On My Mind This Month

February 2015

Nick Miller, President NCC-TU

April 8, 2015:

The speakers for our April 8 meeting on snakehead fishing will be two local guides who know the "frankenfish" well:  Captain Mike Starrett,  www.indianheadcharters.com, and Rob Snowhite, http://www.robsnowhite.com.  

The National Capital Chapter of Trout Unlimited (NCC-TU) is a non-profit organization
established to protect, enhance, and restore coldwater fishing resources of North America,
particularly those in the Mid-Atlantic region.


Each Spring, the Chapter publishes email reports on the status of the shad run in the area, particular as it develops on the Potomac River at Fletcher's Cove in DC.  These reports are emailed only to those requesting them. If you wish to receive these reports and did NOT receive them last year, send an email from the address you want us to use to contact@ncc-tu.org with "SHAD" in the subject line.

No need to re-subscribe if you received these reports in 2014; you are already subscribed. Nine reports were emailed to subscribers this year, the last dated May 27, 2014.    

Updated 18 MAR 2015 by TOM 


The weather outside is frightful, but the seat beside the fire is delightful.  February brings out the best and worst in fishermen:  anxiety induced by “stream-separation” and dreams of big fish coming in March and April!

Get ready for Shad!  The annual run will start when the Potomac River temperatures start to warm.  When the tides, river flows, water temperatures and decent weather converge, the big American Shad will appear.  And again this year, the boats at Fletcher’s will be ready to take us out to enjoy the big fish.

We are grateful to the leadership of the National Park Service and Superintendent Kevin Brandt of the C&O National Historical Park.  The Park Service has begun the necessary repairs on the boat landing at Fletcher’s Cove.  So we all expect the Shad season to go as anticipated.  Thank you, Park Service!

Speaking of Fletcher’s Cove, the current repairs by the National Park Service are only temporary.  They will not remediate the problem of increasing siltation in the Cove.  For that, concerned individuals and organizations have formed an on-going coalition:  Friends of Fletcher’s Cove or FFC.   The goal is to provide a stable and long-term advocacy group to protect and sustain Fletcher’s Cove and its facilities for generations to come.  Here is the FFC’s Draft  Mission Statement :

Friends of Fletcher’s Cove is a coalition of citizens and organizations committed to maintaining, improving, and sustaining in perpetuity Fletcher’s Cove on the Potomac River, Fletcher’s Boat Dock and the surrounding National Park grounds associated with the C&O Canal National Historic Park.

The Potomac near its fall line has long been a cherished natural resource for the entire region. Providing access to the river since before colonials arrived, the area known as Fletcher’s Cove is a natural wonder with historic and ecological significance, located within the boundaries of the nation’s capital.  Now part of the C&O Canal Historical Park, Fletcher’s Cove draws visitors from all over the world. The park, concession, boat dock and boathouse are precious Washington, DC landmarks for residents and tourists alike, and utilitarian structures serving public safety, recreation, and scientific functions.
Manmade impediments on the river near Fletcher’s Cove and the resulting siltation now threaten the Cove, the surrounding historical site and fixtures, and access to the Potomac River from the Cove.  

FFC works with the National Park Service, the surrounding political jurisdictions and all other interested parties to study, fund and implement solutions to the man-made problems threatening the Cove’s welfare.  

Welcome to FFC.  NCC-TU and its members will support your work on behalf of us all.

Tight Lines,

Nick Miller
​  ​

Fletcher’s Cove Access Update:

The repair work on the Fletcher's Cove dock is now completed, and ready for the spring fishing season.  In the photo below, you can see the new dock and walkway, which is now safe for intrepid boaters.


Our March 11 Chapter Meeting was the 2015 edition of "NCC-TU Shad Night," with the author of our Shad Reports, Mark Binsted presiding, ably assisted by Mike Bailey and others.  The event was attended by a record crowd of 130 people interested in learning more about this most exciting local fishery in our home waters, the mighty Potomac at Fletcher's Cove.  

Big Hunting Creek Outing Changed from March 14 to March 28

Due to the recent snowy weather, which has hit Frederick County especially hard, the Outings Committee has decided to change the Big Hunting Creek outing from March 14 to Saturday, March 28.  Hopefully the spring conditions we anticipated for this trip will be here then.  Meet at the Ranger Station on MD 77 at 10:00 for coffee, fishing hints, and then hit the stream.  To sign up for this trip, and get more information about tackle and carpooling, please contact Ron Christenson by email at rabbitrlc@aol.com.  There will be time to fish Big Hunting and still get to the MAC Banquet on that date.  

Big Hunting Creek running full blast, May 2014: