Little Seneca Creek
by John Lachin
The Maryland DNR Fisheries Service Weekly Report for the week of September 27, 2012 stated:
“Little Seneca Creek: Stocked approximately 8,000 rainbow trout fingerings from Albert Powell Hatchery into Little Seneca Creek as part of a put-and-grow program to provide catchable size trout in the tailwater. Little Seneca Creek is managed under statewide wild trout regulations.”
While Little Seneca does not appear on the stocking schedule, DNR usually stocks fingerlings in the fall. Back in the ‘90s the stream was managed under catch and release regulations and was well-stocked. When DNR removed the regulations it continued the annual fall fingerling stocking.
This time of year the stream fishes very well, especially on a day when there is a good flow such as what we often experience for a few days following some heavy rains. I fished there recently and in a few hours caught at least a dozen rainbows all in the 10” range. I used a red San Juan worm as the point fly (connected to a 5X leader) and a small #16 or 18 dark nymph tied to the bend of the worm as a 6X dropper, with two #1 shot weights 6 to 8” above the worm. You want the strike indicator set so that the split shot is ticking the bottom of the run or pool. Be prepared to lose some flies because snags are inevitable with this type of fishing. This can be minimized if you keep the flies in the main seam marked by bubbles on the surface.
For the nymph I like to use a muskrat nymph, size 16 or 18, also called a casual dress, or a fly called the newfie nymph that was originated by Pete Yarrington who is an active member of the PPTU chapter. Both are tied weighted. The muskrat nymph has a tail of muskrat guard hairs, no longer than the hook shank, muskrat dubbing for the body with black thread ribbing, and a black fur head. The newfie nymph was originated to mimic an Alder fly nymph but also can double as a stonefly or general attractor. Dub a body of Newfoundland dog hair (or dark charcoal coarse dubbing). Over that palmer a black hackle and then clip the top and bottom so that the barbules stick out on both sides of the body. Some years ago a friend gave me a whole bag of newfie hair after brushing his newfie.
I use a short 6.5’ rod, 4 weight. With the high water there is no need for long casts. A dead drift with the fly on the bottom is the key. Try to keep as little fly line on the water as possible, “high sticking” as the flies approach and pass you.
Similar strategies will also work on Great Senece Creek. This is a put-and-take fishery that is generally stocked in October. Prior to opening day all fish must be released.
And of course, dress for the weather and keep warm.