Archives

December 5, 2012
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. Sixty three degrees F in the shade - can you believe it? Stream pretty quiet, with hatches of very small whitish flies. Glorious day, but tough fishing - not helped by snagging flies in barely visible low hanging leafless branches, and getting both flies hooked in the soles of my waders. Just one of those days. Couple of rises in the Alder Pool, otherwise little action. Caught a feisty 13.5" brown in the swimming hole, but that was it. A great blue heron almost landed on my head in the Alder Pool which gave both of us a bit of a turn! Water level was a little low, and noticed significant algae on submerged rocks, perhaps due to ag. run-off. Saw a large red tailed hawk perched on a telegraph pole, but otherwise not much wildlife.
November 9, 2012
Name: Stephen Day & Ken Woodcock
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: November 8, 2012 Gorgeous day, 49F, Beefeater gin clear cold water, and remarkably low flow - in spite of recent hurricane Sandy. A few trees were down, but nothing blocking and pools. Only four pools were fishable. We were up just for a couple of hours and caught five healthy trout between us (4 rainbows, 1 brown). Both of us had a couple of additional strikes. Double nymphs seemed to work best, and the Washington Bloody Leech held its own. One or two rises observed, plus small whitish flies swarming. I guess the effort of fighting the cold for larger flies was too much! Amusingly, the 13" brown trout I caught was foul hooked in its tail, and went off like a rocket. I thought I was into a really large fish, as Ken watched it made a spectacular deep run - only to conk out at the end of 2-3 other shorter runs. So it awaits the next person up at FC. That trout had spectacular late fall coloring with brilliant red lateral spots on a dark speckled background. Little wild life out, and no crayfish visible. Stopped by the Scenic Farm to stock up on tomatoes, pears, and free range eggs - plus that British delicacy, very small Brussels sprouts. Yum!
October 23, 2012
Name: Stephen Day & Ken Woodcock
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: Oct. 22, 2012. Had my arm twisted by Ken to nip up to the stream for an afternoon's fly fishing - to take advantage of the glorious Indian Summer and fall leaves, with ambient temp. in the mid sixties and water temp. a little lower. Water was extremely low and clear, with only a few of the 'usual pools' fishable. Autumn leaves in resplendent colors were just beginning to fall, and various overhanging trees acted as beacons reflected in the water. No one else was fishing, though the entrance padlock was left unlocked. No evidence of poachers, including erstwhile herons. Saw a plump belted kingfisher, but not much else, other than many minnows, a few crayfish, and a decomposing trout. Caught seven feisty trout (5 rainbows, 2 browns) on a double nymph combo, fished deeply. Most of the trout took a #14 beaded Prince, but two trout and one half pound rock bass went for the #12 Bloody Washington Leech. Ken caught a couple of rainbow on nymphs - one in the 15" range in the nutshell pool. Interestingly, one 14" rainbow trout I hooked, after performing extensive aerobatics, rocketed downstream straight towards the far Alder pool bank where I was wading. It wrapped itself immediately around a small submerged sycamore branch close by - and, while I was trying to untangle my line with suitable expletives, the trout vigorously shook its head and ejected the hook. This looked to me like a well practiced maneuver! Good luck to the next person who hooks it, I say! Nothing out of the ordinary otherwise, except while attempting to ward off a drowsy wasp that seem overly keen with my hair, I dislodged my glasses which went flying into the alder pool. More expletives, then a complicated Balanchine arabesque down the side of the stream next to the path, with my new hip, to retrieve them. Days like that reaffirm life's for the living.
September 25, 2012
Name: Stephen Day & Ken Woodcock
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: Sept. 24, 2012. Ken and I decided to make a quick dash up to FC for some early afternoon fly fishing. Stopped at a significantly modernized Sheetz for an haute cuisine sandwich. Couldn't help notice the high level of obesity amongst the youngish patrons. Reminded me that when I arrived in the U.S. in 1968 the median bra size was 34B - now it's 38C! Ambient temperature was a cool 59F; water was low and Saphire-gin clear; weather fabulous. Only three pools were fishable, and a large branch blocked the top end of the Nutshell pool. Saw a variety of sucker fish and rainbow trout in the Alder pool, but neither of us could raise a trout - inc. the normally lethal combination of an Adams on the surface and a #14 Prince nymph below. Ken caught a small rainbow in the swimming hole, and I connected with, and lost, two reasonable trout deep down in the same pool. While I was casting in the alder pool a large shadow passed over me. Looked up to see a turkey buzzard gliding at tree top level peering down at me. Had one of those apocryphal moments when I thought my number was up..... Trees and foliage were showing signs of approaching fall. Bees were moving at half speed on goldenrod stems, and cray fish were showing color changes post spawning prior to winter die-off - including one that attacked my nymph. That damned great blue heron was very much in evidence, and didn't seem too phased by us - just flying upstream slightly out of sight. Am checking Mrs. Beaton's recipe book for smoked heron a l'Anglais. My only regret was not having longer to raise another trout from the depths of the swimming hole, and enjoy the Indian Summer. Stopped at the Scenic Farm for cage free local eggs, a role of butter, and some outstanding apples (at least five well known species were on display).
June 11, 2012
Name: Stephen Day & Ken Woodcock
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: June 6, 2012 Popped up for an afternoon's fly fishing, with both of us needing to return for evening commitments (it is Washington, after all). Dodged thunder clouds and had a mixed day. My luck was to land six rainbows, one brown, and four crayfish - which stuck out a claw to grab my nymph. One rainbow trout was a good 16" caught on a Bloody Washington Leech, and put up quite a struggle in the Alder pool. After photographing and releasing the fish, it swam downstream into the pool below - where it waits for an enterprising angler! Ken wasn't quite so lucky - quite a few strikes but no landings. Noticed numerous small fry in the shallows, which is encouraging, and crayfish were everywhere. Which reminds me I have a great recipe for Crayfish Franglais...... All in all a lovely afternoon, with no poachers visible, including stealthy herons, and mink - though did see a rather large (harmless) black snake in the rocks above the swinging bridge. Dropped by the Scenic Farm straw for the last of the season's strawberries. Yum!
May 29, 2012
Name: Stephen Day & Ken Woodcock
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: May 23, 2012 Made it up to FC with member Tom Tuttle and his delightful and amusing guest Charlie. Tom hadn't fished the Creek for quite a few years. Great evening with some good fishing. Water was a bit murky, but good volume. Saw Ken Woodcock leaving just as we got started. Ken later told me he caught a fine 16" rainbow that evening (where Margaret Warner got smashed), and found an extra fly in its jaw - none other than Margaret's long-lost Prince nymph - what goes around apparently really does come around! I intend to present it to her as a "Prince Warner nymph." After some serious fishing we settled down on the deck to some fine wines, pate's, wild fishing exploits, and a truly delicious smoked rainbow trout. This reminded me once again that 'the beauty is in the walking, rather than just destinations.'
May 14, 2012
Name: Ken Woodcock
Email Address: kennethrwoodcock@gmail.com
Comments: With an open calendar on May 11, 2012, I decided to return to FC. Caught about a dozen trout during a 3.5 hour period, as follows: - 6 in the Nutshell Pool (some early and some before departing); many just sit in a cluster in the middle of the pool; had one big, frisky rainbow that caught itself under the opposite side of the rock in the middle--I walked downstream and across to free it--it then jumped a few more times and freed itself---a real fighter; all on a small nymph dropper from a dry fly - 1 in the pool downstream of the Nutshell Pool, where Stephen caught one last time; this was probably the same large rainbow; caught on one cast with a wooly bugger - 3 in the Swimming Pool--1 on a nymph and 2 on a wooly bugger; very picky on the dry fly--they would look at the color and turn away; i changed colors from a cadis to a black body stimulator; they were really spooky with the dry and the nymph below; they danced around a wooly bugger and would finally take it; the golden just sat deep. - 2 in the Alder Pool; again, very spooky with the dry fly; water was very clear and I could see all the fish move about; caught a very large rainbow on a wooly bugger and a smaller one---loads of rises but they did not like my dry offerings. The weather was perfect. 66F when I started. No other fisher persons or poachers.
May 10, 2012
Name: Stephen Day & Ken Woodcock
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: May 9, 2012 Weather a little dodgy, but Ken and I decided "what the hell....." We arrived midday and fished until four PM, with no rain. Both of us had some very productive fishing - hardly surprising considering the river was stocked with ~150 largish rainbows just a week before! We experienced some explosive attacks on our small nymphs under 'marker' dry flies, followed by incredible repeated aerobatics from feisty rainbow trout (yes, that's "The totally synthetic fish"). Not a soul around, and no evidence of poachers' bait tins, thank god. A resident kingfisher was sounding off with it's unmistakable penetrating rattle, and a few Canada geese and an awkward great blue heron made low passes overhead. I'm embarrassed to say we lost count of the fish we caught (particularly Ken!). What seemed to work best was a dry fly such as a stimulator on top, and a #14 or smaller Prince nymph dangling just at the right length below the dry fly. In spite of several rises none of us caught anything on our very presentable dry flies. A couple of weeks ago I thought I came face to face with a young otter in the alder pool. At Dam Day Robert Menzi's impressive son told me he had been tracking a mink's footprints. So, on checking the size and dark brown color of mink, I realized that what I saw was indeed a mink. Mink will take a trout, but are nothing like as voracious as otters. We stopped off at the Scenic Farm shop for the season's first strawberries (a must for those who have never experienced their phenomenal flavor). The owner couldn't stop laughing when I admitted to her I had fallen into the stream - actually it was a Balanchine- like slow motion loss of footing while retrieving a fly, that ended up with me sitting in the alder pool, soaked to the gunnels, and feeling, well, idiotic.
