Thursday, May 1, 2014

Flooded Tidal Basin

We had the wettest day in 50 years yesterday. With the Potomac starting to flood I started to plan an outing. If you listen to the podcast and read the blog you know what a big deal this is for me. If you combine a full moon (we didn't have one), high tide, and a flood you get the combination for some spectacular spring fishing.

I donned my wellies and grabbed my 8wt and headed to the Tidal Basin today around 11am. I've never seen the basin this flooded. The water was up and way over the sidewalks.

Here is the pile of flotsam on the river that was trying to get into the Tidal Basin:


My rod was rigged with a reaper on 20lb tippet with a damsel nymph two feet behind on 10lb tippet. I walked through the ankle deep high tide mark so I wouldn't get in trouble for being in the river. We got busted last year.

Here is the flood water coming over Ohio Drive's riverwalk

The road was closed so I had to park and walk in. This guy was into catfish all morning

 
 The water was coming up through manholes, gutters, the ground, etc. It was a mess. Note this massive tree going down stream. I hope its from Chain Bridge, that tree that has been in the way for the past two years when it washed in.
 Under 395. The road is submerged. I walked up on the rock wall area to get through.
 Here is all that flotsam. Nasty. Wonder how many millions of gallons of raw sewage got dumped into the river yesterday too.
 Not far into my sloshing I spooked a bluegill that was up on the flooded sidewalk. I was hoping to see carp and snakeheads frolicking in the flood water. It was really quiet. I spotted one dark fish about a foot long along the Jefferson Memorial walk. I sight cast to that fish as it swam over the cobbles. Nothing. The water as usual was very clear on the sidewalk.
 This is the sight casting part. No love.
 I worked my way past the Jefferson. Lots of bluegill in the shade right at the drop off of the sea wall. They were not too hungry. I made my way back and got into this bluegill.
 From my vantage point on the sea wall you can see the clarity of the water. This was too deep even as the tide was outgoing for me to wander out.
 A mating pair of Crucian carp.

 And a third one made its way in. The female was deposing eggs on the submerged grass.
 I finished up at the Ohio Drive bridge. Several snakeheads made their way up to breathe. I fished from the bridge. I had tossed my fly several times at one just hovering below the surface. This is my version of the CK Baitfish with a lip made of plastic from a Vitamin Water bottle. The movement on it is fantastic. No love. By now it was 1230 and I had to be  all the way out in Fairfax to pick up the pixie at 1pm so I reeled it up and took off.
 Here is the DC Channel with benches under water. Not much of a fishing event but still fun to get out and see the rarity of the spring flood.

And if you are keeping tabs on the boat situation, here it is:


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