Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The sunfish are nesting all over the Valley’s mountain lakes and they have been keeping us busy while we wait for the warm water rivers to drop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Here it is folks- The Shenandoah is at a good level and clarity to float and fish today but we are under another flood watch. We are expecting over an inch of rain tonight mixed in with strong storms and localized flooding. Rain most of the day Sunday missed the central Valley but the heavy stuff is now expected into Monday. If we dodge this one we will be out on the Shenandoah and James full force. In the event we get flooded again we will monitor gauges and this coming weeks weather to determine the next days the river will be safe and good to float. It has been a rough season for our smallmouth fisheries and we are hopeful that populations are in tact despite potentially losing the entire spawn this year. Hopefully we will have an extended season into October again this year to make up for some lost time.
It took 8 days for the river to drop from the last spike to high but fishable conditions. We hope this next bought of rain misses us and allows us to get out and begin enjoying the Shenandoah and James Rivers!
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
The brook trout fishing continues to be excellent all over. This is one of many nice fish from North River last week.
It has been a great season for brook trout fishing! The non-stop rainfall is keeping streams full of water and fish happy. Intense localized flooding will create high water issues for a few days up in the mountains but creeks usually drop and become fishable after 2-3 days on average. The dry fly fishing has been excellent. In high water flows we like fishing size 12-14 humpies, stimulators, adams, rapidans, and elk hair caddis. In softer water we have been doing well with parachute pheasant tails, hare’s ears, adams, rapidans, and purple haze. Mini hot garcia flies in green, yellow, and tan have been some of our most popular flies. Ants and beetles will continue to become more and more effective as the summer progresses. Take advantage of our 25% OFF Dry Fly Special now using coupon code RISINGTROUT at checkout on our online store when you purchase 12 or more dry flies! CLICK HERE TO LOAD UP ON DRIES!
High water flows also allow us to use big nymphs and small streamers to target larger brook trout. Jigged prince, hares ears, and pheasant tails have been excellent to get presentations deep quickly in high water flows. Psycho prince and copper johns in size 12 and 14 in various colors have also been very effective patterns. Golden retrievers, crystal buggers, and thin mints in size 10 are great for swinging downstream for large brook trout. Keep an eye on the weather and watch out for afternoon thunderstorms this week.
Picking pockets high up on Shenandoah Mountain.
Our brook trout populations are healthy and we have great numbers of healthy fat fish right now!
Taking time to switch to a heavy nymph or streamer to dredge deep holes can be an effective way to pick up some bigger fish.
Wet wading boots, lightweight quick dry pants and shirts are great for brook trout fishing. You stay cool, and protected from the sun, wood nettle, poison ivy, and many insects!
Another excellent brook trout from the Dry River drainage caught by Mossy Creek team member Nick Helle.
Get Geared Up
The spring creeks are starting to drop and clean up. That all may change with the thunderstorms in the forecast this week.
Mossy fished very well on Sunday morning before the thunderstorms rolled in. Streamer and nymph fishing continues to dominate our approach as water levels continue to be high. Kreelex, near nuff sculpins, slump busters, woolhead sculpins, crystal buggers, and other large profile streamers have been the best producers. Jigged nymphs, big pheasant tails, mop flies, squirmies, and pats rubberlegs have been the best producing nymphs. Tricos continue to hatch and we are anxiously awaiting clear water for some quality dry fly fishing. The rains are beginning now as we are writing this report and we anticipate fishing streamers again for the next few days.
A nice brown from the public stretch of Mossy on Saturday.
Managed Trout Water
High brown water is everywhere after the flooding rains. Be safe out there!
More rain is in the forecast today and this week. Be sure to check river gauges and fishing reports before you head out as localized flooding is expected throughout the area.
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!