We took a spin out to the Skidmore Fork to see how it looked – the upper end of the Skidmore Fork feeds into the dam and then continues on to run next to route 33..
We combined the fishing trip with the urge to hit the 4×4 circuit with an excursion up to Flagpole knob. Heading in from the Northern access road as shown on the map to the right, we followed the steep dirt road down to Skidmore Dam. There is a turnoff at the bottom where you can access the lake and park and access a “primitive boat launch” which is really just a beaten down area next to the shore. But, this is perfect to launch a canoe or other small craft.
I have seen conflicting information on motors – one VDGIF web site says that electic motors are OK. Another just states the prohibition on motors – the current coverage on the VDGIF website is brief. In fact, a search of the VDGIF site for the current call on this is silent – no mention of any motor restriction at all – so it may be safe to use an electric on your canoe or raft. Last April, I put our canoe on the lake and we had a good time – only caught one fish – several other boats were on the water at the same time – so I don’t know whether this body of water is pressured or we just had bad luck. After fishing for an hour or two, we headed back to check the streams and go up to Flagpole for a nice picnic.
We headed up to Flagpole with the river to our left. Most of the “river” was shallow and narrow. There did seem to be a few pools here and there and when we stopped, we caught some fish. We actually had better luck at the southern end where the water leaves the dam. Drive in and park, walk across the river (it’s very shallow) and then start fishing upstream. We quickly picked up a few nice fish as you can see from the pictures – all immediately released for the next person to hunt.
The 4×4 road up to Flagpole knob is rough, but not very demanding for any vehicle equipped with four wheel drive. It’s well worth the view and it parallels the upper Skidmore Fork so you can check out the stream and go move towards the high ground. It’ll be pretty clear to you when you get to the upper limit of the fishable part of the river. If you are interested in the off road – the 4x4Icon web site has documented many trips in this general area and has coverage of the road to Flagpole.
Picked up at the southern end
Nice trout picked up in a small pool under a tree
Fishing at the South Entrance to Skidmore
Stream at the southern end by 33
View from Flagpole Knob – great Picnic Spot
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore