Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Bug fishing will continue to be good if we can keep the water levels normal and the thunderstorms away! This can be the best time of year for big smallmouth on the surface!
The James and Shenandoah Rivers are running warm but still slightly off color from the persistent afternoon thunderstorms. The annual cicadas are making noise every day and many are hitting the water and the big smallmouth are eating them any chance they get. When the water isn’t totally clear the big swimming frogs and baitfish have been working best for topwater action.
Not much has changed in our strategy over the past 2 weeks as we head out on our daily routine. We are still fishing CK Baitfish, Clawdads, Crittermites, Todd’s Wiggle Minnows, and Murdich Minnows on a regular basis. We are fishing crayfish patterns slow and deep along the ledges and at the tail ends of the riffles almost every day and the bite has been consistent. Baitfish patterns fished aggressively along the water willow, weedbeds, and riffles has also been productive. We are finding the best topwater action begins around 11:30 on bright sunny days as fish orient to the shade lines. Because of high water this year we are fishing more 7 and 8 weight rods with larger flies. On the Shenandoah big largemouth are being caught on the wood structure on large baitfish and crayfish flies. Plop these flies along sunken logs and trees and let the flies sink. Watch for big bass tracking down your fly and attempt to keep it from dragging. The biggest fish will generally prefer picking the fly up off the bottom, so be patient and wait to see the fish suck in your fly or wait until your line really tightens up and set hard and hold on! We still have some openings late August and September- Contact us now and take advantage of the end of our peak smallmouth season!
One of a few clear water days in early August provided some excellent topwater fishing.
The Umpqua Swimming Frog continues to be one of the best topwater producers of the season!
Classic Shenandoah River smallmouth bass.
Our buddy Ira Strouse the project leader of the Charlottesville chapter of Project Healing Waters with a smallmouth on his first float down the Shenandoah.
Gar on the James River are aggressive on baitfish patterns and are a ton of fun to pursue on flies!
Bill from the Project Healing Waters all the way in New York City with his first channel catfish on a fly rod!
Mary Margaret with a channel catfish on a clawdad. These catfish have been ravenous on our flies this summer!
We have been avoiding musky in the summer heat but have still hooked a few while bass fishing. Some musky have been coming up and attacking large frog and baitfish patterns fished on the surface. It is always exciting to see these fish but we won’t be targeting them until water temps are safely back in the low 70’s. Book your fall and winter musky trips now, peak musky season will be here before you know it!
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
Looking forward to the cooler weather in September and October to get some fishing in before the brook trout spawn.
We are really giving the brook trout a break now with temps in the 90’s. Water levels are a bit low on some streams and it is just uncomfortable out fishing in this hot weather for trout. It looks like temps will drop later this week back into the low 80’s providing for much cooler fishing up in the mountains. Mountain top highs were around 77-78 this week. We look forward to more mountain fishing once the conditions improve a bit.
Andrij Horodysky with an awesome spring creek brook trout in early August. Big brookies seek out these cold water springs in the heat of summer and you can sometimes find some incredible fish!
Trico action continues most days and fish have been sipping these small mayflies when they aren’t full from a night of gorging on hex mayflies. The Hex hatch started early this season and they have been hatching on most of our major spring creeks. The PMX dry fly in size 8-10 has been working well in all colors. Big grasshoppers are gaining more attention as well. Japanese beetles are still out in great numbers. We expect the terrestrial fishing to continue to be great through September if we continue to have such great water flow. Afternoon thunderstorms have been keeping our big rivers muddy but have kept our spring creeks water flow at near spring time levels. We could be set up for a better fall fishing we have seen in a while if this weather pattern holds.
Joe with an awesome brown trout that sipped an ant pattern on the public stretch of Mossy Creek.
John all the way from Ohio with a nice rainbow that he sight fished. This fish sipped a large hex dry fly pattern.
Meghan with an awesome rainbow trout from an early morning on one of our spring creeks.
Thom fishes our spring creeks regularly and was once again rewarded with this nice rainbow trout.
Managed Trout Water
An epic trico hatch, one of the most reliable hatches during the summer months.
With temperatures soaring the past few weeks, many anglers are either targeting smallmouth and largemouth bass or fishing the spring creeks. Focus on Mossy Creek, Buffalo Creek, Spring Run, Beaver Creek, or fish the Jackson tailwater until water temps drop on the VA state stocked waters. You will definitely find better action on the spring creeks during this heatwave. Fall is around the corner so get geared up and ready for the fall trout season.