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Let’s Go Fly Fishing in Frederick County

Let’s Go Fly Fishing in Frederick County

The many creeks and streams that crisscross Frederick County offer fun and challenging fly fishing adventures for casters at every level. So grab your rod and pull on your waders—we’re going fishing!

Where to Go Fly Fishing in Frederick County

Frederick has quite a few waterways suitable for fly fishing. Two popular options include Big Hunting Creek and the Monocacy River.  

Big Hunting Creek is located near Thurmont in Cunningham Falls State Park. This waterway is known as the “Stream of the Presidents” because of its location near the presidential retreat Camp David and because several U.S. Presidents and various world leaders have fished it with local guides. The creek and its tributaries in Catoctin Mountain National Park and Cunningham Falls State Park are a fly-fishing-only, catch-and-return trout fishing area. 

Besides its location, the best things about Big Hunting Creek are its accessibility and fish population. Route 77 parallels the creek and has many pull-out parking areas for fly fishers. Thanks to restoration projects, Big Hunting Creek has a large population of native brook trout, wild brown trout, and rainbow trout.

Man fly fishing in a creek
Photo Credit: courtesy of Visit Frederick

Additional fishing is available at the 42-acre Hunting Creek Lake (Cunningham Falls Reservoir) in Cunningham Falls State Park. It has warm-water fish species like largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, and black crappie. Rainbow trout are also stocked every spring and fall. You can fish from the shore, a handicapped-accessible fishing pier, a canoe, a kayak, or a watercraft with an electric motor.

The 58 miles of the Monocacy River flowing through Frederick County are accessible via riverside parks, boat ramps, and access points. You can find river access points near roadside parking areas next to Rocky Ridge Road, Legore Bridge Road, and Mumma Ford Road bridge crossings. Access is also available via a boat ramp at Creagerstown Park in Thurmont. 

You can fly fish from the bank or wade fish much of the Monocacy River in Frederick County. Water levels vary, but good portions of the river can also be fly-fished from a kayak or canoe. Fish species include smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, sunfish, and channel catfish. Wild and hatchery trout can also be found in Owens Creek, a Monocacy River tributary that can be accessed from Catoctin Mountain National Park.

Frederick County Fly Fishing Organizations

There are a few good Maryland fly fishing organizations that can help you get better acquainted with the sport. The Potomac Valley Fly Fishers (PVFF) Club has served Frederick County for over 50 years. They host meetings with guest speakers, annual casting clinics, mentor programs for beginners, monthly fly-tying sessions for beginning and advanced students, equipment loaner programs, and conservation and fishing outings. The Chesapeake Women Anglers (CWA) also have members in the Frederick County area. They meet monthly to fish in the mid-Atlantic/Chesapeake Bay area, where they share knowledge and skills. 

Photo Credit: Ben John

Planning a Frederick Fly Fishing Trip?

The following tips and resources will help you prep for a Frederick County fly fishing trip.

Lefty Kreh in Culler Lake

It’s hard to talk about fly fishing and Frederick County without mentioning Bernard Victor Kreh, better known as Lefty Kreh.

Lefty was born in 1925 and grew up on North Bentz Street in Frederick. He graduated from Frederick High School, worked as an outdoor writer with the Frederick News Post, and became a legendary fly fisherman and world-famous outdoorsman. 

Photo Credit: courtesy of Visit Frederick

Lefty wrote 32 books and thousands of articles, invented one of the most well-known streamer patterns for flyfishing (Lefty’s Deceiver), and worked nearly his whole life to promote fly fishing and the conservation of natural resources. A group known as the Friends of Lefty Kreh (FOLK) worked with Maryland sculptor Antonio Tobias (Toby) Mendez to create and install a bronze memorial sculpture of Lefty, which you can see for yourself at Culler Lake in Baker Park. So, when you come to Frederick County to fly fish, stop by and see this tribute to a hometown hero.

Photo Credit: Alex Smith

About the Author

Anna Champagne is an outdoor writer, photographer, and traveler. She can often be found gardening and birdwatching in her backyard and exploring creeks, trails, marshes, and parks with her husband. Anna lives in Frederick County, Maryland. You can learn more about her on her

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