The rains last week made almost all of my go to fishing locations off limits. I was very nervous driving to Big Hunting Creek as I got a good look at the high waters and chocolate milk coloring of the Potomac, Bennett Creek, and Monocacy Rivers. I kept the faith and continued the drive to Thurmont, hoping that this mountain stream would remain fishable even with higher waters. Luckily, I was right.
The flows made landing fish a little more difficult and many of my favorite plunges were too rough for quality fishing. There appeared to be a lot of bug activity, but I did not see any fish rising. I covered a lot of water fishing pools and pocket water with a dry dropper rig. The second or third cast of the day resulted in a beautiful big brown trout that took me into stronger current and broke me off under a brush pile. The adrenaline was certainly pumping from this fight and defeat. On my next strike I ended up setting the hook and ripping a 4 inch brown trout 10-15 feet clear out of the water. Oh well, first fish of the day!
I continued to work the lower portion of the stream and hooked up with a 14 inch brown trout on a dry fly. I had some nice fish come up and smack the dry fly, but ended my day with only three landed brown trout despite getting 7-8 strikes throughout the day.
Picture of the fish and release below –
Big Hunting is slowly becoming one of my favorite trout streams. The fish can be tricky since they see a lot of flies, but there are some great pockets of water. The trout in this stream are not necessarily known for their size, but it yields beautiful browns and rainbows if you play your cards right. I have yet to fish the upper stretches of the creek, which are known for solid Brookie fishing.
See you out there!