Michael A. Sawyers
Charlie Gougeon of the Maryland Fisheries Service perhaps described the autumn trout fishing experience the best.
“The water has cooled after the summer’s heat. The weather is beautiful with crisp air. The streams are running clear. There is less competition for elbow space at a good hole or run. It’s a great time to go fishing for trout,” Gougeon said.
Beginning the week of Oct. 6, Maryland will start stocking 24,600 trout in streams and ponds throughout the state. Included will be 1,000 brown trout averaging 3/4-pound and 12 to 14 inches. The bulk of the trout will be rainbows of a half-pound. Golden-rainbows will be stocked as well.
Almost Maryland waters to be stocked include but are not limited to the North Branch Potomac, Savage River, Evitts, Town, Bear and Wills creeks and the Youghiogheny and Casselman rivers.
All of the trout will have been stocked by sometime during the week of Oct. 20.
Gougeon said fish from the Freshwater Institute at Shepherdstown, W.Va., will be stocked in Maryland waters within a reasonable distance.
Fall trout fishing isn’t as popular as the spring version, according to Gougeon, but its panache is growing.
“After all, there are outdoor distractions at that time of year, specifically hunting,” Gougeon said.
As in the past, information will be placed on the Department of Natural Resources website in the afternoon, showing which waters were stocked earlier in the day.
Autumn trout fishing is a long-standing tradition in West Virginia.
Stocking in the Mountain State takes place for two weeks, beginning the week of Oct. 14.
Here is a complete list of waters to be stocked: Anthony Creek, Big Clear Creek, Blackwater River, Buckhannon River, Cranberry River, Elk River, Evitts Run, Glad Creek of New River, Knapps Creek, Lost River, North Fork of South Branch Potomac, Opequon Creek, Pinnacle Creek, Pond Fork, R.D. Bailey Lake tailwaters, Shavers Fork, South Branch Potomac, Summersville Lake tailwaters, Sutton Lake tailwaters, Tygart Lake tailwaters and headwaters, West Fork Greenbrier, Williams River.
At this point, river flows in both states appear to be adequate for trout stocking.
Floating leaves can be a bit of a hassle when trout fishing in October, but to me they are a romantic part of the autumn trout experience.
As Gougeon said, “Even dumb ole hatchery trout aren’t pushovers when the water is low and clear.”
Contact Outdoor Editor Mike Sawyers at email@example.com.