Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Potomac River - Little Falls Pump Station - Maryland

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

Water Flow Chart

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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

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon #20-26 Zebra Midges, Griffith's Gnat
February Midges Afternoon #20-26 Zebra Midges, Griffith's Gnat
March Blue Winged Olives Midday #18-20 Blue Winged Olive Parachutes, Emergers
April Midges, Blue Winged Olives, Caddis Midday #16-20 Caddis Pupa, Parachutes, Emergers
May Caddis, Mayflies Midday #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, Pheasant Tail Nymph
June Caddis, Mayflies, Stoneflies Morning and Evening #12-16 Elk Hair Caddis, Pheasant Tail Nymph
July Caddis, Terrestrials Morning and Evening #10-14 Hopper Patterns, Elk Hair Caddis
August Terrestrials Morning and Evening #10-14 Hopper Patterns, Ant Patterns
September Caddis, Terrestrials Morning and Evening #10-14 Elk Hair Caddis, Hopper Patterns
October Blue Winged Olives, Caddis Midday #16-20 Blue Winged Olive Parachutes, Elk Hair Caddis
November Blue Winged Olives Midday #18-20 Blue Winged Olive Parachutes, Emergers
December Midges Afternoon #20-26 Zebra Midges, Griffith's Gnat

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

If you’re searching for the best spots to fly fish on Potomac River, look no further than the Little Falls Pump Station. This area offers an array of opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Here are some key highlights:

  • Mather Gorge: This spot, located just downstream from the pump station, is known for its shad and smallmouth bass populations.
  • C&O Canal: Fly fishing is popular in the Canal – an old barge route that runs parallel to the Little Falls area. You’ll find a variety of fish species here, including carp and sunfish.
  • Bear Island: Accessible by boat, this spot can yield catches of largemouth bass and catfish.

Remember, the Potomac River changes with the seasons and water conditions, so you may have different experiences each time you visit. But with many places to explore, you’re sure to find your perfect fishing spot.

Best Access Points

The Little Falls Pump Station on the Potomac River is a paradise for fly-fishing enthusiasts. Here are the prime access points:

  • Chain Bridge: This site provides easy access to the river and is frequented by local fly fishers.
  • Billy Goat Trail: A preferred spot for skilled fishers, Billy Goat Trail extends access to some truly remarkable fishing spots.
  • Virginia side of the Potomac River: Higher water levels make it an ideal spot for fly fishing, providing access to a myriad of species.
  • Little Falls itself: Despite a modest challenge to access due to elevation, the site is a fishing hotspot dense with fish populations.

Remember that access points may vary based on water levels and time of the year. Anglers should exercise caution on uneven terrain and while wading.

Local Fish

  • Smallmouth Bass: This is a common fish targeted by fly fishers on the Potomac River due to its aggressive nature and willingness to take a fly.
  • Large Mouth Bass: Known for their fighting ability, these fish are also commonly targeted by fly fishers in this area.
  • Walleye: Though not as common as bass, the walleye is an enticing challenge for fly fishers in the Potomac River area due to its elusive nature.
  • Musky: Known as the fish of 10,000 casts, Musky are highly prized by fly fishers on the Potomac River who are seeking a challenge.
  • Northern Pike: This aggressive predator is another favorite for fly fishers, often sought after for their aggressive strikes and aerial acrobatics after being hooked.
  • Catfish: While not a traditional fly rod species, catfish can be caught on a fly in the Potomac River, adding a fun twist to the typical day of fly fishing.
  • Bluegill: Bluegill are a perfect species for beginners to fly fishing, providing lots of action and fun on light tackle.
  • Carp: A much larger fish, Carp are a great fight on a fly rod and present a challenging target for more experienced fly fishers.

About The River

If you’re curious about the history of Washington D.C.’s water supply, it all begins with the Potomac River – Little Falls Pump Station.

The Potomac River, deemed a historic and precious waterway, was first leveraged by the city of Washington D.C, in the 1850s. Water was accessed using a simple steam-powered pump stored in a charming building, now known as the Little Falls Pumping Station. This was then led through a tunnel carved directly into the bedrock to Georgetown Reservoir, nearly three miles away.

  • The pump station was modernized in 1938 to increase the city’s water service capacity during the period of quick growth.
  • Even today, the Little Falls Pump Station serves as a vital backup during water emergencies or when necessary repairs are needed on the primary source.
  • Due to its critical role, the building has been meticulously maintained, displaying historic architecture in addition to its historic engineering.

This jewel on the Potomac River, the Little Falls Pump Station, is truly a living piece of Washington D.C.’s history.

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