For Shad fishing info and techniques, check out the podcast I did with Tom Rosenbauer on the subject here: http://www.orvis.com/news/fly-fishing/podcast-shad-bonus-dicount-code/ When fishing the deeper current seams for Stripers and other predatory fish, fish a variety of baitfish imitations on sinking lines or sink tips to get down in the current. Use only a short level leader on your sinking line - 3' of 0X works great. Cast across the main current and mend to let the fly dig in. Let the fly swing through the main current and strip it through the current seam. Make short fast strips along the seam and prepare for a whack! If you still don't connect, angle your cast a bit farther upstream to fish deeper, or downstream to fish shallower. Vary your approach with a focus on depth and retrieve speed rather than doing the same thing over and over, or changing flies. Once you have covered an area thoroughly, move down the run a bit and repeat.
Two handed rods and Spey Casting Techniques are very effective for covering the water in these areas from shore. Stop by the shop with all of your questions about using Two-Handed Rods in the Tidal Potomac, as we have really dialed in some of the best techniques and tackle requirements to unlock many of the spots you couldn't fish before.
In the Tidal Basin, walk the seawall and make casts low to the water and parrallel to the wall (side-arm casts). It is tough to beat a Wooly Bugger, small Clouser, or Crayfish pattern in the Tidal Basin.
For the kayakers, put in at any of the Tidal bays or tributaries and fish the grass mats and lilly pads with poppers, woolly buggers, and baitfish patterns for big Bass and potentially Snakeheads. This fishing really heats up in the late Spring through Summer when the grass gets thick.
Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders is a Federation of Fly Fishers Charter Club with a focus on this fishery. For more information on this group, this fishery, and the fly fishers that call it home, please visit us here and consider joining: www.tpfr.org
Some beautiful weather is ahead, and the Shad fishing should be in full swing in the next week or so. We are fully stocked up on sinking line, 0X fluoro, and Tommy's Shad Flies.
FALSE START!!! The first Shad of 2014 was caught on 3/22 (on spin tackle) after which several intrepid fly anglers hit the river and caught a few on subsequent days. Just as the weather started to warm we got crushed last weekend with torrential rain and snow showers bringing the river up high and muddy. The River has crested and is coming back down, so that along with the predicted warm days ahead should set up some good fishing by the weekend. For daily chatter about this fishery, visit the local FFF club, Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders: www.tpfr.org and click on the 'Forum'.
|Clouser Minnow||Chartreuse/White, Ol||6 - 2/0||Buy from Orvis.com|
|Lefty's Deceiver||Blue/White, Olive/Wh||2 - 2/0||Buy from Orvis.com|
|Cowen's Baitfish||Olive/White||2 - 2/0||Buy from Orvis.com|
|Banger||All Colors||2/0-4/0||Buy from Orvis.com|
|Skipping Bug Popper||All Colors||2-3/0||Buy from Orvis.com|
|Woolly Bugger||All Colors||12-2||Buy from Orvis.com|