April 27, 2012
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: April 25, 2012 Arrived at FC ~3:30PM with Teeny Zimmerman, guest Margaret Warner, and my dearly beloved Sara. Unbeknownst to us, Edward Hull and daughters were stocking ~100 largish rainbows as we arrived. So we fished downstream from the nutshell, particularly the Alder pool - which they hadn't restocked. While gently easing myself arse first into the Alder pool, I came face to face with a dark brown otter. I guess it might have been a mink, but its fur looked too short and sleek. After a few moments transfixed staring at each other, it flicked its whiskers, blinked, and slithered below a large rock on the bank at the far LHS end of the pool. Caught a couple of small rainbows, and Teeny caught one of the newly stocked Fish further upstream. Margaret got smashed (non alcoholically speaking!) by a large trout which went off with one of MY Prince nymphs! Sara did an audit of wild flowers, inc. blue phlox, yellow violets, etc. A few butterflies were out, inc. a newly emerged red admiral. At about 6PM while fishing from the downstream end of the swimming hole, I was serenaded by a low flying Little Brown Bat, PA's commonest bat, which was plucking insects out of the air around my head! Dinner on the deck was something else. After knocking off a bottle of bubbly for our hard work, we settled down to some phenomenal cheeses, goose liver pate, salami, yellow tomatoes, a crusted baguette, and smoked trout - washed down with a couple of crisp Sauvignon blancs. We all agreed this was an evening to remember.
April 5, 2012
Name: Stephen Day & Ken Woodcock
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: April 4. 2012. Lunch at Metropolitan Club to listen to the French ambassador. A masterful performance with adroit sidestepping of any and all controversial issues - and yes, France loves America! Reached FC by about 4PM, and settled in to some amazing fishing. It would only be slight hyperbole to say we lost count of fish caught but, by about 6:30PM, we had landed some 25 trout (5 rainbows, 2 largish browns, and 18 10-12" brook trout)and lost about a dozen other fish. It doesn't come much better than that! One brook trout I caught had an unmistakable deep wound behind its head from a strike by a heron - narrowly missing the spinal column. Amazingly it didn't deter the trout from putting up quite a fight. Wildflowers were out in profusion, including yellow trout lilies, arrowroot, and yellow violets (if that's not an oxymoron). No evidence of poachers or their bait tins (yet!). Weather was perfect, starting in the seventies and dropping to upper fifties - at which point we retired to a very warm nutshell for libations and dinner (French bubbly, baguette, pate paysan, salami, and a delicious soft French cheese in keeping with our lunch - but topped off with a cold new world NZ sauvignan blanc. Ken and I agreed this had to be one of our best days on the stream.
March 24, 2012
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: March 22, 2012 Up here with Ken Woodcock this fine afternoon for a couple of reasons. 1. To check out the flow of water through the swimming hole, following George Beatty's observations a few days ago: "Any thoughts on how we might restore the old flow in the swimming hole? I was there yesterday and was saddened by what's happened since last spring when the current still reached the middle of the pool, opposite the steps from the bank. " The dam at the downstream end of the swimming hole was blown out during the last major storm. This may be the one and only dam worth rebuilding (until the next blow-out), to raise the water level and flow. 2. To fish. in that respect, we both had terrific sport catching ten feisty rainbows and one brown, many 15" or so that went airborne. The flies that worked BEST were 'twosomes,' with a BW Leech (or wooly bugger) on top and a small nymph on the end of the tippet. Many wild flowers were out, including white bloodroot, pointed blue-eyed grass, violets, and chickweed, but no trout lilies or signs of morels yet. Saw a drake common merganser, belted kingfisher, wood wrens and a red-tailed hawk circling above. A few butterflies (zebra swallowtail and small blues)were out sucking up salt on the alder pool path, and Ken saw a brownish 'water snake' which we think must have been a copperhead. Post fishing, we settled down to a snack on the deck listening to the sound of the stream. Somehow we put away a cold bottle of Nobilo sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, NZ, plus foie gras, assorted soft cheeses, salami, and the best part of a baguette. I must say, life is good - and we did smell the flowers!
March 9, 2012
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: March 8, 2012. Glorious day in the high sixties, with water temp. at 55F. Up for an afternoon's fishing with Ken Woodcock. Bumped into David Luthringer and guest who were setting up their tackle. We wandered down to the alder pool, and David and friend took the rest of the stream. At the bottom of the alder pool there were two pairs of common mergansers. The drakes had fabulous white plumage with black heads and reddish beaks. Females had reddish heads, with just a hint of white on their breast feathers. Members might like to know that the favorite food of the merganser is, yes, trout. They aint no fools! Both of us caught a couple of large rainbows, with Ken using a virtually invisible #20 nymph as the dropper, and I had my regular bloody Washington leech, with a #14 prince on the tippet. I caught one of the largest rainbows I have seen at FC - a full 17" fish in superb condition, that refused to give up. Just when I thought I had it in the net, it went off like a rocket. It's back in the pool, but I fear for the poacher's worm. No sign of wildflowers yet, other than snowdrops. Some brown fly on the water, and a number of explosive jumps by trout, though not clear they were going after flies. All in all, an affirmation that life is good - away from the humdrum of Washington.
March 3, 2012
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: March 1st, 2012 On this glorious first day of spring, which hit 70F in DC, Ken Woodcock and I took the day off, and headed for them hills. Once in the Catoctins, the temperature hovered around 60F, and the water flow at FC was on the high side after yesterday's storm. In fact, the path down to the Alder pool had flooded into an impressive stream. There was only one minor obstruction where a tree was downed. Snowdrops were out by the path up to the Hogans, but little other fauna visible. Water was turbid, and a few early emerging flies were out,including what looked like a grey dun, and a large black abomination that crawled down my neck. Due to the volume of murky water, we decided nymphs were the order of the day. So, after a quick Sheetz gourmand lunch on the deck, we wandered off in different directions to enjoy some first class Zen fly-fishing. Both of us caught some nice acrobatic rainbows, and Ken landed a very plump 15" brown, probably ready to spawn. We found the fishing spotty, but now know where the trout are. So if any of you are wondering, give us a ring. Otherwise, it's 'omerta' for us!
October 7, 2011
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: October 6, 2011. Ken Woodcock and I broke away from DC on a glorious early autumn day for an afternoon's fly fishing. The stream had recently been stocked with 125 trout (primarily browns), so our hopes were high! Water was clear with good flow, and we were greeted with the penetrating rattle of a belted kingfisher as it took off downstream in a flash of blue from the nutshell (always a good sign due to plentiful small fish). Crayfish still abundant in the stream, and a few fly on the water - but no rises. After no sign of fish or a strike for over an hour, I hooked a feisty brown (on a #12 Prince nymph) in the swinging bridge pool, which took me down to the pool below. Ken spotted a couple of smallish trout, but no luck otherwise - though he did apprehend a man and his daughter advancing to the swimming hole with spinning tackle. On that front, we continue to be vulnerable unless more members come up to fish. Steve Jobs died yesterday, and am reminded of his line to the graduating class of Stanford, paraphrased as "Treat every day as it's your last, because one day it will be!" We did, and had a superb day fly fishing, enjoying each other's company, and communing with nature.
September 22, 2011
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: September 21, 2011 (International Day of Peace - ha!) Up at FC in time for a gourmand lunch care of Sheetz, with guest Jim Lloyd. The stream had obviously had another flooding, following Irene and the deluge from the following storm. Some trees were down, including a large conifer that thankfully had been dealt with. Water was clear and running just a bit below normal, and weather was intermittent rain and about 70F. We walked down to the alder pool and saw no evidence of trout - just a couple of bluegills. We circled back to the swimming hole and attempted a piscine pincer maneuver, with Jim fishing upstream in the deeper water and me fishing downstream towards him, below the small waterfall, with a double nymph combo. Not a bloody thing - other than a group of two inch tiddlers trying to do "something peculiar" with my flies. Our conclusion was that the stream is essentially devoid of trout, including the large gathering of trout in the Alder pool that were washed down last June. Even the suckers (except us) were nowhere to be seen. So, we need to stock, and there is now an adequate water level in all significant pools. Anyway, it was a joy to be on the steam and feel, breath, and see the first hints of autumn.
