In the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and Christmas, a few folks are still finding the time to wade out into a cold stream and cast a fly. John Waller, a guide with South River Fly Shop, did. And look what he caught. A huge Downtown Brown.
The South River in Augusta County flows through the very heart of Waynesboro. Through the conservation efforts of Trout Unlimited, the City of Waynesboro, Dupont, the VDGIF, South River Fly Shop and many others, it has developed into one of Virginia’s premiere trout streams, The cold, clear spring-fed water carries over many holdover trout and recent stream samplings indicate some natural reproduction.
Tommy Lawhorne at South River Fly Shop notes that the water levels have improved over the past couple of weeks and fishing pressure has been modest.
“Fishing continues to be challenging with mostly holdover rainbows and browns in the river,” Tommy said. “ Small nymphs and soft hackles have been producing well along with some small and medium sized streamer patterns.”
For more information on the South River or for fly-fishing gifts and equipment, contact the South River Fly Shop at 540-942-5566 or go to southriverflyshop.com
Greentop Outdoor Report
By Stan Cobb
Bigger Rockfish, including some 48-inch plus fish, are now being caught from the bay itself, instead of just the tributaries. Now is the time to fish live eels. Stretch 25’s, and tandem rigs are also working well inside the Rappahannock River. The York River has been productive, but better catches this week, have come from inside the bay. The fish haven’t quite made it down to Cape Charles yet. Tautog fishing is improving, or at least more anglers are targeting them. Fiddler crabs, and regular crabs are the preferred baits. Speckled trout reports have slowed quite a bit this week. However, trolled jerk baits seem to put fish in the boat on the tough days, when covering more water is the key. Twitching Mirr-O-Lures, and casting 3-4-inch swim baits, is another good way to find fish. While trolling the jerk baits, be prepared to hook up with rockfish. Lighter lines are almost always better for the trout. Big swordfish are still hitting the scales, some of which have weighed over 200 lbs.
Things were tough on the freshwater side of fishing over the weekend. The cold, rainy weather on Sunday made things difficult during the winter series bass tournament on Lake Anna. Thirteen pounds was the winning weight. The previous weeks have seen limits in the 20 lb. range or better. Crankbaits are a good bet for covering water quickly and effectively. Rock structure has been better for bass in many of Virginia’s lakes. The bridges have been much more consistent for crappie at Anna. Stripers are being caught better in the upper portions of Anna. Four inch swimbaits have been productive.
Kerr Lake elevation is at 298.83 ft. Good catches of crappie have been caught from the bridges and over mid to deeper brush piles. Lipless crankbaits, jigs, jerk baits, and A-rigs have been good on both the tidal James and Chickahominy Rivers. Not much has been reported on the upper James, but that could change soon. Water levels are on the rise, which should improve the bite for smallmouth. Targeting the smallmouth on the tidal Rappahannock is a good idea now, but things are still a little slow at present. But any day now, things could change for the better, much better.
The Outer Banks
TJ”s Tackles says that Avon had some nice sea mullet caught on the south end of Hatteras Island. There were black drum, puppy drum and sea mullet beached at the jetties. Frisco reported some slot drum on their beaches. There were some citation red drum caught at The Point earlier this week.
Jennette’s Pier is catching skate and dogfish.
Fishing for stripers in the sound continues to be excellent.