Recently, I was surprised to discover that there were a few highly rated lakes here in the Northern Virginia/DC area that I had not visited. In particular, Beaverdam Creek Reservoir as well as Fairfax Lake were both in the top 10. I put that information on hold while I finished the trout season. A few weeks ago, I rounded up the Basswife and we headed out on a bright Sunday to validate that high rating.
Your first challenge in getting to Beaverdam Creek Reservoir is trying to find the access point. The VDGIF website only describes it in high level terms. All it says is that you head North on 659 from route 50 and all will be well. We drove up and down this road trying to find any sign indicating public access. We found none. I finally pulled out the Gazetteer and took a close look at the roads on it. There had to be access, so we then followed any road to the west off 659 in the hope of coming up to the lake. Finally, we hit gold where we turned down Mount Hope Road. It is a short road that quickly turns into a dirt track leading to a very small parking area right on the Lake.
One thing the website got correct is that there is no boat ramp. In fact, there’s not even a gravel road leading to the lake’s edge where you could back a trailer. This access point is limited to canoes and kayaks as you can see from the first two pictures below. The rock formations prevent any access for trailer launching a boat. As long as you can carry your craft to the water’s edge, you will be fine.
I ran into another fly fisherman as we were unloading the truck and had a quick chat with him. I asked if he’d been here before and he said that he had mostly fished from the shore. He did indicate that where we were standing was an old road bed that leads to the middle of the lake. He asserted that there would be good structure around that roadbed. A quick glance in the direction he pointed revealed another boat fishing in the middle of the lake over no apparent structure. That must be the place he was talking about. We parted ways as he went to wade the grass beds the line the shore to the north of the access point while we finished loading the canoe and launched into the lake.
This is a big body of water. As you can see from the pictures, it stretches north and south for a least a mile or two. While the VDGIF website does not specify whether gas motors are allowed, I did not see any other boats beyond canoes and kayaks. I was told that there is another launch point from the west side of the lake off of Reservoir Road but since I have not been there I cannot confirm it. Perhaps there is an improved boat launch on that side where you can float a Jon boat were other more traditional craft.
We headed across the lake and began to work the far shore with top water plugs. The Basswife tied on a floating frog while I was using a grasshopper pattern on my fly gear. We picked up the typical bluegills, but no bass. This lake has a great looking shoreline structure! There’s plenty of grass that grows out into the lake, providing plenty of cover. The west side of the lake is fairly shallow (2 – 4 feet deep) and I suspect that had an impact on our luck.
I decided to look for deeper water under the assumption that the bass were off the shore in the middle of the day. We crossed the lake and began to drift down the eastern side. This is a great place! It’s fairly deep over there and you can see huge rocks underneath the surface. The grass beds fade into the rock beds. We picked up a couple small bass in this area and I know there have to be more here. The “rock garden” extends all the way down to the southern tip of the lake. If we had not been here in the height of the afternoon I’m sure we would have had a more productive day.
There were folks fishing from the bank at the southern end. They must have walked in from Alford Road. We tried to drive that access, but it has a gate that prevented us from getting close enough to the water to launch the canoe.
Bottom line: I have a gut feeling that this is a very productive body of water. The limited access controls pressure and has probably contributed to the top ranking it has achieved. On the date and time we were on the water, I only saw a few other fishermen. There was one other boat and a few guys fishing from the shore.
Although we did not fully investigate the northern portion of the lake (something for another day), the lower end looks the most promising with the huge boulder field. I can just image lunker bass huddled next to the protection of those rocks and making periodic forays into the grass beds to chow down.
In addition, we ran out of time and did not check out the suspected structure over the road bed. Another day…
Getting There: From Route 50, turn north on Rt 659. Follow it to Mt. Hope Road and turn left. Follow Mt. Hope Road to the lake. Do not take Alford Road. It dead ends in a locked gate.
Google Local Coordinates: 39.010664,-77.533522
Secrets Revealed: No. This lake was discussed in the VDGIF rankings of the top bass lakes in Northern Virginia.
Left side of the access point. You can put a canoe in on the other side of the rock
There is a small dock where you see the kayaker in this picture. This is to the right of the area in the picture to the left of this one.
Grass beds proliferate – these lead to the boulder fields on the east side of the lake
Big, empty water
More grass beds on the west side of the lake
Looking up the lake – it was empty.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore