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Johnsfolly

Maryland Micros and a Surprise!

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I have been meaning to get into north Maryland to hit a high gradient stream or two for some new species. Hoping to catch some different sculpin, darters, or madtoms. I had a bunch of things to get done around the house (yes I am domesticated and house-broken ;)) in the morning and didn't get on the road until after 2:30 pm. I got to the stream access around 4:15. I had fished this stream back in March and only saw three or four fish and could not get any bites. I was hoping for a different turn out this time. I looked into the water around the bridge by the access and did not see anything ,but two juvenile fish that were even a bit small by my standards (or hook sizes). Wasn't looking real good, but I headed upstream anyway.

There is a walking park converted from an old railroad system that runs along the creek a lot like the Katy trail in Missouri. I looked at the creek from the next bridge and saw what looked like some fish activity. I had on a 1/32 oz tube jig head with a green pumpkin body and chartreuse paddle tail slider. I made a cast to the far bank near the bridge wall and got a couple of taps. Nothing solid. I cast along the wall on my side of the bank and got more of the same, just nips most likely at the tail of the bait. I switched to a John Deere microjig and got a nice bite from a redbreast sunfish. I couldn't get a photo, so maybe I didn't catch that one :rolleyes:. I ahd seen another sunfish chase the one that I caught and made a couple more casts but no takers. I could see fish on the other bank and went over there. I put on a #16 hook, a couple of split shot and a small bit of nightcrawler. I ended up catching a rather familiar minnow, a common shiner.I catch these guys a lot in MO, but had not caught on yet in Maryland so it was a new one on that List!

P6230433.JPG

I caught quite a few and some looked more like striped shiners, but there have not been any striped shiners reported in Maryland.

P6230447.JPG

P6230453.JPG

I caught a couple of small bluegill and decided to head upstream where I had a chance at a sculpin back in March. What a difference a couple of months can make, I was seeing a number of fish. My next catch was from a slower water/sandy bottom section of creek and was another Missouri favorite, a creek chub. Again knocks that species off of the "to catch in Maryland" list.

P6230440.JPG

I caught another small bluegill and creek chub then moved down to the faster water/riffles and rocky pools downstream. I could see fish in the gravel, but did not see any darters. I cast my worm into a deeper hole undercutting a sycamore tree and got a decent bite (for a minnow). I knew that this was not a species that I had caught previously, but was not sure what it was.

P6230445.JPG

Fortunately I was able to catch a couple more further downstream including this large one and was able to id these fish as river chubs. A new species for my life list as well as my Maryland list :)!

P6230473.JPG

As I had mentioned I was catching a few of the common shiners in most spots that I fished. I also caught a few bluntnose minnows as well in the faster water near the tail end of the pools. I have caught these guys in Missouri as well, but not in MD.

P6230462.JPG

So what about the surprise. Was it this Louisiana water thrush?

P6230450.JPG

Nope I have seen them throughout Pennsylvania. What about the fresh and ripe blackberries?

P6230478.JPG

Nah they are pretty common and the number thorn bushes that I remember walking through back in March would have alerted me that these guys would be streamside as well.

How about this ebony jewlwing damselfly? Not expected but again fairly common around streams like this one.

P6230479.JPG

Not even this doe standing broadside at 15 yards from me was a surprise. As I was leaving, they showed me how much they own the roadways as they walked slowly across the road on several occasions.

P6230482.JPG

The surprise came when drifting a bait along this large boulder.

P6230469.JPG

I made a couple of cast and drifts with my worm along that flow. I caught two common shiners and that large river chub in that stretch. I hooked a fish that fought a bit differently than the minnows. I knew that the state of Maryland will release dreaded nonnatives to this stream as a put and take fishery. But that fish felt like a trout, but it came undone. I made another cast and drifted the same flow and got bit again, this time it did not come unbuttoned and I landed this 5 inch naturalized nonnative. That was a surprise to me. I did not know that there would be any browns in this creek.

P6230468.JPG

 

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Oh geez!  Now you've gone and done it... Off to google how long the drive to Maryland is so you can be my personal guide and gear dragger up the stream so I can check off another state LOL!

Awesome report though buddy.  Looks beautiful up there, and glad to know you are ticking off that life list!

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1 hour ago, JestersHK said:

Off to google how long the drive to Maryland is so you can be my personal guide and gear dragger up the stream so I can check off another state LOL!

It takes about 15 to 16 hours from you. Sue has done it a couple of times already. I haven't caught a rainbow trout in MD, YET!!! But know that I can put you on browns and Native brook trout. Also looked at Delaware, they have four trout streams that are about 2 to 3 hours from my place in Maryland. Also the weakfish (or sea trout) is the state fish of Delaware. In case you need to go to the brine for a Delaware trout.

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17 minutes ago, JestersHK said:

Man thats a haul.  Maybe this fall I can get a trip put together though.  Gotta see what the new Overlords have in store for us here at work...

Good Luck! You know how demanding those German Micro Managers can be ;)!

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18 hours ago, JestersHK said:

so you can be my personal guide and gear dragger up the stream so I can check off another state LOL!

