It was no April Fool’s joke when 12-year-old Zain Rehman from Ashburn in Northern Virginia, called out to his Dad, Fazal, “I think I got a big one!” Indeed he did – a citation 18 ¾-inch brook trout caught in the Rose River directly in front of Graves Mountain Lodge where he was fishing with 200 other youngsters at the annual Trout Heritage Kids Fishing Day. It was an exciting day for Zain as earlier he was thrilled to hold a red corn snake at the DGIF exhibit and learn to use a scratch box turkey call. The event was co-sponsored by the Rapidan Chapter of Trout Unlimited and DGIF and hosted by the Graves family.
South River Update
South River Fly Shop reports that the South River has been fishing well with great holdovers from the fall and winter stockings. Several species of Caddis have been hatching daily, and a size 16 Elk Hair Caddis with an olive or tan underbody has been working well.
Arlie’s Gnarly Caddis Larva in olive and cream, B/H Caddis Poopah in olive or cream, Jiggy Tungsten Pheasant Tails, and Prince Nymphs are all go-to nymphs. Mountain streams are looking good in the Shenandoah National Park and the GW National Forest. There have been some great Caddis Hatches on the Jackson at Hidden Valley and the Bullpasture near Williamsville.
Muddy Water Solutions
By Capt. Steve Chaconas
Last week’s storms with high winds and a lot of rain have left the river muddy and a bit cooler. The good news is warmer and drier days are ahead.
The water temp is back in the mid to upper 50s.
Look for the clearest water in grass beds or around hard cover. This might be associated with tides, so take note. Then make some noise and use darker and bulkier baits. Lipless cranks like the larger profile of Lucky Craft LVR D-7 on 12-pound test GAMMA Edge Fluorocarbon line present a bigger target. Contact grass and make a short snap to free the bait and allow it to flutter slowly. Retrieve slowly.
Bulk up Chatterjigs with bigger craws like the Mizmo Swamp Monster. Black and blue combos are best. Use the same line and fish the same areas as the lipless cranks. This bait is a bit easier to drop a little deeper into grass. Drop and slowly pull out of grass and pause before repeating.
Black and blue 5-inch Mizmo Quiver Stix stick worms rigged shaky head style on the same line can also be fished in heavier cover and around docks. Use a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce head with a 5/0 hook. Pitch to cover and gently shake. Also pull up and engage grass and pop free and allow it to fall.
Also, try slow-rolling Mann’s 3/8-ounce Classic spinnerbaits with a white skirt and gold blades. A longer rod, 7 foot, will enable better hook sets to force fish from the grass. Start with a slow retrieve just below the surface and then allow the bait to flutter after contacting grass or wood cover.
Near Record Bowfin Caught in Lake Meade
A 15-lb., 8-oz bowfin was caught in Lake Meade in late March by Robert Jones from Northern Virginia. Meghann Rothgeb, DGIF Fish Citation Coordinator notes that the Bowfin is just one pound shy of the 16-8 state record caught in Lake Cahoon in 2004. Robert caught the monster on 6-lb, test line while fishing for crappie.