What's Happenin': The water is cold and will be for a while. However, the days are getting longer and you can still find feeding fish in tidal creeks and tributaries around the District. It won't be long until this river goes gang busters, but that's in another month or so. Anglers on the Potomac this time of year would be wise to target areas with with warm water discharges or... spots with a combination of mud bottom and hard cover on sunny days.
My Recommendation: Finding any combination of clean and warm water is key this time of year. Anglers should expect places like Four Mile Run or Blue Plains to produce but shouldn't anticipate having the water to themselves on weekends. Outgoing tides are best as they bring warm water down through the creek channel, past the power poles and bridges, and into the Potomac. Carp, largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and catfish all move into these areas during the winter, creating a plentiful fishery but a crowded one. Because of this pressure, anglers should experiment with their fly selection and presentations to entice fish into feeding. Any assortment of the standard stuff - wooly buggers, small clouser minnows, baitfish streamers, double nymph rigs, or even poppers - should tempt warm water refugees into biting.
Remick Smothers is a native son of the District of Columbia and the founder of FlyTimesDC.