This post contains a bunch of photos taken on the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg, Va from the August -September time period. I live only a few short blocks from the Rapp and therefore, fish it often. Most of these trips are 1-4 hours. So, it works out nicely if I want to painstakingly wake before the sunrise or if get out of work earlier than expected. Additionally having fished this river extensively this past year, I know where to go and what to use (most of the time), which helps with landing a decent number of fish. For all of these trip, I used a yellow crystal bugger, size 6. The fish love it!
If you’re interested in hitting the Rapp when the water temps warm up in the Spring, please let me know. The Spring shad run is a blast and the smallmouth bass/redbreast sunfish action stays steady throughout the warmer months. I also guide for River Rock Outfitters @riverrockoutfitter @RROutfitter (well, I’m the backup guide). So you can contact them about hitting the water as well. The main guide, is an awesome dude, and very knowledgeable, but feel free to ask for me if you so choose.
Now that my marketing interests are out of the way, the following paragraphs will detail the photos. I tried to put them in chronological order. Although, this being a month or so on, I may have mixed them up a little. No harm, no foul, I suppose.
Hope you enjoy!
My brother, @cormander88 – a member of the illustrious #Rainbrahs – made the short trip up from Richmond to hit the water one evening. We landed a ton of sunnies and a about 10-15 smallies. I hooked a healthy 14 incher but lost him before I could snag a photo (I’d rather be gentle and miss the photo op than try a pic while harming the fish). Corey landed a nice 12-13 inch smallie too. The water levels were relatively low and the weather perfect. With these lower water levels you have to do a good bit of stealth fishing, almost like you’re going after some brookies in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I also recommend using at least 10 feet of leader/tippet material. The fly line can spook the bigger, more wary smallmouth. By the time we ended the fishing, nightfall was upon us. Even with headlamps, this made for a difficult exit. Make sure you stick to a schedule and time your fishing trips correct!
One lovely morning while walking up the Fredericksburg Quarry Trail I stumbled upon this little guy – nearly stepped on him it I may add. I stood back a good 15 feet. Even though he measured no more than 16 inches I knew the could lunge quite a distance. Plus, being a young Agkistrodon contortrix, these guys lack the control of venom the older copperheads do and therefore, can spray a lot out at once.
After a couple minute stare down, I contemplated admitting defeat the my slithering little friend who halted my stride toward some nice smallie waters. However, I decided to simply walk back a hundred yards or so, wait, then come back and see if he moseyed off the path. It worked. By the time I returned the snake vanished. I will admit most roots, sticks, and anything possessing movement spooked me pretty good for the remainder of my walk. When time permits, read up on copperheads and other snakes in the region. It’s very helpful – and possibly life saving – to know a bit about them and other creatures when out enjoying the great outdoors.
Arriving to the money spot after my encounter with the copperhead. Had to snap a quick one. I was surely a relieved man at this time. Shortly after this I came across a six foot snake skin on some rocks. Damn, I was nervous from me boots to me hairs on me head. Extreme caution ensued for the remainder of this adventure.
Its hard to beat a nice view of the Rapp with nothing around but nature…and the tip of my fly rod. You probably can’t see it, but there is a bald eagle flying about 10 feet above the water in the far right of this shot. If you hit the Rapp just West of Fredericksburg either early or late , you’ll generally see ’em. As you can tell, the water is pretty low here. So, you have to find the pockets and deep runs.
This guy put up quite the fight. He even made a click or two come out of the old Orvis reel. I took a rod measurement of this beaut and later recorded it somewhere in the 15 inch range. I landed him on my Winston Passport 6 wt and she bent the hell out of that thing. Anyone who fishes smallies knows when they pull, they pull hard, and they’re jumpers! The appearance of the rod speaks for herself, but I love her performance, regardless of how she looks… Got her on sale, too!
Sometime in September I entered a RIO PRODUCTS random winner contest on Facebook. Who knew I would win the prize of a RIO Buff. Additionally, the lovely folks at RIO PRODUCTS pitched in a complimentary fly line (which isn’t cheap). Marketing is a beautiful thing, and sometimes luck is on your side. I have yet to try out the line, but come spring time, this stuff will find quality time of the Rapp for sure.
This is Rob. Rod is my neighbor. Rob wanted to hit the River. Therefore, I took Rob to the River. We woke early and the water was chilly, but the fishing was fine. We only had about fifteen minutes of time on the water before we both were required at our places of employment. Simply seeing the sun rise over the river is enough to get me out of bed though. I landed a few sunnies as did Rob. I also hooked a 6 inch yellow perch, but he slipped through my fingers before I could snag a photo.
Rob with the catch of the day! and a lovely smile, I might add. Finding a happy place is sometimes very easy. Although, he does need to work on his fish-friendly handling skills. I doubt I would enjoy being held up by a hook in my mouth.