Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Richy with an awesome Shenandoah River smallmouth bass!
The smallmouth fishing has been incredible over the past few weeks. River traffic during the week has been lighter than we have seen in years. Many days we haven’t even seen another bank fisherman. Fishing has been fairly solid all day long with the best bite being from around 12 noon until dark. As the water warms up and the insects become active, so do the fish. The best topwater action has been along the darkest shade lines in the heat of the afternoon. We have seen some nice fish cruising looking for bugs. Cork popper like boogle bugs in olive, blue, or black have been great. Topwater baitfish patterns fished aggressively around the water willow have been producing. Clawdads in brown, gold, and olive are working very well all day long. Ck baitfish in white, olive, and tan are taking fish big and small. Water levels are great on both the James and Shenandoah from recent rains. We should be able to easily float all of our favorite stretches into mid September. For those looking to float the James or Shenandoah this year before our season wraps up, give us a call. We have multiple boats booked on the water every day into mid September and have limited availability this month. Join us for an incredible day with the possibility of catching over 100 fish! We cater to fly or conventional anglers and your kids are welcome! We hope to see you on the water soon! Primary flies now include Todd’s Wiggle Minnows, Trow Minnows, Umpqua Diving Frogs, Deer Hair Poppers, CLAWDADS, CK BAITFISH, CLOUSERS, and HALF and HALFs! We still have thousands of bass flies in stock to cover you through the remainder of the season.
There is a reason country music superstar Luke Bryan and MLB pitcher Adam Wainwright drive hundreds of miles out of the way to fish the Shenandoah Valley…..because IT IS AWESOME!
I’m pretty sure Tom lost count on his most recent day fishing with us. It’s hard to keep count when you get a bite every other cast for 8 hours!
The musky fishing is on hold until water temps drop a bit. Current water temps are around 76 during the day but we will be waiting for them to spike around 72-74 with cooler temps in the mornings to ensure we keep a safe and healthy population for everyone to enjoy.
Rich G. with a nice James River smallmouth he caught on a trip with LE. He will be back again next week for more topwater bug action and big fish!
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
Patagonia Ambassador and Tenkara guru Tom Sadler enjoying a rainy day on a favorite local brook trout stream.
Water levels have been up and down over the past month but overall the trout fishing has been pretty solid considering we are in the heat of summer! Keep an eye out for rain in the forecast as the fishing really perks up the day after big localized rains. Ants, beetles, little yellow stoneflies, and small attractor dries should work on long light leaders. Brookies are eating just about any small nymph right now. Size 16 ck’s, hare’s ear, pheasant tails, prince, ect. are working well fished solo or under a larger dry. We will continue to give the brook trout a break until water levels and temps drop a bit.
Brett with yet another picture perfect brown trout from Mossy Creek. This fish sipped a beetle pattern along the grass edge of an undercut bank. Epic work Brett!
Terrestrial season is in its peak right now! Enjoy the clip above from Blood Knot. The heart of our filming occurred during the dog days of July. If this inspires you, grab a copy along with a box of terrestrials and hit the spring creeks!
There hasn’t been much change on our spring creeks other than the fish are becoming more and more surface oriented on big bugs. Japanese beetles, crickets, and large grasshoppers are moving the big boys. Small size 16 nymph droppers are cleaning up on picky fish! The report below hasn’t changed much over the past 2 weeks. We will change up the report once there is a major change and when we start to see the hex showing up in big numbers!
South River upper, Spring Run, Buffalo Creek, Mossy Creek, Beaver Creek, and Smith Creek continue to produce nice fish. Trico hatches are thick most days and the spinner fall is occurring around 7:30-8:30AM. Water flow is good on most creeks right now and consistent rainfall is helping maintain flow through the summer heat. Fishing will continue to be great as long as we have water! This is the time of year to stock up on your beetle patterns! Japanese beetles are coating stream side vegetation and fish are tuning into them. Take your favorite 9′ 4 weight with a soft tip and light tippet and have fun! We are fishing 5-6X tippet on 9-11′ leaders when the water is crystal clear and the fish are spooky. Beetles are great prospecting flies because you can blind fish them by plopping them down with a great deal of noise. The fish recognize the sound of a hard shelled insect hitting the water and usually rush out to eat. Here is a silly little video we did on a local spring creek during the peak of beetle season a few years ago. WATCH SPRING CREEK TERRESTRIAL FISHING. Ants, hoppers, crickets, and other attractor flies will work this time of year. Your favorite nymphs dropped under your favorite dry fly will allow you to cover fish not willing to rise to the surface. Note- When you fish a dropper fly it can be difficult to get your terrestrial to the opposite bank grass line. Fish will readily take your fly along the grass but may not be willing to swim a foot away from the bank. Dropper flies can get hung in the overhanging grass, so choose your method of presentation for varying areas along the creek. For those looking for some seriously old and archaic video- Check out BEETLEMANIA or 22″ Morning! These videos are from over 10 years ago on the public stretch of Mossy Creek in the heat of summer. Enjoy and try not to laugh too hard and the horrendous video quality!
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!
It is amazing how far a fish will swim to eat bug smacking on the surface this time of year!
Beaver Creek is not only still giving up good numbers of fish but also some big boys! Reports are great from our private stretches on our guide trips and on the public stretch!
Managed Trout Water
Big rainbows like this are still being caught right now on big streamers, nymphs, and terrestrial patterns.
The stocked trout fishing season is officially over in Virginia until fall. Water levels are dropping and stream temps are warming up on many of our favorite waters but there are still some big fish to be caught. Anglers are sight fishing big fish on Back Creek, The Jackson, Bullpasture, Cowpasture, Spring Run, and on South River.