June 21, 2011
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: June 19, 2011 I seem to be the only member using this site! Was up at the stream yesterday with Sara and a lad from England learning to fly fish, who has a summer job in DC, and is the son of new friends who live in the Seychelles. Water very low, with trout aggregating in few deep pools. Bumped into John Denniston. and a relation of his. They didn't seem to have had much luck, but I lost contact while landing a fish as they left. Myron and his extended family plus dog were also up there. Caught 4 trout, one of which was a diseased 15" fish (lots of lateral abrasions/sores). One could see there isn't enough oxygenating water flow in the alder pool this time of year. The good news is that poachers haven't been around - or most of those fish would have been long gone, since the trout are awfully exposed. Interested to hear what Howard Stinefeldt has to say to Ken Woodcock re water problems in summer months - associated with doing any expensive reconstruction work on the stream. Dodged thunder storms, and had a delightful picnic with the usual accouterments.
April 22, 2011
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Name: Stephen Day Email Address: ssday1@aol.com Comments: April 21, 2011 Popped up with a squad of young nephews and brother-in-law from England, who wanted to see FC. The road to Sabillasville washed out after the floods, so we took a long detour which emerged just short of the Scenic Farm shop. It was evident that FC had totally flooded (highest water in ~35 years), witness a large tree trunk suspended on the large rock above the nutshell. The water was high and fast, but fishable, having dropped considerably from the high watermark. We didn't stay long, but had fun catching a 15" rainbow that was played by Robbie (8) and landed by James (10). Wildflowers were in profusion and appeared none the worse for the raging torrent - inc. Virginia bluebells which were in full flower. A dead copperhead below the nutshell added a little drama, esp. after I had regaled the kids with stories of my stepping onto the same overhanging rock as a large copperhead - with one of us destined to jump into the stream!
April 7, 2011
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: April 6, 2011 As the weather warmed up to 60, so did my desire to get to the stream, and out of the political mess (with imminent Government shut-down), that is all things Washington. Water level average, clear, and flow down a bit from my last visit. Small brown flies visible, though no discernible rises. Caught 11 rainbows over a two hour period using a two nymph set-up. Got a "two-for" with a trout on both flies, which made for some interesting playing - especially when they both swam in the same direction! Nine of the trout (all about 12") went for the scruffy Washington Bloody Leech - in preference to the manicured professionally tied Orvis #14 Prince. Got a better look at the pair of white duck that flew up and down the stream, and have a feeling they are a pair of Common Mergansers (love trout), rather than Goldeneye (prefer insects and crustaceans), because of the pronounced rusty brown head of the female and absence of white eye on the male. More wild flowers out - particularly the ubiquitous white, yellow centered bloodroot. Next out will be the yellow trout lilies (so named after brook trout). Enjoyed a beer, salami, and chicken salad on the nutshell deck - now that's life!
April 2, 2011
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Name: Stephen Day Email Address: ssday1@aol.com Comments: March 31 2001 Ken Woodcock and I decided to battle the elements and head out of DC for the stream. Snow was light on the ground in sheltered spots, and ambient temperature was an invigorating 36F. Water temperature was 4-5 degrees higher, with fast clear flow. Against the odds, the rain held off and we had quite an exquisite afternoon's fishing - that is after the customary haute-cuisine sandwich at Sheetz. We both used double nymph casts, with the smaller fly on the tippet. Ken caught 10 rainbows all on the tippet, and my catch was 6 rainbows, with half going for the top Bloody Washington Leech, and the rest a small Orvis Prince. The trout were spirited fighters, and some in the 14"-16" range did phenomenal air jumps. After playing one of the larger trout, it swam straight at me; disappeared between my waders - where the loose top fly caught my landing net - whereupon I had no alternative than to finish playing the fish with my landing net! Few wildflowers were evident, except a patch of flowering pointed blue-eyed grass near the nutshell, and some emerging trout lilies. Spotted one small white and black duck flying low and at speed upstream, which I'm guessing was a common goldeneye. No evidence anyone else had been around. It was a grand afternoon, strongly enhanced by retreating into the heated nutshell to thaw out.
July 19, 2010
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: July 16, 2010. Guess I'm the only one using this site! Decided on the spur of the moment to nip up to FC for a TGIF check out of the river and to pick up some vegitables and fruit at the Scenic Farm shop (tomatoes are phenominal). Water was incredibly low, in spite of recent storms. Crayfish were darting everywhere underfoot, and it was a toss up which to go after - trout or crayfish. The trout have moved to the few deep pools, and there were explosive high jumps by larger rainbows - presumably due to low oxgen in the warm water. Tried an assortment of wet and dry flies to no avail in the alder pool. Trout would circle, but not strike. I thought I saw one laugh!! Finally caught a rainbow upstream on a # 14 Prince nymph. Saw no-one up there, and access has become quite overgrown in places. Tiger swallowtails and silver-streak skippers were flitting everywhere, otherwise not much else visible. There were a few flies on the water, but didn't see any fish rising to them. Ambient temperature was about 89F, with high humidity (ugh).
June 20, 2010
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: June 18, 2010 Up at FC for the afternoon with guest Jim Lloyd. Gorgeous day in the eighties, with a compulsory stop at the Scenic orchard farm outlet for local raspberries and corn. Water a little turbid and low. We wondered where the turbidity came from. Most trout have exercised their summer survival maneuver by seeking the few deep pools. Caught five health rainbows (3 on my Washington bloody leech, and 2 on a #14 Orvis Prince). One of the trout was a good 15", though the smaller ones gave better fights pound for pound. Disturbed a beaver from just underneath me, which gave me quite a stir, as the Beaver launched itself. Jim also saw a beaver upstream. He got into a big trout in the swimming hole which broke his 6X leader. We didn't see anyone, but I found evidence of poachers who had left remnants of worm lines in the alder pool (using a small stone for a weight and multiple lines). Our nemesis the great blue heron was "waddling" at the bottom of the Alder pool. Interestingly, we saw lots of small fry, some about 3-4", not sure what they are. We both caught crayfish on our nymphs, so the former are ready for harvesting for a meal! This epitaph found on a north country English gravestone captures why we fly fish. “The wonder of the world; the beauty and the power; the shape of things – their colours , lights and shades. These I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.”
May 27, 2010
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: May 26, 2010 Ken Woodcock and I decided on a quick afternoon trip to FC to experience some "post stocking bliss." Well, it lived up to expectations. Between us, we must have caught 15 trout (70% rainbows) almost exclusively of small nymphs - and that was after Bart West had worked the upper reaches during the morning. On the way up we saw the rare sight of the four engine freight train (Maryland & Midland) hauling umpteen freight loads of concrete blocks. Apparently, the train does this two-way trek once a month or so. Stopping for strawberries and freshly picked asparagus at the Scenic farmers market was a must, before putting fly to water. Without doubt, they are some of the best tasting strawberries anywhere - and that includes Wimbledon! River conditions were perfect, with enough turbidity to compensate for the occasional dud cast. Interestingly, saw a lot of small fry, including a bevvy of three inch fish in the swimming hole. No idea what they were, but they looked more like trout than bass. Crayfish are back in evidence, which signifies the beginning of summer. Al in all, another great day on the water.
April 22, 2010
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: Went up to FC with Ken Woodcock and guest Stuart Gerson (U.S. Attorney General at very beginning of Clinton Admin.). Conditions just about perfect, with water level a little low and clear. Trout were incredibly spirited and airborne, with my reel singing twice with rainbows that made a wild dash upstream. We had the most success with small Prince nymphs. Some trout were rising to minute brown flies in the Alder pool, which is where I spotted a 12" golden trout, that must have got washed down in the last rain storm from a MD stocking. Not sure how long it will survive, since it's highly visible to herons and other two footed predators! Virginia Bluebells were out, as were white violets and star chickweed. No poachers visible, and we settled down after fishing to some fine wines, pate, assorted cheeses, farmer's baguette, and yes, a smoked trout (irreversibly foul hooked!). Everything was right with our world that evening.
April 22, 2010
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: April 2, 2010 Glorious day in the low seventies. Escaped the humdrum of Washington life for the quite hills of the Catoctins, with Sara. Water level was just right, and clear, after evident very high water - following the rains we had over the last couple of weeks. Caught some very frisky rainbows which went airborne, on the deeply patented Washington Bloody Leech, and a spiffed up Prince from Orvis. Sara did a wildflower patrol and spotted many flowering, including the ubiquitous white pettaled bloodroot, yellow trout lilies, white Dutchman's Breeches, white cut-leaved Toothwort (great name),and intense blue pointed blue-eyed grass. Virginia blueebells adjacent to the nutshell were not quite in flower. We enjoyed a semillion/sauvignan blanc with a ripe avocardo & dressing on the deck, as the sun went down. Pas mal! As we were leaving, we came across three late teens/early twenties lads with a spinning rod. Said they were inspecting the bass pond (yes, and my father was Winston Churchill!). May all be entirely inocent. Their red and white pick-up trucks's license was PA YXS 8456. Stephen Day PS. The suspected endocrine disrupter affectinf aquatic life is of course Atrazine, not Altrazine!
