Report from Fletcher’s Cove
Signs of spring in Washington appear well before the season itself. As noted by Louis J. Halle in his book of the same name, Spring in Washington arrives in fits and starts, beginning roughly six weeks before the calendar says it is so. The call of a cardinal seeking a mate, the tips of crocus and daffodils piercing a bit of green about the bare ground, swelling buds on the silver maples and star magnolias are but a few of nature’s signs of impatience for a re-awakening from winter’s slumber.
Once crowds swarm over the Tidal Basin to see the delicate, fickle cherry blossoms, daffodils and dogwoods bloom and redbud is passionately pink, the impatient local angler knows it is their time.
One other little noted, but sure sign that spring is upon us is the annual launching of Fletcher’s traditional wooden skiffs. With a fortunate convergence of moon phase, tide and wind direction, getting the boats from land to water was accomplished last Monday afternoon. The Boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove is open for the 2018 season. When conditions allow, our boats are available for fishers to pursue the shad, perch, striped bass and resident species that mix into a gourmet stew of angling opportunity. The tackle shack is stocked and D.C. permits are on sale.
The week past saw schools of shad move up and begin to hit darts and flies in the area around the boathouse. Some chunky striped bass and a few beautiful walleyes were also caught, most carefully released back into the chilly water. If you are a recreational angler NOT looking for a meal, please handle your catch as little as possible. It is best to release fish without taking them completely out of the water. If you need to measure a fish, do it as quickly as you can and get that sucker back into the drink.
As the water warms through April our other water craft- kayaks, canoes and paddle boards will also be open for rental. Paddling the Potomac near Fletcher’s Cove can seem to transport one far from the madding crowd of urban Washington.
Unfortunately, as was true last year, the C&O Canal is not yet re-watered at Fletcher’s due to the reconstruction project on locks 3 and 4 in Georgetown. However, the canal towpath is open at Fletcher’s as is the Capital Crescent Trail. Both are beautiful springtime byways for bikers, runners and walkers.
We hope to see you down by the river…