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Smallies! Robinson River (VA - Lillard Ford Upstream)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This will be a fairly short post because it doesn't take many words to describe an absolutely pathetic location.

After fishing the Robinson River upstream from the Route 29 bridge in the morning, Lon and I decided to see if the good fortune we encountered there would apply to other sections. A quick recon of the Virginia Gazetteer revealed a bridge crossing at Lillard's Ford; just a short hop downstream from where we parked. In fact, the Gazetteer even earmarked the spot with a small fish symbol and that certainly piqued our interest; motivating us to give it a try. We drove the circuitous back roads to finally pull onto the small bridge over the Robinson. We took a quick look up and downstream and it did not look that bad. The river was reasonably broad and had some holes that we could see from the bridge. The sandy bottom put us off a little bit, but we decided to give it a shot anyway.

I fished upstream and Lon fished down. Immediately upstream from the bridge, there's a nice hole on the right-hand bank that is adjacent to a huge fallen tree. If there were any smallies around, they would be here. I worked that spot with poppers, terrestrials, and streamers for about half an hour without success. This did not bode well for the rest of the river. I started to walk upstream and the farther up I went, the shallower the water became. The deeper holes that had the potential to hold fish became fewer and farther between; the only action being from a few fallfish.

After walking upstream for three quarters of a mile, I gave up in disgust. It was clear that the terrain was not going to change, that the river would remain shallow and sandy.  I was wasting my time. Deeply disappointed, I slogged my way back to the bridge and gave Lon a call on the radio. His experience matched mine; a total loss. So, we decided to close the chapter on this location and move on.

Bottom line: Don't even bother to go here. Given the fish symbol and the Gazetteer, this may have been a good spot at some point in the past. Maybe flooding wiped out all of that habitat and covered it with sand. Or maybe we were here at the wrong time of the year -- we visited this location in June. Any, all, or none of those reasons could be valid explanations, but I'm not coming back here -- ever.

On the plus side, there is a small swimming hole that a number of teenagers were enjoying that is close to the bridge. So if you need a dip a hot day you can certainly come here and take advantage that spot!

Pressure Trout Size N/A
Physical Fitness Bass Size
Access Regulations
Hard to Find Stocking
Scenery Overall

Remember to refer to my rating explanations - these are based on what I look for - so RED for Physical Fitness translates to easy physically - you do not need to be in shape to fish this section.  I prefer terrain that is tough to get into and out of.

Getting There: From Culpeper, go south on Rt 29. Turn left onto Rt 629 followed by a right on Rt 607 (Lillard's Ford Road).  Follow Rt 607 to the bridge.  It looks like it is Ok to park on either side of the bridge with the broader turnout on the northern side, but use your own judgment.

Google Local Coordinates: 38.382642,-78.183432

Secrets Revealed?  No.  The fish symbol in the Gazetteer identified this as a "good spot".  After experiencing this total waste of time, I doubt this is anyone's secret spot.

Virginia Gazetteer

Looking back towards the access at the bridge

Upstream from access point - this is the non-productive "tree hole"

Can you imagine worse smallmouth water? 

Consistently shallow and sandy... everywhere

Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

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