March 5, 2010
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: March 2, 2010 Members following the issue of aquatic life being affected by "endocrine distrupters" (including bass) will be interested in David Fahrenthold's piece in today's Washington Post "Study: Weedkiller can create hormone havoc in frogs." The study was completed by the National Academy of Sciences. The focus is on the popular herbicide Altrazine, manufactured by the Swiss company Syngenta (banned across E.U. countries). Dr. T. Hays at University of CA at Berkley has shown male frogs becoming female in every thing but their genes - at concentrations of Altrazine of 2.5 parts/billion - a level considered safe within the EPA's drinking water standards. Syngenta refutes these claims.
November 19, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: November 17, 2009. Ken Woodcock and I escaped the flat-lands of DC and headed to our mountain stream with high hopes, after the reported stocking of 125 trout three weeks ago. We did our 'normal' of stopping by Sheetz for a healthy mustard swamped half sandwich, designer chips, and fruit juice. Water was low and remarkably clear, considering that tropical storm Ida had passed through a week earlier. Ken went downstream and I took the upstream beat. We met a couple of hours later at the nutshell (which incidentally looks terrific with its smart blinds, thanks to Whitney Stewart). Neither of had seen the glimmer of a fish, after some of the better casting you're likely to see south of the Mason Dixon line. No rises, no dancing flies, no movement - in fact "no nothing" as they like to say in certain parts of America. Ken and I wondered aloud, what the ... had happened to all those fish? Just as I was giving up hope, I hooked a spirited 14" rainbow in the nutshell pool on a #10 Washington Bloody Leech, which was the top fly on a two fly combo. The bottom fly was a #12 Orvis Prince, which the discriminating trout had rejected. Before I got too carried away with my fly tying prowess, I was soon into a larger cock rainbow that went straight for the Prince! We stopped fishing around 4PM and enjoyed a couple of glasses of Chardonnay overlooking the stream on the deck. Life's for the living! Stephen & Ken.
October 7, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: October 7, 2009. For anglers interested in following the problem of man-made chemicals (esp. endocrine disruptors) entering our rivers and drinking water, today's NY Times reported that the EPA plans to conduct a new study on the herbicide Altrazine. The decision by Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator, is a significant departure from the previous administration. Endocrine disruptors are thought to be the cause of 80% of the male bass population in the Potomac (basin) exhibiting dual-sex characteristics. The EPA will also evaluate possible links between Altrazine in the water supply, and human cancer and birth defects. Altrazine was banned across E.U.countries a few years ago. Stephen Day.
October 1, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: September 30, 2009 Ken Woodcock and I escaped the babble of Washington for an afternoon's fishing and to inspect the refurbished nutshell. The new furnishings look superb, thanks to Whitney Stewart and her team. Water was incredibly low and Sapphire gin clear. Temperature was about 60 F, and small brown flies and mosquitoes were over the water. Ken saw a few trout in the swimming hole, but no joy. I caught a 14" spirited rainbow which jumped at least six times in the alder pool. My reel sang and all was right with the world! The path down to the alder pool has been cleared making for easy access. Leaves were dropping and large black walnuts were littered everywhere. Crayfish were gone, having laid their eggs, so life goes on. Stephen Day.
June 29, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: June 28, 2009 Members will be interested to see a further piece in this Sunday's Opinion NYT 'Week in Review' on endocrine disruptors, affecting ~80% of small mouth bass in the Potomac River, plus frogs, salamanders, other amphibians, and perhaps even humans. Endocrine disruptors are reported to be widely present in certain agricultural chemicals such as herbicides, industrial waste, and certain consumer products such as some pharmaceuticals. Dr. Robert Lawrence, professor of environmental health at Johns Hopkins states: - "A lot of these compounds act as weak estrogen, so that's why developing males - whether small mouth bass or humans - tend to be more sensitive. It's scary, very scary." "The EPA is moving toward screening endocrine disrupting chemicals, but at a glacial pace. The Endocrine Society issued a landmark 50 page statement this month, which it believes should prove a wake-up call.
June 11, 2009
Name: Ken Woodcock
Email Address: kennethrwoodcock@gmail.com
Comments: Stephen Day, guest Stuart Gerson and I fished from 1-4pm on June 10. Water was a bit cloudy from recent rains, but acceptable. Terrific fishing in the swimming hole, swinging bridge, nutshell and alder pools. Collectively, we caught more than 20 trout---virtually all good sized. Alder pool yielded fat 16 inchers. I caught a 2 inch trout in the Alder pool as well--which means some reproduction is taking place. We rushed back to the city to meet 6pm obligations and therefore missed the typical Stephen Day liquids and food extravaganza.
June 8, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: June 4, 2009 FCAA members will be interested in the Geological Survey's latest report on "intersex" fish, and fish kills in the Potomac Basin (Potomac and Shenandoah rivers). Scientists said lab tests showed bass injected with female hormones produce less of certain compounds that help fight off infection. Their theory is that some as yet unknown pollutants mimic the effect of estrogen, causing male bass to develop ovaries, as well as fish kills.
June 3, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: June 1, 2009 Gay Barclay, Whitney Stewart (plus guest), Ken Woodcock, and I fished the stream from 4PM to dusk. Between us we must have caught sixteen trout on assorted nymphs and an occasional dry fly. Up at the swimming hole I had a ten minute battle with a 16" stocky rainbow, that went for my much chewed Bloody Washington Leech (aka the Banker) in preference to the polished Orvis Prince. Water was surprisingly low and clear, considering the deluge just a few days ago. A few wild flowers (blue and white phlox) were still blooming, and young crayfish were visible in the stream. The drama of the day occurred as we arrived. Another member (Ned Finkenstaedt) was just leaving after a weekend visit and told us there was a tent with waterlogged sleeping bags, plus strewn pots and pans, and evidence of a camp fire, down the far end of the property at Hogan's pool. Whoever was/is there left a royal mess. We didn't see anyone on the property, other than a couple of men fishing on the bass pond, whom I believe have permission from Myron. Ned sent pictures of the evacuated campsite, which will be posted. We ended the day with convivial dinner on the deck, washed down with various wines, including a 2000 bottle of Dom Pérignon to celebrate a certain Birthday of a certain female member! For champagne lovers, members might be interested to know the Brits actually "invented" champagne. There is documentary evidence that sparkling wine was first intentionally produced by English scientist and physician Christopher Merret - yet further evidence of the French inferiority complex to the Brits!!
May 20, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: May 18, 2009 Ken Woodcock and I decided on a whim to take in an afternoon and evening's fly fishing - before it starts warming up. Conditions were near perfect. Clear cool water with an ambient temperature in the fifties, and small brown fly dancing over the water. I caught 7 nice trout (one 14" brown) and had another three on the line. Ken caught a couple of nice rainbows and saw a few rises. Caught mine on a #12 shattered Prince dropper, fishing above the nutshell up and downstream. Wild phlox was still in bloom, but most other wildflowers had shifted to summer foliage. Saw a couple of duck gliding over the stream. The drake was white with some black markings. Not sure what they were - gadwall or perhaps even common goldeneye. Two pleasant lads in a truck drove over to say hello, and explained they had permission to fish in the bass pond. One was a nephew of Lula, and mentioned he caught an 8lbs. large mouth bass there last year. No poachers, bankers, or heron visible. Had a delicious meal on the deck, with a half decent special reserve pinot noir - and put the world to right!
April 22, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: Members will be interested in a WP article 4/22/09 about the fact that "80% of the male smallmouth bass in the Potomac River are growing eggs." Similar problems have been observed with largemouth bass in the greater Potomac Basin. Scientists currently "believe the problem (first observed in 2003 in W VA) is caused by a mixture of pollutants, including some in sewage, animal hormones, and pesticide runoff." "Endocrine disruptors" are suspected - but no conclusion has been reached about specific chemicals during 6 years of searching. One chemical compound, the herbicide Altrazine, which is extensively used in the U.S. (70 million lbs/annum), and has been linked as an endocrine disruptor in frogs, was banned entirely across the European Union in 2005.
April 15, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: April 10, 2009 Ken Woodcock and I fished for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Fishing was spectacular on a cloudy day in the upper fifties, with 14 rainbow trout caught, including a couple of 15"+ fish that stripped line and performed some magnificent jumps. Both of us were using master nymphs with smaller dropper nymphs. All fish took the dropper (pheasant tail for Ken and a Prince for me). No poachers, bankers, or herons on the water - though we saw numerous "anglers" using light spinning gear on the way up. Early spring flowers were in abundance, including trout lilies (yellow) and star chickweed (white), plus an unidentified blue flower (blue toadflax?). Water was clear and at mid level, with small brown flies in evidence - but no rises. We asked Lula to give the nutshell a spring clean on our way back, and she reported a couple of days later that a rear window was broken, and the nutshell was unlocked (we didn't use the nutshell, and I think would have noticed a smashed window, since we parked at the rear of the nutshell). In addition, she was not able to turn on the fridge. So, we have a few items to take care of which FCAA will pay for.
