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Old 01-04-2008, 01:17 PM
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Default Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

I'm trying to plan a camping/fly fishing trip to the Shenandoah National Park area, and I'm trying to see if anyone is familiar with that area. I've read a little bit about the park online and they say that many of the rivers inside the park can be fly fished, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're any good. What I'd like to do is backpack in to a river area and camp/cabin and fish for a few days. Any ideas?
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

There are a ton of good spots. My favorite streams in SNP are on the Eastern slope because you can access them from the lower Park boundary. The Hughes, White Oak Canyon Run, The Rose, Rapidan and Conway are all great streams. There is a particularly nice camping spot on the upper Rose River between the 2 forks about a mile down the mountain from Skyline Drive. The Rapidan offers some nice car camping spots along the fire road that parallels the stream just outside of the Park boundary. White Oak Canyon offers several large waterfalls and the scenery and fishing are both great. You really can't go wrong with any of them. Besides the brookies, you'll probably get into some brown trout on the Rose and the Conway, left over from past stocking below the Park boundary.

On the Western side of the Park there is a really nice stream named Big Run. It is one of the larger Park streams and is home to some really nice sized brookies. It's about a 4 mile hike down from Skyline drive (no access from the lower Park boundary). The hike down isn't bad but it's a killer coming back up so it's best to stay at least one night. One word of warning on Big Run...the last time I was down there we saw 2 black bears and had one rumbling around in our camp during the night.

As for gear, 2 - 4 weight rods are best, no longer than 7.5 feet. Lots of overhanging trees, brush and tight spots make longer rods a hassle. Take your attractor dries and the standard nymphs like princes, hare's ears and pheasant tails. Beetles, ants and crickets in the summer.

Hope that helps. I can also recommend a couple good books with detailed directions on access, etc if you're interested. Have fun.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

hey...thanks for all that info...that's awesome! Have you had any experience in the cabins that are run by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (potomacappalachian.org - Rental Info I'm not sure if any of them are near the fishing spots that you reco'd, but they'd be a heck of a lot easier to camp in than packing in a tent, etc. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

I'm not familiar with the cabins, but second all the info provided by dshort.

One caution - I have not fished the SNP this year, but I have heard that the drought has pretty much sucked it dry for now. You may find long stretches of the places mentioned that have very little water.

If you do some google searches - like "hughes river" trout or "white oak canyon" trout, you will find links to trip reports that show what everything looks like.

You may want to google each of the places you want to go. For example, you may hear a lot about Jeremy's Run, but I was really disappointed with it in April 2006 and have not been back.

The VA DNR website also has pdf maps that show all the wild and stocked water in that area. That's worth a recon as well.
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

I'm not familiar with the cabins either, so I can't help much there. I usually like to camp anyway, but one problem with backcountry camping in the Park is that no fires are allowed. Being someone who loves a good camp fire, that takes half the fun away. You can have fires at the car camping spots on the Rapidan and I think at the campgrounds up on Skyline Drive, just not in the backcountry.


Switch fisher is right about the drought this summer. The Park streams all got extremely low...but the water levels are in much better shape now after some recent rains. I sorta made the assumption that you were talking about a spring trip anyway...the fishing will be pretty slow until at least mid March..although the warm spell this week will help things out.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

Thanks all for the info....yeah i'm definitely looking at the spring time for the trip, maybe april or may. I'll have to do a little more homework on these cabins before I make any reservations. Thanks again!
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

I've done a little more homework on some of those cabins and looks like there's a pretty easily accessible one directly on the Hughes River. If anyone knows the Corbin cabin area, any info is much appreciated. Everything I read has it as about a 1.5 mile hike into the river valley and the cabin is about 130 ft. from the river, sounds pretty good to me! But I'd still like to know more, so if anyone knows where I'm talking about...help me out!
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

I hiked in from the lower Hughes almost to the Corbin Cabin flat section back in 2006

If you want to fish your way in, it will be torture - this is nice water - or was before the drought last year.

The best section starts about 2 miles in from the Rag Mt Parking Lot and goes to just short of Corbin Cabin where it flattens out in the valley.

I stopped because the stream got real low and slow near Corbin - why fish that when you have all the pocket water on the first part of the river. So I turned around and fished my way back. There is a super section that starts about 3 miles from the bottom to where I turned around. It's climb over huge rocks to get to classic deep pocket pools. Once you go into the river in that section, you are there for a good 1/2 mile as the bank is really steep on either side.

If you go to Corbin Cabin from the top, you will be really close to that section. I can send you a link to the trip report I wrote on the Hughes if you want more detail.

Click the image to open in full size.

I was a spin guy back in 2006. I'd like to go back and try it again with my long rod now.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

I can't help out with any advice on the cabin but the stream should be in good shape this spring. I've had good luck on the Hughes starting just after it's major tributary enters. It's called Brokenback Run and enters the Hughes a fairly short distance from the parking lot. Don't ignore this water down low as there are plenty of fish to be had. You'll probably catch some rainbows as well as brookies, especially lower down. I've never fished the Hughes by coming in from Skyline Drive so I can't help out there either. Good luck.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Fly Fishing Shenandoah NP

Quote:
Originally Posted by switchfisher View Post
I hiked in from the lower Hughes almost to the Corbin Cabin flat section back in 2006

If you want to fish your way in, it will be torture - this is nice water - or was before the drought last year.

The best section starts about 2 miles in from the Rag Mt Parking Lot and goes to just short of Corbin Cabin where it flattens out in the valley.

I stopped because the stream got real low and slow near Corbin - why fish that when you have all the pocket water on the first part of the river. So I turned around and fished my way back. There is a super section that starts about 3 miles from the bottom to where I turned around. It's climb over huge rocks to get to classic deep pocket pools. Once you go into the river in that section, you are there for a good 1/2 mile as the bank is really steep on either side.

If you go to Corbin Cabin from the top, you will be really close to that section. I can send you a link to the trip report I wrote on the Hughes if you want more detail.

Click the image to open in full size.

I was a spin guy back in 2006. I'd like to go back and try it again with my long rod now.
That would be awesome if you could send me the link to your trip report! I really can't wait for the trip, I hope the fishing is going to be worth it!
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