Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the Savage River Maryland
The Savage River tailwater gives the appearance of being purely a nymph stream with little dry
fly fishing. It is almost right the opposite of that. It has excellent hatches and great dry fly
fishing. You can catch wild brown and native brook trout throughout the year on dry flies. Even
during the cold winter, on warm days, it is possible to catch trout on dry flies during
Blue-winged Olive and midge hatches.
That is not to say that nymph fishing is not a good way to fish this stream because it certainly
is. Imitations of mayfly and stonefly nymphs work year-round. You can also do well with
caddisfly larva imitations such as the "Green Rock Worm", or imitations of the Green Sedge
Larvae. Most anglers use a strike indicator when nymph fishing. There is certainly nothing
wrong with that. Most of the runs and pools are quite deep. In fact you have to use caution
when wading because it is easy to step off into a hole with too deep of water to wade. The
bottom is also very slick due to the algae growth. The high PH of the water keeps the rocks,
cobble and boulders slick.
The stream averages about fifty feet wide at the widest sections in its tailwater. It is narrow and
deeper than most tailwaters throughout its four mile length. There are a few riffles but they are
not plentiful. Most of the water is on the deep side. High stickin is a good nymph method to use
on this river. Make your cast short and in an upstream direction.
Streamer fishing is also a good technique to use on the Salvage River. The larger browns are
always subject to being caught on imitations of baitfish, minnows, and sculpins. The best times
to fish them are early in the morning or late in the day when the light is low, or anytime when
the skies are heavily overcast.
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