Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Our guide crew has been out daily fishing the James and Shenandoah Rivers for smallmouth bass. The topwater bite is as good as it has been all season long!
As water levels continue to drop and temps warm up the smallmouth bass will be actively cruising looking for big bugs falling in the river off of trees and overhanging banks. The shade lines will be holding the big fish during the heat of the day. If you take your time and fish slowly, you can spot big fish cruising the shallows and mid river ledges. These are usually large fish over 15″ and they are usually in pairs or groups of up to 5 or 6 fish! Be cautious when casting to cruising fish. A cast to close to fish can spook them. Using a light fly line like a 6 or 7 weight a long 9 foot leader in 2 or 3X can ensure you won’t spook fish with a good presentation. We like to land topwater bugs upstream of fish at least 5-10 feet away. The sound of the plop will get the fish to track down the bug and sip it off the surface. If the fish inspects your bug and begins to swim away, nudge it to give it some movement with a small strip. That small movement will generally get the fish to circle back and sip it off the surface. Too much movement can almost guarantee a spooked fish. Get out and enjoy the warm weather and great fishing over the next few weeks before days get shorter and cooler!
A big James River smallmouth bass. Photo courtesy of LE Rhodes.
The largemouth are still being caught on flies. On the bright sunny days you can find them crowded in the biggest log jams. Drop your fly in, let it settle on the bottom, and watch these big fish track out and suck it off the bottom!
We will continue to give the musky a break until water temps drop back into the upper 60’s or low 70’s. We expect to be back on the musky program later in September!
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
We are giving the brook trout a break as we are now 3-4 weeks without significant rainfall. Fishing will be poor until we start to get some massive amounts of rain to get streams back up and flowing again!
Art is a member of the 20/20 club with this 22″ rainbow caught on a size 20 dry fly on Mossy Creek during the morning trico hatch!
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!
The spring creeks are keeping some of our local trout anglers sane through this bit of drought. South River, Mossy Creek, Buffalo Creek, Beaver Creek, and Smith Creek are all running low and clear right now but water temps are still safe for fishing. Tricos are thick most mornings and the hex hatch has been going off in full force. The grasshoppers are very large right now and we are having success on big foam hoppers, crickets, ants, trico patterns, and size 6 and 8 PMX. Small attractor nymphs have been working well sight fished if they are unwilling to eat the big bugs off the surface. We have limited our trout trips to ensure minimal pressure on the fish. We are desperately waiting some quality rainfall to help boost water flows for the fall season!
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!
A nice Mossy Creek brown trout that ate a big hopper pattern.
Managed Trout Water
Reports from the public trout waters have been few and far between. The Jackson tailwater is your best bet for quality cold water fishing through this low water period. Stay tuned for trout stocking updates just 1 month away!