Fishing Season: All year.

North Branch Potomac - MD

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Savage River Angler's Tip of the Week

Flows are low and great for wade fishing. Don’t forget your terrestrials.

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Map of North Branch Potomac

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Savage River Angler

5-Day Outlook as of 10/21/21

Conditions should remain good. Some rain. Call 1-800-628-9944 as soon as you see any poachers in the C&R water. Put it in your cell phone now.

Techniques & Tips as of 10/21/21

Dry dropper, streamer, tightline. Terrestrials are on the meal ticket for sure.

Current Conditions as of 10/21/21

Conditions should remain good. Some rain. Call 1-800-628-9944 as soon as you see any poachers in the C&R water. Put it in your cell phone now.

Local Species Available All year.

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    Trout: rainbow

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Savage River Angler's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Adams N/A 12-18
Rojo Midge N/A #18-22
Oliver Edward's Hydrophyche Larva N/A 16-18
Shaky Worm pink
streamers olive/brown
buggers olive/black 8
Adam's Purple Parachute N/A 14-20
Tunghead Pheasant Tail Jig 12-18
BH pheasant tail N/A 12-22
Elk hair caddis N/A 14-18


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Savage River Angler's Recommended Gear

Description: About North Branch Potomac

The upper river is a freestone stream that runs through some beautiful country. Fishing regulations up there are delayed harvest, meaning it is put and take from June 1st - September 30th, and catch and release October 1st - May 31st. It's stocked heavily in the spring both by rail (dnr takes special cars on the railway that runs along the river as this is the only way to access the whole section of river running along Potomac state forest) and also provides supplemental stocking in early spring and fall by truck at the three access points availabe by road. It is primarily stocked with rainbows, however occasional brook trout are caught. The insect hatches are sparse in the upper river, but midges, stoneflies and caddis are all good dry fly patterns. In the mid summer, terrestrial patterns are productive. Springtime, most fish are taken on bigger stuff like wooly buggers when the water is full, and smaller nymphs and midge pupa when it is low and clear. When the weather warms, the fish will take a variety of dry and nymph combos. The lower river is a tailwater that gets it's coldwater supply form Jennings Randolph lake. This is the section of the North Branch that people usually are talking about when they talk about the river. There is a catch and release section immediately downstream from the dam that runs downstream for a mile or so before it runs past the campgrounds and the parking area at Barnum, WV where it becomes put and take for a couple of miles. Below the put and take section it goes back to C&R regs. This is the section I run most of my float trips. The lower river is know for two things, extremely difficult wading and big browns and rainbows. It's not uncommon to find a few cutthroat and brook trout in here too. The lower river also gets better hatches than the upper river. Caddis, stoneflies, march browns, midges, blue wing olives, and sulphurs are just a few ofthe hatches you can expect to find down here. Like the upper section of river, I challenge anybody to find more breath taking scenery. There is approximately another 12 miles that is floatable for trout downstream of Westernport, MD before it transforms into primarily a bass fishery below Black Oak, MD. If you have more questions on this fishery, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email to

Nearest Airport:

Pittsburgh or Dulles (N. VA)


Terrestrials Mayflies Caddis Stoneflies Midge

Best Time to Fish:

The fishing is fine all day long.

Best Stretch:

C n R areas, delayed harvest in the spring

Best Access: