I was fighting the rain all morning on this late July day. While it rained, I would drive and recon. In one of the breaks in the weather, I found myself a well used turnout off Rt 9 north of the Forks of Cacapon. Not needing a second invitation, I pulled into the turnout and jumped out of the truck to begin fishing. The first thing I noticed was a sign posted on the tree asking people to report catching fish with lesions. That did not sound good, but I was certainly willing to participate in the study and I wasn’t about to keep anything anyway.
I waded out into the gentle river and was instantly impressed with the quality of the structure that surrounded me. The bottom was full of rocks and randomly distributed boulders with a good fast current pushing up against the far bank. Without any further hesitation, I began to flip my green size 6 popper out into the broad pool and twitch it back. Within the first five casts, I had pulled in 4 fish. Granted, most of them were sunfish but it was gratifying to have the action after sitting in the truck most of the day. Sadly, one of those was also the fish with lesions the you see in the picture below. I tried to call the number and visit the website that was posted on the tree but both of those are out of service. If anyone reads this who is associated with the organization that was interested in counting damaged fish on this river, send me an e-mail if you need more information.
I don’t know why but I always work upstream but today was no exception. I began fishing my way upstream, worked the deep pools and the fast run up against the far bank of the river and continued to pick up decent sized smallmouth bass as well as as many sunfish as I cared to pull in. This spot is riddled with holes that are deep enough to hold big fish — unfortunately, I could not convince any of them to come out and play. There are plenty of ridges of rocks that run horizontal to the river to give you good footing and provide the ability to move out into the mainstream of the current without sloshing and making a lot of noise. Up around the corner, there’s a huge tree that has fallen parallel with the river and shelters a deep hole with plenty of fish hanging underneath it. It was here that I caught my largest smallie of the day; a 14 inch beauty.
Farther upstream there’s a large lake behind the gradient break that marks the start of the river’s turn into the corner. I noticed that the property on my left was posted so I did not go farther upstream since I would be unable to stay in the river. Once I was above the gradient break, the bank became silty and muddy and far too deep to wade at the current water level. Not a problem! I fished my way back downstream and had the same luck I had on the way up. After fishing that spot for about an hour, the rain picked up again and I headed back to the truck, satisfied that I found another good spot. Looking downstream, the road stays close to the river for another couple hundred yards and then veers away. It’ll be an exercise for the next visit to see how far down the river that I can wade without encroaching on private property.
Bottom Line: This is a great spot and deserves a return visit.
Getting There: From I81, pick up Rt 522 into West Virginia. Turn west on Rt 127 and follow it up to the Forks of Cacapon where you will turn north on Rt 29. Follow Rt 29 to Rt 9 and turn north on Rt 9. Follow Rt 9 for 7.8 miles to the turnoff at the sharp bend.
Google Local Coordinates: 39.510332,-78.35535
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented on anglerguide.com, wvwildlife.com, trails.com and others.
Date Fished: 7/31/2009
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Upstream from the entry point
Downstream from the entry point
uh oh… Fish with lesion
Looking upstream from around the corner
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore