Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Here is a happy angler with a 21″ James River smallmouth caught with LE Rhodes last week! The smallmouth transition period from May through early June has been fairly easy on our guides this year. Good numbers of fish are being caught and we are able to target some of the big fish.
The Shenandoah River and James River have been fishing well. The weather has turned hot and the consistent rainfall has come to a screeching hault. Water levels are below average flow on both rivers and they are starting to run very clear. With hot, summer like weather in the forecast for the next 10 days we expect that the topwater bite will really start to turn on. Have plenty of topwater poppers and divers in your boxes to compliment your normal baitfish and crayfish flies. Look for big redbreast sunfish nests to start popping up in the slack water areas. These fish have been spotted spawning all over the Shenandoah. They will aggressively eat just about any fly presented near their nest. It is looking like most of the fish in the Shenandoah are clean and clear of most issues now. A few fish with fin rot or small healing lesions are being found but not in the numbers we saw in early May. Be sure to continue to report any sick fish findings on any body of water to DEQ, VDGIF, or the appropriate Riverkeeper Org in the area. Primary flies now include Todd’s Wiggle Minnows, Trow Minnows, Umpqua Diving Frogs, Deer Hair Poppers, 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. Prospect structure and shade lines with topwater bugs if water clarity is better than 3 feet.
An 18″ Shenandoah River smallmouth bass from a trip on Tuesday this week. The Shenandoah is pumping out tons of smaller fish but there are still some big boys around!
Quickly releasing a musky after a short fight on a big fly. When water temps warm it is important to leave these big fish in the water after catching one. Only remove these fish from the water for a very quick photo. These fish stress quickly in warm water.
The musky fishing has been good through the last full moon period. Water temps and river clarity have been prime. Please keep a close eye on water temperatures over the next 10 days. Musky will become stressed and anglers risk killing fish when attempting to catch them at water temps above 78 degrees! Please respect all Virginia’s musky fisheries and do not actively fish for musky when water temps spike over 78 degrees please! We are currently fishing 10-11 weight rods, full sink and intermediate fly lines, short, stout leaders with wire or 60-80lb fluorocarbon bite tippet, and large flies. We have all the gear you need in the shop to get started musky fishing or we can take you out with one of our experienced guides for a memorable day on the water! Contact the shop for details or to book your next trip!
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
Here is a 15″ brook trout caught on a spring creek on public water. You can find big brookies retreating to the sanctuary of cold water near the springs right now in this hot spell.
The green drakes are done for the year but there are still plenty of bugs hatching! Tricos are hatching on Dry River and Switzer Reservoir right now. Suphurs are still around in the evening hours and caddis, yellow stones, and a few big yellow and slate drakes have been seen flying around. Beetles and ants are becoming more and more prevalent and the trout are reacting well to them. Water levels are dropping quickly on many of our streams as rain has been sparse and the weather has been extremely warm. Get your last licks in on the brook trout in the event summer is here to stay and rainfall disappears for a while. 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 have still been fishing well this week. Great reports of dry fly fishing have been coming in daily when we open the shop. 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.
Here is a BEAST of a Mossy Creek brown trout caught during the Mossy Creek Invitational Tournament fundraiser for Project Healing Waters last Saturday!
Who is ready for terrestrial season?!?! This clip should satisfy your hunger for the moment. Get the full feature award winning film Blood Knot on our online store, itunes, vimeo on demand, or in the fly shop!
Say goodbye to the green drakes but say hello to the giant trico swarms each morning! Sulphurs are still hitting the creek right at dark but giving anglers very little opportunity to take advantage of that spinner fall before dark. Grasshoppers, beetles, and ants are starting to become more prevalent on the creeks. Fishing dry dropper rigs have been effective lately, especially on the bright sunny days. Fishing the trico spinner fall can be challenging and fun if you fish 7X and small baby sized dries in the 22-24 range. However, many of the fish rising in the morning will readily take a size 16 ant or beetle pattern on 6X. This can improve your chances on landing a bigger fish. 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. This hot weather can produce severe afternoon thunderstorms. Overcast weather is awesome on the spring creeks and can provide for some of the best fishing. Rainy weather is incredible for streamer fishing but watch out for lightning and other severe 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!
Here is Shawn with an 18″ rainbow that ate a Thin Mint streamer sight fished to an undercut. The trout are using the overhanging grass as cover on the bright sunny days!
Managed Trout Water
A big Spring Run brown trout from last week! Wayne has been finding all the big boys on the local public waters.
The DH streams are now open for harvest but the good fishing continues. The Jackson Special Reg area was just stocked about a week ago and has been fishing well. North River DH, Elkhorn Lake, South River DH, South River Special Regulation Area, The Bullpasture, Spring Run, The Jackson, Back Creek, and Douthat Lake have been fishing well. The Jackson Tailwater is also a great option to fish during this super hot weather. Attractor dry flies and nymph droppers along with your favorite streamers will work for the next few weeks. If your favorite trout stream starts fishing poorly don’t forget about the spring creeks and the great bass, carp, and musky fishing closeby!!