October 2023 Outing - Western Maryland Campout and Savage River Fishing

When:  October 7, 8, 9. Saturday -Monday (Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day weekend)

Where:  Big Run State Park, next to Savage River, Garret County, Maryland


Greg Sholly, Lee Canby, Clint and Mary Patrik, Steve and Carson Wargo, Bob O’Donnell, Ron Kerrick, Randy Dwyer, Lou Reichel

Western Maryland, Garret Country, fall colors were brilliant, 30-60 % multi-colored foliage, I assume due to which side of the mountain the leaves were facing.  The poison ivy was radiant red wrapping up tree trucks.  Lots of leaves on the roads, however, not too much on the rivers.  Cool brisk air with fall smells.  One did have to watch out for falling hickory nuts after a breeze.  They do hurt when they hit your head and make dents in cars.

We did have some rain on Saturday night with very strong winds.  Glad I was under the pavilion shelter. By Sunday early morning the sun came out.  Sunday night was colder.  Monday was a great fall day.

The fire in the fireplace helped us get warm in the mornings and evenings.  Many stories were told around the fire.  I am disappointed with only one Halloween horror story.  Some type of owl was making noise up a tree next to the pavilion.  We needed Jay S to identify the owl.  On Saturday night, many of us were awoken by a single loud cry/scream/roar. There were discussions about if it was either an owl or coyote.

The Savage River was a little low. The Savage River Outfitters strongly suggested not to fish the upper Savage due to very low water.  Ron K did go to the upper Savage and verified the very low flows. We were told that DNR did open the damn a week ago and the water on lower Savage was very off-color.  Currently, it was clearish to only slightly off-color.  The flows were on the low side, which I feel is good/easier in order to fish the pocket water.

There were small to large BWO’s flying and floating on the water, but no fish rising.  Also, a cream color mayfly, #14, I think was a cahill or PMD. A few October caddis (#14) flying around in the pavilion.  What is the mayfly ID in the picture?

Even though the Savage was low, many of us fished it mainly with nymphs. I did not get any reports of dry fly action.  I went upstream from the PhD pool and caught a 12 inch brookie, and I did fall in.  Those rocks do hurt.  Bob O caught a large brown in the PhD pool with a nymph.  Randy fished downstream from the 7X pool (Garrent Foot bridge) and caught a large brown also by nymphing.  Ron K tried different sections of the Savage and also caught trout. I didn’t hear the Monday reports, but I think Ron K caught something every day.  Wading through the Savage River rocks was strenuous, Lou and Randy were beaten and sore afterwards, even with the low flows. 

We read that the Yough was stocked a week ago, so Lou and Bob tried the Sang Run section and caught nothing, where Steve and Carson went up to the Friendsville section and stopped counting after catching over 15 trout, many over 12 inches. 

Greg and Lee tried the Noth Branch of Potomac and I was told that Lee fell in face first.  The best compliment I heard was that Lee got up, wiped her face, and started casting again.  A true fishing person.

We had Erie salmon, cream cheese and bagels for breakfast.  New Orleans red beans, rice, and pulled pork for dinner.   Mary’s endless Mexican dip and Greg’s cherry pie.  So many egg dishes to try in the mornings I don’t remember who was cooking.  I didn’t even touched my simple oatmeal and hot dogs.

The fishing, camping, food, campfire, fall weather and companions were great.

You must make the outing next year.


Lou Reichel
Outings Coordinator
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