April 3, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: March 31, 2009 Escaped for an afternoon's fly fishing with Member Ken Woodcock and guest John Denniston. All of us caught rainbows on assorted nymphs, including a very plump 16" trout caught by Ken. Ambient temperature was in the upper fifties; water was reasonably high and clear; masses of small grey moths were dancing over the water producing some rises in the swimming hole; there were few stirrings of spring wildflowers; and it was a beautiful evening to boot. We saw some fishermen with spinning gear as we drove down from Sabillarsville along the river, but none on the property - and that includes those damned herons! There are some tree and branch obstructions downstream above the Alder pool which could do with removing at Dam Day. When we arrived, Teeny Zimmermann was already fishing with her young nephew from England (always nice to have an Etonian grace our humble club!). Teeny had a problem starting her Prius (something to do with her nephew listening to too many CDs), and jumper cables didn't initially do the trick, so we managed to get the AAA via phone calls from Lula Turner's house (mobiles don't work). Anyway all's well that ends well, and Teeny and nephew joined us for a sumptuous feast of baguettes, exotic cheeses, foie gras, smoked trout, washed down with a bottle of Pommery and Chardonnay(s). For those interested in forensic work, the trout I gutted had a size 14 hook, minus its digested hackle, in it's stomach, with a small amount of 3lbs breaking-strain nylon attached. I intend to recycle the fly and tie a new pattern, "The Digestible." Orders welcome!
February 12, 2009
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: February 11, 2009. When the temp. hit 70 degrees in Washington (hot air emerging from testimonies at the House Banking sub-committee), I felt the call of the River. It was a good omen when an early emerging brown fly landed on my (considerable) nose, as I was setting up my tackle on the bank of FC. There was a solid ribbon of ice along most of the river bank, in spite of an ambient temperature in the sixties. I was soon into a nice 13" brown trout in the swimming hole, which went for a Bloody Washington Leech (aka NY Banker)in preference to the mighty Orvis Prince at the end of my line. After several more casts downstream near the waterfall, I decided to try a few casts upstream from below the steps. On my second or third cast, there was a huge strike deep down, and a 16-17" rainbow blasted out of the water, jumping some three feet, and then tearing off to the far side of the pool, with my reel singing. Considering the low water temperature, this was undoubtedly one of the strongest runs I've experienced at FC in twenty five years as a member! At the end of the charge, as I was furiously trying to keep appropriate tension on the line and get the fish onto my reel, my line suddenly went slack. I reeled in the line with both flies still intact, guessing it must have gone for "The Banker!" Saw a few rises, an occasional fly on the water, but no wildlife to speak of other than a pair of Canada geese which were beginning their spring nuptials. Spring can't come soon enough!
December 30, 2008
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: December 29, 2008. Raced guiltless up to FC on the spur of the moment, with guest Jim Lloyd, to take advantage of 50 degree weather. Water was reasonably high, cold, and gin clear - and I swear I saw a couple of tentative rises in the Alder pool. We both hooked fish in the swimming hole, and I landed a slim well colored brown trout of about 12.5 inches, which I'm proud to say rejected Orvis's infallible professionally tied Prince nymph - in favor of my hand tied disheveled Washington bloody leech! A huge amount of clearing has been done below the bass pond, including a beautifully constructed race-way for the overflow below the dam. While we were up there, concrete was being poured, so we parked near the swimming hole. The clearing has made a huge difference in opening up the land below the house. There are a number of tree limbs that have fallen into the stream below the nutshell and across some of the access paths so, come spring 09, it will be worth using a chain-saw to clear the debris.
October 30, 2008
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: October 30, 2008. Gorgeous autumn day, gin clear water, a few floating leaves, temperature in the fifties, and a few stalwart brown flies flitting over the water - what a day! Up here with Ken Woodcock to check out the stream and latest stocking. Ken caught two nice browns on a double nymph rig and, right at the end of the day, I had a spirited run in with a 13" rainbow on a Royal Wulff. We spotted our old nemesis the great blue heron, lots of small fry in the stream, a white tail deer, and a noisy gathering of migrating robins. Also, there were a couple of goldfish (Alder and nutshell pools). No idea how they got there - but not the first observed over the years. There were quite a few trees down, so some clearing will be needed next spring. We cleared the cobwebs from our minds and just enjoyed the moment of a perfect fall day and good company.
October 28, 2008
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: October 17, 2008. Stream was stocked with 100 brown and 25 rainbow trout by Edward Hull - which should provide some good fall fishing now that we have some rain.
August 20, 2008
Name: Tom Tuttle
Email Address: t.tuttle@mac.com
Comments: Please note correction to my email address - the addition of the dot between the first 2 t's. And thanks for all of your juicy entries, Stephen.
July 5, 2008
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: July 3. Fished FC with guest Jim Lloyd during a warm summer's afternoon. Water was about as low as I have seen it, with a large number of trout congregating in just a few pools. We tossed for beat, and I went downstream. In spite of the low water, the stream was full of life including minows, plump crayfish, rock bass, bluegills, sunfish, suckers, and yes, a chub. Jim even saw a snake (copperhead) grab a fish near the swinging bridge. Butterflies were out in force, including a newly emerged large fritillary. Amusingly, when I was scrambling to get out of the alder pool, right in front of me was a colossal black tarantula that refused to budge. It wasn't until I waggled my wading staff in front of its mandibles that it took the hint! We both caught three nice rainbows, plus a chub that Jim attracted on a dry fly. Two of my rainbows were on a submerged royal Wulff doing the Texas two-step. One trout was a good 16" and put up a spirited fight in the alder pool. It had the unmistakable sign of a heron's beak near its dorsal fin. Gorgeous day to be out, and the only signs of people were a few construction workers hammering away on the guest house. On the far side of the alder pool, I almost put my boot down a beaver's hole under the bank. Didn't see the beaver this time, but it was certainly an active burrow. We didn't use the nutshell, but it looked clean and ship-shape, probably after a clean-up by Lula, which we asked her to start doing on a periodic basis. We now need furnishings to complete the transformation! There is also an urgent need for more members to fish the stream before many of the rainbows expire! Stephen Day.
May 2, 2008
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: May Day 2008 Invited any number of angler friends to join me, but all were busy. Am reminded of Wordsworth's immortal lines: "The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours...." Beautiful afternoon in the low sixties; water quite high and clear; not a poacher in sight - and that includes the herons. Fishing was superb, with a 12" rainbow fighting on the line on my first cast. Caught a gorgeous 16" rainbow which refused to give up, and necessitated me gingerly passing my rod around the trunk of a large tree in order to land the fish (caught fishing downstream on a "Prince" dropper nymph using a tandem line with a larger "BWL" nymph on top). Redbud were at full chat, punctuated with a few wild dogwoods, and some sky- blue phlox near the nutshell. I had a vision of Willie Warner casting a fine long line at a rise at the bottom of the Alder Pool. We will miss him. Stephen Day.
April 10, 2008
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: April 9, 2008 Went up yesterday afternoon and evening with Ken Woodcock. Water a bit low. I caught a couple of nice rainbows on Bloody Washington leeches (not a political statement) and Ken caught one very nice 16" rainbow on a dropper nymph. Ran off poachers from the Alder pool. Had rather unpleasant altercation with a group of teenagers/young men (oldest heavyset with round face and short dark hair - wouldn't give name or address, but must be super-local living behind Hogan's house), which is where they headed - and this was after Ken had already thrown them out an hour earlier! There was a great deal of evidence of poaching in the big pools, with bait tins, etc. left as evidence. Our old friend the great blue heron was having a crack at the fish as well, and casually flew downstream fifty yards for another go. Am researching recipes for smoked heron in Mrs. Beaton's marvelous cookbook. On a more serious note, we need more members up on the stream to deter poachers, and suggest we activate Ron King and his German Shepard. Bumped into Pete Shank who was quietly sitting watching me cast in the swimming hole. Nice chap, who said he lived behind the Randalls and knows most other residents. He pointed out a nesting Canadian goose right above the swimming hole, and I pointed out a reasonably sized golden trout swimming in front of us (said he doesn't fish!). Evening was capped off with tall stories, an exquisite bottle of Moet Chandon, various soft cheeses, pate, baguettes, etc. Gorgeous evening all round, with temperature in the upper fifties. Stephen Day
Aprl 6, 2008
Name: David Luthriger
Email Address: davidluth@gmail.com
Name: david luthriger Email Address: davidluth@gmail.com Comments: please note change in e-mail address
March 19, 2008
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: March 19, 2008 Another article in the WP identifies a number of chemical contaminants in the Potomac River and watershed. FC members might be interested in researching some of the known bad actors, including the herbicide Altrazine (banned in Europe but used pretty extensively in the US), and is a known endocrine disruptor for fish and amphibians - not to mention potential problems for us humans. (http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=06-P13-00016&segmentID=1 The chemical and pharmaceutical contamination of ground water is a serious issue we all should be concerned about. Stephen Day.
February 8, 2008
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: February 5, 2008. The Washington Post's Metro section ran another article on endocrine disruption of male bass in the Potomac water basin. Federal scientists (USGS) place the blame on human activity - though the exact cause remains unidentified. Male bass with eggs were first observed in the Potomac River in 2003. A control group of smallmouth bass caught in the relatively pristine rivers outside the Potomac watershed, on the Greenbrier River in West Virginia, revealed that 22% of the sample of male fish had intersex characteristics. Based on my assessment so far, the two "suspects" are hormonal contamination (esp. estrogen), and agricultural herbicide run-off (referenced in an earlier e-mail). Stephen Day.
