Easily accessible from D.C., Baltimore, and other metropolitan areas, Frederick, Maryland is a well-established fishing destination in the state. History, culture, and recreation all come together here for an outdoor adventure you are sure to love.  

If you are looking for fly fishing, Big Hunting Creek offers a variety of habitats along one of the premier fishing spots in the state for wild brown trout. Accessible from Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Falls State Park, Big Hunting Creek was the first stream in Maryland to be designated a catch-and-release area. Several presidents and their guests have enjoyed fishing this stream while visiting the area.

Float along the Monocacy River in search of smallmouth bass, trout, redbreast sunfish, and more. For anglers interested in spin fishing, Catoctin Creek provides miles of waterway and nature to explore. Both the Monocacy and Catoctin empty into the Potomac River near the Maryland and Virginia border, playing a vital role in the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The waters of the Potomac provide further opportunities to catch walleye, muskie, and smallmouth bass on a world class river.

New anglers should head to Gambrill State Park on the ridge of the Catoctin Mountains. Catch largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish in the free fishing pond near Rock Run, no license required. Reserve a campsite or cabin for a night to take full advantage of the location. Fish for wild or hatchery trout in Owens Creek, a secluded stream away from the city.

For 17 years, the folks at Hunting Creek Outfitters in Downtown Frederick have been the spot for gear recommendations, encouragement, and tales from the water. Stock up on fly tying supplies, reels, and waders from well-known brands. Check out their stream reports online or in the store, updated regularly with fishing conditions in the area.

Stay Awhile

When you’re done fishing, explore more of what Frederick County has to offer. Visit Cunningham Falls State Park for swimming, canoeing, and views of the 78-foot cascading waterfall. Hike up High Knob for views of the Frederick and Middletown Valleys from three different overlooks at Gambrill State Park. Grab a mountain bike and challenge yourself on miles of technical trails. If you are looking for an urban biking adventure, rent an electric bike from Pedego Frederick and explore all the city has to offer.

Get up close with bison, sheep, and more in an open-air truck on a safari excursion through the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo or bottle feed a calf at South Mountain Creamery before trying some of their delicious ice cream made with ingredients from the farm.  

Learn from important Civil War sites, including the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and Monocacy National Battlefield or ride into Downtown Frederick on the scenic Historic National Road, the first federally funded interstate highway. Enjoy a four-course meal in a vintage 1920s passenger car as the Walkersville Southern Railroad runs through the Maryland countryside.

With over 200 boutique shops and unique restaurants in Downtown Frederick and 20 tasting rooms in the county, there is plenty to do at the end of the day. Head to Springfield Manor Winery, Distillery, and Brewery on Friday nights for drink tastings, food trucks, and trivia or take a backstage tour of the Weinberg Center for the Arts, a former silent movie palace from the 1920s.

Plan your visit for the annual Maple Syrup Festival in March. Enjoy a pancake breakfast, sugaring demonstrations, and a short hike to Cunningham Falls. Proceeds support the conservation and upkeep of local state parks.

There is always something new to explore when you visit Frederick, Maryland.