Come experience peak season trout season in the Shenandoah Valley! Prime smallmouth season is just around the corner.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Brian Trow with a fat prespawn smallmouth! The season is almost here! Get ready with your big rods and flies!
The James and Shenandoah rivers are in great shape right now and should be producing some big smallmouth by the middle of the month! As water temps rise the fish will begin their migration to their spawning areas. Please fish responsibly! Do not beat up the large spawning areas if you find one. Big Clawdads, Ck Baitfish, Trow Tubes, and large Half and Half streamers are great flies for this time period. Despite river depth or flow, be prepared to fish the current seams and the slow backwater areas for the big boys. The musky are still biting a bit before they make their big push to their spawn as well. They are difficult to catch during April during high water periods mixed with their small appetites. We will be back out fishing for musky full force in early May! Don’t be surprised if a musky grabs a giant black clawdad, tube, or half and half in the same areas where you are fishing for bass. We are heavily booked for the popular April and May period but we do still have plenty of days available June, July, August, and September. If you are looking for a float trip in the summer, remember weekdays are best for limited pressure. We do have access to many private launching areas to help avoid fishing behind other anglers but weekdays are still preferred fishing days.
Want the best info on how to catch bass during April and May in VA? Check out my podcast with the MAN Tom Rosenbauer.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
All we can say is head up into the mountains folks! We have 3 months of peak brook trout fishing ahead but it always goes by so quickly! Everything is fishing well right now. Reports are coming in from all over the State. This is shaping up to be a great year with good populations of fish with a very good average size mix in most of our favorite streams! Dry River, Skidmore Fork, Ramsey’s Draft, St. Mary’s, Madison Run, Paine Run, Big Run, Rip Rap, North Fork of the Mormon’s, Conway, Rapidan, Rose, Hughes, Robinson, White Oak, Jeremey’s, Benson’s, Fulks, ect, ect, ect, are all fishing well. Grab some 5x leaders and head out with your favorite dries, nymphs, and small streamers and enjoy an incredible season of brook trout fishing ahead! These all currently have great water flow. We have ten’s of thousands of dry flies and nymphs in stock and boxes of floatant, indicators, and split shot! Stop by the shop for all your trout fishing needs!
Kiki Galvin on a Northern VA TU group outing with our guide crew lands a 25″ Mossy Creek brown!
The spring creeks are PRIME! All the fish are on a big feed right now including the MONSTER fish. Multiple fish over 22″ have been caught each week for the past 4 weeks including 3 fish taped at 25″! Feel free to fish the largest flies in your boxes right now folks! You may not catch many fish but you could move the fish of a lifetime! For those looking to be most effective on size and numbers of fish, slump busters and near nuff sculpins were the flies of the week in tan, olive, and black. Fish these flies slow, near the bottom, and around the weed beds and undercut banks. CK nymphs and Killer Bugs are working very well at Beaver Creek and Smith Creek. Jigged Hare’s Ear and Jigged Prince nymphs are working in the deeper fast water. Big black Trow Minnows, Kreelex, Zoo Cougars, Woolhead Sculpins are the favorites in overcast conditions with high muddy water. We should start seeing a few big sulphurs at Mossy Creek here in about a week. We will be out daily and will post when the bugs start popping. Enjoy the wonderful weather and we hope to see you on the water!
Help us spread the word folks!!!! – GET YOUR MOSSY CREEK, BUFFALO CREEK, and SOUTH RIVER PERMITS ONLINE 24/7 FREE!!! CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK!!! BEAVER CREEK PERMITS HAVE CHANGED LOCATION! Store name: 257 Grocery Store location: 6939 Briery Branch Road, Dayton, VA. This store is located 2 miles from the Ottobine Country Store. If on 257 at the intersection at Ottobine, take a left and remain on Rt 257. Cross Beaver Creek and follow for just over 1 mile. 257 Grocery will be on your left. This store opens at 5AM on weekdays and 6AM on Saturdays. They have the 4 permits for $10 like before. They are a great family owned store. Buy breakfast or lunch and we can be sure the permits will have a permanent home! Thanks for everyone’s patience through this short transition. And thanks to 257 Grocery for taking management of the permits!
Managed Trout Water
Mike B. with a 5 pound rainbow he caught near Staunton on Saturday! There have been some beast fish caught in public water all over VA lately.
Giant rainbows, browns, and brookies have been stocked over the past few weeks. Huge brook trout up to 24″ were stocked out at Dry River and also up along North River above Elkhorn Lake. South River at Ridgeview Park was stocked with brown trout over 25″ last week. We will likely see these fish down in the Delayed Harvest stretch if they aren’t bonked from meat fishermen in the open waters areas. You don’t necessarily have to throw giant flies for these big brood stock fish. They too grew this large eating trout chow. Regular attractor flies, egg patterns, san juans, kreelex, golden retrievers, and crystal buggers will catch these monsters. Once in the water for a few days they will get hungry, sometimes eating smaller trout, even 8-9 inch fish. Once they get hungry enough, you can catch them on any flies including the largest in your box. Big articulated streamers will do the trick on these big boys but you may want to fish quickly after stocking as many of these fish do not live long.
South River (Ridgeview Park), Bullpasture, Tye, Robinson, Mill, Irish, Maury, Slate Lick, and Stony Creek in Edinburg were stocked last week along with many many more. The Jackson will be back to fishable levels in a few days along with Back Creek, Bullpasture, Cowpasture, and Maury. Water levels were very high from rain and runoff last week. Most of our VA stocked streams have been loaded up for the season and VDGIF will be out in full force stocking every day until June! Stocked fish love egg patterns, san juan worms, crystal buggers, retrievers, kreelex, clawdads, zuddlers, conehead buggers, and big attractor nymphs. Be sure to have plenty of strike indicators and split shot while water levels are still up. Enjoy the warm weather on the way!!