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It's no coincidence I fished on July 4th in Maryland. Maryland designates 3 days per year as "free fishing days", where no license is required, but all anglers are required to follow state regs. July 4th is one of those days.

Last year I posted about a successful trip wading a creek near the Frederick, MD area. This year, I brought my canoe on our annual trip to see the in-laws and made a 5 mile float on this same flow. It did not disappoint, except maybe on size.

I scouted a few bridges upstream of last year's wading area and found one that looked promising on satellite images. My wife was kind enough to drop me off fairly early and I launched around 8:30 to cool ambient temps and a nice breeze. In spite of the thunderstorms that blanketed the area the previous afternoon/evening, my chosen creek was not high and muddy as I expected, but instead running just above normal flow and had great clarity.



This flow is a fly fishers dream with a fairly shallow stream bed, wide banks, and lots of hungry fish. One of these days, I'm going to try fly fishing on this creek.





The smallmouth were very cooperative, biting various lures with the most productive being: 2" curly tail grub/jig, rebel minnow, Heddon tiny torpedo, and super fluke jr. I tried a buzzbait, rebel crawfish, jig n' craw, and a few others. Below is a picture of my preferred jig, a 1/4 oz white head with a Kalin's Lemon Merengue grub. I forgot to throw in my 4" lizards when packing and I bet those would have been a big hit. It didn't hurt my numbers as I probably landed 50 smallies, although most were 8"-10" long. Biggest landed were around 12". I did see a few larger fish chasing sunnies I'd caught or following the lure.






I also caught 4 large chubs, here's an example. These guys were after the rebel minnow.



There was plenty of wildlife, including a family of water birds (not sure of the species) and two green herons that I chased for miles. The family could be cormorants, not sure. Here's a pic.



I got picked up around 2:30 to head back to MIL's house, grill up some of America's finest cuisine, and enjoy a few fireworks with family.

 

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think i caught five or six of those in virginia, floating on the james river and wading the south fork of the shenandoah over a couple days in late april. i thought they were chubs, too, but the biggest i'd ever seen (all in the 13- to 14-inch range) and more aggressive, too. fallfish sounds much cooler. ha. caught them all on two-inch grubs in swift water, between one and three feet deep. at first i was disappointed they weren't smallmouth, but they fought well and by the end of the week i was kinda hoping to catch 'em.

learn something new every time i'm on here.
 

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Nice chub....my biggest have come from the eno and they are good fighters....nice job as well on the smallies...Mack
 
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