Have felt the need to catch trout and three recent trips to the Middle Patuxent yielded none. Oh, I caught fish alright, bass, bluegill, fallfish, chubs, but no trout.
So today I headed north on Route 97 across the main branch of the Patuxent up through Howard County and across the Patapsco into Carroll County. When I got to the stream crossing on Klee Mill Road I noticed a surprisingly large number of cars in the parking lot, but my only concern was that my special pool, which I've christened "old reliable", would be occupied by another fisherman. No problem. It's too long a walk for most, and I after the first hundred yards walking along the stream I didn't see anyone.
As I threaded the four weight line into the rod I noticed two important things. The first was an annoying number of bugs crawling up my body onto the back of my neck. The second was rising fish. The two thing together added up to good news: There was a hatch of little black stone flies.
I sometimes think that given how long I've been doing it I should be a better trout fisherman, but I have learned a few things over the years. I know how to recognize this hatch and how to catch fish during it, so I tied on the appropriate floating fly and started casting. The action wasn't frantic but it was steady and included a handsome brown trout about sixteen inches. If we have another bad winter that fish will stay in my memory and help me through it.