Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the Rapidan River Virginia

The first time we fished the Rapidan River, Angie and I caught as many brook trout as we
wanted to catch in the first two pools we fished. The fishing was incredible. I don't think a
single brook trout was under seven or eight inches long. They averaged about eight inches
long. I don't remember the number we caught. We fished the stream on one other It turned
out to be very similar to the first trip we made. We caught lots of large brook trout.

The water was quite deep - maybe eight feet deep. The pool was about the size of a large
family room. If you cast to the base of the short waterfall at the head of the pool, the fly
would drift about ten feet before it began to decelerate and drift at a very slow pace. At
about that point, you would see a brook trout come out from under the white water beneath
the water fall and take the fly. At times you could see the trout come as far as ten feet to
take the fly. I have no idea how deep the brook trout were holding beneath the white water.
It was very difficult not to take the fly away from the trout before they ate the fly. It looked
like they were feeding in slow motion. It was similar to the way cutthroats that are seldom
fished to take a fly. In fact we missed some of the first ones by attempting to hook them
before they actually had the fly in their mouth. We just had to wait until we saw a swirl
before setting the hook. We saw every brook trout we caught come at least a few feet
before taking the fly. It was an exciting ordeal.

This stream can become crowded in some areas in the summer. It is located within two
hours of Washington D. C. Many come just to play in the water and camp. There are no
official campsite but camping is allowed.

All the streams in the Shenandoah National Park requires the use of single hook artificial
flies.
Rapidan River Virginia
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