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#1 Jun-10-18 11:55PM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12182

What happens after the high water?

Here is an article by Bruce Ingram from 2005. It talks about the Upper Potomac going downhill for a bit after the high water events. Will history repeat itself?

"The Upper Potomac's comeback"

For decades, smallmouth anglers in Maryland and the two Virginias have revered the Upper Potomac. Indeed, this stream has enjoyed an almost mythical status as a mossyback mecca.

But trouble came to paradise in a series of floods in 1995 and 1996, and the fishing declined alarmingly in 1997. Jay Eiche, president of the Potomac River Smallmouth Club (PRSC), says things have now changed for the better.

"The Potomac has come back because we have had a few good years where river levels have remained fairly stable - no flooding - and that has allowed the submerged aquatic vegetation to return. The numbers of bass have not yet returned to pre-flood concentrations, but the size is as good, if not better, than we've ever seen it."

Matt Knott, who operates River Riders in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., maintains that the fishing was outstanding in 1999 and 2000. Another factor making the Potomac worthy of a visit is that it offers some 20 different float trips, says Ken Penrod, who wrote what many consider the definitive book on the stream: Fishing the Upper Potomac River.

Penrod lists as his preferred excursions in the Virginia/Maryland section: Brunswick to Lander (4 miles), Lander to Point of Rocks (2 1/2 miles), Point of Rocks to Nolands Ferry (3 1/2 miles), Nolands Ferry to Mouth of Monocacy (3 miles) and Whites Ferry to Edwards Ferry (5 miles).

Guide Tim Freeze of Leesburg, Va., shares his favorite getaways: "My true favorites are Brunswick and Point of Rocks," says Freeze. "With the water at the 4-foot level, I can put in at Point of Rocks and run upriver as far as Knoxville Falls. This area offers a lot of structure and cover. We will sometimes get out of the boat and wade upstream for some less-pressured fish. For fishermen without a boat, the Brunswick area can be waded in summer.

"If the water level is at or below 1 foot, I'll use the raft to float from Brunswick to Point of Rocks, which is a great all-day trip. I especially will spend a lot of time in the Lander area, which has some of the best smallmouth habitat on the river."

Freeze says the Point of Rocks area itself features a good range of structure and cover, particularly deep holes and lots of flats, replete with vegetation and submerged wood. Several feeder creeks create hot spots during the pre-spawn and spawn, and this area also offers very good wade fishing come summer.

Farther downstream, the River Bend Regional Park access point provides deep water ledges and numerous small islands. And if Potomac visitors want to experience some great off-season smallmouth action, Freeze recommends putting in at the Whites Ferry access point and motoring upstream to the Dickerson Power Plant. The warm water plume hugs the Maryland shore for 3 to 4 miles downstream. The guide says that actively feeding fish congregate in this area, which often contains water in the 50 degree range while the water temperature elsewhere on the river hovers in the 30s.
For consistently good fishing, maintains Freeze, the summer months are hard to beat on any section of the Upper Potomac.

"Summer fishing on the river usually means low, clear water," says Freeze. "During the past several years, we've seen a proliferation of submerged vegetation. This has been good for the fish, but harder on the fishermen.

"Surface lures will produce all day when the bass are under the grass. A buzzbait or Tiny Torpedo will bring up fish consistently, as will soft jerkbaits like Bass Assassin Shad Assassins, which have been a hot ticket the last few years."

The Virginia guide says that productive spring and fall baits are crankbaits and spinnerbaits. For bigger fish, the former should have a body size of 2 to 2 1/2 inches in addition to the bill, and the latter should be large, up to 1/2 ounce. And, of course, a great all-season bait is that river favorite - the jig-and-pig. Freeze recommends a 1/16- through 3/8-ounce hair jig with a Zoom Tiny Chunk as a trailer.

On the West Virginia/Maryland section, guide Frank Baker of River Riders frequents the two dozen or so miles from Dam No. 4 to Harpers Ferry.

"Really, this entire section is good," says Baker. "The Taylors Landing to Snyders Landing (4 1/2 miles) trip has some good current, which makes for great fishing in the summer. The Snyders Landing to Shepherdstown float (4 miles) is more of a laid-back float with a lot of pools and some good deep water cover. And Shepherdstown to Dargen Bend (8 miles) has a lot of wadable water, which makes it popular in the summer."

Regarding lures, Baker says the best warm water baits are grubs in pepper or flake patterns. Cordell Big Os in a crawfish color are also quite effective, he maintains, as are No. 7 Rapalas.

Just how good can the fishing be? Last July, I spent two days on the upper Potomac. On the first day, I fished the Virginia/Maryland section with Freeze and Eiche. Although a steady rain fell and a summer cold front had descended, we still caught good numbers of bass in the 12- to 16-inch range.

The next day, I plied the Harpers Ferry, W.Va., area with Frank Baker. We also tangled with good-sized bronzebacks, including one that topped 3 pounds and another (which escaped) that might have been 20 inches long. The Potomac's brief slump is definitely over, and once again this historical waterway has reclaimed its rightful place as a mossyback mecca.


Time to go fishin' again!

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#2 Jun-11-18 2:41AM

drxfish
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Sterling
Registered: Jan-04-14
Posts: 1014

Re: What happens after the high water?

Tease...


Always wishin' I was fishin'

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#3 Jun-11-18 3:19AM

Osprey
Patagonian Toothfish
From: Forestville, MD
Registered: Nov-17-07
Posts: 1002
Website

Re: What happens after the high water?

That's an old article. I thought Dickerson was shutting down last year.


20' Key West..16' C-Hawk...Hobie Pro Angler...Hobie Outback

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#4 Jun-11-18 12:53PM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12182

Re: What happens after the high water?

It's from '05. I don't think Dickerson runs any warm water anymore.

Article states there were floods in '95 & '96 then the fishing was not good in '97.

We've has several floods this year. I hope the smallies have not disappeared. Or maybe we can fish DC waters to catch 'em!


Time to go fishin' again!

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#5 Jun-11-18 2:48PM

bart2puck
Northern Snakehead
Registered: Jun-02-10
Posts: 314

Re: What happens after the high water?

Ive often wondered, after massive flooding like this, aren't most of the fish washed down stream?  does it take time for them to make their way back up?

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#6 Jun-11-18 3:16PM

Ernie
Administrator
From: Ashburn VA
Registered: Feb-03-06
Posts: 12182

Re: What happens after the high water?

bart2puck wrote:

does it take time for them to make their way back up?

Not if they go over  Great Falls. That's why DC waters have smallies, walleye and musky.


Time to go fishin' again!

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#7 Jun-11-18 3:59PM

bart2puck
Northern Snakehead
Registered: Jun-02-10
Posts: 314

Re: What happens after the high water?

Ernie wrote:

bart2puck wrote:

does it take time for them to make their way back up?

Not if they go over  Great Falls. That's why DC waters have smallies, walleye and musky.

what do they do when the water is 28feet deep and moving at 102394 mph?  duck behind a rock and wait?

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#8 Jun-11-18 7:26PM

hookup
Patagonian Toothfish
Registered: Jan-31-12
Posts: 873

Re: What happens after the high water?

I don't think Freeze is guiding anymore either

Read today that Point of Rocks fish will be below Great Falls

And I have to believe Brunswick fish will be below Point of Rocks

Bottom line the river will come back and we'll all be itching to float it again

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