Contributing Author: Dr. Patrick Taylor
I had fished Alma previously with great success. I had only really fished about ½ a mile of the stretch – it then looks fast so I hadn’t proceeded further. However, looking at the river as you head upstream to the Newport landing on Google maps, there looks like a good stretch above the rapids that needed to be explored – between Newport Landing and Alma.
In a previous post I provided some information on the initial stretch. I quickly fished through this area picking up small Smallies and Sunfish and headed toward where I wanted to explore. After the fast water you come out onto a rocky river plateau with plenty of features and deep channels. All I can say is this place was awesome! Almost every cast I was getting Smallies and Sunfish. On the way up I focused on the left bank and on the way back down I focused on the right. There are so many good looking spots. No big fish but constant action, my biggest smallie was around 12 inches – the majority falling in the 8-10 inch range. Plenty of decent sized Sunfish as well.
I probably would have fished all the way up to Newport landing! But I could see a group of people moving down toward me from that direction.
I decided to head back and explore some of the fast water that I had bypassed on the way up. I had noted a few places as I moved up, although fast water, you could see definite ‘pockets’ and could imagine fish sitting off the main current waiting as food comes down.
There are some really nice ‘pockets’ in this fast water. It’s a bit difficult to wade out to them but well worth the effort. I was rewarded with some nice Smallies in these areas. It’s always difficult to cast a line into a slacker area with a fast flow dragging the line down- so you need to reach cast or throw some quick mends in the line.
Anyway, another great day. Alma upstream is definitely the jewel in the crown on the South Fork Shenandoah in my opinion.
GPS Coordinates: 38.588506,-78.563683
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore