Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

North Branch Potomac River - Barnum - West Virginia

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon 18-22 Zebra Midges
February Midges, Stoneflies Afternoon 16-20 Zebra Midges, Wooly Buggers
March Blue Quill, Stoneflies Mid Day 14-18 Quill Gordon Nymph, Pheasant Tail Nymph
April Blue Quill, Hendrickson Afternoon 12-16 Quill Gordon Nymph, Comparadun Mayflies
May Sulphurs, Pale Evening Dun Dusk 14-18 Comparadun Sulphur, Light Cahill
June Sulphurs, Brown Drakes Evening 10-14 Sulphur Dun, Adams Dry Fly
July Terrestrials, Caddisfly Morning and Evening 12-16 Elk Hair Caddis, Dave's Hopper
August Tricos, Terrestrials Morning and Evening 18-22 Trico Spinner, Black Ant
September Isonychia, Caddisfly Evening 12-16 Pheasant Tail Nymph, Elk Hair Caddis
October Blue-winged Olive, Caddisfly Afternoon 16-20 Blue-winged Parachute, Elk Hair Caddis
November Blue-winged Olive, Midges Afternoon 18-22 Blue-winged Parachute, Zebra Midges
December Midges Afternoon 18-22 Zebra Midges

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The North Branch Potomac River – Barnum is an excellent destination for enthusiasts of fly fishing due to its diverse aquatic life.
  • Bellegrove Area: This section is heavily stocked with brown and rainbow trout, offering great catches for beginners and seasoned anglers.
  • Bealls Stone Bridge: Known for its deep pools, it is perfect for fishing larger trout and other species.
  • Kirby: Less frequented spot but with an abundance of brook trout to catch in the slow, deep pools.
  • Kitzmiller: This spot is known for its reputation for large catches, although the swift currents make it a more challenging location.
  • Luke: The shallow riffles and runs of this area offer a decent population of Brown Trout.
Always remember to check local regulations and acquire proper licensing before fishing.

Best Access Points

Flying fishing on the North Branch Potomac River – Barnum is a popular hobby among locals and visitors. Here are some of the best access points for this activity:
  • Barnum Whitewater Area: This site provides excellent boat ramp facilities and is favorite among fly fishermen for its wealth of trout.
  • Kitzmiller: Located upstream of Barnum, this area’s fast-moving shallow waters are not just ideal for water sports, but also an excellent spot for fly fishing.
  • Westernport: This area downstream of Barnum is popular for trout fishing. It’s particularly convenient as it’s closer to major roads and provides good bank access.
  • Savage River Reservoir: This spawning ground for brown trout and powerhouse for fly fishing is a must visit for any fishing enthusiast.
Remember to follow all conservation rules and regulations. Have a fruitful fly fishing adventure!

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout – The clear, calm waters of the North Branch Potomac River are ideal for this species. Fly fishers target these fish as they are known for their strong, acrobatic fights.
  • Rainbow Trout – A popular catch for many fly fishers, Rainbow Trout are often found in this area due to the abundance of insect life they feed on.
  • Brook Trout – Also known as “Speckled Trout,” these are natives of the eastern United States and can often be found in the pristine waters of the North Branch Potomac River.
  • American Shad – These migratory fish make their way up rivers and streams in the spring to spawn, making them a prime target for fly fisherman in the North Branch Potomac River.
  • Smallmouth Bass – Known for their aggressive strikes and strong fights, Smallmouth Bass are a top target for many fly fishers in this area.
  • Bluegill Sunfish – Although smaller in size, Bluegill Sunfish are a popular catch due to their beautiful colors and feisty behavior.
  • Walleye – Found in both slow and fast moving waters, the North Branch Potomac River offers great habitat for this species. The river is particularly known for its spring Walleye run.
  • Muskellunge – Also known as “Muskie,” these are one of the largest freshwater fish in North America and are sought after due to their elusive nature and size.

About The River

Meet the magnificent North Branch Potomac River – Barnum, a significant body of water stretching over 279 miles. This river is a beautiful blend of raw wilderness and vivid human history. Emerging from the marshy highland springs and flowing through the rolling ridges of West Virginia and Maryland, the river serves as the largest tributary of the Potomac.

Let’s dive into a bit of history:

  • Its birth traces back to the last Ice Age when it began shaping the landscape around it.
  • Throughout the Colonial era, it played a crucial role in transporting goods.
  • The riverside settlement of Barnum, named after the famous showman P. T. Barnum, served as an important mining and timber hub in the 19th Century.

Today, the North Branch Potomac River is esteemed for its biodiversity, recreational divisions like rafting and fishing, and fostering the legacy of nature and history.


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