I was only armed with a beef stick. I had maybe 10 minutes of light left, I thought heck, maybe I could get something to rise. I was throwing top water baits in JANUARY! The water temp didn’t feel any different 1 mile downstream from the discharge so I doubt they were releasing warm water but the fish didn’t care. Swirls from rising fish could be seen on the Va shore line so the discharge had nothing to do with it. The hatch was on and I was unprepared.:mad: Never again, next time I’m only fly fishing and if it’s muskie I desire, I’ll throw some 7 inch Buck Tail deceivers compliments of OMC. And if that doesn’t work and I get caught in a snow storm of stones again, I just might have to match the hatch.:)

I waded out past the silt and muck close to shore and was about 100 feet from shore casting baits bigger than most trout I catch. Then all of a sudden an explosion occurred to my left a few hundred yards as a flock of geese scattered as my dog decided to break the silence and put a quick end to the rising fish action. He chased those geese to Virginia and back again and everywhere in between. I yelled at him a few times and didn’t think it was all that big a deal until I realized I wasn’t alone. There must have been a dozen bank anglers dead sticking baits for carp and catfish and how Pupps didn’t get impaled by hooks and lines is beyond me. At that point I realized I had extended my stay and my dog and I may have made a few enemies. It was time to go, you never know what type of people you just ticked off. Luckily Pups saw me leave and got the hint. He was dead tired as he followed me back to the car. THe next morning he didn't even get up when I got out of bed. It’s nice to have a fishing partner sometimes but other times you’re reminded why you like fishing alone.
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