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Old 12-28-2013, 03:04 PM
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Default Shad Run - Potomac River Question

I know the shad run is still a few months off. I've never fished it before and want to get geared-up while I've got some downtime. If you know the area, I plan to fish the lower Potomac, but up by Fletcher's Landing. Apparently, the Susquehanna River also has a shad run that I may try.

What size rod do you recommend? Do I need a full sinking line or something else?

Thanks,

Todd
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Shad Run - Potomac River Question

Todd, I haven't done it in many years, but the last couple have made plans to chase the shad. Seems something else always gets priority. I've got flies tied, so I'm ready, and add some more each year. Can't have too many shad flies!

Most of the time I'll use a 6 wt, but a 5 wt is usually fine too.

Line choices can range from floaters to full sinking. IMO, it's best to have them available to account for conditions. If the water gets a bit low, a floater can work, but get some rains & the water level rises, a sinking line can be the difference between success & casting practice.

When I did have more time to fish, I spent a lot of time up on the Susquehanna, Deer Creek & Octoraro Creek. I've fished at Fletchers too, and on sections of the lower Patuxent. I've also caught them on some of the eastern shore rivers but most times as incidental to fishing for other species.

Flies don't have to be special, but doesn't hurt to have a bit of variety. I tie shad flies on size 4 & 6 hooks, and have seldom seen need for anything else. # 6 sizes work fine for the Hickories, while the #4 seem to work best for me once the Americans arrive. As long as they're colorful, & you can get them down, that's usually all's that needed. Although, sometimes the shad show preferences.

Here's some of the flies I use for Shad! BTW, these work great for Perch & Crappies too which may be in the rivers at the same time!
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Shad Run - Potomac River Question

Dang! I thought I had a lot of Shad Flys! Nice selection!
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Shad Run - Potomac River Question

Wow Jim... Those are some pretty flies!! And... Thanks for responding!

I've got a local guy telling me that I need an 8wt and full sinking or sinking belly line to get down to the fish. His reasoning for an 8wt is I'll need a heavier belly that what my 5 wt can throw. He was suggesting something like the Orvis Depth Charge with a 350 grain head on it. I'm just trying to confirm what I need before I go spending money. I suspect the local fly shops will be able to provide the appropriate flies. I'll try to make sure they look like your photos though!

Todd
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Shad Run - Potomac River Question

Todd, I cannot say the guys wrong about an 8 wt or the fast sink line as I could see conditions that warrant a heavier rod. I have used an 8 wt on the Susky for Shad, but was also fishing for other species at the same time, and the currents can get very heavy there when the dam is releasing a lot of water. For most average spring time conditions a 5 or 6 wt can easily do the job particularly on the smaller creeks. Of course, there is also the possibility of hooking into other fish that might be better handled on an 8 wt, such as Striped Bass or LM bass, so that is something to consider as well.

I don't know what kind of flies local shops might carry for Shad, the selections were usually not too extensive from what I've seen in the past. When I was tying flies commercially, I sold a lot of shad flies in a short period just before & during the Shad runs, simply because most shops didn't even carry them. I last tied commercially over 10 years ago, so that may have changed.

BTW, thank you & you're welcome anytime!
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Shad Run - Potomac River Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
Todd, I cannot say the guys wrong about an 8 wt or the fast sink line as I could see conditions that warrant a heavier rod. I have used an 8 wt on the Susky for Shad, but was also fishing for other species at the same time, and the currents can get very heavy there when the dam is releasing a lot of water. For most average spring time conditions a 5 or 6 wt can easily do the job particularly on the smaller creeks. Of course, there is also the possibility of hooking into other fish that might be better handled on an 8 wt, such as Striped Bass or LM bass, so that is something to consider as well.

I don't know what kind of flies local shops might carry for Shad, the selections were usually not too extensive from what I've seen in the past. When I was tying flies commercially, I sold a lot of shad flies in a short period just before & during the Shad runs, simply because most shops didn't even carry them. I last tied commercially over 10 years ago, so that may have changed.

BTW, thank you & you're welcome anytime!
Thanks Jim,

Based on what you are telling me, it seems the advice I was given could be good advice. I understand what you mean, more and more as I learn more about fly fishing, that it is about bringing the gear to fit the conditions where I am fishing and the line/flies I'm trying to throw.

I took a look at your blog and read your profile. I do a little tying myself. That really is an impressive collection you have. I see you are in MD. I'm in Montgomery County. If you are still involved enough to suggest a few key patterns that would be particularly good for the Potomac & Susquehanna and are willing, I would consider buying a few of your shad flies. I have a 10 year old son that will be fishing with me. He may be using spinning tackle. I will likely have my 8 and/or 5 wt with me.

Let me know,

Todd
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Shad Run - Potomac River Question

I plan on fishing the shad run for the first time this year too. Maybe I'll see you down there.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Shad Run - Potomac River Question

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I plan on fishing the shad run for the first time this year too. Maybe I'll see you down there.
I'll wish us both luck. I'm taking my 10 year old with me - hoping for some good fish!!
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Shad Run - Potomac River Question

Hey Todd! I sent you a PM!
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Shad Run - Potomac River Question

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Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
Hey Todd! I sent you a PM!
Got it, thanks!
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