Founded in 1988 and now in its 26th year, the Potomac River Smallmouth Club (PRSC) is the Washington D.C. area's leading river fishing and conservation organization. We promote catch and release angling for smallmouth bass, support conservation organizations and agencies, publish a monthly newsletter, present monthly programs with guest speakers, and organize river trips for our members. ...more
The speaker for our April 30th meeting will be Mark Kovach of Mark Kovach Fishing Services. Mark is one of the best-known and widely respected guides on the upper Potomac. Mark started his guide service in 1979 teaching people how to fly fish. He often says that he teaches the basic class as the "one I would have loved to have had when I first started." His Basic and Intermediate Class is for beginners looking to learn the basics of fly fishing or for those who have tried it a few times but need to improve their knowledge and skills. The Advanced Class is designed for experienced fly anglers and can help improve your skills through video analysis of your casting style.
MKFS offers fishing schools for both trout and smallmouth bass. Trout schools are held in the spring in Thurmont, Maryland, on Big Hunting Creek. Bass schools are held in the summer and fall in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, on the Potomac River.
Mark enjoys fishing and loves sharing his skills and knowledge with other anglers. A storyteller at heart, he is always full of smallmouth tales and techniques. Mark is at home in a seminar room, on the casting field, and while rowing through rapids.
Unlike a typical guided bass-boat fishing trip, the stretch of river that Kovach and his guides run varies from Class III whitewater to deep pools and is loaded with ledges and islands. In many places the river is over a quarter mile across.
At the April meeting, Mark will share his knowledge of fishing structure in flowing water. According to Mark, “River fish take up residence in holding spots near flowing food lanes.... Being able to identify these locations is the key to unlocking the door to successful river and stream fishing.” Come and hear Mark explain his fish-catching techniques and improve your chances of catching fish.
Mark Kovach Fishing Services (301-588-8742) is booking float trips for the 2014 season. They fish both spin and fly tackle on their float trips. Give them a call to schedule a trip and put Mark’s advice to work for you.
Been on the Upper James lately? The speaker for our May 28th meeting can tell you where to go and how to fish it. Jared Harker of Confluence Outfitters grew up on the Upper James and is a part-time guide working one of the finest smallmouth rivers in the Old Dominion. You can visit Confluence on Facebook.
This feature story will tell you more about our speaker and the new Upper James River Water Trail that has been created to improve access.
Jared Harker cut his teeth fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. As a young boy, Jared, along with his father and two brothers, would head out on summer afternoons after work to wade fish the James River in pursuit of that trophy smallmouth bass. "We would fish until well after dark. Right as the sun was setting was always the most active feeding on those hot summer days." It was during these years his skill for fishing was honed. His love for the outdoors and passion for fishing, coupled with the excitement and joy that comes from helping others catch that fish of a lifetime pushed him to start his own guiding business, Confluence Outfitters. A "confluence" is a place where a tributary meets with the main stem. "Confluence Outfitters exists because I love to fish, and because I enjoy connecting other people with the river they love."
Jared has been fishing the James River, the Maury River, and its tributaries for the past 20 years. He has been guiding professionally and operating Confluence Outfitters for the past three years. The waters he guides on are some of the most beautiful in the state. On the Upper James River he guides from the James River Gorge Area (Balcony Falls) up to Iron Gate where the Jackson and Cowpasture combine to form the James. On the Maury River he guides from Lexington down to Glasgow. Jared explains it this way: "Spiritually speaking, Confluence Outfitters exists because I believe there exists a spiritual side to our lives, an eternal side. Being on the river I feel closer to God. There is no greater confluence than when your small tributary meets the river of life. Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it."
Aside from fishing, Jared enjoys spending time with his wife of 8 years, and their recently adopted son from Ethiopia. If he's not on the river following the fish, he is spending time with those he loves.