Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Who is ready for the winter musky bite? The forecast looks chilly but the action can put a fire in your belly unrivaled by anything else in freshwater!
It is hard to believe that it is December already. This is the time of year when we can sometimes have the best musky bite of the year. We say ‘sometimes’ because weather can be a big factor in just being able to get the boat in the water. If the weather plays nice enough and the rivers don’t ice over completely the fishing can be awesome. The big winter temperature dip can turn on the biggest fish in the river as they begin to maximize caloric intake. Fish react to the biggest flies you can throw. Big rods in 10-12 weights and full sink lines are in play. Weather this week might bring icy conditions so be sure to double check the weather and road conditions before heading to the river. Ice and sleet are possible early mornings and late afternoons. Our musky guide trips will continue through February as long as the weather permits. Contact us soon to book a musky trip on the Shenandoah or James Rivers.
Big largemouth and the occasional smallmouth will likely pop up as we dredge the big winter holes. Spring smallmouth fishing will be here before you know it. Our peak spring bass season starts mid April and runs into mid May. Summer bass fishing is peak from June through September. Now is a great time to reload your boxes for next season and book your trips. The 2017 season is already filling up faster than normal.
Strip, strip, BOOM! Experience the adrenaline rush of big southern musky!
48 inches of scary, brute, awesomeness. Virginia winters can produce true world class fishing.
Don’t forget to take a bass rod along on your musky trips. Big largemouth and smallmouth can be found suspended on some of big river ledges until April when they will begin to move to spawn.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
A cold winter day up on St. Mary’s in the GW Forest.
Winter is here and the brook trout spawn is over. Eggs are incubating on the stream beds of all of Virginia’s mountain streams. These eggs will be vulnerable until February when they hatch. Please wade and fish responsibly over the next few months. Our guide crew will be back out on the mountain streams towards the end of winter.
A gorgeous post spawn Virginia brook trout.
Get Geared Up
The spring creeks are providing some of the best trout fishing right now. Water levels were low through fall but are finally being restored. We look forward to fishing these haunting waters through the winter.
Fishing was tougher than normal October through November due to the low water flow in most of our creeks. The low flow and clear conditions did provide some technical and fun dry fly fishing. BWO hatches have been good most afternoons. We have had success fishing size 18 BWO and midge patterns on 6 or 7X tippet. Size 16 caddis with BWO or midge emerger patterns or subsurface flies like zebra midges and buzzers have also been working well. The recent rainfall last week turned on the streamer bite again. The brown trout are done spawning and are beginning to feed well again. Rainfall, snow, or wintry weather is expected again this week so be cautious if you head out. Mossy Creek, Beaver Creek, and Spring Run have been fishing best and reports have been great. Thin mints, golden retrievers, crystal buggers, slump busters, kreelex, sparkle minnows, conehead sculpins, and near nuff sculpins have been solid choices for streamers. Psycho prince, jigged caddis, jigged pheasant tails, guides choice hare’s ears, zebra midges, killer bugs, and CK’s are the nymphs du jour. Pheasant tails in size 18-20 under small 16 BWO dry flies have been effective. Keep an eye on the weather this week and prepare for some streamer fishing on the overcast rainy days.
Colin with an awesome Mossy Creek brown during one of last weeks rainstorms.
The local brown trout are done spawning and they are beginning to put on the feedbag again!
Jason Hallacher of VDGIF sampled up this 26″ beauty at Mossy Creek recently.
Beastly rainbow trout from Beaver Creek!
Nothing like a father and daughter outing. This nice rainbow was caught on Smith Creek.
We are catching giant rainbows on Smith Creek, Mossy Creek, and Beaver Creek right now.
Nothing like a pretty rainbow to brighten up a nasty overcast day.
Managed Trout Water
North River below Elkhorn dam has been fishing very well despite the low water.
Colin with a massive spring creek brown trout.
Water levels are improving from recent rains. We expect reports to improve on the larger stocked rivers now that we have some water flowing once again. Keep an eye out for slick roads, especially up in the GW Forest in high elevations and on shady sides of the mountains. VDGIF has been busy over the past month stocking your favorite freestone streams and lakes. Sugar Hollow Reservoir, Mint Springs, Pedlar River, Elkhorn Lake, Braley Pond, Sherando Lake, North River DH, South River DH, Spring Run, South River SRA, Douthat, Jackson River at Hidden Valley and Poor Farm, Back Creek DH, Bullpasture, Cowpasture, Hardware River DH, Rose River, Hughes River, Robinson River, Tye River, Hawksbill Creek, Maury River, Silver Lake, Hone Quarry, Briery Branch, Stony Creek, Mill Creek, and Passage Creek DH should keep you busy if you are in our area! Stock up on crystal buggers, golden retrievers, kreelex, slump busters, and a variety of attractor nymph patterns in size 12-16 for these VA managed streams. Don’t forget your strike indicators and split shot! Enjoy the fall fishing season!!!