Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
The high water continues. We are pushing 1 year of the Shenandoah running high and not touching average flow!
We did manage a 50″ x 26″ inch musky from the Shenandoah between high water events.
We wish we had better news to report on the Shenandoah and James Rivers. Unfortunately the water levels are remaining too high and dirty for good fishing most weeks. We have had a few days this year when water levels were still high but fishable and the fishing was good. This week water levels will remain too high for good fishing and it is looking like we will get even more rain this weekend on Sunday. We are optimistic that our spring fishing will be excellent once this weather pattern shifts away from us. Get ready to load up on flies for smallmouth bass! Peak season is now just 1 month away!
What we have witnessed over the past 11 months is a mass purge of siltation and debris in many of our rivers and streams. Mossy Creek has been flushed and has rock and gravel exposed over much of its bottom. The Shenandoah backwater areas and spots behind islands are completely clean and clear of leaf litter, silt, and debris. In some cases islands have been completely scoured leaving nothing but tree roots, boulders, and bedrock exposed. Hopefully this ‘cleaning’ will mean more and better spawning habitat as well as better benthic habitat for insects and macro invertebrates. We do know that fishing pressure for 2018 was at an all time low. The days we did get out to fish were great. Fish were not weary or spooky and readily ate flies. It is our hope that when water levels drop to safe and normal flows fishing will be off the charts!
Another look at Colby’s personal best musky before sending it back home.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
It’s time to head up into the mountains and concentrate on brook trout fishing! The dry fly fishing will continue to heat up!
We have been enjoying getting out and fishing the surrounding brook trout waters off and on between high water events. Dry River, Skidmore Fork, North River, Ramsey’s Draft, and most of the Park streams are giving up excellent fishing reports. Some of the larger rivers have been difficult to access and fish with all of the high water recently but the smaller mountain top drainages have been a lot of fun to fish. Flies like Stimulators, Mini Hot Garcia, Elk Hair Caddis, Quill Gordons, Black Gnat, Humpies, Clown Shoe Caddis, Front End Loaders, and your favorite parachute patterns in size 12-14, will cover your dry fly fishing needs- and Ck’s, Jigged Nymphs, Fox Squirrels, Bloody Mari’s, Frenchies, and standard Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails, Prince, Psycho Prince, and Copper Johns in size 10-14 have all been taking fish. Load up on 4-5X leaders and tippet, split shot, and strike indicators. We have some awesome new 1-3 weight fly rods in stock to test cast for all of your small mountain stream needs! Get out and enjoy the action in the hills!
Water levels will be near perfect in the mountains in a few days.
Big nymphs in size 10-12 have been producing the most fish on big/high water days.
Good numbers and size of fish are being reported on almost every local stream.
Frozen one day, thawed and high the next. It has been non-stop streamer fishing for the most part on the spring creeks this year so far.
Can it just be spring and warm with insects hatching?? Could that be too much to ask after dealing with 11 months of rain and high water? Fortunately the streamer fishing continues to produce good fish. Complex Twist Buggers, Bunny Muddlers, Sculpinators, Conehead sculpins, Crystal Buggers, Tequeely’s, Kreelex, Triple Doubles, and Lead Eye Buggers have been the ticket for months. We have been fishing 0-3X leaders and tippet with fast action 5-7 weight rods and sinking lines or leaders to keep the flies in the strike zone. Blue Winged Olives, midges, and caddis have been popping most days but the water has been so high and off color that the fish just haven’t tuned into them. As days get longer and hopefully the creeks clear up, there will be some caddis activity through March that generally allows for some fun skating and skittering of these big dry flies across the current producing some aggressive strikes. Until then, stay warm and enjoy the streamer fishing and high sticking! Susie Q has weekday availability in March, April, and May. Call or email to reserve your spot today!
Smith Creek at Susie Q Farm has been running high most of the winter but the fishing has been steady!
Streamers, nymphs, and the occasional BWO or midge has been on the menu on the spring creeks.
Managed Trout Water
VDGIF hasn’t had a difficult time finding water to stock this year!
VDGIF has been out stocking all winter long and just about everything has been stocked. Blow Torch, Jigged Squirmies, Psycho Prince, CK Nymphs, Crystal Buggers, Kreelex, and San Juan Worms are always good choices.
Here is a look at what has been stocked around us in the past month-
|March 4, 2019||Augusta County||Upper Sherando Lake||B|
|March 4, 2019||Augusta County||Lower Sherando Lake||A|
|February 19, 2019||Augusta County||Elkhorn Lake||A|
|February 8, 2019||Augusta County||North River (Gorge)||B|
|February 8, 2019||Augusta County||North River (Natural Chimneys)||B|
|February 7, 2019||Augusta County||South River (Ridgeview Park)||A|
|March 5, 2019||Rockingham County||Briery Branch Lake||A|
|March 5, 2019||Rockingham County||Hone Quarry Lake||A|
|February 26, 2019||Rockingham County||Slate Lick Lake||B|
|February 26, 2019||Rockingham County||Slate Lick Run||B|
|February 7, 2019||Rockingham County||South River (Grottoes)||A|
|February 27, 2019||Bath County||Douthat Lake||A|
|February 27, 2019||Bath County||Jackson River (Hidden Valley)||A|
|February 22, 2019||Bath County||Jackson River (Rt. 623)||A|
|February 15, 2019||Bath County||Bullpasture River||A|
|February 15, 2019||Bath County||Jackson River Special Reg *|
|February 13, 2019||Bath County||Cowpasture River||A|
|February 13, 2019||Bath County||Spring Run||CR|
|February 7, 2019||Bath County||Pads Creek||B|
|February 1, 2019||Bath County||Wilson Creek||B|
|February 15, 2019||Highland County||Bullpasture River||A|
|March 4, 2019||Shenandoah County||Tomahawk Pond||B|
|February 21, 2019||Shenandoah County||Stony Creek||A|
|February 21, 2019||Shenandoah County||Mill Creek||B|
|February 14, 2019||Shenandoah County||Passage Creek [Heritage Day Water]||A|