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Oh Shenandoah 2015

Started by Fin, July 14, 2015, 09:12:24 AM

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Every year about this time some family, friends, and I make an annual pilgrimage to fish the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.  My father first started taking my brother and I to this spot some 30 years ago and I always look forward to returning.  Lots of good memories on this riverbank.  Not much has changed in the 30 years I've been visiting this stretch of river.  A few more tubers and kayakers for sure but development has been slim to none in the area.  The fish kills that have plagued this river since the early 2000's are troublesome to say the least but big fish can still be caught.  Twenty-thirteen was a banner year for smallies on the river but alas 2014 brought more death to the larger mature fish so our expectations were not very high for this trip.

Luckily for me and my latest obsession, the fish kills have not effected the large carp that call this watershed home.  Last summer late into our trip I scoped out a new area that had a concentration of carp that were coming in shallow to feed.  I was only able to fish it briefly then as a thunderboomer rolled in and ran me off the river.  I've been looking forward to getting back...

Somehow I hooked this submarine in the dorsal fin.  Carp are tough enough to land without trying to drag them through the water sideways; 45 minutes later I brought my first Shenandoah River carp to a shaking, tried hand.  Even if it was not legit, I was stoked.



Things died down upstream so I moved on downriver to explore some back eddies that I had spotted some cruising fish in earlier that morning. My reward was great.  Say hello to big mamma!  Thirty-four to thirty-five inches of golden bone gluttony landed on a 6 weight and 2x tippet.  I have know idea how much she weighed; I don't carry a scale but it was safe to say she was well over 20lbs.



The release.  Thanks for the memories!


Smalljaws were caught as well and to our surprise some 14" to 18" fish were landed.  We thought they all had died last year in the kill.


This is my father-in-law; 82 years young.  He been coming with us for the last 18 years or so.  Rarely fishes anything but a black and gold Rapala.


The views aren't bad.  This is just upstream of camp.


But don't stop here to stretch your legs.


Curtains on another great trip.  Looking forward to 2016.



Looks like a blast.  'c;   y;

Mudwall Gatewood 3.0

Very cool, Fin!  Nice carp.

I like your daddy-in-law's red bandana a bit more than your modern rag.

"Enjoy every sandwich."  Warren Zevon

Michael Toris

Big J


Helluva Carp on a fly rod.  Not far from 25 lbs   'c;



Hard to beat trips like that one.  2X!  :o


Flea is not the best bassist of all time.

Woolly Bugger

Warm water top notch tr!!

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!


That's a carp right there


July 14, 2015, 17:37:34 PM #10 Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 20:28:39 PM by Phallus in Wonderland

Damn, damn, damn.

A TR such as this is quite the motivator.  I have got to give the other river bronze a whirl before the season fades.


 'c; My man!  'c;

This carpin' you've been doing is sick.



Vewy nice Fin...what was the magic fly? I'd like to hook into one as well! /'/




.what was the magic fly?

Here you go Drifts.  This fly enters the water softly, barely a plop and has a very slow sink rate.