Harrisonburg, Virginia     Phone: 540-434-2444     Email: store@mossycreekflyfishing.com

Virginia Fly Fishing Report 4/16/2020

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Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.

The James and Shenandoah Rivers

The largemouth loved the warm spell we had in early April.

The kickoff to our smallmouth season is just about here! The recent rainfall and cold snap are keeping us focused on trout fishing while it is peaking right now. The bass fishing should start to pick up later next week if you know where to find them! Most of the bass will be staged up in the dominant ledges and eddies. Males will be sweeping nests and females nearby on the current seams waiting to drop eggs. Temps will need to be right 5-6 days in a row for most females to spawn. This will generally happen the last week of April into the 1st week of May. With much heavier fishing pressure right now due to the Covid pandemic we urge everyone to be more observant of where they are fishing and do not target bedding bass. Pulling large males off of nests will allow nest raiding fish to eat up all the eggs. We need to ensure quality spawns in all of our rivers right now! Please enjoy responsibly! The most crucial flies for this time of year are the Clawdad, CK Baitfish, Crittermite, Clouser, Half and Half, Dragon Tail, Wiggler, Nutcracker, and Swinging D. Here is the ideal setup for any water condition this time of year. Have a size 2 Clawdad or crittermite rigged on 12lb flurorocarbon to fish the heaviest current seams. These heavy flies will allow you to get down to the bottom quickly and search out big females laying in wait to spawn. CK baitfish, Dragon Tails, and Wigglers are great for the slow water eddies and spots behind the rocks, boulders, and ledges where the males are picking the perfect spot to spawn. Male smallmouth love rocky areas with stones the size of  chicken eggs. These specific flies can be fished much slower in these slack water areas. Males will NOT sweep a spot that has any current at all. Clousers and half and halfs are the perfect searching flies to fish ‘diamond chop’ transitional areas. These are areas near seams and eddies that sometimes hold the largest females. You can fish these large searching patterns quickly and cover a LOT of water in the process. Takes are generally aggressive on flies in these areas. Having these 3 types of flies rigged and ready will allow you to efficiently and effectively cover all types of water you encounter on a float down your favorite smallmouth river. We hope these tips help you to be successful on the water this year!

An update on our float trips- We have cancelled or rescheduled 100’s of trips lately as a result of necessary social distancing. We ARE booking and reserving float trips for the peak summer season. Please clal 540-434-2444 or email store@mossycreekflyfishing.com to reserve your day. We apologize if it has been difficult to get through on the phone during normal store hours. Our phone has been ringing non-stop lately with the surge of anglers, orders, and deliveries.

Mountain Brook Trout Streams

Conditions are PRIME right now in the mountains.

Wow! It has been an incredible spring season so far. It is a shame that the Shenandoah National Park streams are closed. The fishing in the Park has been SO good. Hopefully we will see the Park open up sooner rather than later to help spread anglers out across the Commonwealth. We are seeing a surge of anglers on our local waters. Every day is like a peak season Saturday. That said you can still find plenty of water to yourself. Our trips to Dry River have found us fishing most of the day without seeing another person. North River has been a little busy, especially on the weekends. Ramsey’s Draft and St. Marys are seeing a LOT of hikers but fishing traffic has been manageable. There are a ton of bugs hatching right now. With above average water flow right now try some big bushy attractors that will float and ride high in turbulent water. Humpies, Royal Wulffs, Stimulators, Blue Duns, and Mr. Rapidans are great choices. These are easy for you to see and will also float a nymph fished as a dropper. Jig nymphs in size 12-14 like Jigged Hare’s Ears, Prince, and Pheasant Tails are great choices to get your fly deep without snagging bottom. Attractor nymphs like Nitro’s, Psycho Prince, Copper Johns, and CK nymphs are a must in everyones boxes right now. We have 10’s of thousands of flies showing up now every 2 weeks to meet demand of peak season. We are delivering and arranging pickup all day every day. We are happy to create assortments as well. Just give us a budget and we will shop our favorites for you. Enjoy the peak season up in the mountains! It doesn’t get much better than it has been.

We are enjoying catching some large fish right now.

Dry River, Skidmore Fork, North River, and Ramseys’ Draft are open and fishing great!

Get Geared Up

Spring Creeks

A few locals have been finding some BEAST browns on Mossy lately.

Spring has sprung on the spring creeks! Peak season is here and boy is the fishing excellent. Smith Creek, Mossy Creek, Beaver Creek, Spring Run, and Buffalo Creek are all full of water, insects, and eager fish. Reports from all of these creeks have been incredible. Numbers of fish along with BIG fish are being reported daily! BWO’s and caddis kept fish interested in surface feeding most of March and early April. We anticipate the first sulphurs of the year to hatch soon followed by the big green drake hatch later in May. In the meantime, load up on your favorite streamers and sculpin patterns along with big buggy nymphs and scuds. We have been seeing a huge increase in the volume of crayfish and sowbugs in Mossy, Beaver, and Smith Creek lately. Clawdads in size 4 and 6 and any scud pattern in size 14-16 will take fish. The hot flies have been- Complex Twist Buggers, Bunny Muddlers, Sculpinators, Conehead sculpins, Crystal Buggers, Tequeely’s, Kreelex, Triple Doubles, and Lead Eye Buggers. Traffic has been busy at Mossy Creek lately. Please respect the landowners and parking areas. If the lots are full, please find another area to fish. We would hate for these areas to close down from overcrowding. Beaver Creek is still open to fishing. Susie Q is fishing amazingly well. It is mostly booked up for April but schedules are still changing almost daily. Give us a call to reserve your spot on Smith Creek. Enjoy the spring season and all of these great photos from our favorite local anglers!

We are still guiding wade trips on our local spring creeks. We are meeting clients at the water and maintaining a ‘rods length’ distance minimum all day. If you have questions on how we are hosting our guided trips we would be happy to discuss. Reserve your time on the spring creeks by giving us a call 540-434-2444 or email store@mossycreekflyfishing.com

Social distancing on the spring creeks!

A stream side proposal made everyones day!

Our buddy Mike has been catching arm length browns almost daily out at Mossy!

Yo Wayne! Where your legs?

Spring creek rainbows looking lovely out at Susie Q Farm.

Being outside and tugging on fish will bring smiles no matter what is going on in the world.

Mike continues to get it done!

Managed Trout Water

Be safe and stay healthy out there!

Water levels are running high on many streams right now. Keep an eye on the USGS gauges through the weekend. VDGIF is no longer posting stocking reports. We can tell you that North River, South River, Bullpasture, Jackson Tailwater, and Back Creek DH are all fishing well right now. Many reservoirs are also loaded and fishing well. Take your favorite nymphs and streamers and load up on strike indicators and split shot. Water levels are running above average right now but should normalize early next week. Temperatures will be on the rise next week and the fishing should pick up as well.