Savage River Summer Fly Fishing Report

Savage River Chute
I just returned from a few days on the Savage River before the holiday weekend. Fishing midweek always limits the number of anglers on the water, and the campsite on the river was nearly empty. I crossed paths with Max and Alex who were heading back to Baltimore, and met up with fellow Savage enthusiast, Neil. The air temps dropped into the sixties when we arrived on Wednesday morning. The river was crystal clear and flowing at 55 CFs, which was the lowest I’ve fished it in over a year. In the pools the trout were easy to spot, and many trout were holding inches under the surface. I started with a tandem nymph rig and covered a number of deeper chutes, rapids and slow pools. A green caddis pupa, SJW and small rubber legged nymph accounted for a half dozen trout to the net before the evening hatch. I switched from my Scott S4 ten footer to my G2 nine foot four weight for fishing dries. The first evening I saw a few light cahills, caddis and the occasional sulphur. The midges and lime sallies were the most abundant bugs on the water toward dark. The “wildcard” hatch was a terrestrial flying beetle in a size 20 that resembled a tan winged lightning bug. Small caddis or midge patterns closely resembling these little beetles helped me pick off the risers in one pool. In the last ten minutes of light the increase of lime sallies flitting across the water drew splashy rises. I switched to a snow shoe sally pattern and caught a few big brookies 11-12 inches long. From noon to dark I landed fourteen fish, catching brookies, rainbows and some nice browns 12-15 inches. On the second morning Neil and I covered ground on a lower stretch. He caught a few on dries, while I caught mine with nymphs. In a few pools we spotted large brook trout, as well as rainbows. I caught another mix of browns, bows and brook trout before the afternoon hatch. In one pool around 5 pm the fish got really active on midges, and 8-10 trout started hovering inches under the surface. For an hour the trout were very active, rising with abandon despite the bright sun on the water. I caught five before they stopped rising, and a few more during the evening stonefly hatch. On Friday morning I tried a section of the North Branch of the Potomac and caught a few rainbows on green caddis pupas before heading back to Baltimore. The latest video post features footage of rising trout, insects and the trout I caught over two days on the Savage River, Maryland.