Jump to content


 Welcome to FlyTyingForum.com


FlyTyingForum.com is the largest fly tying community in the world and we hope you take a moment to register for a free account and join this amazingly friendly and helpful group of anglers. FTF has over 12,000 registered members that have made over 300,000 posts and have uploaded over 6,000 patterns to our exclusive fly pattern database!

If you are an experienced fly tier or just starting out FTF is the perfect place to call home. Click Here To Register for a Free Account

Fly Pattern Database / Browse by Topics / Browse by Material / Fly Tying Bench Database / Fly Fishing & Tying Videos / FTFCurrent(NEW!)
Featured Products: Fly Tying Hooks / Fly Tying Scissors / Waterproof Fly Boxes
Photo

Thinking about going to Smith Mountain Lake, VA


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Bill_729

Bill_729

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 90 posts

Posted 29 January 2020 - 11:06 AM

I noticed that I may be driving by Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia in a few months.

I would love to stop and fish for the day (without dropping alot of cash--I'll stay at the nearest "Quality Inn" style of place) but I'm not sure how to approach it.   I didn't really have any luck with "takemefishing.org".


When I was a kid, we used to rent 10 or15  HP "row-boats", but for some reason, their availability doesn't seem to be as common as it used to be, having been replaced by pontoon and speed boats at ~$100/hr.   I have "waders" if there is a good wade-able area (and I enjoy wading).  I am approaching this from a "warm water" perspective, since that's what I'm used to, but I'm not picky. According to what I read, this lake is suppose to have some good bass in it.  Any suggestions welcome (and I'm not stuck on this destination--I'll consider any to the west).  I've thought of just driving around "stopping when I find a fishy-looking spot".  but I thought it may be better to ask here--Please, help "guide" me.    : )

 

[Added]   Since I posted this, I noticed the existence of "Smith Mountain Lake State Park".  I suspect that may be one the easier access points.   Motels not too far away in Altavista.



Thank you,

Bill


><===)'>      --8888o-------------------------------------------------------------------

 


#2 Rocco

Rocco

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,121 posts

Posted 29 January 2020 - 11:49 AM

Bill,

 

1 day DIY trips to unfamiliar waters are frequently a real nightmare.  Especially so, if you want to fly fish only.

 

Smith Mountain Lake is huge water loaded with  bass --SM and LM; muskies; stripers etc...  Think TV lake.

 

Accessing the right waters at the right time of year with the right tackle and flies for your target species is a challenge.  

 

Someone very familiar with the lake can help of course but you really need a guide to maximize your potential on-water success.

 

Rocco



#3 mikechell

mikechell

    I LOVE SNOW ITS SO FLUFFY!!!!!!!

  • Super Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 15,163 posts

Posted 29 January 2020 - 12:15 PM

I love fishing reservoirs ... in a boat.  There are SO MANY coves, laydowns, etc. that make excellent target fishing.  From the shore, be prepared to get wet, and be prepared to do a lot of walking/hiking. 

Most of the reservoirs I've fished across the country have two things in common.  Vertical drops at the water's edge and, where shallow, deep muddy bottoms.

If the area you find yourself in is vertical drops, you can't get IN the water.  You might be able to find many places where you can get TO the water, make a few casts and head to the next one.  This might involve long detours around areas you can't get to.

If you're in a shallow area, be sure to have secure footwear.  You'll likely be knee deep in mud, which will suck loose boots, tennis shoes, sandals and the like right off.

The water will be cool to cold, depending on how long "... a few months" is to you.  I've waded many a lake in shorts and sandals (Secure ones made for wading) and had a blast catching fish.  It'll wear you out, but it's definitely worth it.

 

Good luck


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#4 Mark Knapp

Mark Knapp

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,283 posts

Posted 29 January 2020 - 12:55 PM

How about a float tube. They don't have to be expensive, they carry well in a car and can give the same access as a boat.



#5 Philly

Philly

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,640 posts

Posted 29 January 2020 - 02:40 PM

I just googled it.  That's one big ass lake.   I checked out the google earth map and it looks like your best bet would probably be the state park...  The boat ramp's there, might be a couple of fishing piers.  There's a "Discovery Center" on a point in the lake which looks like it has decent shore access, though it looks like you might be fishing off of rip-rap.  I've had decent luck fishing strange lakes from the bank.  There's always pan fish to be found.  Time it right and hit it in May, you might find the bass and pan fish in spawning mode.


"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#6 vicente

vicente

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,384 posts

Posted 29 January 2020 - 04:17 PM

How about a float tube. They don't have to be expensive, they carry well in a car and can give the same access as a boat.


That's what I was thinking as well Mark, you can often find those or pontoon boats extremely cheap on Facebook sales, or cl.

#7 Bill_729

Bill_729

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 90 posts

Posted 29 January 2020 - 07:32 PM

I appreciate all of the tips suggested  I had not thought of a float tube, but that may be something which would help me fish my local ponds-but not for this lake I think.  An "Outdoor Show" is coming to town in a few weeks, and I'll see what they have.   As Mike pointed out, this lake appears to have lots of coves which would make fishing it fun--and the motor would be helpful. 

 

It appears that the state park rents row boats with motors, for 4 hours for $45; I'm not sure whether that includes gas or not.   And yes, I anticipate that I will be fly fishing only. But since it's a deep lake I think, I could tote a spinning rod and reel (sacrilege?).

 

The scheduled trip is in about 2 months, so I'll allow the weather will help me make the final decision of whether I stop at the lake this time or not.    And yes, I found the lake by just looking at the map--almost like throwing a dart, except I knew my final destination.  Hint: It's $8/day for a license to fish in VA, $15/day in KY, and $23 for a license for 3 days to fish in NC, which, under my circumstances, is effectively $23 for 1 day.  This lake is in VA--so there's $15 I can put towards the boat right there!  : )  By the way, I'm not sure about the other states, but VA has a "continuous" fishing season--no dates, except for itemized exceptions involving trout waters. 

