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So I'm getting about a week off to shred a lil bit at Wisp and wet some lines up in Western MD. I have fished the Northern Branch of the Potomac and the savage many times in the past but one once in the winter. Would anyone like to share any tactics on this river as a winter fishery? As of now I'm planning on going with a 5 & 6 wt, use mostly subsurface flies, (i.e. stoneflies, etc.). A part of me wants to go AEG style and tie up some gnarly small mammal and larger baitfish flies in attempts of finally coming tight to a hookjaw brown. I realize these fish are not Taimen, but from some of the pictures I've seen they would have no problem devouring a small rodent. If anyone is going to be up there from the Dec 28th-Jan 4th post up and we'll drown some flies.

As for a CBBT striper report. None on fly yet this year. Tied up some IGFA class leaders Saturday and hit the light-line on the incoming (I prefer the outgoing). One 45 lber on eels but no love with the long rod.

Tight lines,

Ryan
 

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Ryan,

DJ, Salmo and I were out there on Sat night too. We mainly threw fly. Decent number of schoolies to 28" but no big fish though I got wrapped on a piling by a larger fish and broken off. Plenty of fish up on top but they were sluggish and s little finicky but would eventually hit if you could put the fly on their nose enough times. Black patterns were best.

As for NB, I would definitelyt urge you to try big topwater or streamer flies though I'm not sure the winter is the best time to do it. Those browns did not get that big by sipping #18 size mayflies.

TF
 

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WHite, black, pink.....I think those fish would hit anything at the CBBT. PRetty cool to see so many. I liked to use a white fly because you could see it easier and pull it away from the dinks to give the larger fish a longer shot at your fly.

As for the North Branch, I haven't fished it in a couple years and not reguarly for several years but used to hit it rather often in college. The winter can be tough for sure but there will be good hatches on warm days, but mostly only small things.

You may still have browns and rainbows spawning right now and egg flies will catch fish pretty well. Just go small. Fish them under a strike indicator so you are fishing at a right angle throwing a drag free drift. Mend often. Adjust the distance between weight and strike indicator often. Use 4 pound line or 5x for tippet.

I've taken big fish on large streamers there too.

I would strongly recommend fishing the Youghiogheny River (aka the yough Pronouced yock) right behind Wisp resort. We used to do very well there in the winter. That stream is mostly covered up with midges as they hatch all year, some very tiny like #28 but the fish respond to them well. Even the big ones. Fish near Sang Run area and work your way up stream. A warm spell will equal a major midge hatch. You can also do well on streamers and such or nymphing with caddis nymphs.
 
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