Where: Holmes Run, Virginia (Inside the Beltway), downstream of Columbia Pike.
When: March 7, 2009 – afternoon
Water Temperature: 44°F
Permits: Virginia fishing permit and trout stamp.
Catch: 3 rainbow trout, about 9″
Access: Excellent access with a path along the stream; waders are helpful but not necessary.
After fishing Accotink Creek earlier today, this was a nice change of pace. While Holmes Run isn’t exactly a pristine mountain stream, it is clean enough that I didn’t mind walking around in it, and it definitely seems nice enough for some trout to survive, at least until it warms up in the summer.
I parked in the small parking lot at the north end of this stretch of water, just off Columbia Pike. From here I jumped onto the jogging trail and walked downstream for about a half hour so that I could work my way back upstream to the car. There were two other fly fisherman out today, neither of which reported having any luck when I saw them. If there had been many more I might have had a little trouble finding a good stretch of water to work in this area, but it worked out pretty well. The bigger problem was the group of kids that kept chucking rocks into all the pools upstream of me as I worked my way back towards the car…but I suppose it is nice that they are outside at least!
For a while I tried fishing the relatively shallow and swiftly moving riffles because the deeper pools seemed to barely have any current. After an hour of that with no luck I changed tack and started letting my flies drift through the barely moving pools. I tied a brown copper-headed nymph about 14 inches below a beetle dry fly and let it bump along the rocks in the pools. This quickly produced three nice little rainbows for me, so despite the fact that I couldn’t see any fish, there are definitely trout in there!
At this point the kids with their rocks decided to follow me to each pool, and I suspected the fly fisherman downstream of me was probably getting close to catching up, so I figured it was a good time to call it a day.
All in all, this was nicer than I thought it would be. It is the best trout fishing that I have found inside the Beltway. I’m sure it gets a whole lot of traffic when the weather is nice, but I could see coming here weekends in the off-season and weekdays near the times that it is stocked. This would be a good place for a beginner fly fisher in the DC area to get in some casting practice and catch a few fish.