Here’s a fun fact: if you’re fishing the Shenandoah River, you’re angling in one of the top smallmouth bass rivers in the eastern United States. Of course, there are loads more types of fish. In fact, one of the great things about fishing the Shenandoah River is the variety of fish you could catch. But if you’re after smallmouth bass, you can actually go fishing in the Shenandoah River all year long. Some of the larger varieties of fish are best sought in the colder months.
Great Variety of Fishing in the Shenandoah River Main Stem
Here’s a rundown of the species you’ll encounter when fishing in the Shenandoah River:
Largemouth Bass: The Main Stem Shenandoah is home to an excellent largemouth population. Largemouth are common throughout the river in the slower current pool areas. Your best bet for catching largemouth would be woody debris along banks. And, fishing in the Shenandoah River has yielded large mouth up to 7 pounds in size!
Sunfish: The Main Stem Shenandoah River is home to several sunfish species. They include: redbreast sunfish, rock bass, green sunfish, bluegill, and pumpkinseed sunfish. Check areas with slow or reduced current (although the redbreast variety may hang out in faster currents).
Crappie: Both black and white crappie can be found when fishing the Shenandoah River, but the black crappie is more plentiful. This schooling fish can often be found in large, deep pools.
Muskellunge: Muskellunge are actually one of the varieties stocked for fishing in the Shenandoah River Main Stem. Youre best bet for finding them is in the area downstream of Warren Dam.
Channel Catfish: If you’re after catfish, you’ll certainly encounter channel catfish when fishing the Shenandoah River Main Stem Shenandoah River. This is a plentiful variety with a range of sizes.
Fishing the Shenandoah River South Fork
The South Fork of the Shenandoah River has an even stronger reputation as a smallmouth bass fisher’s dream. The densities of this fish are even higher than any other river in Virginia.
Just like in the Main Fork, you’ll encounter largemouth bass, sunfish (redbreast variety are most abundant in the South Fork), crappie, muskellunge and channel catfish are all possible catches when fishing in the Shenandoah River South Fork.
Shenandoah River History and Beauty
The Shenandoah River is the main tributary of the Potomac, and it’s figured in American history for as long and indeed longer than America has been a nation. What’s more, it was immortalized by John Denver in his song “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” How can you argue with that? It’s only fitting that the river would beckon to anglers as well. Like we mentioned before, fishing the Shenandoah River is a renowned haven for smallmouth bass enthusiasts. The relative “laziness” of the river and lack of big rapids makes it perfect for angling.
To enter the river–which we highly recommend for nature enthusiasts–canoe or raft is best, particularly in summer when water levels may get low.
The Mossy Creek Fly Fishing crew is a great option for guided fishing trips. The Mossy Creek website sings the praises of fishing the Shenandoah River: “Written in the original “50 Places to Fly Fish Before You Die”, the Shenandoah should be on everyone’s list to fish for bass, carp, or musky. If you aren’t a ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of angler, give us a call as we have 7 boats in our guide fleet and we are on the Shenandoah EVERY day during the warm season.”
To book a trip with Mossy Creek, visit their website for group or personalized options.