Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Pictured above is a fat 20″ smallmouth bass from the Shenandoah River on a float trip with Bob Cramer last week before the flooding.
It is sad to say but with this recent flooding and cold weather spell, our peak smallmouth season is coming to an end. We want to thank all of our clients this year. We successfully completed 100’s of float trips over the past few months and the weather and water conditions were about as favorable as we could have ever wanted. The James and Shenandoah both are showing quality numbers of fish and if we can keep from having a harsh winter, 2016 looks like it will be even better. We hope to get a few more days out on the water chasing smallmouth this month but if the cold nasty weather continues, we will likely put all of our focus and energy into chasing musky and trout to finish out the year. Weekend bookings are filling up fast through November now but we still have some great weekday availability starting in a few weeks. We are also booking 2016 spring and summer smallmouth floats. Remember peak spawn fishing occurs the 2nd week of April through mid May! Enjoy the bass photos below from recent trips before the rains flooded the rivers.
A 21″ smallmouth bass LE Rhodes put in the net on the James River. The bug fishing was great until the last week of September before the rain. It is likely the peak of our season is now over until next year.
Mossy Creek guide Eric Gibson lifts a nice Shenandoah Largemouth. The topwater fishing for largemouth with giant flies and plugs was great in September in the low water.
Mossy Creek guide Jacob Russo with a nice Shenandoah largemouth. This is a common sized largemouth on our float trips on the ‘Doah!
Fall is a wonderful time to fish for musky. With the recent cold weather and rain, our musky fishing will resume as soon as water levels recede! Give us a call to get your day reserved!
Shane is one of our musky experts and knows where the fish are and how to get them to eat! Shane is available most weeks now through the new year!
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
We have just received a TON of rain in the past 10 days. This water should really help replenish our aquifers and stream flow. Cool weather has water temps back in the 50’s and the trout should be happy well into October! The Shenandoah National Park and GW Forest streams will be quite swollen over the next few days so wade and hike carefully. Fishing and water levels should be great by early next week. The usual strategy this time of year is ‘small in the fall’ and fishing light tippet and small flies in the low clear water. With recent rains bringing water levels up significantly it will be important to fish heavy flies with split shot in order to get your flies down through the current to the fish. CK nymphs, jigged hare’s ears, jigged prince nymphs, psycho prince, and small attractor streamers will work over the next few days as waters begin to recede. Many of the brook trout streams were dry and barely flowing for most of September. The fish were congregated in their sanctuary pools and competing for what little food was available. Now that water flows have returned, these fish will spread out rapidly and will most likely gorge while water flows are favorable. Get out and enjoy your favorite brook trout streams before the spawn begins!
Fall brings out the cool weather and incredible colors up in the mountains. Now is a great time to fish before the leaves really begin to drop!
A few giant browns have already been spotted cutting redds on the spring creeks. VDGIF has also stocked many of the annual fingerling browns locally. This is a great time to fish large streamers especially with the overcast weather and high dirty water! This was a BEAST from Mossy Creek released recently.
The rains have come and the spring creeks are high and dirty at the moment. This situation can bring about some fun and exciting streamer fishing. Big flashy patterns like kreelex and murdich minnows are popular flies in high water. Contrasting dark patterns like black clawdads, and dark sculpin and minnow imitations will work great. Fish these flies aggressively to put as much movement in the water as possible. Jerking strips will help alert the fish to the flies presence. Feel free to fish heavy gear now too as the fish will not be leader shy. 6-7 weight rods are not overkill and 0X fluorocarbon tippet isn’t either! Heavy tippet will turn over bulky flies with ease and it will also help ensure you don’t lose flies in the thick vegetation. Once water levels recede we should continue to have a bit of dry fly action. BWO’s and tricos will be around most days. Tricos will continue to hatch in the late morning and early afternoon hours. We generally see BWO’s on overcast days but they are a regular occurring insect most days in the fall and winter. Crickets and grasshoppers will be around until the 1st frost and then they are usually done for the year. We expect some great dry fly action on the warm sunny days before winter sets in. It is time to officially say goodbye to summer fishing and welcome in the fall!
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!
6 year old Sawyer and 3 year old Mason Trow enjoyed a great day fishing on Mossy Creek and catching fish on little streamers!
Crickets are a popular insect of all trout in spring creeks during the fall. Try large black PMX patterns this time of year when the water is clear and expect aggressive strikes!
Try a big olive, black, brown, or black/blue clawdad in the spring creeks right now. Trout love crayfish and these large patterns are easy for trout to find in dirty water!
Managed Trout Water
VDGIF is already out stocking this season. Passage Creek, the Pedlar, the Jackson(Poor Farm Road), and Douthat Lake have been stocked. Recent rainfall and excellent water flow should allow VDGIF to get out and stock all area waters over the next few weeks. Hopefully the rainfall will continue over the next few months to ensure an incredible fall fishing season! Keep an eye on the USGS gauges and VDGIF website for daily updates!