Early Spring 2024

Finally!  As we move through spring the daylight hours will be getting longer once again. We all know what that means - more hours for fly fishing.  

One of the most asked questions is about what hatches are occurring at a given time.  My advice is to look at an eastern US hatch chart and roughly adjust it to times for western Maryland.  For example, our Blue Quill hatch "usually" gets going around April 10 and our first Sulphur hatch is late May.  Use these to zero in on dates for other hatches.  The Sulphur hatch starts much earlier in southern states and later in northern states. And remember, hatches do overlap.  Another good hatch for our area in April is the Grannom caddis hatch.  Finally, on stream observation is always the best - take the time to look around and observe.....  

Fishing should be interesting going into spring 2024.  Summer through fall of 2023  produced very low flows on all of the area streams and rivers. However,  January snowmelt and late January rainfall produced high inflows for all of our area streams.  Over a 5 day period, in late January, the water level in Savage River Reservoir increased almost 30 feet from winter pool level to just below the top of the spillway.  The downside of course was blowout conditions for the freestones and the tail waters.  Hopefully the stream flows will be in good shape for 2024.  : )

We still have good availability for guide trips.  Check out our Guide Services tab for additional info.

We cannot stress enough the need  to monitor the flows on streams that you plan to fish.  See additional information below on how to monitor stream conditions.  This is what we look at on a regular basis.

The upper Savage River and the tribs. did get a much needed increase in flow..   Conditions had been stressful throughout the summer and fall.  We encourage anglers to not fish these streams if there are  low water conditions - especially during and post spawn season.  Care should be taken if wading these streams between now and April.   

For the two tail waters, try swinging some small emergers and soft hackle patterns on warm days.  Wet flies don't get the attention that they used to get with fly fishing.  However, you will  be surprised at their effectiveness enticing a take from the trout. 

Again, thanks to those customers who continue to support small fly shops like SRO. We sincerely appreciate your business.  We have a nice inventory of flies for fishing.

We still have a nice selection of fly fishing gear in the fly shop - be sure to call or stop in to make a purchase.   We can ship directly yo you!  We have a selection  of Orvis boots and waders.  We carry a selection of fly rods, reels, and fly line. 

Is 2024 the year to purchase a new fly rod?  New boots and waders??  We are here to assist you in obtaining the proper gear.  We have some great rods from Orvis, Douglas, and Gunpowder River bamboo rod. Give us a call.  Remember, we can ship these items directly to you.

The two links at the bottom of this page provide information regarding current stream flows in our area.  The second link provides a three day projection for the Savage and the North Branch Potomac tail waters.  There is also a phone number on that same link for a prerecorded message on current and projected dam releases. 

With the closing of the Paper mill on the North Branch of the Potomac the water below the mill and Westernport has cleared..and is fishing good with the same patterns as the Savage.

Keep an eye on the weather and an eye on the gauges for stream level flows.  There are links below for the Savage and the Potomac Rivers.

Don’t  be caught without all you need to get on the water.  We do phone orders.  So, if you need anything give us a call.

Good dates are still available for lodging.  Check VRBO or AirBnB to book your stay.

Be sure to refer to the USGS website for current flows for area streams.  Also, the NAB site will give 3 day flow projections for the lower Savage and for the lower North Branch Potomac River. Best to check the gauges and look at the chart to see if the streams are rising or dropping.

There is a daily update on projected flows for the North Branch Potomac and the lower Savage Rivers available by calling 410-962-7687.  This recorded message is usually updated daily between 8 & 9 AM.

A good flow to fish the lower Savage in 50-150 cfs, upper Savage 40-125 cfs, and the N. Branch Potomac Barnum guage is 350 cfs or less for wading. Under 200 cfs is difficult for floating the N. Branch.

Stay safe out there!  Dress appropriately.

The following  site will provide  current cfs flows for the Savage, North Branch Potomac, Casselman,  Yough and other  Maryland streams and rivers.


The following site will give three day projections for the Savage and the Potomac tail waters or just call 410-962-7687.