January 9, 2008
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: Monday January 7, 2008 Played truant and nipped up to FC for an afternoon of Zen fly fishing. A gentle warm breeze of almost 70F was blowing downstream and fish were rising in clear water. A hatch of small brown flies were dancing in the wind, and it could have been April, rather than early January. I disturbed one of 'the usual suspects' on the stream, an overfed heron that had considerable difficulty getting airborne. In a tree above the heron was what looked like a large goshawk eying the heron, eying one of OUR trout! Due to the low water temperature I used a double nymph cast (smaller nymph on tippet) and connected with two nice rainbows in the Swinging Bridge pool. My next "connection" was with a submerged rock, which took both flies. Rather sheepishly, I returned to my old stalwart, a single #12 Bloody Washington Leech, and caught a spirited 12" rainbow in the Alder pool. The shimmering golden evening light on the water proved to be the Zen and, for that moment, time stood still. The nutshell looks very swish, and once furnishings are installed plus some fishing memorabilia, the cabin will be a fabulous asset - with many thanks to Nancy and Myron Randall. Stephen Day
December 17, 2007
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Name: Tom Humphrey Email Address: thumphrey@crowell.com, tphum1973@aol.com Comments: Can you add my email addresses to your list? thumphrey@crowell.com and tphum1973@aol.com. Thanks! Tom Humphrey
December 13, 2007
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: There is increasing evidence that man-made chemical pollutants are affecting the watershed areas such as the greater Potomac basin. Specifically, certain fish, including large mouth bass have been showing endocrine abnormalities such as female sexual organs in male fish. The culprits appear to be "endocrine disruptors" probably caused by common herbicides, such as Altrazine (banned in Europe),leaching into our rivers, and possibly estrogen used for various purposes including birth control in humans. FCAA members may want to look at the site http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/FS-081-98/ for information, as well as doing there own research. I would be interested to hear from others what you find. Stephen Day 12/13/07 submitted on November 27, 2007 9:51 PM EST
November 17, 2007
Name: John Irving
Email Address: jirving1@verizon.net
Name: John Irving Email Address: Comments: 11/17/2007 - Stayed in the newly renovated Nutshell with daughters Katie and Stephanie and a friend and his young son. Great time, and the Nutshell looks wonderful. Please be aware, though, that the water is turned off. Also some work nearly completed on the septic system. Fish were few and far between, despite the 150 fish stocked in October. Some still in Hogan's Pool and the Swimming Hole. -- John
June 1, 2007
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: May 31 (day after Christopher Marlow died in a bar room brawl in 1593!). Fished FC with Ken Woodcock in the afternoon - both of us had serious guilt complexes about missing work... Between us we caught over twenty trout, all in great condition, except for one with the unmistakable sign of a heron's spearing, just missing the trout's vitals behind the head. Water was terribly low, limiting the fish to the remaining pools, and making them vulnerable to human and non human predators. Both of us fished with various combinations of flies. The most productive seemed to be small dropper nymphs - resulting in some really spectacular aerial acrobatics with rainbows launching several feet into the air, followed by a loud smack of the water. Glorious afternoon. A Carolina wren was giving us a bit of gip for getting too close to its nest near the nutshell; woodpeckers were hammering away; and tiger swallowtails were floating along the river bank. Life is wonderful. Orchard Market is now fully open and fresh spinach, kale, strawberries, and tomatoes were on sale (yum). Stephen Day/Ken Woodcock
May 25, 2007
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: May 24, 2007. Went up to FC for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon. Gorgeous day, however water very low and most fish were congregating in major pools. Caught many rainbows and a brook trout that must have come down from the MD State stocking. In fact, I saw quite a few small (10") trout in the swimming hole that presumably were not part of our stocking. Plenty of fish rising, and had two spectacular run-ins with seriously big fish that had my reel singing. Both fish self released, in one case after charging from one end of the pool to the other and then launching into the air for a spectacular jump. That fish had to be at least 16" with a very full body and deep coloration. Tried a dry fly. but no luck, so changed to a double rig of the Washington bloody leech (the top being a bead head). There were a couple of construction people doing work on the nutshell and other parts of the property. A new tiled effect floor has been put in the nutshell and it has been more or less completely rebuilt. It was looking very smart, and I would guess is about three weeks away from completion. Although I saw some evidence of poaching on the far bank, I think the construction crew is tamping down the usual suspects. The farmers market is open as of yesterday, and they have some really succulent strawberries.
April 8, 2007
Name: Edward Hull
Email Address: EdwardHull@aol.com
Comments: Thanks to: Myron Randall, Bob Clay, Bart West, Lawrence Camp, Kenneth Woodcock and Stephen Day, we now have 220 beautiful fish in the stream. Laurel Hill Trout Farm (the new hatchery) did a great job of delivering nice fish on schedule. Enjoy the fishing.
April 8, 2007
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
Comments: Had a glorious day's fishing (when isn't it?) on Wed. April 4, 2007 with Ken Woodcock. Cold and damp to start, and then sun. Fished the lower stretch. Was using tandem Washington Bloody Leech flies (#10 & 12), and caught fish at both ends of the tandem! One rainbow gave me a spirited run and jumped three times in succession. It was attempting a fourth, which would have put it on the far bank in the pool below the nutshell pool, and I had to give it a yank 'mid-jumpus' to keep the fish in the stream! Fishing though, was uneven. We got six between us (4 rainbows and 2 browns) and fish were in excellent condition. Water was a good foot lower than the previous week, clear, and in great condition. Trout lilies were beginning to bloom and small brown flies were dancing above the water when the sun came out. Some evidence of worm poachers, though neither of us saw anyone (or herons) - just bait tins
Name: Stephen Day
Email Address: ssday1@aol.com
March 27, 2007
Comments: Beautiful evening last night in the Catoctins. Put the world and myself to right. Smoked a 13" brown trout with my friend Kent Ravenscroft; His wife, Patti, had made fresh foi gras (yum); and we downed a couple of bottles of Burgundy's best. Caught a 16" two+ pound rainbow which broke my Orvis net (literally fell through it, while I was landing the behemoth!). Saw some wood duck and the stirrings of Spring. Fish were a bit finicky. Caught four but lost two before landing them. Kent had a strike but that was all. I was using a tandem fly rig with two variations of my Washington bloody Leech TM, with the larger one at the end of the line (preferred by most discerning trout). Water high and fast, with a couple of rises here and there. Stephen. submitted on January 15, 2007 4:30 PM EST
Name: Henry Little
Email Address: hlittle@tnc.org
Comments: I just want to make sure that the members know that my e-mail address is: hlittle@tnc.org rather than the address listed in the roster. Greetings to you all from San Francisco submitted on May 9, 2006 9:12 PM EST

1996 Season

  • March 5-25 -- State Stocking (1,750 fish)
  • March 7, 2006 -- Annual Lunch
  • March 22, 2006 -- First FCAA Stocking
  • April 2, 2006 -- State Stocking (1,000 fish)
  • April 16, 2006 -- State Stocking (1,500 fish)
  • May 6, 2006 -- Dam Day and Annual Picnic
  • May 7, 2006 -- State Stocking (1,750 fish)
  • October 26, 2006 -- Fall FCAA Stocking
March 22, 2006 -- The stream was stocked with 230 fish, mostly equal proportions of browns and rainbows with a few brookies in the mix. Thanks to David Luthringer for coordinating and stocking with help from Ron King and his ATV, Ken Woodcock, George Beatty, Edward Hull, John Irving, and Irving fishing partner Michael Brittin.
March 7, 2006 --The Annual Meeting was held. The following points were listed in the meeting minutes emailed by Denise Watson:
The 40th annual Dam Day outing and picnic for members and their families will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2006. Lunch should be arranged by contacting Nancy English. Please have a member of the family contact one of them prior to May 6th regarding food, supplies, and the number expected in your party. Stream work will begin early in the morning - by 9:30 A.M. - followed by a picnic lunch in the afternoon, hopefully leaving time for fishing and other outdoor activities, depending on the weather. Old clothes and work gloves, as well as a change of clothes, are suggested. The more workers we have the more we can get done on the stream. Besides the repairs to the dams, we would want to have a group police the stream area and post “No trespassing” signs. The picnic may be in the area of the Nutshell and barn.
Your dues in the amount of $200.00 should be paid by check payable to “Friends Creek Anglers Association” and mailed to Stephen Day
We hope there will be three stockings, two in the spring and one in the fall. The first stocking will be on Wednesday, March 22nd at 3:30 p.m., the second will take place in May after Dam Day, and the last in the Fall, under the direction of David Luthringer. Please call him if you can help.
James Martin is chair of the Nutshell crew for maintenance and repairs. Please list any repairs necessary or problems encountered and send to James. There will be a notebook in the Nutshell for keeping a list of needed repairs. The Nutshell will have substantial refurbishing after winter flooding. It is not ready for overnight use at this time, but should be in a month or so.
