Fall Trout Stocking in MarylandPosted on: October 3, 2019 By: FHMD
In our state of Maryland, September and October brings more than spectacular foliage. As stockings pick up and anglers concentrate on other species, fall bring with it a pleasant shift in trout fishing opportunities for both fly and spin fishermen. Throw in the fact that many Free State outdoorsmen and women are taking to the woods for the annual deer, waterfowl and small game seasons and one can imagine that many of our better trout waters can get pretty lonely, and downright uncrowded! None of that opening day craziness, but rather, more solitude and cooperative trout!
Maryland’s fall trout stocking program traditionally starts up in early October as Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ crews supplement many of our streams and smaller lakes with rainbow, brown and golden trout. Depending on water flow and air temperatures, trout stocking will start in the first few weeks of October. At this time, anglers can reap the benefits of stunning surroundings, comfortable temperatures, and willing trout. Along the way, there are opportunities to catch both native brook and wild brown trout in several central and western region streams as these fish will be spawning and making redds and offer up some brilliant coloration during these annual love-making rituals.
Put-and-take trout angling is for those who wish to bring home a tasty meal of “stockers,” 9- to 13-inch fish that are willing biters that strike a variety of spinners, spoons, jigs or any number of “prepared” dough baits. For those seeking wild or native trout, it’s a different gig altogether as long hikes coupled with stealthy approaches with the fly rod enable adventuresome anglers to catch stunning male brook trout or naturalized browns with beadhead nymphs and San Juan Worms taking a share of the fish.
Garrett County’s Savage River tributaries are a current stronghold for native brook trout and there are other “thin blue lines” that hold them as well in Western Maryland. North of the city of Frederick, the Catoctin Mountains also have streams that are home to the native brookies. These small, fragile fisheries need to be treated with respect, hence a total catch-and-release effort needed to ensure future generations of native trout in these areas.
Upper Gunpowder in Baltimore County offers good fly fishing opportunities for both stocked rainbows and brown trout as well as wild browns. Some adjoining creeks are reported to hold small pockets of native brook trout.
Morgan Run in Carroll County contains both stocked and holdover populations of brown and rainbow trout with above-average numbers of fish. Enticing pools and riffles and fallen log jam cover in some areas.
Big Hunting Creek located in Frederick County near Thurmont, is a storied, beautiful, mountain creek that has been fished by numerous presidents. Fast-moving pocket water and smaller pools hold rainbows, browns, and the occasional brook trout. Adjoining creeks throughout the Catoctins harbor naturalized browns and some have native brook trout.
Beaver Creek in Washington County east of Hagerstown may be one of the best streams in the state to catch a 20-inch class brown or rainbow, as holdover fish do well with the abundance of forage varieties here and are often spooky, making capture both challenging yet exciting. The limestone influence is unique among Maryland trout waters.
Keep in mind that current water conditions will dictate the timing of your trip. Consult the 2019 Maryland Fishing Guide for special regulations, closures and special management areas concerning all of Maryland’s trout fishing areas. To help plan your day on the water, visit Fishandhuntmrayland.com
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will have updates on their social media pages when trout stocking begins.
Turn Your Fishing Trip into a Road Trip
Fall is beautiful in Maryland and our Scenic Byways are the perfect way to explore. These scenic routes will take you through charming towns and to hidden gems.
This post was originally published on Maryland DNR’s website. Click here for more information.