Tidal portion Potomac River - DC

Tip of the week 

When fishing for Shad, fish small, bright, flashy flies on sinking lines or long sink tips to get down in the current. Use only a short level leader on your sinking line - 3' of 0X works great. Cast across the main current and mend to let the fly dig in. Let the fly swing through the main current and strip it through the current seam. Make short fast strips along the seam and prepare for a whack! If you still don't connect, angle your cast a bit farther upstream to fish deeper, or downstream to fish shallower. Vary your approach with a focus on depth and retrieve speed rather than doing the same thing over and over, or changing flies. Once you have covered an area thoroughly, move down the run a bit and repeat.

Two handed rods and Spey Casting Techniques are very effective for covering the water in these areas from shore. Stop by the shop with all of your questions about using Two-Handed Rods in the Tidal Potomac, as we have really dialed in some of the best techniques and tackle requirements to unlock many of the spots you couldn't fish before.

In the Tidal Basin, walk the seawall and make casts low to the water and parrallel to the wall (side-arm casts). It is tough to beat a Wooly Bugger, small Clouser, or Crayfish pattern in the Tidal Basin.

For the kayakers, put in at any of the Tidal bays or tributaries and fish the grass mats and lilly pads with poppers, woolly buggers, and baitfish patterns for big Bass and potentially Snakeheads. This fishing really heats up in the late Spring through Summer when the grass gets thick.

Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders is a Federation of Fly Fishers Charter Club with a focus on this fishery. For more information on this group, this fishery, and the fly fishers that call it home, please visit us here and consider joining: www.tpfr.org

Seven-day forecast 

The River has crested and is on the way back down. This weekend it should start to fish well again and this coming week should be excellent. Skip work if you can, it's called "Hooky" for a reason!


The recent rains got the river running high and muddy, but it is on the way down and should be in great shape this weekend. BIG Stripers are being regularly caught by the "gear" guys, so definitely put in some time with a large Herring pattern fished deep! The Shad run was fast and furious before the river flooded, so expect it to be incredible again with a little clearing. The Tidal Basin is starting to fish very well too with some very big Largemouths being caught. For daily chatter about this fishery, visit the local FFF club, Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders: www.tpfr.org and click on the 'Forum'.

Must Have Flies 
Clouser Minnow Chartreuse/White, Ol 6 - 2/0 Buy from Orvis.com
Lefty's Deceiver Blue/White, Olive/Wh 2 - 2/0 Buy from Orvis.com
Monomoy Flatwing Olive/White 2 - 2/0 Buy from Orvis.com
Softy Minnow All Colors 6-2 Buy from Orvis.com
Half And Half All Colors 2-3/0 Buy from Orvis.com
Woolly Bugger All Colors 12-2 Buy from Orvis.com
Orvis Arlington

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