September 21, 2015
The seasons, they are a-changin’. The transition from hot summer days to cool autumn nights has already dropped the water temperature enough to ratchet-up angling success. The C & O Canal produced a steady supply of small but feisty largemouth bass all summer. Now, with the cooler water, the fish should be even more eager to chase the soft plastics and spinners that are reliable baits. Bobber fishing with night crawlers is always a popular pastime for the beginning angler. One young fishin’ family came so often this summer to soak worms in the canal that I started to call the event “Camp Ashley” in honor of the dedicated and most patient parent.
On the river-side, Alex Binsted and Ryan Jenkinson fished the Big Eddy cove upstream and hit a jackpot with a 24 inch striped bass for Alex and a smallmouth bass so big it snapped Ryan’s line. Prowling the drop-offs to the channel on the Virginia side with any lure that mimics a crawfish or hellgrammite should be a good bet for fall smallies.
Fletcher’s tackle-shack maintains a supply of all the basic supplies you will need for fishing in the D.C. area. In addition to hooks, sinkers, line and bait we offer a selection of ready-to-go spinning combos by Diawa, Okuma and Zebco. Lures that produce positive results in this part of the Potomac and Canal, such as Gary Yamamoto, Gitzit, Mepps, Rooster Tail, Rebel, Cotton Cordell, Storm and Zoom are stocked as well. Permits for angling in the District of Columbia are still on sale but if you will need one, don’t dally as we could run out toward the end of October!
Due to a four decade long process of siltation (www.friendsoffletcherscove.org) Fletcher’s Cove is now as much a marsh as cove. We struggle along, working with the tides, wind and water as best we can, and I am personally proud of the success we have in accommodating visitors. As there were no floods this season (a rarity), the growth of the marsh plants has been remarkable and beautiful. Wildflowers and plants of all types are “as high as an elephant’s eye.” For a natural spot inside the boundaries of D.C. itself, it’s quite remarkable. Journey down to see for yourself before the cold winds of winter begin to blow.
Sadly, I must report the passing of Maxim Elias, a true Fletcher’s “old-timer.” Max grew up on “T” Street in the Burleith neighborhood above Georgetown. His “Fletcher’s days” started in 1951 when he was 11 years old. From the stories passed to me, Max was an expert angler and had a true love of the outdoors and river from those early times. He would make his way to the boathouse by foot or travel downhill from home and hop the old B&O freight headed northwest out of G-town with a fishing buddy. I met Max around 1970 and it was clear to me even as a kid that he was a thinking-man’s angler. He analyzed fishing from a scientific perspective and, in fact, was the science teacher at Georgetown Day School for many years. Hands-on science was his specialty as you might expect from a nature-loving fisherman. The brilliant eyes of a mind at work are one of my personal memories of Max. It has been awhile since he made it to Fletcher’s but those of us who crossed paths with him by the water wish him peace. Max was 75.
Barring “Capitol Hill shenanigans” à la fall, 2013, Fletcher’s Cove will be open every day through November 1. Our hours will be regular; however, feel free to call for fishing condition updates or if the weather or river conditions may be a factor in our operations. Safety for customers and employees is always our first priority!
We hope to see you at the cove as the fall colors paint the park!