Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
The fishing on the Shenandoah ended stronger than we can remember with fishing being great through the first week of October.
We added a few boats to the fleet this year and have a few more new ones for 2020!
Wow! The smallmouth bass fishing sure ended on a high note this year. The season opened up with high and dirty water through much of spring and we had higher than average water all through summer and just near perfect conditions the entire month of September into October. Water levels actually just touched average flow a few times and never got too low! Now that bass fishing has slowed down and the leaves are falling and choking up the river system we are patiently awaiting our windows to musky fish. We are prepping our reels and 10 and 11 weight rods in the hopes of a successful late fall and winter season. The rains we are receiving now will help river conditions that have been very clear. We also anticipate a massive drop in water temps next week as nights will be in the 20’s and 30’s and highs only in the low to mid 50’s. We have been using smaller flies with light wire leaders for musky lately. Higher stained water will allow us to use bigger flies and bigger terminal tackle(leaders, tippet, bite wire, swivels). We will be off the water on windy days until the leaves are done dropping. Heavy leaf litter can make fishing difficult to impossible this time of year. The booking calendar for 2020 is already filling up for prime bass fishing. Prespawn fishing really turns on around April 5-10. Anytime before then we can catch fish but historically productivity gets better mid April. Peak spawn generally occurs late April through mid May. Spawn can be delayed by cool water temps or flooding. We have seen black fry and males guarding nests in early June many times. Peak fishing runs May-September. Weekends are already filling up as are prime fishing windows. Reserve your trip today!
Give us a call 540-434-2444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to book your float trip!
Joe from Jack Brown’s Harrisonburg has the Smallie Bug!!
Big number days all through late summer!
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
Water has been very low and clear lately but recent rainfall should get things moving for spawn.
We are coming off a few years of excellent fishing up in the mountains of Virginia. Water levels started to get pitiful in September and have been very low ever since. Rainfall this week should help get things flowing nicely again for a week or so. This will hopefully help get our native mountain trout access to more prolific spawning habitat. Many anglers choose not to fish this time of year to keep from disturbing spawning fish. Some anglers choose to enjoy the fall fishing and are very careful not to tread on redds and do not target actively spawning fish. We encourage anglers to educate themselves about what is happening this time of year, be observant of what is going on in the creeks, and to be very careful if they do fish. Hopefully our brook trout will have a successful spawn this fall and an easy winter ensuring great fishing in the future!
It has been a great year and we are still catching some big brook trout at North River and Dry River when water flows are up.
The brown trout fishing was excellent before the spawn started.
The spring creeks looked and fished great September and October as they remained at or above average flows all year. Recent rainfall has Mossy and Beaver Creek back to bank full and at near springtime flows! The streamer fishing on Mossy Creek has been excellent while the more technical nymphing on Beaver Creek and Smith Creek has been most effective for anglers. The front this week is bringing high, stained water conditions with a massive temperature drop on the back end. We anticipate the freeze over the weekend and next week will put an end to our terrestrial fishing and the hoppers and crickets will be toast for 2019. Nymph, midge, and streamer fishing should dominate the next few months. Typically the dry fly fishing with BWO’s and midges is quite good if water clarity appropriate. Tricos will continue to hatch in the late morning hours this time of year and we have found fishable hatches around Thanksgiving before. With cold mornings ahead go through your gear and check your waders for leaks, check the soles of your boots, and bring your cold weather gear out of storage. We are loaded on gloves, layering, and cold weather gear for the season. Stop in and let us help you gear up properly for the season!
Most productive streamers- Complex Twist Buggers, Bunny Muddlers, Sculpinators, Conehead sculpins, Crystal Buggers, Tequeely’s, Kreelex, Triple Doubles, and Lead Eye Buggers.
When the browns are away the rainbows will play!
Smith Creek at Susie Q fished well in October for the kids club outings!
The browns were extremely aggressive before the spawn.
Managed Trout Water
VDGIF managed streams are still holding some quality fish.
VDGIF will be able to stock more rivers and streams with this rainfall. Your favorite western VA streams are full of fish- Back Creek, Jackson, Bullpasture, Cowpasture, and Spring Run have been fishing well. We anticipate North River DH and the gorge to be stocked this week once water bumps up. Check the VDGIF website for updates and load up on split shot, indicators, and attractor nymphs and streamers for the fall season!