Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
We want to thank everyone who attended our spring open house and all of our events this year so far!
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
The James River has had a rough start to 2018 and water has been high through much of April and early May. It is just now getting to be perfect but the 10 day forecast is showing rain and thunderstorms just about every day. We hope the James dodges some of this high water and allows for us to get a few days in here soon.
The Shenandoah has been fishing well and smallmouth are currently on nests guarding fry. Spawn was late again this year by a few weeks but that seems to be the new norm now that we have longer winters and cold high water in April. We are keeping our fingers crossed to miss the big rains this week so we don’t lose the fragile fry in the nests. We have observed 1,000’s of smallmouth nests on each float of the Shenandoah from Port Republic to Luray. There appears to be great numbers of fry in every nest right now so if we avoid flooding, we should have a banner spawn year for once. Males will be guarding fry for about another week to 10 days.
Musky fishing should be turning on here now as water temps continue to rise. We will quit fishing for musky when water temps stabilize around 72-74 degrees in the afternoons. Some of the best musky fishing of the year can occur late May into June if water levels are normal.
Carp have been on the prowl but difficult to target in these higher water flows. We haven’t been targeting the common carp in the rivers as much as trout and bass fishing has been in peak condition. Grass carp have kept us busy when not on the rivers. We look forward to summertime carp fishing to really ramp up once water levels drop a bit more.
Dietrich with a nice pre-spawn Shenandoah River smallmouth.
21″ Shenandoah River smallmouth pre-spawn.
Jim with a nice pre-spawn largemouth bass we found cruising a backwater shoal.
Nick with a grass carp that ate a beetle pattern off the surface.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
The mountain brook trout fishing has been epic for a few weeks now. Here Melissa looks for a seam on North River to fish.
We have had some 50-100 fish days up in the mountains recently. Dry River, Skidmore Fork, North River upper, Ramsey’s Draft, St. Mary’s, The Rapidan, Rose, Conway, White Oak Canyon, Madison Run, Paine Run, Big Run, Fridley’s Run, Little Stoney, and Jeremey’s Run all have good water levels and fishing reports have been great. The dry fly fishing the past few days has been great. Size 14-16 stimulators, trudes, size 12-14 rapidans, humpies, caddis, parachute patterns, and little yellow stones have been taking fish. Nymph droppers of psycho prince, pats rubber legs, copper johns, frenchies, prince nymphs, and squirrel nymphs have also been working. Load up on 5x leaders, dry flies, floatant, and grab a few nymphs for droppers and have at it! The fishing is about as good as it gets right now. Rain in the 10 day forecast should keep water levels pumping, just keep an eye and ear out for afternoon thunderstorms and flash floods.
Colby’s first cast into a deep pool on Skidmore Fork revealed this beauty.
Skidmore Fork above Switzer Reservoir is a great place to fish if all other rivers are blown out. This is usually one of the 1st streams to clear up.
It is peak season for VA’s State fish!
Sawyer Trow on Paine Run beat up the brook trout a few weeks ago on dry flies all afternoon.
Get Geared Up
The spring creeks are full of water and looking and fishing great!
Beaver Creek, Mossy Creek, Spring Run, Buffalo Creek, and Smith Creek at Susie Q Farm are all full of water and have been fishing well. Mossy has been fishing best on overcast and rainy days. Pats rubber legs has been working very well on those picky brown trout. Near Nuff Sculpins, Slump Busters, Conehead Sculpins, Zuddlers, Rascals, Crystal Buggers, and Kreelex should be in everyone’s boxes. Sulphurs have just started and parachute pheasant tails, rusty spinners, parachute sulphurs, and parachute orange have always been popular choices fishing the sulphur hatch and spinnerfall. Tricos have started and are pretty thick on most warm calm mornings. We expect the morning hatch to continue to get better as things warm up. Ants and a few beetles have emerged but we are still about a month away from terrestrial season being in full force. Green drakes will show up in a few weeks around Memorial Day on the spring creeks. Beaver Creek has been fishing well and the dry fly fishing is getting better by the day. Sulphurs are hatching and size 14 dry fly patterns to match will take fish. Small nymph or midge droppers are picking up the weary fish. Susie Q Farm is loaded with fish and has been fishing well most days before the sun gets high and bright. Rainy weather this week should really turn on the fishing at Susie Q. There are some dates left open to book at the farm over the next month so give us a call to reserve your spot.
Streamer fishing has been the best method since winter but that is all about to change!
It’s hard to find prettier brown trout than those found on Mossy
Doubled up on Beaver Creek. The nymph fishing through April and early May was phenomenal.
When the sun comes out and the fish aren’t looking up, it is time to nymph. Pats rubber legs has been killing it out at Mossy.
First day smiles out at Mossy Creek.
Beaver Creek has been fishing extremely well this spring and looks great with the recent rainfall we have received.
Managed Trout Water
Mossy Creek guide Wayne enjoying a day off.
VDGIF has been busy this spring 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!