Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
Insulation is in, dry wall is going up, paint is about to be sprayed, and fixturing is showing up! We are looking at a few weeks before we will be putting the finishing touches on the new shop. New location opening details will be coming soon!
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
BRRR! March has certainly come in like a lion and we have our hopes it will go out like a lamb! We have experienced winter, spring, summer, and fall since the last part of February. The wind has been the most challenging part of the equation as even the warm days have been challenging on the water with winds in excess of 40mph some days. It will be at least a week before we are back out in the big rivers as we will have some snow melt and then temps that will not breach the freezing mark for a few days. Wind will be in the forecast again until the end of the week. We will be tying up flies and filling our boxes for the approaching spring season. Our bass and musky fishing will be on hold at least until the end of the weekend.
Pre-spawn bass fishing will resume once the winds die back and allow us to float the rivers comfortably again. Musky will begin spawning here very soon and we will be giving them a break until May. Our peak smallmouth season begins in May and runs through September. May and June floats are starting to book up very quickly. Contact us today to reserve your trip down some of the country’s best smallmouth bass water!
A big April smallmouth bass from the mighty James River. This is something everyone should be looking forward to during this cold week!
Right when the leaves begin to pop the big bass get hungry!
Gar stack up behind islands and in slack water pools to spawn in the spring and will aggressively attack baitfish patterns.
Giant grass carp begin cruising the surface once water temps warm up into the 50’s.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
Peak brook trout season is around the corner! Here is Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin enjoying some time on Dry River.
Peak brook trout season is basically here. Water levels are still under average flow but hopefully this snowfall and rain later in the week will help. Keep an eye out for nasty wind through Thursday. We are hopeful warm weather will return by the end of the weekend and the brook trout fishing will fire back up again. Keep your fingers crossed for more wet weather as we will need it leading into April. Our favorite flies have been jigged caddis, jigged hare’s ear, ck nymphs, killer bugs, jigged retrievers, and of course size 14 prince and pheasant tail nymphs. Size 10 buggers have been moving and getting the attention of the large brook trout. As water temps continue to rise, the fishing quality should continue to improve. Keep eyes out for good caddis hatches over the next few weeks and we are less than a month away from spotting quill gordons!
Who is ready to spend the next few months up in the mountains?
The brook trout, Virginia’s State fish and one of our most favorite quarry during the spring season.
Get Geared Up
Early spring is the time to throw large streamers and be prepared for large aggressive predators to bite!
Water levels are getting low but fishing remains solid on Beaver Creek, Mossy Creek, Spring Run, Buffalo Creek, Smith Creek at Susie Q Farm, and the upper South River. We were able to enjoy a cool but successful day of sight fishing midges to big trout on the spring creeks this past Sunday. The bright sun kept the fish wary and gave anglers a challenge getting the perfect drift with small bugs. Anglers out at Spring Run have been crushing giant fish on midges and small nymphs and scud patterns. We are hopeful the extended forecast will bring us some of the rain that is anticipated. Area creeks will fish much better in April and early May with heavy water flow. Keep an eye out for caddis hatches on Mossy Creek and Beaver Creek over the next few weeks. Fish have been chasing down emergers. Skating and twitching caddis across the surface is a great tactic this time of year. BWO and midges are still coming off most days. Fish have been active on the surface at first light until around 11AM and then again after 3pm on overcast days.
Cdc olive emergers, rainbow warriors, zebra midges, and peacock soft hackles in size 18 and 20 have been great for picky fish. We have also done well with black caddis in size 16 with tungsten size 18-20 nymphs fished about 20″ off the back of the dry. Streamer fishing has been good with flies like the sparkle minnow, slump buster, clawdad, crittermite, and near nuff sculpin fished deep. Golden retrievers are working well fished with a split shot under an indicator dead drifted and then swung through runs and holes. Target any overcast days as the fishing is much better in low light. Bwo hatches are best on the darker days with no wind. Be on the look out for rainy days in the future as the streamer fishing can turn on immediately. Some of the largest trout have been caught on rainy days when warm fronts have approached.
Sending a beast back home….shhh, don’t tell your friends!
The spring creeks are some of the most popular places to fish during the early spring season for big trout.
Snowy fields will soon be green and bursting with life!
Spring creek trout don’t care about the temperature outside. This day temps never breached 27 degrees and the big browns were on the hunt.
Time to get first tracks on your favorite stretch of water.
Managed Trout Water
Big browns have been stocked in a few of our favorite local public rivers.
VDGIF will continue stocking for just over 2 more months. April and May generally bring about the best trout fishing in Virginia. Reports have been decent on most our local streams and lakes. Water levels are low so catch rates are down from previous years. Target the following VA managed waters for the best action. 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!