Members are once again reminded that this is primarily a fish-for-fun stream. Since each fish is costing us approximately $4.00, not including the labor, it behooves us to return as many fish to the stream as we can - at least until July. If each member kept five fish, there would be no fish left in the stream, as we suffer a high natural and poaching mortality rate.
Members are reminded that they must be present when their guests come to fish the stream and that stream fishing is limited to fly fishing only with barbless hooks.
May 6, 2006 -- Dam Day was well attended by the usual characters and hosted by the Randalls around the Nutshell and the lower field. Chief Judge Hogan made up for his torn rotator cuff by manning the grill. Significant work was done on the dams -- starting at least at the Ford Pool and continuing up toward the swimming hole. We're not aware of any major injuries, although we suspect there were a few Advil consumed in the following day or two. The FCAA Log was returned to its proper place in the Nutshell, after being temporarily heisted by the younger Irving for photocopying. The more senior Irving is working on making the copies into a PDF file, and we'll see if we can post it on the website. Fish were a bit scarce. Water level seemed average -- a blessing considering we had such a dry Spring.

Content from the old website...

For anglers with an anniversary or celebratory occasion and who wish to expand their visit to Freinds Creek, "Antrim 1844" is an exceptional place to dine and/or stay for the night. It is located in Taneytwon, MD that is up Route 15 beyond the turn-off to Friends Creek; you exit #15 onto 140 East to Taneytown. Telephone is (410)756-6812 or 1-800-858-1844. It really is exceptional.
Lastly, I did head out onto the Bay a couple of weeks ago. With 9 rods, we caught 61 rock fish with mine being the biggest at 38 lbs and 42+ inches long. We were allowed to keep one per rod, and I can assure you it was an active, as well as unusual, day. (What a braggart!) - John Sargent May 2003.
The second stocking of 2003 will take place May 12, at 2:00PM. Please contact David Luthringer if you would like to volunteer. Stocking will take place Tuesday, April 1, 2003 at 1:00PM. Please contact Stephen Day re participation.
Dam Day is Sunday, May 11, 2003.
All members who did not pay their annual dues at the luncheon are gently reminded to send their checks to Stephen as soon as possible ($175 for regular members, and $25 for non resident members).
See Seeking God's Fish, a k a Tigris Trout By JAMES PROSEK The little-known trout of the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in eastern Turkey present a fascinating evolutionary puzzle for trout biologists.
Friends Creek web site will continue for another year. Please send stories of personal triumphs and/or failures (fly fishing!) to this site for archiving.
Rowland Roberts is recognized by the club for his valuable work as treasurer over the last ten years. Stephen Day is taking over the treasure's function, so all members who did not pay their dues at the luncheon are reminded to send their checks to Stephen as soon as possible ($175 for regular members, and $25 for non resident members).

Archived Member Submissions:

Posted By: Stephen Day
Date: 3/10/04
Stockers needed for week of March 22. Please contact David L. or Tom Hogan. e-mail exchange between Dennis Fruhwirth, who is under the weather, and Stephen Day: "Congrats on the latest addition to your set of killer nymphs Stephen. I have no doubt that it will achieve the same success as the BWL and AGF. Please send photos or tying instructions if you have any. I didn't get much specific information out of the quick looks that you so reluctantly gave me in the past. My recollection is that they look like large...well,.....ah.... mistakes. Thank you for your concern about my health. I wish that I could tell you that all is perfectly well, but that would be pushing the optimism envelope. I am recuperating after having some arthroscopic surgery done on my right lung, done to minimize fluid building up which was causing pleural effusions that had to be drained periodically. The surgery was not a total success; however, I expect things to stabilize at a level that will leave me more comfortable, and functional, than I was before. That will be a welcome relief. I am looking forward to getting back out after the redfish and sea trout. My kyak/wade fishing friend, Dalen, has been doing quite well lately. Using only flies, he has had some days of catching multiple redfish in the 20+" range. Last week he landed a 10.5 lb, 30" beauty that he caught by casting ahead of a slow moving school and twitching the fly as the fish passed over it. Gotta tell you, Stephen, catching a fish that you have targeted, either a tailing single or picking one out of a school, is an unforgettable experience, especially when the fly is one you tied yourself. Hope that you get to experience that sometime. Thank you for the cartoon; it certainly did amuse! Your friend, Dennis
Posted By: Stephen Day
Date: 7/24/03
To James Martin: I was up fishing at FC on Tuesday, July 22 2003. We continue to have problems with the combination locks which fall to pieces. Lula told me the Nutshell lock broke some time ago - and has now dropped off. So, if you are ever up that way, it may be worth replacing both locks. Also, a large tree limb is blocking the driveway approximately at the swinging bridge pool. Lula said she would tell one of the contractors. Caught two nice Rainbows on a dry fly (dissipated wasp!). Also cooked up a storm with plump crayfish straight out of the river, and then sauteed in butter with ground pepper. This is a major hidden asset! I noticed the stream-side property has become very overgrown. At some point we will all have to invest in a bit of clearing. Water was incredibly low, considering the tropical; rainstorms we have been getting. Stephen Day
Posted By: Stephen Day
Date: 5/20/03
On May 12th the Stocking Committee stocked 235 fish in all of the good holding water from the tail of the top pool down to the tail of Hogan's Pool. Fifteen additional rainbows, browns and brookies with small metal tags in their adipose fins were placed in the deepest portions of the half dozen pools immediately below the Swimming Hole Pool. Since those pools have not been able to hold fish in recent years, we are trying to learn as much as we can about what happens to them. If you catch a tagged fish, please make a note in the Nutshell log giving the date, the pool where you caught the fish, and the size and type of the fish. Don't worry about trying to read or record the tag number before you release the fish. If this test run proves at all informative, we'll get more readable tags and refine the procedure for future stockings. David Luthringer, George Beatty, Gay Barclay May 12. At Tom Hogan's request, David L. lined up Ron King for patrol duty on our stream. He has agreed to walk the stream daily in the late afternoon until July 1, 2003. This should be very helpful. SD.
Posted By: Stephen Day
Date: 4/3/03
On April 1, no Fooling, the river was stocked with 245 trout (100 brown, 25 brook and 120 rainbows). Participants were John Irving the younger and his friend Michael Brittin, George Battey, Kent Ravenscroft and Stephen Day.
Posted By: David Luthringer
Date: 6/6/02
Went up to Friends Creek yesterday for the first time since the stocking. Alas, it's a disaster area. The water level is very low, and worse, water temp was 75!! very few fish seen. Every year since I've been going up to the creek, this would have been prime time. Very discouraging and disappointing.
Posted By: Tom Hogan
Date: 5/23/02
The bridge across Friends Creek by the little white church is out. There are good detour signs to follow. However you have to go out of your way for several miles and come into Friends Creek by Hornets Nest Road. A good Frederick County map would help. Apparently the bridge will be rebuilt but not for several weeks. Hope members have a chance to fish the stream before the hot weather comes. A great blue heron has been eating a large number of our trout. If you see him gently encourage him to leave.
Posted By: Tom Hogan
Date: 2/21/02
Annual Spring Luncheon and Meeting of the Association will be held on Tuesday, March 26, 2002 at the Metropolitan Club with drinks at 12 and lunch at 12:30. Notices are being sent out Feb. 21, 2002.
Posted By: John Irving
Date: 5/21/01
Fishing vs. PETA (a funny audio file).
