Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
A Flash Flood Sunday afternoon blew out Mossy Creek and many of our surrounding streams. Most of the water is now downstream pushing mud and debris down the Shenandoah.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
The Shenandoah and James took another hit over the weekend as small but powerful localized storms dumped upwards of 6″ of rain. The Shenandoah was just about right to float again on Sunday with flows around 1,600 cfs and clearing conditions. Right now it is a torrent of mud and debris from the heavy flash flooding in the Middle and North River drainages. Mossy Creek, Long Glade, and Dry River jumped their banks and were just about as big as they get in a 100 year flood situation. It will likely be another 5-6 days before these rivers clear up. The issue we have now is that there is rain in the forecast just about every day with tropical weather approaching! It has been a rough year for sure for our warm water rivers. Hopefully this will be the last bought of rain for a while.
Here is a Monday morning update on the water levels on the upper South Fork Shenandoah. As you can see river spiked from the water from the spring creeks. It is a very muddy debris filled flow.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
The mountain stream fishing has been excellent over the last 7 days. Recent rains have really spiked water levels. Please keep a close eye on rainfall today and this week as there is a continued threat for localized flooding.
The positive side to recent rainfall story is that our wild trout streams in the mountains are staying full of water. There have been few instances of damaging floods to these creeks so really we are just prolonging our spring fishing season into the summer at this point. The brook trout fishing can be extremely good into June and July if the creeks retain good water flow. Daily and weekly rain ensures these streams will be flowing strong and keep the fish spread out throughout the creeks rather than have them crowded in the deeper sanctuary pools. Some of these streams like Dry River are swollen at the moment and too big for good fishing. We will continue to monitor these streams this week to keep everyone informed as to the best spots to fish.
The thick canopy in the mountains is fully mature for the year making casting tricky in a lot of spots but it provides necessary shade to keep these creeks cool.
Get Geared Up
This is what Mossy looked like Sunday afternoon while fishing with some clients. It’s amazing how quickly things changed.
Alright folks, we have some folks from TU out getting a status report on Mossy this morning and assessing damage. Currently it is looking like the newly restored area on Mossy held up pretty well and displaced water appropriately. What we have learned is the 2 big culverts downstream aren’t nearly big enough and they backed water up a bunch and created some rather large lakes. It looks like those will be new projects to be removed in the near future. For now- Mossy Creek, Beaver Creek, Smith Creek and many of our surrounding streams are just too high and brown for good fishing. Spring Run and Buffalo seemed like they faired the weather decently yesterday. Please keep an eye on the weather as more ‘heavy rain’ is in the forecast today and we are expecting rain every day this week. Water local radars and the USGS gauges and make smart decisions. We will be out photographing the creeks and providing updates on our social media channels throughout the week.
One of the very last brown trout released before the weather set in on Sunday afternoon.
Mossy Creek 400 yards wide in one area.
Mossy looking more like the Congo than a peaceful spring creek.
Many of the roads were covered with running water.
Managed Trout Water
High brown water is everywhere after the flooding rains. Be safe out there!
All of our local streams and lakes have been stocked for the spring. Reporting has been a challenge lately as much of the recent rainfall has been very localized. Flooding is occurring in very specific spots. For instance, North River above Elkhorn is in decent shape while North River in Bridgwater is flooding. Heavy Rain and the potential for tropical weather this week will make it difficult to report on all surrounding VDGIF managed waters. Keep an eye on our social media channels for updates.
VDGIF has been busy this spring stocking your favorite freestone streams and lakes. Sugar Hollow Reservoir, Mint Springs, Pedlar River, Elkhorn Lake, Braley Pond, Sherando Lake, North River DH, South River DH, Spring Run, South River SRA, Douthat, Jackson River at Hidden Valley and Poor Farm, Back Creek DH, Bullpasture, Cowpasture, Hardware River DH, Rose River, Hughes River, Robinson River, Tye River, Hawksbill Creek, Maury River, Silver Lake, Hone Quarry, Briery Branch, Stony Creek, Mill Creek, and Passage Creek DH should keep you busy if you are in our area! Stock up on crystal buggers, golden retrievers, kreelex, slump busters, and a variety of attractor nymph patterns in size 12-16 for these VA managed streams. Don’t forget your strike indicators and split shot!