April showers bring…well lots of freaking water! We have enjoyed a month of excellent fishing and although water levels are very high at the moment we should have excellent conditions again by the end of the week.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Colby Trow and Chuck Kraft out meeting some old friends and making a few new ones!
Well our early season smallmouth bass fishing will be on hold again for a while. We have float trips booked every day yet the rains and high water will have us waiting at least a week and maybe 10 days before we head back out. The James and Shenandoah Rivers are running extremely high and muddy right now. Our guides are primed and ready and we hope to be back out on the water by early next week. In the meantime you should be stocking up or tying some big CLAWDADS, CK BAITFISH, and HALF and HALFs! These flies in a variety of colors are our favorite choices for big smallmouth in the spring. We have tons of flies in stock and plenty of materials to get your started tying these patterns. Once water levels recede we should be seeing some big fish photos coming in from all over Virginia! Be patient folks, the water is dropping and hopefully we stay dry for a couple of weeks so we can all get our smallmouth fix!
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
The brook trout season has already been incredible! This season should mark 5 straight years now of great spring time water levels and great population density in a majority of our brook trout waters. There are also plenty of large fish being caught this year. The bugs are hatching like crazy in the hills and the dry fly fishing last week was incredible. Be prepared to fish the higher elevations of your favorite streams for most of the week while water levels drop from rain on Sunday and Monday. Take plenty of heavy nymphs, streamers, split shot, and strike indicators to get the job done while the water is high. Once the streams drop a bit we would suggest fishing heavily hackled flies like Stimulators and Wulff style patterns as these ride high in turbulent waters. Hit your favorite small streams later this week as they are certain to have good water flow. We love fishing streams like Madison Run, Paine Run, Ramsey’s Draft, and North River above Elkhorn while we have heavy water flow. Get out and enjoy the mountain stream fishing for the next few months while we have plenty of water!
Jim S. with a huge Mossy Creek brown on his very first outing to the public stretch!
All of the local spring creeks fished well last week! This has been a spring time for the record books folks. We have never seen so many big browns coming off Mossy Creek before. Fish from 18″-24″ have been caught almost daily for the past month! Anglers are fishing Sinking Leaders with big profile flies like CLAWDADS, HOME INVADERS, NEAR NUFF SCULPINS, and KREELEX. You can find all of our favorite STREAMERS on our online store. The fish have been hanging under the weed beds, undercuts, and along the bottom. Although the tricos and sulphurs have started hatching, water levels have been a bit high and clarity stained to keep fish from taking off the surface. The fish haven’t been super aggressive and many of the large fish are taking these big streamers dead drifted and bounced along the bottom of the creeks. Beaver Creek has been giving up some huge rainbows on nymphs and dry flies when the water is flowing clear. Smith Creek at Susie Q Farm is almost booked solid through May but we have a few days available in June for those looking to enjoy the solitude of some great private water. As water levels drop angler should still see plenty of success on their favorite streamer patterns through the spring season. Be sure to keep some tricos, ants, and sulphur patterns handy with light leaders when they clean up and the big clouds of bugs start hatching! Spring Run and the upper section of South River have also been producing some awesome fish. We hope to see you out on the water, we look forward to seeing more of your big fish being caught!
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
Many of our favorite stocked waters are running high and muddy right now. Keep an eye on the USGS realtime streamflow gauges before you head out as many of these waters will be blown out for most of this week. VDGIF is updating their fish stocking page daily. Attractor streamers and nymphs will take these stocked fish through the spring season. Be prepared to fish split shot or sink tip lines later this week as water levels will remain high through the weekend on many of the larger rivers. Don’t overlook some of our lake fisheries. Elkhorn for instance has been producing fish over 5 pounds on streamer patterns fished deep! Although some of these lakes may be stained from recent rains, once they clear up they should fish well into the summer months! Enjoy the next 2 months of our State managed waters folks! It has been a great spring season so far!
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!!