Monday, February 28, 2011


Fishing at Shangri-La - May 1943
President Roosevelt took Winston Churchill fishing during a weekend at Shangri-La in 1943.  Churchill described the outing with President Roosevelt in his War Memoirs:
"On Sunday the President wanted to fish in a stream which flowed through lovely woods. He was placed with great care by the side of a pool, and sought to entice the nimble and wily fish. I tried for some time myself at other spots.  No fish were caught, but he seemed to enjoy it very much, and was in great spirits for the rest of the day."
Although the FDR Library indicated in their caption that the photo at left was taken at Shangri-La, it was actually taken at nearby Hunting Creek.

The President is at Camp David describes the Hunting Creek area where the two of them went fishing:

"a mountain stream that crossed the road to Shangi-La about  two miles west of the camp entrance. The six-mile stretch of the stream between its source near Foxville and the Thurmont municipal dam had been heavily stocked with brook trout and set aside for fly fishing."
Heading off to go fishing - 1960

President Eisenhower went fishing on several occasions while he was at Camp David.  This 1953 newspaper article describes a Fourth of July weekend at Camp David where he caught four trout when he went fishing "near his cabin headquarters".

This 1958 article reported on a weekend Camp David trip where he got in two hours of fishing and caught five trout.

President Carter - August 12, 1980
The UPI caption for this photo of President Carter states that President Carter is fishing in a stream near Camp David on August 12, 1980.  The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library website has a comprehensive list of every trip that President Carter took that included fishing.  On August 12, 1980, it listed Camp Peniel as the location. The Maryland DNR site references a parking lot near the Camp Peniel bridge which provides access to fishing in Big Hunting Creek.

In his autobiography Sharing Good Times, President Carter wrote about his attempts to get his wife Rosalynn interested in fly fishing:
"Rosalynn later practiced for hours, casting into the swimming pool at Camp David. She had a natural talent and soon developed precise control and proper placement of the fly."

President Carter practicing his technique outside Aspen Lodge - November 1980

Despite the fact that there is no fishing available inside Camp David, the close proximity to nearby Hunting Creek allows our First Anglers to pursue their favorite pastime while visiting the Presidential Retreat.

Google Earth view of Hunting Creek and nearby Camp David

Sources:  LifeFranklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum; Eisenhower Presidential LibraryJimmy Carter Library; The President is at Camp David; Sarasota Herald-Tribune; The Times-News; UPI; Ocala Star-Banner; Sharing Good Times