Favorite Maryland Trout Stream: Casselman River

by Don Fine

My favorite spot to fish is Casselman River in Garrett County, Maryland. I have been fishing the Casselman for trout each spring for perhaps 20 years.

Why do I like the Casselman? Simply answered, over the years I have come to understand the topography and nature of the stream itself and the fish food forms (e.g., insects and other invertebrates) which inhabit the Casselman River.

What sections of the Casselman do I most often fish? While I have, over the years, fished the section literally next to the town of Grantsville, Md., my preference is to fish upstream closer to the Pennsylvania border.

How do I fish the Casselman? From time to time I have used streamers (e.g., my version of a crystal woolly bugger), artificial worms, and crayfish imitations, but I generally fish nymphs which imitate the mayfly as well as caddisflies which densely populate the Casselman.

What is your approach to fishing the Casselman? I generally use a two fly rig; either two nymphs on a line with a small strike indicator, or two flies in tandem with the lead fly being a dry fly pattern and the dropper a nymph of the same type of insect (e.g., Elk Hair caddis with a caddis pupae). The Casselman has a terrific caddis hatch throughout the spring months.

What do you consider the degree of difficulty to fish the Casselman? The river is fairly easy to wade, except in high water. The river is vulnerable to days to weeks of heavy rain. Those times I suggest going to other rivers in the region such as the Savage which are not influenced as much by the weather. The ‘downhill’ terrain in the fishing area is not steep and access is quite easy. Streamside parking is somewhat limited, thus it’s recommended to not go on weekends.

How difficult are the fish to catch on the Casselman? Because the fish in the Casselman are basically stocked trout (mostly rainbows), a fly fisher can have some very good days by paying close attention to stream conditions and which insects are prevalent. However, like any other stream, lake, etc., there are those days when the trout win out and the fly fisher loses.