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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to try fishing Seneca Creek via my yak for Trout this spring, is anyone here familiar and have any guidance? How far up stream is it feasible to launch? I live in Damascus near where it passes under Brink Rd but not sure if it's blocked by trees or too shallow up that far, my next nearest entry point is Rt 355. I know once you get to Riffle Ford Rd it's pretty clear of trees and has enough water, also how far can you follow the river down stream? Will I be able to make it all the way to the Potomac in a days paddle?
 

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I've never done the float myself, but I can tell you that from rt 28 to Riley's Lock is full of blow downs across the creek which will make the trek a lot more difficult for navigation. There's only one sure way to find out though...
 

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There will be trees down all over the place. THat being said, you could do it, more likely from Route 28 to the potomac with a few portages.

THe trout are only stocked from Riffle Ford, Black Rock and Route 28 and usually not too far from the road. Sometimes 118 gets some fish. The bass fishery closer to the Potomac however is quite good for both smallmouth and largemouth. There are some impressive size largemouth well up the creek that must have got in there on high water long ago because they have been in a few pools for about as long as I remember. I've fished that stream since the late 80's.

I once saw about a 36 inch tiger muskie well up the creek near Route 28. I was fishing a 5wt for recently stocked trout and there he was in about 1 foot of water right next to the bank. I prepared for a cast and immediately hooked a tree. He spooked. I immediately ran back to the car, grabbed the large striper rods and Magnum long A bombers. THe trout guys there thought I was nuts. Later I caught a few trout and live lined a few in the pool. No dice. Never saw him again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh well, I guess if it was easy everyone would be doing it.... I appreciate the input, before I attempt the whole lewis and Clarke adventure I'll test the waters between Riffle ford and 28 and so I can try to gage the difficulty and how long it will take to go all the way. Last fall I fished from Riffle Ford up well past Seneca highway and checked out some other places below, from what I could see it looked pretty clear of obstructions but that could be misleading. As soon as the water levels get back down to a somewhat normal level after this rain I'm going to give it a try before the March 6 - 26 closure period.

Salmo that story reminds me of the largest pickerel I ever caught, same kind of thing, I was a fishing a very small trout stream in CT, when I came to a wide pool I saw it hovering by the bank in a still area. I was fishing rooster tails on a small spinning rod but after many casts it didn't even give it a second glance. I managed to find a worm and caught a rather large bluegill for bait. On the same hook I caught it on, I cast the bluegill out in front of the pickerel and it landed in front of it with a large splash. Way too close, I thought for sure I'd spook him but before the splash cleared he was on it like lightening. It took him what seemed like an eternity to turn the bluegill around in his mouth but luckily I was able to hook him and land him, what a fight on a trout rod. Time may have warped my memory of it but as I recall it was 28 inches.
 

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That stream could be a gem. It has a special place in my heart as I basically learned to fish properly on that stream as a kid. My parents would drop us off in the morning and pick us up sometime in the evening. We could catch crayfish and hellgrammites under the rocks and catch all sorts of fish. Our most prized fish then was a white sucker as those things run that creek in incredible numbers in late Spring and some of them are over 5 pounds. A night crawler was the hottest lick drifted properly over the bottom with just the right amount of split shot to tick bottom every so often but not too much to permanently stay on bottom.

I can only imagine what that stream was like long ago. Most of the water shed is developed and agriculture and storm drain run off just about killed it. Most of the deeper pools have filled in with silt. Plus The sewage treatment plant just down from Great Seneca Highway really screws things up. That just so happens to be where they start stocking trout too. Go figure. Upstream from there the fish do swim to but there just really isn't a good population of fish for some reason. There are smallmouth just about everywhere in there but they are small for the most part. Some of the best habitat is probably upstream from Black Rock with the permanent bed rock on the meanders. There are some other very nice pools on the Isaac Walton League Property upstream from Clopper too. Plus there are a few springs, like near River Road next to Poolesville General store for example. It's not uncommon to catch a few trout all the way to the river there. Plus that stream stays far cooler than the river. I love turning right up the creek in the summer when everyone and their mother turns left to the river at the boat ramp at Rileys. There can be some great fishing there during the hottest part of the summer. it's like a natural air conditioner for them. Bass and catfish mostly. A few trout from time to time even that late in the year.

The last few years however the creek upstream near Black Rock Road is overrun with people swimming, camping and lighting fires and leaving trash. It's insane how many people flock there. The park service cut down a popular tree that had a rope swing on it last summer. I remember them doing that exact same thing when we were in high school 15 or more years ago. In the exact same pool too. We sure had some good times there. Oh well. Every decent size smallmouth has long since been yanked out of that section now. But in the remote, harder to get to spots that you will float through, you never know what you might find. It should be a fun float and not too difficult to drag your kayak around a down tree or two or ten.
 

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One more thing. The trout stocking closure period is from Route 355 down to Route 28. So go above or below there and you are fine. It's a technicallity that the DNR and other citizens driving by don't know too well. I've been fishing shortly after they stocked below the "trout" water and have had to explain myself. But I was right. Like always. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the advice, especially the tip regarding the closure area ;) As long as I'm not going to get yelled at for spot burning I'll post a report and let you know how it all goes. I drove over the river on 355 today and craned my neck to see how it looked... Chocolate Yoohoo all the way so it'll probably take at least a couple days to settle down. Hopefully I'll get a shot at it next week as long as I can break free and talk my wife into helping me drop off my car on 28.

I didn't know it when I hiked up there last fall but I think I fished the outfall pipe if that's the one you're talking about - just below Great Seneca Hwy. I'm surprised they'd discharge water straight from a sewage plant into that nice little stream... There's actually a nice little pool where the two streams come together, nasty, glad I didn't snag a brown trout....

On a side note I'm planning to buy a bow this summer and try my luck at deer hunting next fall, it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. If the river is passable by canoe I think it would be cool to be able to canoe down river into some of the more remote areas to hunt. I see a lot of deer while I'm fishing there but no big bucks yet. I'm pretty sure I was fishing there during the early bow season last fall and probably could have hit a couple of those does with a rock if I wanted to.
 

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Yea, it's great hunting. Some very nice deer travel through there. Good idea to reach unpressured water and to transport the deer when you get one. but it's basically only from riffle Ford to Black Rock and then again down from 28 to river. YOu may also want to try Berryville Road area.
 
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