On My Mind This Month

February 2015

Nick Miller, President NCC-TU

March 11, 2015:

The annual shad run in the Potomac River offers exciting fishing readily accessible to the national capital area.  Dating back to colonial times, pursuit of the "founding fish" is an important spring ritual for area fishermen.   At our March 11 meeting, we will present a special Shad Night program led by Mark Binsted, author of our Shad Reports, and a leader in the effort to have the National Park Service restore access to this fishery at Fletcher's Boat House.  

Shad Night 2015 will feature fish tales by Mike Bailey, Rich Farino, Trent Jones, Alex Binsted, Dan Ward, Grizzly and others, up-to-date information on the status repairs to the Fletcher's Cove dock, DC fishing licenses for sale, shad fly tying demonstrations (several), and shad tackle rigging demonstrations for fly and spinning gear.  There will also be raffles for prizes including  fishing trips with experts, and book sales.  

Schedule for Shad Night 2015:
6:45-8:00 - Doors open, social time, demonstrations 
8:00-9:00 - Presentations 

9:00-9:10 - Drawings for raffles

Meetings start with social time at 7:15p, and the programs begin at 8:00p.  See "Meetings" page for more information.​

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 27 FEB 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.

This week, our Chapter President Nick Miller, in his new role as chairman of Friends of Fletcher's Cove, delivered a letter of thanks to C&O Canal National Historical Park Superintendent Kevin Brandt.  For those of you late to the game, the letter is a good way to catch up with the events of this winter, leading up to the repair of Fletcher's dock and the founding of Friends of Fletcher's Cove.  The work to save Fletcher's Cove is just beginning.  Stay tuned for more news from FFC and come meet the leadership at our Shad Night event on March 11th.  To see a scan of the letter from Nick Miller to Kevin Brandt, click here: BrandtNPSFeb242015-1.pdf 

April 8 Chapter Meeting: SNAKEHEADS!

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

Trout Unlimited Mid-Atlantic Council
Annual Banquet
Saturday, March 28th: 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Martin’s West. 6817 Dogwood Road,
Windsor Mill, MD 21244

Click here to learn more: