Rivanna River - Fishing Opportunities

Fishing the Rivanna River

Fishing can be excellent along any stretch of the Rivanna River, and the river contains a nice diversity of species for its small size. More than anything, river flows, water temperature, and your abilities to read the water and evaluate habitat will determine your fishing success. Smallmouth bass is, by far, the most highly sought-after species in the Rivanna. Although fish up to several pounds do occur, most of the fish in your catch will be in the ten-inch-class, with a 12-incher showing up here and there. Largemouth bass can be found in some of the quiet backwaters of the River. Redbreast sunfish are abundant in the River and can provide excellent ultralight-tackle action. Other species likely to be encountered by anglers include bluegill, fallfish, rock bass, green sunfish, and black crappie. As with redbreast, the fish are generally of small to moderate size, but they can provide a lot of action over the course of a day's fishing. Fishing for channel catfish can be outstanding in the Rivanna River, especially at night or when the river runs turbid after a soaking rain. Most catfish are eater-sized fish (10-20 inches), with the occasional lunker (8lb+) lurking in the river. While floating the river angler will occasional see large common carp, longnose gar, schools of gizzard shad, and some large suckers of various species.

Fishing can be good most any time of year, and of course, is dependent on recent weather patterns. However, weather and river flows generally yield the best fishing conditions from March through October. Spring can be a great time to fish the Rivanna if recent rains haven't muddied the water. Summer is great as well when adequate rainfall keeps the river from falling too low. Although the river can be floated under low-flow conditions, navigation can be difficult, and it can be tough to complete a day-trip through some of the longer stretches between access points. Current flow data for the Rivanna can be found on the internet at the following link: USGS. Additional information regarding the Rivanna can be found at the Rivanna Conservation Society web site:Rivanna River