Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
Fixtures are being completed and we only have a few big projects left. Here is the skeleton of our new reel display made completely out of 200 year old heart pine from our attic. How does a 6′ wide 7′ tall display sound that will hold about 150 reels??
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Spring has finally arrived and the Valley is turning green and colorful once again. Recent rains have really helped replenish water flow from the mountain streams to our biggest rivers. The extended forecast is showing more rain so hopefully this trend will continue to provide us with a quality peak spring season! The pre-spawn bass fishing is really heating up and should be prime now through about the 3rd week of April. The fish will spawn and the males will guard nests the latter part of April through the first few weeks of May. After that the post spawn fishing will last the remainder of May while the bass spread back out and ultimately land in their summer homes. Now is the time to load heavy on the favorite flies of our local bass- the Clawdad, CK Baitfish, Crittermites, big deer hair divers, half and halfs, clousers, and other large baitfish and crayfish patterns. Tactics will depend on the water levels you are dealing with this season. Low water creates a challenge where fish can be spread over large areas on ledges and behind structure. When the river levels are high the fish are easier to find in the pockets, ‘buckets’, or slack areas behind ledges, boulders, and points. The challenge in high water is getting your flies down quickly to the fish before they get swept away by the current. Big females holding on current seams preparing to move into a nesting area will attack large streamers fished aggressively in the current seam. If the water is clear, these fish will eat large surface bugs, minnows, poppers, ect, but you will generally hook up more with flies fished mid water column. We are off the musky fishing until they complete their spawn in about 4-5 weeks. We will target musky again mid May through June as water temps allow. Our peak spring season in April and May are now completely fully booked. June is now booking rapidly. Booking float trips for 1 angler to 14 anglers is easy with a quick call or email to the fly shop. Peak summer smallmouth season will be here in just a few months. Get your trips locked in before we fill up! See you on the water!
It is time for some of our favorite fishing of the year! Smallmouth bass in Virginia, these are our hardest fighting freshwater fish!
Are you prepared for fish like this in April? Better stock up on your 12-16lb fluorocarbon!
Heaven on earth in the springtime….literally!
Cold fingers will soon be a thing of a the past but don’t ditch your gloves just yet as we will have temps in the 30’s at night most days this week.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
The brook trout fishing has been great lately. The recent rainfall replenished stream flow all the way to the headwaters! Here is a shot of Shamokin Falls running strong over the weekend.
Welcome spring brook trout fishing! All of our mountain streams are once again flowing nicely and fishing reports from last week and over the weekend were great. Quill Gordons have come and gone and a few March browns have begun to show. Fish have been actively taking large sized dry flies in size 12. Royal wulff’s, humpies, elk hair caddis, stimulators, and various parachute patterns like adams, rapidans, pheasant tails, and hare’s ear dries are all working well. Fish your traditional catskill style patterns in the turbulent rough water and your parachute patterns on the slicker and more calm water for the best presentation and drift. Although the dry fly action should continue to get better, many anglers are still having better success some days fishing subsurface. With more rain in the forecast over the next few days be prepared to fish higher water levels. Heavy nymphs with tungsten heads will help plunge flies down through fast currents to get to the fish. Split shot, strike indicators, tippet, floatant, forceps….check these essential items before you head into the hills! Enjoy the great weather and fishing. We will be out everyday as long as the weather allows!
Dry River, the most densely populated wild brook trout stream in the mid Atlantic. Come on out and visit this beautiful river just outside of Harrisonburg city limits.
Shop team member Nick headed out for a bit of after work tenkara fishing last week. The fishing has been great and should only continue to improve!
Get Geared Up
Sulphurs will be here before you know it! Are you ready for some epic dry fly fishing?
Water levels are back to above average flow on Beaver Creek, Mossy Creek, Spring Run, Buffalo Creek, Smith Creek at Susie Q Farm, and the upper South River. Fishing reports have been excellent over the last 3 weeks as rain fell, temperatures warmed up, and days have gotten longer. We are currently poised to have great water levels for at least the next 3-4 weeks with the recent rainfall. Wet weather in the extended forecast should ensure quality fishing into mid May! We don’t need a repeat of last year with over 40 inches of rain from May through June last year, but it would be nice to continue to get rain every 10 days or so to keep water levels perfect.
Some monster fish have been caught lately as a result of the quality water conditions on most our streams. Overcast, rainy days, and high stained water has produced some big browns and rainbows on the spring creeks. Streamer fishing has been the norm but the dry fly fishing is beginning to really take off. For most of March big black caddis in size 12-14 dead drifted or swung or twitched was a very successful approach. Midges, wet flies, or small nymphs dropped off the back of the caddis swept up many of the unwilling surface eaters. The nymph fishing we have been doing the past few days has been with tungsten jigged pheasant tails, hare’s ears, caddis, and prince nymphs, ck nymphs, psycho prince, copper johns, mop flies, and standard prince nymphs. Crystal buggers, retrievers, and buggers dead drifted under large strike indicators have also been working well.
A monster brown trout resting after a long fight.
Mossy Creek looking cold and barren during the last few days of winter.
This is the fish that haunts your dreams, the one that also generates the myths, and the one that creates legends out on the spring creeks.
Our buddy Ray and the entire Fly Fisher’s of Virginia Club came out and enjoyed some great fishing on the spring creeks! Awesome times with one of our favorite fly fishing clubs!
Dale with a nice rainbow trout from Susie Q Farm. Susie Q has a few open days for the peak spring season but they are going fast!
Managed Trout Water
Big rainbow heading home.
The VDGIF stocking program is in full swing. April and May generally bring about the best trout fishing in Virginia. Reports are getting better on most of our local streams and lakes. Water levels need to be monitored on the USGS realtime streamflow data sites to ensure water levels don’t get too high during upcoming rain events. 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!