Pictured above is our good buddy Harrison with one of dozens of bass he caught on a float trip last year on the Shenandoah River!
Peak trout fishing continues and our prime warmwater fishing begins!
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
The Worlds Most Interesting Man…”I don’t always fly fish but when I do I catch the most difficult fish in the river!”
The carp are becoming active and once the water drops enough we should see them stacked up in their spawning areas for another week or so. They will then spread throughout the river system again and begin to feed in the shallows. We look forward to spending days on the water actively searching for these incredible gamefish.
We missed the past 10 days on the James and Shenandoah Rivers because of high water. It is looking like we will be able to get out later this week with more normal water flows. The smallmouth bass should be spawning and you can have great success on big fish if you know where to go and how to catch them. We are hoping that rainfall keeps to a minimum over the next 2 months to help ensure a good spawn. We are in desperate need of a quality spawn on the James River and Shenandoah to ensure good year classes in the future. Grab your 8 weight rods and big crayfish and baitfish patterns along with some 12lb fluorocarbon tippet and go have a blast out there. We will be on the water as much as we can to make up for the lost trips over the last 2 weeks.
Want the best info on how to catch bass during April and May in VA? Check out my podcast with the MAN Tom Rosenbauer.
If you are looking for a musky trip for our peak early summer season, let us know soon! We are booking up fast and our musky guides are anxious to get you on the water. June through mid July is a hot time for aggressive musky action. They will readily eat flies under quality water conditions as the water warms up into the 60’s and 70’s. We had some excellent days around the full moon periods of June and July last year and musky to 48″ were landed on flies. Let our experts show you a day you won’t soon forget!
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
There haven’t been too many changes in the mountains other than more and more bugs have been hatching and the fishing is getting to be about as good as it gets! Water temps should really begin to climb later this week solidifying our incredible dry fly action. Big attractor dry flies in size 12-14 have been working for just about everyone and large fish are taking bigger nymphs and streamers. The temps are still cool and the undergrowth has taken over yet, so go enjoy the big mountain fisheries while we are in peak season! Great reports are coming in from all over the Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Forest. Dry River has been producing record numbers of fish per day and some quite big fish as well. Ramsey’s Draft, St. Mary’s, Madison Run, Paine Run, Big Run, Rip Rap, North Fork of the Mormon’s, Conway, Rapidan, Rose, Hughes, Robinson, White Oak, Jeremey’s, are all fishing well. Grab some 5x leaders and head out with your favorite dries, nymphs, and small streamers and enjoy an incredible season of brook trout fishing ahead! These all currently have great water flow. We hope you are excited by the forecast as the fishing conditions are looking incredible for the next week. Watch the wind and falling branches though. The wind has been nasty the past few days. With temps hitting 70 here soon you better have plenty of your favorite dry flies and floatant!!
We are starting to book our incredible summer spring creek trips. Here is a picture of a 25″ Mossy Creek brown trout from one of our summer trips last year.
Tricos are starting to pop in the morning hours and sulphurs are hatching in the afternoon and spinners are hitting the creek at dusk. We anticipate these hatches becoming more prolific over the next few weeks and we are really looking forward to the green drake hatch at the end of May! It won’t be long until we are blind fishing large dry flies on the spring creeks but for now we are taking advantage of the occasional caddis hatch and the great nymph and streamer fishing lately. Slump busters, clawdads, and near nuff sculpins were the flies of the week again! They produced the biggest numbers and size fish. They were fished slow, near the bottom, and around the weed beds and undercut banks. CK nymphs and Killer Bugs are working very well at Beaver Creek and Smith Creek. Jigged Hare’s Ear and Jigged Prince nymphs are working in the deeper fast water. Big black Trow Minnows, Kreelex, Zoo Cougars, Woolhead Sculpins are the favorites in overcast conditions with high muddy water. Enjoy the wonderful weather and we hope to see you on the water!
Help us spread the word folks!!!! – GET YOUR MOSSY CREEK, BUFFALO CREEK, and SOUTH RIVER PERMITS ONLINE 24/7 FREE!!! CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK!!! BEAVER CREEK PERMITS HAVE CHANGED LOCATION! Store name: 257 Grocery Store location: 6939 Briery Branch Road, Dayton, VA. This store is located 2 miles from the Ottobine Country Store. If on 257 at the intersection at Ottobine, take a left and remain on Rt 257. Cross Beaver Creek and follow for just over 1 mile. 257 Grocery will be on your left. This store opens at 5AM on weekdays and 6AM on Saturdays. They have the 4 permits for $10 like before. They are a great family owned store. Buy breakfast or lunch and we can be sure the permits will have a permanent home! Thanks for everyone’s patience through this short transition. And thanks to 257 Grocery for taking management of the permits!
Managed Trout Water
A beastly rainbow from a local stocked river. Many of our State managed streams have been fishing well when water levels haven’t been too high.
Water levels are dropping and most of our streams are running clear again after last weeks rain. Fishing will be excellent on our special regulation and delayed harvest streams this week. North River, South River, The Bullpasture, Jackson, and Back Creek have been fishing very well. Big fish are still being reported from Elkhorn Lake. The fish in Switzer Reservoir will be up in pods soon eating sulphurs in the evening hours. Some great fish have been caught on Spring Run as well. North River above Elkhorn is having some restoration work done but you can find some good fishing for wild trout above the construction areas. Keep an eye on the VDGIF website for updates on stream stocking information and if we get rain always check realtime flows from the USGS website.
All of our VA stocked streams have been loaded up for the season and VDGIF will be out in full force stocking through May. Stocked fish love egg patterns, san juan worms, crystal buggers, retrievers, kreelex, clawdads, zuddlers, conehead buggers, and big attractor nymphs. Be sure to have plenty of strike indicators and split shot while water levels are still up. Enjoy the warm weather on the way!!