It was a little high for this time of year, but not high from a paddling safety factor. Very easy water still. Actually, the extra water made it a little easier. From the road, it looked stained and muddy. But when you got down to the bank it actually had about 18" visibility. The wind was up and down all day. Still for a time, and then blowing for a time. I was rowing my one man raft, and so I was grateful for the wind blowing at my back. It was only the second time with a drag chain. It's a real joy to use it, but I've got a lot to learn about boat control.
The fishing was off. I got no hits subsurface. I tried drifting some dark tan and olive woolly buggers, and I tried some crawfish imitations (and lost all that I tried to ledges), and once the Shenandoah Blue Damselfly hatch kicked off I used both a subsurface blue and white clouser meant to imitate the emergers and also a damselfly surface pattern. All to no avail. I did find a bit on a white popper at grass islands. Not grass banks ONLY on grass islands, but it was a generous bite.
I found what I think is probably the most picturesque spot on the Shenandoah I've ever seen. The fish weren't biting there for me (my partner took half a dozen or so on crankbaits off the bank), but the river was wide, there were farms, a good 360 view of the Blue Ridge and the bottomland, and someone at a nearby camp was playing outlaw country music so the spot even had a soundtrack.
I would like to have spent more time on the river, but I had a situation that required me to get ashore somewhere, and all the land there is private. What isn't private was the George Washington National Forest, and while I don't mind digging a cathole in the National Forest the banks were all too steep to clamber out in my particular condition. So I powered on down river to the takeout. I'll go back to that spot, and I've found just what I need on NRS.
- Big D
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|Messages in this Topic|
glad you got out on the Shen .......|
Posted by: pilotwingz on Jun-26-11 7:49 PM (EST)
....... I've not been out on it in years now but used to spend much time on it . I stop by and visit her every year or so though . I love that river , always have , always will , it holds a lot of memories for me , found it when I was like 16 (you know , drivers license , 1st truck , tent and the most perfect place called Thunderbird when it was remote then) .
Getting more familiar|
Posted by: Big_D on Jun-26-11 8:09 PM (EST)
While the fishing isn't what it used to be, the beauty is still there. I'm into paddling as much for the pleasure of being out as I am getting to the fish.
well 50 was more the avg. ......|
Posted by: pilotwingz on Jun-26-11 10:54 PM (EST)
Posted by: old_user on Jun-28-11 7:27 AM (EST)
I lived most of my life on the Shenandoah and can tell you the smallmouths are making a comeback.
good to hear that bird .......|
Posted by: pilotwingz on Jun-28-11 8:58 PM (EST)
They are comming back!|
Posted by: old_user on Aug-02-11 10:29 AM (EST)
The wife and I just gout our S-O-T 'yaks a few weeks ago. I am in an Emotion Mojo Angler, and she and the 6-yr old girl share the Emotion Co-Motion. Last weekend, we paddled upstream about 2 miles (to just below Bentonville) from our riverside lodge, and then drifted down. With the water levels at pathetic lows, there was some walking and dragging, but when we were over water drifting, I could see tons of fish. Many very nice sized bass, cats, and carp. At one point just up around the bend from our place, I spotted a school of 40-strong catfish. The lead fish in the school HAD to be 3' long! I mean it was a black shadow of motion. It took me a second to figure out what I was looking at, but when I realized, I was amazed.
Posted by: old_user on Oct-25-11 3:10 AM (EST)
Posted by: Big_D on Oct-25-11 9:43 AM (EST)
The fall foliage should be terrific to view, and the bigger fish are putting on the feedbag getting ready for winter.
Posted by: old_user on Oct-25-11 10:00 AM (EST)
Since I'm several hundred miles away it will be next year before i can make the trip. Any idea what the best month to go is? I can't wait... Thanks for your help.
June and October are my favorites.|
Posted by: Big_D on Oct-25-11 9:40 PM (EST)
I haven't been on the Shenandoah this October, but it's a really wonderful time to be on it. June you have to be careful. If it's been a slow spring, the spawn can still be on. And if it's been a wet spring, it can run pretty fast. But when it's on - it's ON.
Posted by: old_user on Oct-29-11 9:46 AM (EST)
What boats do guys normally use of the S. Fork of the Shenandoah? Canoes- Kayaks - Pontoon boats? Thanks
Any paddle craft.|
Posted by: Big_D on Oct-30-11 2:08 PM (EST)
Rafts, pontoons, canoes, and kayaks are all suitable boats. There are more canoes than anything, I think, but I prefer a kayak when my arthritis can take it or a raft when it can't. This past season, I had good days rowing others down the river in my canoe, I had days where I took my raft and really enjoyed standing and casting, and I took my kayak a few times too. When the water is really low (July and August usually) you want the boat that has the lowest draft. Of my boats, that's probably my canoe.