Water Temp: 38-44°F
Dries: March Browns, Skwalas, Purple Haze
Nymphs: Pat's Rubber Leg, Double-bead Stonefly, Beaded Prince, Hare's Ear
April is a fascinating month for fishing on Rock Creek. One day, it will be raining/snowing and the next it will be 60 degrees and sunny (which is the current weather trend as I write this report). This can make the fishing difficult at times due to a lack of consistency, but as I always like to advise, change your tactics given the conditions. Double nymph rigs have been the most consistent producer; try the combination of a large stonefly nymph or a brown Pat's Rubber Leg with a smaller dropper behind it like a hare's ear or a psycho prince nymph. Add a bit of flash, partridge hackle, or purple to any of these nymph patterns, and you'll have a lethal combination.
On the warmer April days, we often get our first good dry fly hatches of the season. Big trout that normally lay low and refuse dries in the summer months will hungrily rise to the occasion this time of the year. Next to salmon fly season in June, this is my preferred time to fish dries. Although most people immediately think "skwalas,” on Rock Creek the March Brown mayfly is actually the better hatch. We do have a skwala hatch, but it is nowhere near as prolific as the nearby rivers, and the March Brown has more consistency in getting strikes. When in doubt, try a foam skwala with either a brown mayfly cripple or a hare's ear nymph riding underneath it.
Given that the water levels have bumped thanks to some warmer days and rain, Rock Creek is higher and faster than normal for the time of year, so I urge using good judgment when going out on the water. Choose wisely where you decide to wade and err on the side of being overly cautious:
To cap off this report, I wanted to share some fish pics from friend of the shop Matt as well as some video of Rock Creek itself for those of you who need your fix and can't yet make it out here (Billy Grant, Chuck, Catfish, Woodwards, et al, this is for you guys!). Here's to a safe and happy fishing season on Rock Creek!