FLYFISHING & LIGHT TACKLE ON THE ROANOKE RIVER

Roanoke River Fishing
Roanoke River Fishing

Featured on ESPN, the Roanoke River is considered by many fishermen to be a premier destination for hickory and American shad and striped bass (rock fish). The fish are very aggressive during their spring spawning run and eat flies as well as artificial lures. Top water fishing for striped bass is fantastic early in the morning and late in the afternoon in early May. You may select from either flyfishing or spin equipment to land your trophy fish. The choice is yours. Read the next few pages for more details regarding the choices.

The Captain will provide an environment conducive for ladies as well as young anglers. Both experienced and inexperienced anglers are welcome. My goal is for my clients to experience a fishing trip they will always remember by enjoying the beauty of the river and catching lots of fish.

We will launch my 18ft. Maverick Master Angler from Weldon, N.C. located near I-95, 10 miles south of the Virginia border. The Roanoke River is natural with wildlife such as wild turkey along the banks.

Accommodations are very reasonable and are listed within this web page. Don't miss this excellent spring fishing opportunity.

Keeper season ends April 30th. A valid N.C. fresh water fishing license is required and can be purchased online at www.ncwildlife.org.

Book your trip today. Keep a TIGHTLINE.

FLYFISHING

Roanoke River Fishing
Roanoke River Fishing

Striped Bass (Rockfish)

Striped bass are saltwater fish spawning from the Albemarle Sound and beyond. A typical fish will average 18” to 27” with some weighing up to 35lbs. Keeper season ends April 30th.

Equipment and Tactics:

An 8/9wt. rod is perfect for catching these hard fighting fish. Early morning and late afternoon provide excellent top water action. We will use a floating line with a popper fly or a crease fly for the top water fishing. A dropper fly 2ft beyond the floating fly will help stimulate a strike. During the day, the fish will be in deep holes or along the bank drop-off. We will switch to a 300 to 400 grain sinking line, 4 to 5ft. leader to get down to the fish using a streamer or clouser fly. Single barbless hooks are required from April 1st through June 30th.

The fish will be in the river in large quantities from early April to through May. Book your trip early. Weekdays are the least crowded.

Shad

Roanoke River Fishing
Roanoke River Fishing

American and hickory shad are spawning from early March until early April and will aggressively eat a fly. A day of 50 plus fish per angler is very common.

Equipment and Tactics:

A 5/6wt. fly rod with a 200 grain line is a good choice. We may start with a tandem fly used as a dropper. Bright, flashy colored clouser flies tied on a #6 hook will do the job. Usually, we will drift the river until we find a school of fish, then anchor and catch fish!

American shad are being reintroduced to the river. These are larger fish and will challenge a 5/6wt. rod.

Note: During early April, we may find both shad and striped bass in the river. Hang on to your 6wt. rod if a striper hits your fly.

LIGHT TACKLE FISHING

Roanoke River Fishing
Roanoke River Fishing

Striped Bass (Rockfish)

Striped bass are salt water fish spawning from the Albemarle Sound and beyond. A typical fish will average 18” to 27” with some up to 35lbs.

Equipment and Tactics:

A mid action 7ft. rod is perfect for these hard fighting fish. Early morning and late afternoons provide excellent top water action. We will use a popping plug for the top water fishing when the fish are spawning (first two weeks of May). During the day, the fish will be in deep holes or along the bank drop-off. We will switch to a buck tail jig, deep diving plug or swimming lures. A Carolina rig on the bottom using live bait can be used. The choice is yours.

From April 1st through June 30th a single barbless hook is required on all lures. All treble hooks must be removed. I recommend using a barbless circle hook when using live bait.

The fish will be in the river in large quantities from early April to mid-May. Book your trip early. Weekdays are the least crowded.

Shad

American and hickory shad are spawning from early March until early April and will aggressively eat a lure. A day of 50 plus fish per angler is very common.

Equipment and tactics:

A light action 6 to 7 ft. rod with small gold or silver drone spoons or shad darts is the tackle of choice. We may start with tandem lures used as a dropper. Usually, we will drift the river until we find a school of fish, then anchor and catch fish!

American shad are being reintroduced to the river by the N.C. wildlife department. These are larger fish and will challenge your light tackle. American shad arrive later than the hickory shad.

Note: During early April, we may find both shad and striped bass in the river. Hang on to your rod if a striper hits your lure.

ROANOKE RIVER EQUIPMENT AND RATES

Roanoke River up river
Roanoke River up river

Equipment

We will fish from my 18ft. Maverick. The Maverick is fly fishing friendly with a large front and back casting deck. One or two fly anglers plus the guide is recommended. Three spin fishermen max.

Rates

For Roanoke Charter rates, please see our rates page.

Note: Boat, guide, rod and reels, flies, lures and bait (if required) is included in the rate. Food and drinks are not included. We can take a break for lunch and run up town or picnic on the river. You are welcome to bring your own gear and tackle.

IMPORTANT: A valid North Carolina fishing license is required can be purchased on line at www.ncwildlife.org

Options

To experience the best top water action for Striped Bass in early May when the fish are spawning, I recommend splitting the day. We will meet me at 3 p.m. at the boat ramp and we will fish until dusk. You can stay at a local motel that evening and meet me the next morning at first light. We will fish until mid morning the second day. Shad fishing will start at 7 to 8am. A list of local motels is below.

Accommodations

Roanoke Rapids: (Area code 252)

Brookwood Motel, 1001 Julian Allsbrook Hwy., 537-3632
Fairfax Motel, 1135 East 10th St., 537-3567
Hampton Inn, 1914 Julian Allsbrook Hwy., 537-7555
Holiday Inn Express, Exit 171, 1-800-HOLIDAY or 536-2300
Jameson Inn, 101 Old Farm Rd., 533-0022
Motel 6, 1911 Julian Allsbrook Hwy., 537-5252
Motel Dixie, 1015 Jackson St., 527-4164
Sleep Inn, 101 Sleep Inn Dr., 537-3141
The Inn, 101 Holiday Dr., 537-1031

Weldon: (Area code 252)

Days Inn, 1611 Julian Allsbrook Hwy, 536-4867 (Where Captain Dean stays)
Interstate Inn, 1606 Julian Allsbrook Hwy., 536-4111
New Yorker Hotel, Highway 301 S, 536-3148
Orchard Inn, 1615 Julian Allsbrook Hwy., 536-2131

Bed & Breakfast: (Area code 252)

Littleton’s Maplewood Manor, 120 College St. Littleton, NC, 586-4682
Weldon Place Inn, 500 Washington St. Weldon, NC, 586-4582, 1-800-831-4470
Twin Magnolias Bed & Breakfast, 302 Jackson St., Roanoke Rapids, 308-0019

Campgrounds:

Weldon Camp Ground
Ponderosa Camp Ground, 252 536-4741