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Monday, August 30, 2010

Lunch with Randy and Mike

For almost all of my work years, I was a manager and an important function of managing is the supervision of other employees. During my last five years, I had the fortunate privilege of "managing" two of the finest employees I knew in those forty years. I put the word "managing" in quotes because these two are largely self managing, and my function was primarily overall guidance and setting goals and priorities. Randy and Mike are currently working on the largest facility relocation in Raytheon's history. That Fortune 500 company is in good hands because these two could move mountains.

I am proud of my association with Randy Taylor and Mike Calhoun and am happy that our friendship has continued after my retirement. I had a good time today, guys.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nolands Ferry on the Potomac

A ferry service began here in the mid 1700's, but I think the bridge at Point of Rocks four miles up the river doomed the business. Archaeologists say that American Indians had settlements on the Maryland side continually from about 8500 BC to 1800 AD.

This morning I caught bluegills big enough to put a good bend in the seven weight fly rod I was using. Most of them came on a Madam X pattern. The fish torn up the fly, so I tried a few others without success until I switched to a B & B and changed locations from the Maryland side of Nolands Island to the Virginia side. There after lunch I had a hot run of smallmouth action for about half an hour.

Most of the grasses were below the surface. Air temperatures about 90 by the afternoon, and water level 1.00 at Point of Rocks and 2.65 at Little Falls.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shooting with John in Southern Maryland

I'm becoming reasonably good, but he's at a whole different level.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Pond 1:30 PM

We think this is the first time we've seen an egret at our pond. It's a great or common egret. I saw some white wading birds yesterday along the Potomac, but I didn't observe them closely because my mind was on fishing.

Lots of butterflies around too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seneca Breaks on the Potomac

This series of rapids is opposite Lock Number 23 on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Lock Number 23 is better known as Violettes Lock, named after the family who last tended it. Just upriver from the breaks is a rubble dam which was constructed to divert water from the river to the canal, and the dam creates an area of slack water above it.

Today I waded along the breaks and caught many small bluegill on a six weight fly rod. Air temps in the 70's and water level .97 at Point of Rocks.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland

While it's elevation of 1,282 feet is hardly oxygen depriving, it does provide some relief from the summer heat. I hadn't driven up it for a few years, and the urge for this visit came on suddenly. Often when I'm fishing the nearby Potomac River, I look up and see it, or it suddenly comes into view while driving. When I was still working, I've seen it from the higher floors of Northern Virginia office buildings. I guess Sugarloaf Mountain has seemed to overlook much of my life's activity, so I thought it was time to reacquaint myself with it.

Sugarloaf is a monadnock, a residual of an eroded surrounding landscape. A short distance to the west, the Catoctin Mountains are a conventional part of the Appalachian chain, but a monadnock like Sugarloaf stands alone which creates a dramatic presence despite its modest height.

Typically hazy summer day, so the pictures are hardly spectacular. Above is the view to the east to a still rural part of Montgomery County.

Here to the right is a view to the south and west showing the stacks of the Dickerson Power Plant on the Potomac.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Patapsco at Mid Day

At Dogwood Road Crossing. Three bass, one fallfish, and countless bluegills, generally smaller than average Potomac fish, and caught on B & B and chartreuse maribou streamer. Air temp about 90. Water level 1.51 at Hollofield.

Monday, August 16, 2010

From Last Winter...

Going over 90 degrees again today, so I thought I'd put up a picture that I originally posted back in February. It may cool us off to look at or at least serve as a reminder of the winter.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Upper Patuxent Bass

Twenty years ago or more, I discovered that in summer bass made their way upstream from the reservoirs into the trout section of the Patuxent. I hadn't fished for them for years but decided I would try today.

The river hadn't cleared from recent rains, but although it was quite fishable I didn't catch anything for the hour or two I tried, wading upstream from where I parked. Rather than try downstream I chose to drive to a section downriver below the dam that had been designated a trout stream a few years ago. Last winter I briefly fished part of this stretch but had been unsuccessful and now wanted to explore another part.

When I arrived I liked the look of the water downstream from the bridge crossing and decided to fish it. I looked through my fly box and selected a small black and olive woolly bugger that looked like I had tied it sometime during the first Clinton administration. I wasn't optimistic about my chances since mid day in August is not a promising time for trout around here, and I had no idea what other fish may be present.

Surprise, surprise. I hooked something good on my first cast which turned out to be a fat 15" smallmouth bass. In the 30 minutes I was there I caught a smaller bass and two foot long fallfish.

Glad I decided to fish rather than just explore. Air temperatures in the upper 70's and water level 2.14 at Unity.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Pond 5 PM

The day after another severe storm.

A hard winter followed by a hard summer.

Looks peaceful enough now though.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

With Lou on the Upper Potomac

I usually fish alone, but it's sometimes more fun with another person providing they're the right type of person. Lou and I spent a few hours trout fishing earlier this year, and I thought we were compatible so I invited him to fish for smallmouth bass. Lou was no stranger to Potomac smallmouth fishing but hadn't done it recently, and I don't believe had used his kayak for this before.

We met up this morning at the Point of Rocks ramp, launched our kayaks, and paddled upriver. Fishing was very slow in the morning, just a few bluegills and no bass. After our lunch on a gravel bar, it picked up for me and I got a couple of bass along with more bluegills. Lou wasn't having much luck until mid-afternoon when he picked a small island to beach his kayak and waded towards the Virginia shore. There he found a promising pool and smoked them for about an hour including the best fish of the day, a 14" smallmouth.

Lou caught all his bass on a Zonker, and I had best results with a Shenk's White Minnow and a white and chartreuse Crystal Bugger.

Beautiful day on the river with good company. Water level was .83 at Point of Rocks.