Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Dr. B with a nice spring time smallmouth bass! We finally have a nice window for good fishing on the Shenandoah and James. Get out now while water levels are perfect!
FINALLY! We missed most of April this year for high dirty water. It’s always a shame to have flood stage water levels in spring after a long cold winter of anticipating some of the best smallmouth bass fishing of the year. We now have the opportunity to fish and catch some of the biggest fish of the year over the next 2-3 weeks. Fish have likely spawned on the James and Shenandoah by now. You will still see a few late spawners likely up to the end of May but many of these will be smaller fish. The large males are now guarding nests and will continue to do so for the next few weeks. They will ravenously attack anything that gets near them. Be sure if you fish this time of year to land fish quickly. You should be able to land a big smallmouth over 20″ in less than 30 seconds if you are using the proper gear. Land the fish and return immediately to its spawning area. These fish are guarding fry from predators like redeyes and redbreast sunfish. We need a quality spawn on all of our rivers so please fish responsibly. Also, Please contact Shenandoah or Potomac Riverkeeper, VDGIF, and DEQ if you see any sick or dead fish. You will need to contact these offices immediately with time, date, location, and species affected. We are in the delicate period when we typically see fish kill issues. Please contact authorities immediately if you see problems. As for flies, you need the following for the next month- CLAWDADS, CK BAITFISH, and HALF and HALFs! These flies in a variety of colors are our favorite choices for big smallmouth in the spring. We have tons of flies in stock and plenty of materials to get your started tying these patterns. Our guide services are extremely busy for the next 2 months. For those looking for their smallmouth bass, carp, or musky float, contact us soon. Our calendar is filling up a few months in advance and we are receiving dozens of enquiries every day. We hope to be your choice for your warm water fishing trips again this year!
Want the best info on how to catch bass during April and May in VA? Check out my podcast with the MAN Tom Rosenbauer.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
Our guides have been up in the mountains almost every day enjoying the perfect mountain fishing. Here is a picture perfect brook trout from one of “Blue Line Buzz’s” most recent outings.
It is hard to make a bad decision on mountain stream fishing. We had ridiculously good reports from Madison Run, Paine Run, N. Fork of the Mormon’s, Jeremey’s Run, Ramsey’s Draft, Rapidan, Hughes, Conway, Big Run, North River, Skidmore Fork and of course Dry River. We had Tenkara trips and wild brookie trips this week that resulted in over 50 fish caught in just a few hours all on dry flies. Now is the time to get out and enjoy the perfect warm weather and great water flows. Take plenty of nymphs, streamers, split shot, and strike indicators to get the job done in the deeper runs and pools. Stimulators and Wulff style patterns are crushing fish everywhere. Suphurs are popping and stones and caddis are everywhere but the fish are eating just about everything in sight right now. Load heavy on dry flies, floatant and have a great time! Interested in taking your mountain trout fishing to the next level and simplifying your life? Give Tenkara fishing a try. We will just say it is simple, fun, and extremely effective. Eliminate drag on your dry flies and nymphs and you will be surprised how you find yourself catching more and larger fish! Join the madness today! We have the largest selection of Tenkara rods, lines, gear, and information in the mid Atlantic.
Jacob guided his anglers to over 30 spring creek rainbows and browns one afternoon this week. The streamer fishing was just epic! We are blessed to have some of the most beautiful trout in Virginia.
Dry Fly Season is on the way! The spring creeks are in beautiful shape and our guides are slammed up for the next 3 months! Big fish are being caught all over every day.
WOW! We are still experiencing more record shattering days on the water and local fishermen are reporting monsters all over Virginia’s favorite spring creeks. Big browns and rainbows are being caught on Mossy Creek, Beaver Creek, Smith Creek, Spring Run, Buffalo Creek, and the upper reaches of South River. Anglers are still fishing Sinking Leaders with big profile flies like CLAWDADS, HOME INVADERS, NEAR NUFF SCULPINS, and KREELEX and doing very well. You can find all of our favorite STREAMERS on our online store. The fish have been hanging under the weed beds, undercuts, and along the bottom. Tricos and sulphurs are hatching and the insect clouds are getting thicker and thicker by the day. Warm weather and light winds should really boost the evening sulphur hatch this week. We have been out early most mornings finding rising fish sipping tricos! We are taking multiple rods with us to the water rigged with different flies. Light 3 and 4 weight rods with dry flies and heavy 5-6 weight rods with multi nymph rigs or streamers. Beaver Creek has been giving up wild brook trout and some huge rainbows on nymphs and dry flies when the water is flowing clear. Smith Creek at Susie Q Farm is almost booked solid through May but we have a few days available in June for those looking to enjoy the solitude of some great private 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!
BJ with a personal best rainbow trout on Mossy Creek that he caught using his Tenkara USA AYU and a large kreelex streamer!
Managed Trout Water
An incredible rainbow trout from a local special regulation stream.
All of our favorite state stocked streams are back to good visibility and levels. There are some thunderstorms in the forecast so always keep an eye on the USGS realtime streamflow gauges before you head out. VDGIF is updating their fish stocking page daily. Attractor streamers and nymphs will take these stocked fish through the spring season. Be prepared to fish split shot or sink tip lines later this week as water levels are still a bit high. Don’t overlook some of our lake fisheries. Elkhorn for instance has been producing fish over 5 pounds on streamer patterns fished deep! Although some of these lakes may be stained from recent rains, once they clear up they should fish well into the summer months! Enjoy the next month of our State managed waters folks! It has been a great spring season so far!