This post is for stream MD-1C. I won’t name streams on my site (sorry, don’t ask) to prevent them from being “spot burned” or unwanted attention drawn to them.
Stream MD1C is an interesting stream in Maryland. It has some unusual features throughout its length. Unfortunately, due to land ownership issues, I’ve only been able to access about 2 miles of stream that are spread out over 3 different locations with a fair bit of private property in between.
The photos in this post are from lower in the watershed where it empties into a larger body of water. I fished this lower-end post-spawn in an attempt to continue to document, or at least witness, the seasonal migration of fish from higher in the watershed down into the larger body of water.
This was a cold day, and the water was high from recent rains making fishing somewhat difficult. I’ve seen some large fish in this stream in the past and had one large fish move on a large (for brook trout) streamer in a very deep pool, but all of the fish I brought to the net were small, albeit beautiful wild brook trout. Unfortunately, I also encountered numerous stocked rainbows that had made their way from the larger water into the tributary.
Just to be clear, the flows seen in the photos here aren’t typical for this stream. I’ve been here in the summer where there is very little moving water present. Regardless of base flows, the stream has some amazing habitat with large boulders and plunge pools with a depth that provides ample water even during a severe drought.
One of the most intriguing features of this stream is that it flows through a large tract of private property in the middle section of the stream. There are approximately 3-1/2 miles of stream that are essentially inaccessible due to terrain and land ownership. I always view these kinds of places as preserves, and while I’d love to have access to it, I actually somewhat like that I don’t because it means that nobody else does either.
One of the things that I’ve noticed, and the state fisheries department has as well, is that fish size seems to be correlated with angler access. Generally, in this area, you really need to hike as far away from angler access points as possible to get into bigger fish. On this particular stream, that’s pretty much impossible. All of the water with public fishing rights has extremely easy access since there is a hard road that follows the stream until it disappears into a large tract of private property.
The habitat in the upper end before you reach the posted land is unbelievable. There are a few small stretches that are pretty difficult to get into and difficult to fish. Some of the pools in this stretch are enormous for a brook trout stream. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of photos of this stream that I had taken in early spring last year. There are absolutely fish in the upper end of an average brook trout size in this stream.
As I mentioned earlier, I caught several rainbow trout here recently. I’m always a little upset to run into nonnative fish on these outings. They take up prime habitat and tend to out-compete brook trout for resources. Every 10-inch rainbow trout represents one less large brook trout in my opinion.
I really need to explore access to the private land on this stream. From looking at some property maps, the posted property really only limits access to the more remote sections for a small area near road access. There may be a way to hike further up into the gorge bypassing the private property. Every time I visit this stream I come back to that same concept for a future expedition.
Maryland has some truly amazing scenery and brook trout fishing. Frankly, it’s probably the best brook trout fishing in the region. Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway streams are probably more plentiful, but they’re also traveled by quite a few recreational adventurers, whereas a lot of the Maryland waters are pretty desolate once you gain some distance from the paved roads.