The Best Spots to Go Fishing on the Shenandoah River

February 16, 2018

The Shenandoah Valley area often attracts anglers because of its reputation for excellent fly fishing. If you plan on visiting this stunning part of Virginia, you’ll want to find out more about fishing on the Shenandoah River. Read our guide to learn the best spots to go, what types of fish live in these waters, and even some of the history of fishing.

While planning your next big trip to go fishing on the Shenandoah River, be sure to check out more things to do in Harrisonburg. This destination is perfect for anglers of all ages! 

Tips for Fishing on the Shenandoah River

History of Fishing on the Shenandoah River

While many people come to the Shenandoah River in search of smallmouth bass, this fish wasn’t always native to the area. These little critters made their way to the Shenandoah River from the Potomac River Basin sometime before the 1800s. Now, this area of the country is one of the most desirable spots for smallmouth fishing. The calm waters and lack of rapids make it an excellent place for anglers to post up.  

Where to Fish

There are many Shenandoah River fishing access points along the 56-mile river. If you’re looking for smallmouth bass, the South Fork of the river is said to be the best spot. Many anglers swear that the section of the river between Bixler’s Bridge and Foster’s Boat Landing (sections #1 through #11) is bountiful. A variety of Shenandoah River fish species are known to congregate in this area. Cast a line here for the best chance to catch a lot of fish in one day. Head to the lower end of the river between sections #11 and #19 if you’re in search of larger fish.

What Types of Fish You Can Catch

Fishing on the Shenandoah River means you’ll have access to a large variety of fish. While the area is known for smallmouth bass, other types of bass frequent the waters as well. You can find largemouth bass throughout the river, typically in the slower moving sections. Several species of sunfish can be found here as well as black and white crappie, muskellunge, and catfish. Ask about the best places for Virginia trout fishing while planning your trip.

If you’re in need of extra fishing supplies during your trip, be sure to stop by the Mossy Creek Fly Fishing Shop.

Enjoy a Relaxing Stay at By the Side of the Road 

There’s no better way to end a day of fishing on the Shenandoah River than returning to a comfortable room. At By the Side of the Road Inn, our accommodations are both luxurious and cozy with in-room fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Choose from our two Spring Water Cottage Suites—the Water Lily Suite and the Mountain Laurel Suite. The Water Lily Suite features an electric fireplace, wet bar, and separate sitting room for plenty of space. 

Browse our complete list of available properties and start planning your getaway today! 


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