Last Cast: September 2020

By Andy Mekelburg
Savage River, Maryland

The summer heat is starting to abate, signaling the beginning of the fall fishing season. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to fish with club members, although it’s been hot and the water has been low. Nothing to brag about, except being outside fishing in beautiful rivers and streams with good people. Isn’t that why we do what we do? I always go fishing with high hopes and low expectations. I guess I need the Zen Guide to Fly Fishing. However, I have learned that if we are patient and enjoy the surroundings and the company, we can get to a “happy” place. Let me bore you for two paragraphs about these trips.

The first opportunity was on the Susquehanna River, near Harrisburg, with Steve. We were in a great location. We decided to take a canoe with fly and spinning gear and traversed the width of this channel of the river, with only a few small pools in it. We waded a bit, throwing everything in the box, but the river was very low, so not many pools — although we did see a bass zip past us. We decided to paddle towards the shoreline towards another spot. The water was so low that we kept getting stuck, until my canoe leader jumped out and led me in pulling it in. After that successful battle, we waded just 20 -30 yards from the shore, which was still only about one to two feet deep. We used specially rigged weedless lures, that eventually led to my catching a couple of smaller bass, saving the day from a skunking. The highlights were being out in the water in the canoe and wading, the challenge of canoeing in low waters, but the best was hanging around afterwards with nice people talking and sipping adult beverages.

The second opportunity was a trip to the Savage River with Dave, Randy, Denny and Mike, camping at the primitive camp sites below the Dam. The owner of the fly shop told us the head waters with the brook trout were low and not productive. He was right. We set up our camp and went up about 100 yards to the Savage River. No luck, though near the end there were trout starting to rise. We had a great meal and campfire. It was nice to sleep in the tent outdoors. The next day, we decided to ignore the advice of the fly shop owner and look for brook trout in one of the feeder streams. I did see one — in the water, not on the rod! I gave the Tenkara rod a good workout. It was a great experience just hiking up that stream dipping and dabbing for fish. The outcome of the fishing didn’t matter, it was the experience of the stream and rod.

Which brings me to the Annual Casting Clinic at 6 PM, on September 8, in the Middletown Community Park. You can get in touch with your rod. This is a real good opportunity for beginners, as well as a chance for even the experienced angler to learn some new tricks. It’s also a chance for those who have been hunkering down to participate in an outdoor activity and see other actual people. Of course, we will follow all state safety guidelines.

The casting clinic would be good time to bring items for the Annual Banquet Raffle. Karen Baker will be there to collect items. We will also soon begin selling tickets for our raffle. We do appreciate everyone pitching in with a contribution, or purchasing multiple raffle tickets purchased, etc.