Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
The James River continues to run at above average flows will hopefully continue to drop and clear up to provide the awesome summer topwater action we love so much.
The South Fork Shenandoah is hitting average flows and has been clearing nicely from a spring of heavy water flow. Fishing really picked up this week.
The weather pattern has finally changed and it is beginning to feel like summer! Temps are in the 90’s with lows in the upper 60’s and low 70’s. Water temps are hitting mid 70’s on the Shenandoah and around 78 degrees on the James. Water levels are still running at or above average coming off another wet spring. The 10 day forecast is showing a few days with afternoon thunderstorms. If we can dodge those storms we should see the rivers continue to drop, clear, and warm up bringing about more stable fishing and an improving topwater bite.
Bug season is here and deer hair bugs, poppers, swim frogs, and swim minnows are producing. Wiggle minnows and Ck baitfish are working around the riffles, runs, and eddies, and crittermites and clawdads along the deeper ledges. Our guide crew is out all day every day and reports are flying in from local area anglers. We will continue to post updates and changes but it is looking like an EXCELLENT week ahead.
Check Out Our Bass Selections HERE! Hand Picked By Our Expert Staff – https://www.mossycreekstore.com/Smallmouth-Selection_c628.htm
Want to take your smallmouth game to the next level? Colby has completed a facebook live session with Tom Rosenbauer discussing smallmouth bass fishing and focused on fishing this time of year and the appropriate flies to have in your stash. See the entire interview by clicking this link- https://www.facebook.com/orvisflyfishing/videos/252577742558343/ !
July is fully booked for float trips. We do have a waitlist available for anyone that wants first dibs on a last minute opening. Reservations continue to fly in and requests are at an all time high. August and September will likely book up faster than normal. Please call 540-434-2444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Brian had a day off and did a little river cleanup.
When the smallmouth bite slows down we head to the deadfalls and look for largemouth.
Channel catfish took a clawdad. This pattern catches just about everything that swims!
Ever catch 2 bass on 1 cast? When these fish get fired up they try to ‘steal’ the food from their buddies and occasionally get stuck as well.
Spending time with the family and searching out some of the rivers biggest fish has been fun. This 7.5 pound largemouth is one of many we hope to find this summer!
Jess stuck this 6lb largemouth about 2 hours before dark. Target the biggest wood piles on the banks and you will likely run into a few of these.
The topwater bite is cranking up!
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
Water levels look low in the mountains but many are running normal for this time of year. Without rain they will continue to drop and get warm.
There are still some anglers fishing up in the mountains but some streams are getting very low. The smaller drainages like Paine Run, Madison Run, Skidmore above the lake, Ramsey’s Draft, and upper reaches of North are getting thin. Water temps are running around 68 degrees during the heat of the day so keep a close eye on your thermometers as this heat wave continues. Fishing will perk up quickly with heavy rainfall but we will be giving the brookies a break until conditions improve.
The Shenandoah National Park is FULLY open along with boundary access. You need to read the details on the SNP website for updates, trail closures, and access information. https://www.nps.gov/shen/phase-two.htm Reports have been awesome from anglers getting back to fishing the SNP streams. Little yellow stones are coming off and fish are tuning into anything yellow or light in color. Yellow Humpies, headlight sally’s, stimulators, mini hots, and pmx in yellow or lime are crushing fish.
Grab A Trout Selection Hand Picked By Our Staff – https://www.mossycreekstore.com/Trout-Selection_c627.htm
Humpies, Royal Wulffs, Stimulators, Cahills, Headlight Sally, Clown Shoe Sally, Elk Hair Caddis, and Mr. Rapidans are great choices. These are easy for syou 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.
It is a good time to take a thermometer along with you to ensure you aren’t fishing water that is too warm.
Beetlemania is here! Get in on the action while we have good water flow, temps, and plenty of bugs to keep the fish happy!
Trico swarms continue to grow and you can now fish the emergence at dawn and the spinnerfall between 7-8am. Ants, beetles, and juvenile hoppers are coating the stream side vegetation. This can be an excellent time of year to catch big fish on dry flies. Temps will be very hot in the afternoon hours so you will find better fishing very early or late and you will also be much more comfortable fishing during those times. Afternoon thunderstorms provide overcast conditions and can bring about high dirty water for short periods of time. We generally find these storms can bring about some great streamer fishing once the water stains so don’t leave your streamer rods at home! Mossy, Beaver, and Susie Q Farm should continue to fish well as long as we maintain good water flows!
Grab The Perfect Selection Of Flies – https://www.mossycreekstore.com/Trout-Selection_c627.htm
Browse Our Terrestrial Patterns Here – https://www.mossycreekstore.com/Terrestrials_c204.htm
The hot flies have been- Complex Twist Buggers, Bunny Muddlers, Sculpinators, Conehead sculpins, Crystal Buggers, Kreelex, Baby Gongas, Triple Doubles, and Lead Eye Buggers. 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 email@example.com
Another big brown falling victim to a terrestrial.
Beat the heat and fish very early, late, or after a thunderstorm.
Managed Trout Water
Streams are dropping and getting warm. Trout fishing will likely slow down on the smaller and warmer rivers.
VDGIF is no longer stocking their managed trout waters. The larger drainages like the Jackson, Back Creek, Bullpasture, Cowpasture, and North River will continue to fish well for another few weeks. These streams will likely start to become marginal by mid July through August. West VA has some great streams that are fishing well right now like the South Branch and North Branch of the Potomac and the Elk. Give those a try for some early summer action or hit the warmwater streams for peak summer fishing!