Posted By: Dennis Fruhwirth
Date: 4/9/01
Update to Dear Creek Posting: I made my first trip to Deer Creek yesterday and can now provide additional, timely information. First of all, regarding directions to the favorite, fly fishing "hole". After exiting Rt. 95 onto Rt. 155 East and making the first left turn onto Lapidum Rd., it is about 2.5 miles to a dead end stop sign at the Susquehanna river's edge. Turn left onto Stafford Rd., heading upstream, and drive another 2.5 miles to the next stop sign at the bridge on Deer Creek. Park there and fish just upstream of the bridge. Conditions on Deer Creek after yesterday's heavy, morning rains were not bad, but the Creek will likely swell and turn off color today. The spin fisherman fishing the mouth of Deer Creek were doing well using shad darts despite the fact that the Susquehanna itself was a raging torrent. I fly fished at the Stafford Road bridge hole from 5 to 6:30 PM and caught, maybe, a dozen hickory shad on the red & yellow maribu, Joe Bruce fly. Great fun! A broken rod tip prevented my remaining in the stream for the customarily peak, twilight fishing period. (Feet were very cold, too.) As I stated in my earlier post, check with either (1)the "Fly Fishing" or "Chesapeake Angler" message boards at www.worldwideangler.com or (2) Joe Bruce's shop for the latest Deer Creek stream conditions before making the trip. Dennis
Posted By: Dennis Fruhwirth
Date: 4/9/01
(Hope to see you at Dam Day; plans are for both me and Mary Lou to attend.) "The Hickory Shad run is on in Deer Creek! These "baby tarpon" are wonderful sport. For those interested in the latest stream conditions and spawn status, members are urged to access the "Fly Fishing" or "Chesapeake Angler" message boards at the www.worldwideangler.com Internet site. An alternate source is to call Joe Bruce at his The Fisherman's Edge shop in Western Baltimore, at 800-338-0053 or 410-719-7999. To get to Deer Creek, take Rt. 95 North, beyond Baltimore and almost to its Susquehanna River crossing. Exit just before the river onto Rt. 155(?) and head toward the city of Havre de Grace. After a very short stretch of little more than a city block on Rt. 155, take the first left turn onto Lapidum Road. Follow Lapidum all the way into the State Park and down to the river, by the boat ramp. Then follow the river upstream to the mouth of Deer Creek and upstream along the Creek itself to the first bridge that crosses over it (Stafford Road intersection?). On the upstream of this bridge is a VERY small parking area, and this spot is the favorite of fly fishermen. There is good fishing all along the stream wherever there is good access to it. Parking all along the stream is at a premium, and the wardens do not hesitate writing tickets. Fishing seems to be best in the evenings, through dark. Even though Deer Creek is not wide, it has some depth; waders are a must and a wading staff is always a good idea. The water can be very cold, too. Don't forget your flashlight, for when fishing get hot, it takes a strong will to leave the stream before it becomes very dark. As for tackle, a 3 to 6-Wt. rod equipped with a 5-Ft. sink tip line is the perfect combination. There are many popular fly patterns. My favorite is a simple, sparse red and yellow maribu fly with a gold tinsel body and red hackle tail; it is one tied by Joe Bruce. For a quick supply, stop by his shop on the way up to Deer Creek. It is located at 1719 Edmonson Avenue in Western Baltimore. The most productive fishing technique has been a cross-stream cast and a dead drift downstream. The local "experts" just let the fly flutter in a dead drift, talking to each other until a hickory obliges with a strike. On a good night, no cast goes unrewarded. On these days, barbless hooks are a true blessing; almost a necessity. A Bay license is not required for fishing on Deer Creek; however, you will need one if you want to join the ultralight spinning crowd fishing at the mouth of the creek and in the river proper." Dennis
Posted By: Tom Hogan
Date: 4/4/01
Stocking was successfully done on April 4, 2001. Nutshell electricity is out and no power for now until a new meter and line is installed. Please check with Lula to see if it is usable next week.
Posted By: Tom Hogan
Date: 10/11/00
On Wed., Oct. 4 David stocked the stream with a fall stocking of 125 fish in the upper portion. Mostly Browns with some Rainbows. Hope you get a chance to go up. Tom
Posted By: Henry Little
Date: 5/30/00
Dear Stephen and other members of Friends Creek: Your grandfather Phayre's article about the discovery of McCloud River rainbow trout and steelhead in the waters of the Ceylon Fishing Club could not have been more interesting and timely. Just last week I spent three days fishing The Nature Conservancy's waters on McCloud River in northern California with my two sons, William and Christopher. Not only were the renowned trout as vigorous and wiley as ever. I first fished the McCloud in 1972, the year the members of the McCloud River Club gifted six miles of the Club's ten miles of this marvelous river to the Conservancy. Although the McCloud (and the neighboring Sacramento and Pit rivers) were damed many years ago and thus support no more runs of steelhead and salmont, the rainbow trout population still is substantial. Since then, the Conservancy has maintained the property in its near pristine state, with two miles open to catch and release fly fishing and the remaining four miles protected forever as a wildlife preserve. Coincidentally, one of my closest colleagues here at the Conservancy in San Francisco is a conservation biologist and avid fly fisherman from Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). He enjoyed the article greatly. Should you find that you are headed in this direction, please let me know as I would welcome the opportunity to show you the McCloud, the Sacramento and other great California trout waters. In the meantime, best wishes to you. Henry Little The Nature Conservancy of California (415)281-0406 hlittle@tnc.org
Posted By: Tom Hogan
Date: 5/9/00
Dam Day was quite successful with over 40 participants, about 7 dams rebuilt and fun had by all. Barbie is to be congratulated for her wonderful hospitality, as always. Stocking is May 10, 2000.
Posted By: Stephen Day
Date: 10/20/99
River was stocked with 124 Brown and 25 Rainbow trout by David Luthringer, Stephen Day and Dennis Fruwirth. Conditions were near ideal. Water was clear.
Posted By: John Irving
Date: 9/15/99
Stephen: Sunshine Trail, our usual approach to the stream, will be closed for bridge repair from September 13 to October 8. We'll have to come in the St. Marys back route. Headed for Montana with James Martin and Judge Hogan next week. Must try to keep them out of trouble, you know. Regards, John
Posted By: John Irving
Date: 9/15/99
Visited Friends Creek on Labor Day. Still low despite the rain over the weekend, but improved. Hopefully we can stock again this Fall.
Posted By: Dennis Fruhwirth
Date: 8/8/99
Subject: Friends Creek Stream Report
I arrived at the Nutshell at approximately 8:30 AM. My primary interest in this day's visit was to survey the effects of the recent drought on stream conditions. I first walked the length of our private access property without fishing tackle. My worst fears were realized. The water was terribly low, with most of the stream bed looking more like a boulder field than a mountain trout stream. Water flow has been reduced everywhere to a mere trickle. Only the Swimming, Nutshell, Alder and Hogan's pools held appreciable amounts of water. I saw a half dozen trout in Hogan's Pool and three times that number at the head of Alder, near where the stream's trickle and a like amount from the spring entered the pool. There were also a few fish in Nutshell Pool. The Swimming hole probably held trout. The water there was still, thankfully, too deep to see bottom, but there were some bass on the edges. All of the trout that I saw showed signs of distress. Mouths were opening and closing quite rapidly, pushing as much of the warm, oxygen-starved water past their gills as possible. Returning from the lower end of the property, I stopped at the Alder Pool to survey the damage done by our resident beaver. He/she has recently toppled the good-sized tree that stood immediately upstream from the deadfall that has been in the water for quite some time. Another tree, located but another few yards away, appears ready to join the other two trees in the stream after just a little more application of the incisors. A much more interesting, and equally (if not more) disturbing, play unfolded before me while standing at the Alder pool. I was witness to an otter's version of Sunday brunch. I first noticed the animal as it cautiously peaked it's head out from under the bank, directly across the stream from me. I remained perfectly still and watched as the otter entered the stream, swirled acrobatically beneath the surface for only a few seconds, and returned to the shore with a large crawfish in its mouth. It proceeded up the bank and disappeared into the grass. The otter's shore location was easily discernible from the crunching sound that accompanied its enjoyment of its catch. This activity of the otter entering the water, capturing a crawfish and consuming it on the bank occurred about eight more times in the span of less than ten minutes. It then disappeared. I was transfixed by this rare sight, but I am concerned that the otter will soon seek out the other available prey...that which we have conveniently placed there for its taking. No trout is a match for the swimming skills that were displayed for me by the otter yesterday. Shortly after completing my survey, I returned to the Alder pool with fly rod in hand. I presented a #18 Adams to the visible trout that were suspended within six inches of the surface. There was no indication of interest on even my most exquisite casts, of which there were the customary few. I soon abandoned my halfhearted attempt at fishing, realizing that were I to hook and land one, the fight itself would surely doom the already stressed fish. Upon my return to the Nutshell, I encountered Barbie Colgate and her weekend guests on their way to the Swimming Hole for a refreshing dip.Barbie remarked that she has never seen the stream as low as it now is. Back home to Rockville in the early afternoon, to be merely teased by some light rain showers. Friends Creek is still a beautiful place, and I know that the stream itself will recover in due time. But right now it is hard to chase the image of that "boulder field" from my mind.... -Dennis Fruhwirth
Posted By: Joanne Lawson
Date: 7/22/99
Dear Stephen - Congratulations and thanks for setting up our Web site! Let me tell you and other Friends Creekers about a trip I just took to Scott Lake Camps on the 60th parallel in Canada - the border between the Northern Territories and Saskatchewan - and 100 miles south of the North American tree line which we also flew up to see. Spectacular! I went with a Trout Unlimited group who are also members of the Coldwater Conservation Fund ($1000 or above givers) The trip lasted a week and we caught hundreds of huge pike and lake trout on wet flies and many trophies of both species between 40" and 47" long on Scott Lake itself or any of the nearby flyout lakes. We also caught grayling on dry flies in one of the rivers. The camp itself is set in miles and miles of pure wilderness, beautiful water and a couple of float planes from anywhere. Very comfortable cabins, delicious food and knowledgeable guides. Well run and organized too. Twenty people maximum. I highly recommend this trip for anyone who wants to catch lots and lots of fish and big fish each day! Anyone is welcome to write me with questions. Joanne Lawson. Scott Lake Lodge PO Box 308 Rhinelander, WI 54501-0308 Toll Free Number 1-888-830-9525 Web Site: www.scottlakelodge.com Email: bigpike@newnorth.net PS The only problem this time of year is that it really never gets dark so if you want to, you can fish all night long!