Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Our guide crew is outfitted with 7 boats this season and we are out all day every day. Contact us for all of your smallmouth, largemouth, musky, and carp fishing needs and questions. We hope to see you on the water this summer!
We are about to enter a transition period with our smallmouth bass fishing. The spawn season is pretty much over with the exception of some late bloomers still hanging out in the shallows. This time of year can be difficult to pattern large smallmouth bass. These fish are known to migrate upwards of 15 miles to find quality spawning habitat and then will move to different structure for the summer and fall. With water levels still at larger volumes at the end of spring there is just a lot of water to cover to find fish. They aren’t quite hanging out in the shade as water temps aren’t that warm yet and they haven’t all found the awesome woody structure that hangs out along the riverbanks. This is a great time to target largemouth bass, carp, and musky and fish for smallmouth in between these spots. This ‘difficult’ period of fishing typically occurs June 1-15 until the bass are fairly well set in their spots for summer. You will find a lot of guides fishing for stripers, trout, carp and musky this time of year. Just because the smallmouth are in transition doesn’t mean you can’t have a 100 fish day. It’s just finding the 18-20″ fish that can be a problem. As always this is still the time of year to fish CLAWDADS, CK BAITFISH, CLOUSERS, and HALF and HALFs! Cover plenty of water this time of year fishing mid river structure, ledges, and deep drop offs. Fish will continue to move towards shady bank structure as water temps rise. Water temps in the 80’s should mark a time when topwater fishing the shade lines in the afternoon would be a good idea!!
Our peak early summer musky fishing is here. Fish have been landed on all of our latest trips!
Musky fishing popularity is still on the rise and for good reason. These fish are big, fun, fierce, and challenging. Virginia is blessed with some excellent musky water on the Shenandoah River and James River where we do most of our guiding. We provide fly and conventional trips for musky and can fully outfit our anglers for their day on the water. As water temps continue to rise into the 60’s and low 70’s the musky will be increasingly more active as their metabolism spikes driving them to eat more and more. We are using full sink lines right now during periods of higher water flow to get our flies deeper along the big ledge structure and woody habitat where these beasts hang out. Our trips have been very successful over the past few weeks, now is the time to get your trip on the books. Our guides will be busy this season but we do have some peak season availability for those looking to expand their horizons and target a new exciting species! We have some musky flies in the shop tied by Shane Maybush and we have all of the lines and leader material you will need to properly rig for musky. Stop in and get geared up for the season. The bite is on!
Videographer and superb film maker Nick Swingle with a nice musky surprise from Memorial Day weekend.
Who likes stalking carp in shallow water? We do we do!
The carp fishing is firing up as water temps are perfect and we have had a few days with decent visibility. We will be out more and more as visibility conditions improve! Call or email us with questions if you are interested in fishing for carp or would like to go on a guided trip to specifically target these challenging fish.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
The incredible dry fly fishing continues in the Shenandoah Valley!
The heat is turning up but the mountain trout fishing is still going strong. The mild weather last week was welcome as temps were very comfortable. The bugs are hatching all over and the fish have been in a frenzy. Sulphurs are still available in the evening hours along with green drakes. Caddis, little yellow stones, and terrestrial patterns like beetles and ants are now an important part of a trouts diet. We are hoping the afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast over the next 10 days don’t do too much damage in the area of blow out the smallmouth spawn, but an inch of localized rain here and there will certainly draw out our season up in the mountains. Grab your favorite dry flies, nymphs, and streamers and go enjoy the last bit of spring fishing! Summer is just around the corner. If you are running short on your favorite flies we have tens of thousands stock! Here are a few streams that have been fishing very well over the past few weeks. Madison Run, Paine Run, N. Fork of the Mormon’s, Jeremey’s Run, Ramsey’s Draft, Rapidan, Hughes, Conway, Big Run, North River, Skidmore Fork and Dry River. Take plenty of nymphs, streamers, split shot, and strike indicators to get the job done in the deeper runs and pools. Stimulators, Parachute and Wulff style patterns are crushing fish everywhere. Suphurs are popping and stones and caddis are everywhere but the fish are eating just about everything in sight right now. Load heavy on dry flies, floatant and have a great time! Interested in taking your mountain trout fishing to the next level and simplifying your life? Give Tenkara fishing a try. We will just say it is simple, fun, and extremely effective. Eliminate drag on your dry flies and nymphs and you will be surprised how you find yourself catching more and larger fish! Join the madness today! We have the largest selection of Tenkara rods, lines, gear, and information in the mid Atlantic.
Trico clouds are thick in the early morning hours and the sulphurs and drakes are on the water just before dark!
Incredible footage from our film Blood Knot during terrestrial season on the the spring creeks. This is just a taste of the incredible things that can happen on our local waters.
Not much has changed on the spring creeks in the past week. The green drakes are showing up but are a bit late this year compared to last year. We hope the drakes will peak in the next 7-10 days. This will jump start the topwater season as the big fish will start becoming more surface oriented for the season. The trico hatches on our local creeks are bigger than we have seen in years. The clouds of bugs are huge and the fish are tuning into them most calm mornings. The sulphur hatch in the evening has been strong and should continue for another few weeks. The sulphurs will continue to get smaller as the season progresses. Have plenty of 14-16 bugs for the next few weeks and then 16-18’s for later in June. BIG flies like the PMX, Stimulators, and Para Drakes are great as indicator flies right now as fish are still readily taking nymphs. CLAWDADS, HOME INVADERS, NEAR NUFF SCULPINS, and KREELEX are still hot flies. You can find all of our favorite STREAMERS on our online store. South River upper, Spring Run, Buffalo Creek, Mossy Creek, Beaver Creek, and Smith Creek continue to produce nice fish. The weather will cool down a bit over the next few days so get out and enjoy the perfect weather!
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!
One of the many group outings we host on our spring creeks every week during our peak season.
Looking for some exciting spring creek fishing? We manage a large variety of privately accessed spring creek water in the Shenandoah Valley exclusive to our guided services only. There are no additional charges to our guide services to fish this great water. Here is a shot of a newly acquired stream that few have ever fished. Click here for GUIDING DETAILS!
Managed Trout Water
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will be out stocking for for 1 last week! Get out and enjoy the last big of the stocked trout season.
Now is the time to get out and fish your favorite stocked trout streams. North River DH, South River DH, Passage Creek DH, The Pedlar DH, Hardware DH and others will be open for harvest shortly. Many of these streams will hold fish well into the summer months if water levels and temps hold out. Last year was the coolest summer in decades and fishing through summer was great! This can all change quickly with the weather so take advantage of the conditions for now. Currently fishing continues to be good on North River DH, Elkhorn Lake, South River DH, South River Special Regulation Area, The Bullpasture, Spring Run, The Jackson, Back Creek, Douthat Lake, Passage Creek, Maury, and The Tye River. Keep an eye on the VDGIF site for updates over the next 2 weeks! Attractor nymphs and streamers will take the newly stocked fish and the holdover fish will target natural dry flies that are hatching. Dead drifted crystal buggers, golden retrievers, squirmy worms, san juans, thin mints, egg patterns, ck nymphs, and psycho prince nymphs are working well. Slump busters, kreelex, near nuff sculpins, and other attractor streamers are working well swung or stripped rapidly on warm overcast days. Have fun and enjoy the last part of the season!