A few weeks ago, we had a great sunny and warm weekend, so the Basswife and I piled into the truck to do a recon of the German River. It had been stocked a few weeks before, so I took my rod “just in case”.
The German River sits in a wide valley and runs close to Rt 826 north of Cootes Store, VA. The stocked water signs appear as soon as you make the left turn onto Rt 826 from Rt 820 and marks the spot where the German River spills into the North Fork of the Shenandoah (another stocked trout water).
On the day we were there, the water looked pretty skinny and it was clear to me that I would have to bushwhack up the stream to find the pools holding fish. Not wanting to leave the Basswife to stew in the truck, I contented myself with taking a few pictures and making a mental assessment of the situation.
The first leg runs from the junction with the North Fork up to a bridge where Rt 826 crosses the German. That stretch is narrow at the east and becomes broad and flat by the bridge. Upstream at the next bridge crossing in Criders, there is a bend that has a nice 3 foot deep pool. Upstream from that point, the river begins to get on private property and the stocked water signs disappear.
Bottom Line: I’m sure this is a nice place to spend an hour or two when trout are present. However, it is not worth a 2.5 hour drive from Northern Virginia working under the assumption that you will spend the day fishing here. From the looks of the water, you will skip many of the wide, shallow stretches and quickly work your way upstream going from pool to pool.
Getting There: From Fulks Run, VA, continue north on Rt.259 that parallels the North Fork. Turn left onto Rt. 820 to follow the river. Turn left again on Rt. 826. The German River is on your left.
Google Local Coordinates: 38.765327,-78.94578
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a public location that is documented in the Virginia VDGIF stocking plan
Date Visited: 02/15/09
The first bridge looking upstream
The first bridge looking downstream
Criders bridge looking upstream
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore