Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide in Garrett County, Maryland

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PJ Daley

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide

Phone icon703-999-8504 Email iconsavageriverangler@gmail.com Link iconsavageriverangler.com

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The Story

PJ Daley offers float and wade services for wild and stocked trout, as well as smallmouth bass in far western Maryland. We practice catch and release with barbless flies. The Savage and North Branch Potomac are tailwater wild trout fisheries that offer outstanding angling all summer long. During spring, spend a lot of time guiding the Casselman, upper Savage, and upper North Branch of the Potomac. Most guiding takes place in catch and release or trophy trout management areas.

What is Provided to Customer

Flies and water are always supplied on half day outings. On full day outings flies, lunches and beverages are supplied as well. We will also provide transportation. A fly rod and reel can be arranged at no extra charge.

What Should Customers Bring?

Hat, sunglasses, waders with rubber soled boots, and a camera is nice to have. Felt soled wading boots are now illegal in Maryland. A Maryland freshwater fishing license with a trout stamp is also your responsibility.

PLEASE NOTE: Studded boots are not allowed in the boat on float trips!

Sample of Typical Itinerary

Clients will meet their guide at a predetermined location. From there we will supply transportation on our way to wade the lower Savage or float the North Branch of the Potomac during the summer months. In spring when these two tailwater fisheries can often be high, we may wade the upper Savage, upper North Branch of the Potomac, or the Casselman.


There is no closed season for trout season, but our busiest time of year guiding is April-October.


Rainbow, brown, brook, and cutthroat trout as well as smallmouth bass.


Appalachian Mountains, Garrett County, MD

Typical Weather by Season

The winter months in Garrett County are cold and snowy. Temps often get stuck in the teens or colder for highs for long periods. Spring can be wet and cool with warm weather not arriving until May. Temperatures vary greatly during spring, running from mid 40's to mid 70's and snow in April is not uncommon. During the summer, expect mid 70's to upper 80's. Summer can be dry in this region, as storms moving in from the south often get absorbed by large mountains in WV. Fall is short lived with cold fronts pushing through leaving cool, crisp, dry air in their wake. Highs range from mid 50's to mid 70's in the fall.

Can I wear felt sole boots in Maryland?

No. They are illegal. Rubber soles only. We recommend studs on your rubber soled boots to give you extra traction. No studded boots will be allowed in the boat!

Should I bring a wading staff?

Yes! The wading here is considered very difficult by many.

Can we bring along beer?

Please, no. There will be time for the cold beer afterwards.

Can I purchase a license and trout stamp when we meet you?

No. Your best bet is to purchase your license and trout stamp before your outing so it’s one less thing to worry about.

What size and weight fly rod should I bring?

An 8 ½ or 9’ 4 or 5 wt. rod will do for any of our fishing situations.

What size leader will we be using?

A 9’ 5x Orvis super strong leader is a pretty good place to start.

Can we keep fish?

No. The fish are my bread and butter. We practice catch and release with barbless flies or lures. In fact, we rarely guide on water where people can keep them. I will be happy to give you a map of streams where you can go to keep trout.

Do you offer spin fishing guide services?

Yes we do. I can include good spin fishing equipment, however, clients will be responsible for purchasing their own lures. I can supply you with a list of the lures you will want to bring along.

Should I wear waders on the float trips?

I recommend against waders. If an angler falls out of the boat, it gets very dangerous very quickly. Due to time, there is not much opportunity for wade fishing on the floats anyhow.

Do you allow pets?

For the safety of your pets and the courtesy of our guests, pets are not allowed in the lodge. Dogs are not to be left unattended in the canyon and no pets are allowed to accompany guests while fishing. We have four outdoor kennels available for hunting dogs.

Do you have a place to buy equipment?

Our Pro-Shop at the lodge stocks fly-fishing equipment, flies, fishing shirts, sweatshirts, caps, and other logo apparel. Most guests choose to place their store purchases on account and pay at the close of their stay. We also stock basic convenience and sundry items.

Do you have phone and internet connections in rooms?

Rooms do not have telephones, there are phones available in the library and entryway, these phones require collect calls or phone cards. A wireless internet connection is available throughout the lodge. Cell phones work in the canyon, but not really well.

Do you recommend purchasing travel insurance?

We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect you in case of cancellation, payments are non-refundable. The cost for travel insurance is generally quite reasonable.

Are there ever schedule changes?

We reserve the right to change the day-to-day itinerary due to bad weather, guest’s ability and unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.

What is the typical weather like?

Average high temperatures during the summer months are in the mid 80's and overnight lows in the upper 50's. Precipitation is always a possibility; we suggest guests carry a waterproof rain jacket. Be prepared with clothing layers for varying temperatures and cool evenings. The elevation at the lodge is 6500 feet.

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