South Branch Report 2004
The South Branch of the Potomac is still here and as beautiful as ever. The water on
this day is clear, 72 degrees and flowing just right. I am wading "wet" and it feels
good. The time is 6:00 pm. As I stand here gazing at this breathtaking sight, my
heart races. The above picture was taken on this evening and has been "doctored"
somewhat to more closely resemble my artistic view of the river. I fished both this
weedbed and the deeper section on the other side. I caught five healthy smallmouth,
but 12" was the largest. The big ones are hard to find since the fishkill some two
years ago. Sunfish and largemouth are on the increase. I think they are filling the
space left by the reduction in smallmouth as well as being able to tollerate less pure
water. All fish were caught with poppers. As faster water approched, so did the
number of bass. This is the first time this year that the river has been at a wade
fishing level. Hopefully the large amount of rain will help cleanse the river. All in
all a great evening.
The South Branch hasn't been fishing too good lately so I took a day and
traveled to here head-waters in Pendelton County for a day with the trout.
The fishing was good using a deer winged dry fly, but the peacefulness and
beauty were overwhelming. What a great day in such a beautiful place will
do for the spirits.
I fished 2 hours with my fishing buddy, David. He was in his pontoon and
fishing his favorite gitzit tube bait. I was wading and fishing a white popper
for the most part. The river was perfect for wading. It was 1.9' on the
Springfield gauge. Water temperature was 78 degrees. It was 6:00 pm and
sunny. I caught six smallmouth and one largemouth. The largest was 13".
The fish were all in moving water and the action picked up as I moved closer
to the riffle. I caught one smallmouth in the riffle on the Smallmouth
Seeker and it had a hellgrammite in its throat. It was, of course, an
This day again had me and my two fishing buddies floating the South Branch. The
float was six miles and the water was extremely low ( 1.3 on the Springfield gauge).
It was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in sight. Maybe not the best for fishing. The day
was a great success with everyone catching fish. The catch extended over 100 as a
total for all three of us. The fish were, for the most part, in moving water below
riffles and in the shade. The top water bite didn't heat up until later in the
afternoon. Below are pictures of the best fish caught by each of us,
David Barb and a 18" largemouth
Todd Hott and a 16" largemouth
Me and a 17" smallmouth