Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Adventurous fishing in the DC area.
I am a keen fly fisherman for trout (and occasionally “smallies") in Virginia (mostly), Maryland (occasionally) and Pennsylvania (seldom). All three states are great at cultivating awareness of fishing opportunities, with online fishing reports, stocking reports, maps and campaigns to promote fishing.
Often the more adventurous and wild the excursion the more rewarding it is for me. Add to that a location that does not get a lot of pressure (e.g. overfished) and it becomes an even more delightful excursion, such as the streams in Shenandoah National Park (SNP for local anglers), which hold native brook trout (brookies).
One such location is approximately 90 miles west of DC at the end of the I-66 corridor, in the vicinity of Strasburg. While there are a number of waters nearby that are stocked by Virginia Fisheries (https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/trout-area-map-01.pdf) and are accessible for the cost of the annual fishing license, there is also a private water that is a robust trout fishing experience for a reasonable daily rod fee.
Doublespur Outfitters stocks the Cedar Creek in Star Tannery and limits the fishing to a handful of anglers each day. Because the location is still developing a business following, it is relatively easy to get on the water on short notice. There are other private waters to the south that have become so popular that their calendars fill within days of opening their reservation system, but that is not the case here.
The water is approximately 4 miles with a variety of holes, eddies and spots with structure. The fish range from 15” to 24”, usually, but the water is also stocked with a few monsters from time to time. It is not unusual to hook up a 2 to 3 pound fish that will give a good fight.
Note: I am not being compensated for this mention. I am simply a happy client.