In mid-July, Chris and I headed over to the Conway River. It’s in the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area of the Shenandoah National Forest. Pretty easy to get to – bumpy dirt road that was no problem for the Truck… or even a Taurus or two if you were not concerned about scraping bottom every now and then. The way you get here is to take 29 to 230. Turn onto 230 heading west at the Sheetz station. Turn north on 662 at Wolftown and head towards Graves Mill.
Graves is the southern entrance to the Rapidan fishing area – do not turn north towards Graves Mill – continue on to the West on 615. After going over some rough roads (but not rough enough to really need a 4×4), 615 intersects 667 at the River. This is the Conway – you can start fishing right here. Since there were other folks right at the intersection, we drove north a bit.
We started fishing at waypoint 517 and worked our way north to 017. 018 was an especially nice looking spot. Even though the river is right next to the road, it was not apparent that there had been much pressure. Perhaps because this is all pocket water – with few large pools like the one shown below right. Most of the river looked like below right – hard work to walk upstream and hit the pockets… a few flicks of casts and then move on.
But! There are fish. We started catching them right away – some were pretty decent size as you can see from the last two pictures at the bottom. We fished this in the morning and then headed over to look at the southern entrance to the Rapidan. As usual, we followed a catch and release strategy – but if you want to keep anything, it has to be over 9 inches.
The folks that write about the Conway continue to claim that there are brown trout here that can reach 20 inches – I believe that is dated info. The river runs pretty shallow in the late summer and, while there are some good pools that hold fish, we did not see any evidence of the larger beasts – I think they have been cleaned out.
Back to the truck and shelter – changed clothes and headed home.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore