View Full Version : Smallmouth Float

Byron Begley
08-07-2007, 10:52 AM
Paula and I are looking into a smallmouth trip to either Virginia or Pennsylvania next spring. We want to take our canoe and float a stream or two. We will need a shuttle service, nothing over class one rapids so we don't lose cameras tackle or worse and good fishing. Nice but reasonable accomodations and good restaurants are important. Any replies would be greatly appreciated. Also, we will probably be using popping bugs if possible.



08-07-2007, 12:45 PM
Byron, have you talked to Harry Murray up in Edinsburg, VA? He does shuttles to several rivers in the area. Might be a good base to hit several rivers from.

08-07-2007, 01:08 PM

The Delaware River from Narrowsburg, NY to the Water Gap in PA is all excellent smallie water that is also scenic. There are plenty of outfitters that could give you a shuttle. You'd need to do some research on accomodations and restaurants, as I usually do single day trips.

08-07-2007, 05:36 PM
I haven't fished this so I don't know if it meets the criteria, but I've heard there's great smallmouse fishing in the North Fork of the Holston.


08-07-2007, 11:02 PM
I highly recommend Harry Murray in Edinburg. He can set you up on smallies or trout depending upon which area you want to fish. The Shenandoah is a great float with many different types of water. We used small pontoons.

Shenandoah Blue poppers are good. Also had great success with olive buggers. We have fished from Edinburg all the way to WVa line over multiple floats. On one wade trip I caught a 20in largemouth in a deeper pool. It registered as a VA lunker. I was fishing a 4wt Orvis lined with 5 wt line. Lots of fun.

The nice thing is that you are only an hour or so away from DC depending upon where you stay, which makes a great day trip should you want a day off the water. Many places to stay in Winchester, Front Royal


08-08-2007, 07:47 AM
Byron, I recommend looking into some of the James River floats that are available. There are some guide services and shuttle services for the upper James that can be Googled up, there is also the VA Game and Fish magazine that has numerous articles on Smallie action around VA. There are also some good articles on that site for the Shanandoah. Bruce Ingram (a high school teacher in Fincastle, VA) writes a good number of those articles and is an authority on VA and WVA Smallmouth fishing. I know there are some great fisheries up around Snowden. Also an excellent prospect is to float the lower Maury River at Buena Vista down through Glasgow where it empties to the upper James River below Balcony falls. If I get a chance I'll get some more info for you, we're headed out Friday evening and I plan on stopping Sunday by your shop to look at some 4 Wt. rod combos.

08-08-2007, 08:07 AM
I've heard good things about smallmouth fishing on this Virginia river...first trip is planned for Sept (hopefull).

08-09-2007, 08:03 AM

I just moved down from northern Virginia. I'm sure that any guide/outfitter (like Harry Murray) that works the Shenandoah will tell you this, but there have been recurring fish kills on both branches of the Shenandoah (and recently, the upper James as well). I hope to heck that whatever has caused the kills (theories include pesticides, ag hormones, chicken farms, suburban sprawl, etc.) doesn't hurt our rivers down here. Not to disuade you from any river, but be sure to ask about the status of the river before you make the commitment to driving all the way up there.

The Potomac River near Harpers Ferry (also an hour from DC) has, to date, has been relatively unnaffected and is considered true trophy smally water. I fished the Potomac a lot while I lived in DC and it is a great river, very dense population of large bass.

Mark Kovach (http://www.mkfs.com/) is apparently the man to know up there for river info. I've never used him (I always waded), but he is very reputable in the region.

09-10-2007, 08:06 AM
I found some more info for you. I was looking around a little and found an outfitter that is covering the best Smallie fishing in Central VA. Here is the site: http://www.canoevirginia.net/index.html
I know they are covering the James River and the Maury River, two of the best. Keep in mind to ask about the water situation as we are in the same shape you are for rain.