 

If I catch fish, I'll post a picture for you all!  : )   In the meantime, those of us who don't live in Florida have to deal with the rest of February and March.

 

Bill


><===)'>      --8888o-------------------------------------------------------------------

 


#8 mikechell

mikechell

    I LOVE SNOW ITS SO FLUFFY!!!!!!!

  • Super Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 15,163 posts

Posted 29 January 2020 - 08:06 PM

Just a note of interest:

If I know I'll be going to the same area more than twice in a single year, I will buy an annual non-resident license.  It's usually cheaper than buying short term permits for each visit.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#9 Philly

Philly

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,640 posts

Posted 29 January 2020 - 08:45 PM

Just a note of interest:

If I know I'll be going to the same area more than twice in a single year, I will buy an annual non-resident license.  It's usually cheaper than buying short term permits for each visit.

I do that for Vermont, Mike.  I get up there two or three times in warm weather.  Might even get one for NJ this year since my salt water club does a couple of trips to local lakes in South Jersey

 

 

I appreciate all of the tips suggested  I had not thought of a float tube, but that may be something which would help me fish my local ponds-but not for this lake I think.  An "Outdoor Show" is coming to town in a few weeks, and I'll see what they have.   As Mike pointed out, this lake appears to have lots of coves which would make fishing it fun--and the motor would be helpful. 

 

It appears that the state park rents row boats with motors, for 4 hours for $45; I'm not sure whether that includes gas or not.   And yes, I anticipate that I will be fly fishing only. But since it's a deep lake I think, I could tote a spinning rod and reel (sacrilege?).

 

The scheduled trip is in about 2 months, so I'll allow the weather will help me make the final decision of whether I stop at the lake this time or not.    And yes, I found the lake by just looking at the map--almost like throwing a dart, except I knew my final destination.  Hint: It's $8/day for a license to fish in VA, $15/day in KY, and $23 for a license for 3 days to fish in NC, which, under my circumstances, is effectively $23 for 1 day.  This lake is in VA--so there's $15 I can put towards the boat right there!  : )  By the way, I'm not sure about the other states, but VA has a "continuous" fishing season--no dates, except for itemized exceptions involving trout waters. 

 

If I catch fish, I'll post a picture for you all!  : )   In the meantime, those of us who don't live in Florida have to deal with the rest of February and March.

 

Bill

 

At least we don't have to worry about iguanas falling on our heads like Mike does.


"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

#10 mikechell

mikechell

    I LOVE SNOW ITS SO FLUFFY!!!!!!!

  • Super Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 15,163 posts

Posted 30 January 2020 - 06:28 AM

 

 In the meantime, those of us who don't live in Florida have to deal with the rest of February and March.

 

 

At least we don't have to worry about iguanas falling on our heads like Mike does.

 

I think it's referred to as, "manna from heaven".  But, fortunately/unfortunately, I'm a little too far north for that.

Fortunately, because the Iguanas are an invasive pest, getting into gardens and flowers.

Unfortunately, because I like Iguana, both as pets and as food.  It'd be kind of neat to see them in the trees.


Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis
 


#11 Bill_729

Bill_729

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 90 posts

Posted 30 January 2020 - 09:17 AM

Mikechell wrote:  "I think it's referred to as, "manna from heaven".  But, fortunately/unfortunately, I'm a little too far north for that."

 

-It's a pretty well-kept secret that in northern Michigan, it can "rain mayflies" in the summer evening (someone should write a song?)   You have to "see it to believe it!"

 

 

As this point, I'm excited of the prospects of exploring SML!  I need to review the "fundamental rules of boating" (veer left?/veer right?) , it's been a while.     : )

 

Bill


><===)'>      --8888o-------------------------------------------------------------------

 


#12 Mark Knapp

Mark Knapp

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,283 posts

Posted 30 January 2020 - 02:03 PM

Certainly if you have a boat available, rent a boat. My comment was made before we knew one was available.

 

Exploring new waters can be very exciting. Sometimes you can discover things that the locals don't even know about because you are likely to try things that haven't been used there before.

 

The locals may be keyed on a specific species using a specific method in a particular spot and you come along with totally different stuff. I have stumbled into some of my most memorable outings by accident.

 

The tricky thing about fishing strange waters is being aware of the local regulations. You sometimes need a lawyer and a cartographer to understand the regulations. There may be a reason the locals aren't using a particular "Killer" method or location. It could be hook size or number restrictions, seasonal closures, like during the spawning season of a particular species, or things like slot limits. In Alaska there are lots of closed areas in "open" waters that aren't immediately obvious like closed areas within so many feet of the inlet or outlet of a lake or confluence of a river. It crazy.

 

Best of luck, have fun, show us pictures when you get back.



#13 Bill_729

Bill_729

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 90 posts

Posted 30 January 2020 - 08:27 PM

Mark wrote: Best of luck, have fun, show us pictures when you get back.

 

 

Thanks, will do.  My wife announced that she would like to possibly post-pone our trip, if necessary, to make sure the weather is good at Smith Mountain Lake--so we are going to see this place one way or another--and that includes our dog. : )  


><===)'>      --8888o-------------------------------------------------------------------

 


#14 kevin24018

kevin24018

    Beginner

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts

Posted 12 February 2020 - 01:28 PM

I haven't fished SML yet, there aren't many places to that from shore, that i have found anyway.  People with boats are nuts on that lake btw.  The rivers and creeks are generally difficult to access if not down right dangerous, then there's all the over hanging trees etc.  Carvins cove looks like it would be a great place to fish, either it's not very good or everyone keeps it a secret.