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Old 03-05-2009, 02:53 PM
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Default Fishing/Camping in Shenandoah/Surrounding

I read the other thread on the forum, but I'm interested in almost the exact opposite thing.
A few friends and I are all in college, freshman year, and for the last two years while in high school, we went on a spring break camping trip "just the guys" for 4-5 days, back country camping and such, last time we took a canoe into Lake Moomaw, and got blown about by the wind, snowed and rained on, and we don't want that to happen again.
We didn't catch one fish, BTW, some big catfish or something tore open our minnow trap, and stole the bread also. That sucked.

In any case, two of my friends go to George Mason, I go to NVCC, and one friend goes to VMI in lexington. We're going to pick him up and go on a camping trip to the Shenandoah... But the thing is, our spring breaks only collide on one weekend.. The 14th and 15th of March. We've set a 4 hour driving limit to the campground, and we'll be leaving either late Friday or early Saturday. We're going to be coming out of Herndon, VA.

We want to catch fish, and I'm the one that's actually caught fish (My dad built me a beautiful medium weight 9ft rod for my 19th birthday, for bass and bream fishing on the potomac), but the other guys have only used closed reel, cheapo rods. I've got a light 7ft rod my dad is letting me use, along with his truck, to go out into the boonies... But we only have a weekend.

Can anyone recommend a place to go camping/fishing at, where we don't have to walk too far (I'm sure we'll be having a good time, few beers and such ) that we can go fishing for some trout?
We were looking at the Camp Run Campground in WV, and various places on the Shenandoah.
We also want to be able to eat at least one fish, lol. More of a trophy than as a meal, we'll bring steaks and burgers also.

Anyway, some help is appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Fishing/Camping in Shenandoah/Surrounding

Mid March is still a little early. Depends on what the weather decides to do in the next week or so. Personally, I would get as far south as I could within that 4 hour window to increase the chances of good fishing. With that in mind, I would go to Whitetop Laurel Creek and stay at Beartree Campground.
Beartree Family Campground, Washington County Virginia Campgrounds
The campground is probably about 5 hours from Herndon but well within 4 hours from Lexington. You can access the Creek from a couple different places right outside of the town of Damascus. The campground is about a 5 to 10 minute drive from the fishing. Whitetop has always been my favorite stream in the state. Here's a couple pictures from an early spring trip I made there a few years back:

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Old 03-05-2009, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Fishing/Camping in Shenandoah/Surrounding

I know it's early, and I wish it were later.. But the next time we're all off it'll be out of Trout season, me and a friend will be going to be across the country (working at a lodge in Crater Lake)

Beartree sounds good, but the main reason I can convince the other guys to come along is because the fishing is normally right next to the campground, a 5-10 minute drive would probably kill it for them, because the four of us do some crazy stuff (when we went to Alaska two summers ago, I got dared to take a bath in one of the lakes on the Kenai. I did it )

I'll see what I can say, but we're most likely going to be confined near or in the Shenandoah...
While the trip you took looks amazing, I'm going to have to save it for a weekend with my dad, he's more of the trout fisher. The friends of mine don't much care what they catch, more of just whatever is fun to fish for

Have you ever been to Camp Run? I can't find any pictures, but it looks pretty cool from what I've read.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Fishing/Camping in Shenandoah/Surrounding

In any case, I directed two of them to this thread, they'll read up and give me an opinion. Thanks for the suggestion so far :P
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Fishing/Camping in Shenandoah/Surrounding

Never been to Camp Run so I can't say either way. You're pretty much limited to trout this time of year. The smallmouth rivers are still too cold for good fishing, although I think they are catchin' some Musky on the Shenandoah right now. There are some sites right along Whitetop Laurel but they require parking in the parking lot and then hiking back to them (hard to take a cooler full of beer). My other recommendation would be the Rt. 623 section of the Jackson River. There are some nice camping spots right along the river that you can drive right up to. You're welcome to send me a PM if you want some more info on that spot.

I would stay away from Shenandoah National Park. Unless the rules have changed you can't have a fire in the backcountry and it will probably be pretty cold at night.
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Old 03-06-2009, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Fishing/Camping in Shenandoah/Surrounding

I think we found a great spot, North Creek Campground, near Buchanan, VA.

The upper part is catch and release, but the lower part is stocked 4 times a year, and is not catch and release. I'm sure I would have fun catching rainbows up stream while the guys catch trout downstream from the campground.

Sound good?
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Fishing/Camping in Shenandoah/Surrounding

Don't know anything about it...from the map it looks to be a tributary of the James. Let us know how the trip works out...might be a spot I want to check out this year.
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