Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bass Update #2: Potomac River

Because of the frigid spring waters of Boiling Springs I gained an unexpected chance to fish for trout in early August. However, I also had an opportunity to fly fish for bass in the Northern Virginia/Maryland area on Tuesday.

Jackie and I started our day by enjoying the view of Great Falls - the well-known falls of the Potomac River. During our rock climbing expedition down to the river's bank I snapped a picture of the beautiful flowers seen in the image below. To my eye, it appears that this cliff dwelling plant is known as the obedient plant. It is called this because of its ability to be bent.

After our time at Great Falls we stopped at Difficult Run - the largest watershed in Fairfax County, Virginia. Jackie and I decided to hike the river downstream to its confluence with the Potomac. Along the way we saw a kingfisher, cardinals, squirrels, white-tailed deer, cormorants, and many great blue herons. We also enjoyed the various waterfalls Difficult Run boasts as it cascades down to the big river.

At the confluence we stopped and admired the panoramic view of the Potomac. I also spied some fish rising in the whirlpool created by the force of Difficult Run's discharge. I then waded across the Run and into the Potomac. I caught three nice smallmouth bass on a bright green popper while standing in the pleasantly warm water (image of me landing my third smallmouth). However, I was not able to catch the larger fish I could see feeding maybe 30 yards out into the river. Next time!

On our way back I took a few pictures of one of the most beautiful wildflowers I'd ever seen (pictured in the adjacent image). However, jimsonweed, or devil's trumpet, or devil's snare, etc. is a highly toxic member of the nightshade family. It can be used recreationally as a hallucinogen; overdoses often lead to death. It is also an invasive species hailing from Asia.

On to the bass updates! A few notes: I did catch a very small smallmouth in Difficult Run on a streamer. Additionally, the Potomac River is completely Maryland water, even on the Virginia border.

Overall Total: 12

River Breakdown
Stony Brook - 5 (4 Rock, 1 Smallmouth)
Potomac River - 3 (3 Smallmouth)
Bushkill Creek - 2 (2 Smallmouth)
Difficult Run - 1 (1 Smallmouth)
Millstone River - 1 (1 Largemouth)

Species Breakdown
Smallmouth Bass - 7
Rock Bass - 4
Largemouth Bass - 1

Type of Fly
Streamer - 6 (4 Rock, 2 Smallmouth)
Popper - 4 (3 Smallmouth, 1 Largemouth)
Nymph - 2 (2 Smallmouth)

State Breakdown
New Jersey - 6
Maryland - 3
Pennsylvania - 2
Virginia - 1

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