After following you up and down the creek, I may be the one dragging alright! Being tired of yelling "Get the Hopper under the laurel branches!" ;)

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On 6/25/2018 at 11:54 AM, Johnsfolly said:

I have been meaning to get into north Maryland to hit a high gradient stream or two for some new species. Hoping to catch some different sculpin, darters, or madtoms. I had a bunch of things to get done around the house (yes I am domesticated and house-broken ;)) in the morning and didn't get on the road until after 2:30 pm. I got to the stream access around 4:15. I had fished this stream back in March and only saw three or four fish and could not get any bites. I was hoping for a different turn out this time. I looked into the water around the bridge by the access and did not see anything ,but two juvenile fish that were even a bit small by my standards (or hook sizes). Wasn't looking real good, but I headed upstream anyway.

There is a walking park converted from an old railroad system that runs along the creek a lot like the Katy trail in Missouri. I looked at the creek from the next bridge and saw what looked like some fish activity. I had on a 1/32 oz tube jig head with a green pumpkin body and chartreuse paddle tail slider. I made a cast to the far bank near the bridge wall and got a couple of taps. Nothing solid. I cast along the wall on my side of the bank and got more of the same, just nips most likely at the tail of the bait. I switched to a John Deere microjig and got a nice bite from a redbreast sunfish. I couldn't get a photo, so maybe I didn't catch that one :rolleyes:. I ahd seen another sunfish chase the one that I caught and made a couple more casts but no takers. I could see fish on the other bank and went over there. I put on a #16 hook, a couple of split shot and a small bit of nightcrawler. I ended up catching a rather familiar minnow, a common shiner.I catch these guys a lot in MO, but had not caught on yet in Maryland so it was a new one on that List!

P6230433.JPG

I caught quite a few and some looked more like striped shiners, but there have not been any striped shiners reported in Maryland.

P6230447.JPG

P6230453.JPG

I caught a couple of small bluegill and decided to head upstream where I had a chance at a sculpin back in March. What a difference a couple of months can make, I was seeing a number of fish. My next catch was from a slower water/sandy bottom section of creek and was another Missouri favorite, a creek chub. Again knocks that species off of the "to catch in Maryland" list.

P6230440.JPG

I caught another small bluegill and creek chub then moved down to the faster water/riffles and rocky pools downstream. I could see fish in the gravel, but did not see any darters. I cast my worm into a deeper hole undercutting a sycamore tree and got a decent bite (for a minnow). I knew that this was not a species that I had caught previously, but was not sure what it was.

P6230445.JPG

Fortunately I was able to catch a couple more further downstream including this large one and was able to id these fish as river chubs. A new species for my life list as well as my Maryland list :)!

P6230473.JPG

As I had mentioned I was catching a few of the common shiners in most spots that I fished. I also caught a few bluntnose minnows as well in the faster water near the tail end of the pools. I have caught these guys in Missouri as well, but not in MD.

P6230462.JPG

So what about the surprise. Was it this Louisiana water thrush?

P6230450.JPG

Nope I have seen them throughout Pennsylvania. What about the fresh and ripe blackberries?

P6230478.JPG

Nah they are pretty common and the number thorn bushes that I remember walking through back in March would have alerted me that these guys would be streamside as well.

How about this ebony jewlwing damselfly? Not expected but again fairly common around streams like this one.

P6230479.JPG

Not even this doe standing broadside at 15 yards from me was a surprise. As I was leaving, they showed me how much they own the roadways as they walked slowly across the road on several occasions.

P6230482.JPG

The surprise came when drifting a bait along this large boulder.

P6230469.JPG

I made a couple of cast and drifts with my worm along that flow. I caught two common shiners and that large river chub in that stretch. I hooked a fish that fought a bit differently than the minnows. I knew that the state of Maryland will release dreaded nonnatives to this stream as a put and take fishery. But that fish felt like a trout, but it came undone. I made another cast and drifted the same flow and got bit again, this time it did not come unbuttoned and I landed this 5 inch naturalized nonnative. That was a surprise to me. I did not know that there would be any browns in this creek.

P6230468.JPG

 

Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing! I can't even begin to describe how happy it makes me that there are folks who chase minnows are are openly disdainful of trout. I love it. 

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1 hour ago, ozark trout fisher said:

Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing! I can't even begin to describe how happy it makes me that there are folks who chase minnows are are openly disdainful of trout. I love it. 

The darters and minnows are so diverse and during breeding season display an amazing variety of colors. Can be challenging to catch a new species. I love trout fishing but most are put and take fishing when they are out of their native ranges. I enjoyed fishing for native brook trout in the mountains in Maryland. As much for the scenery as the fish.

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33 minutes ago, Johnsfolly said:

The darters and minnows are so diverse and during breeding season display an amazing variety of colors. Can be challenging to catch a new species. I love trout fishing but most are put and take fishing when they are out of their native ranges. I enjoyed fishing for native brook trout in the mountains in Maryland. As much for the scenery as the fish.

Totally. Wasn't being sarcastic at all. I am getting much more like this by the day where I'm chasing new/weird species as opposed to the old staples. After the first 10,500 or so smallmouth, you pretty much know what they look like and you feel like you're proving the same obscure point into oblivion. Not that I don't still chase smallies, trout,etc, but it can start to lose the edge after awhile.

It's just that I'm used to people giving me funny looks for this.

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