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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never fly fished for shad and would like to try this year. Does anyone know of a place close to Virginia Beach that I can try? Also what fly's should I try? I have a 5 weight with floating line on it that I use for trout in the mountains of Va.
Thanks for any info.
 

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Roanoke Rapids, NC-Roanoke River
Richmond, VA-James River

I don't know much about those two but they are supposed to be good. They are both about 2 hours away and I know the James gets pretty packed when they are in there.

Now two I do know about:

1) Nottoway River near Franklin, VA- it's about an hour from VB. They should be there around the beginning of April. Not as thick as the James but you will catch some. It is a very scenic, peaceful place. Definately worth it. B-mail me if you want more specifics.

2) Hampon Roads Bridge Tunnel- really only good if you are a night fisherman (I am). Same time, probably April 1 or whenever the weather start warming up a little. The shad are PACKED in there under the lights on the bay side. If you get into them you will catch hundreds.

Flies-anything small (1"-2") with alot of flash. Spoon flies and clousers work well.

You need a sinking line or if you want to save $ splice a piece of sinking tip on the end of that floating line.

Tom
 

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HMag

While they pass Va Beach and are caught around the Bridges normaly Shad fishing is at the Fall lines. In Virginia thats Franklin on the Nottaway, Richmond on the James, Fredricksburg on the Rappahannock and DC on the Potamac. There is some Shad fishing on the York above West Point but you never hear much about it, I need to figure that one out. As far as I know only Fredricksburg is a wade fishery the rest you need a boat. Our Fly club has a trip to Fredridcksburg 3rd Sat in April. Look at VCFA.ORG Join and go.

We are real close to Roanoke Rapids In NC too and it's a great fishery. If you Shad fish it it's a good preview of the Striper Fishery that follows.

Other thing is they move in waves. Best way to predict arrival of fish is look at the river to your south. When it's good your river is next.

I almost always use a 6 wt with a sinking line. Deeper the water more the sink.

Boats
 

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Down your way.........Keep your eye on Fly-OV, he's always the first to nail-um. He may even post to this thread, I know he's lurking ;) - TonyH
 

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FlyOV is already tracking 'em, and I think his first day is circled on the calendar already.:D There is already a few being caught south of us now at Pitch Kettle in NC. (Hook and line, not just nets; nothing hot and heavy but a few.) It won't be too long.
I have caught Hickorys at Rudy inlet before, but don't remember the dates, about the same as the ones mentioned already I believe. The HRBT will be awesome 6wt action in the spring at night. Wear out a bunch of schoolie stripers, blue fish, and shad till your wrists can't take it anymore. When the shad first get there use sinking lines, later on throw intermediates and watch the bluefish and the shad chase it to the boat.:) Small sparkly clousers usually do pretty good. When we get closer to the spring, give me a shout, if there is an open spot, you're welcome to ride with me. (That offer extends to everyone)
Later, Harry
 

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Harry.... realize what you may have done there, people WILL take you up on that. I'd like to come down in the spring, early on, say March sometime to learn about some night time site casting.:D

An offer will extend to you to fish the flats on my boat if you want it but I won't be doing that until later on in April. But I don't think you have any reason to leave the fishing you have down there.
 

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When they show up around here, we do best if the fly gets down 8 to 10 feet. They are really fun. #2 Clouser with some flash works fine for me.

I'd like to get them on my 4wt, but there's a problem. There's big stripers lurking around them where we fish. They would laugh at my 4wt!
 

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ST,
I ain't skeered!:D Quite a few have taken me up on it before. I've learned that, the more people I fish with, the more I learn about fishing and about people. Everyone does something a little different and it's always fun to learn a different way, plus enjoy it through the eyes of someone new. Besides, unlike the serious fishing in the fall, springtime fishing is for fun.:)
Later, Harry
 

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Your fellow TFers have shot you straight- very informative. I have little to add with the exception of the river fishery. In the bay/salt the fish will hit nearly anything if the size is right. But, in the rivers I try to throw bright, gaudy stuff. The mantra at the vise: Queer eye for the shad fly:D I have also been known to sling metal on the long rod, small drone spoons can be deadly. I know I know. The horror:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the helpfull information. Very helpfull from someone who has never caught a shad. I have however caught many rock fish on my 8 weight at the chbt under the lights at night. Way to much fun!! I may take you up on that trip Harry, thanks again for the info.
 
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