Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
It is that time of year again when the leaves are falling and musky begin to have our full attention.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Well we sure hope our winter musky season shapes up to be a lot better than our spring and summer smallmouth fishing. We are patiently awaiting the leaves to finally change color and drop. It can be very challenging to fish musky this time of year on breezy days as the river can become completely choked with leaves. Generally we are through the heaviest leaf litter by the 2nd week of November. Generally our rivers are completely clear by the Thanksgiving holiday and then on through the winter months. Historically our best musky fishing occurs late November and into mid December especially around the full moon period. Check those dates out and give us a call to reserve your day on the water. The Shenandoah and James are still running well above average for this time of year but the extended forecast looks to be shaping up better in our favor with only small amounts of rain on the way. We are hopeful the weather pattern from the summer and spring are over and we are all looking forward to much dryer weather. Be careful at a few of the boat ramps as a few are still covered in thick mud from the recent flooding.
Locked and Loaded! We have the hooks, wire, fur, flash, and feathers to keep your boxes loaded this musky season!
Water clarity is generally crystal clear in winter conditions allowing for very visual fights.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
It was a great year with excellent water flow and happy brook trout everywhere!
This certainly was the year of the brook trout and we hope the trend continues on for the next few seasons. Big brook trout were reported from all of our local streams- Dry River, Skidmore Fork, Switzer Reservoir, North River, Ramsey’s Draft, and many of the Shenandoah National Park streams over the past few months. Water levels are still great and hopefully these fisheries will experience above average spawning this fall. Things are already looking great for spring of 2019!
Our buddy Mark caught this perfect beast of a brook trout on Dry River mid October. This is one of many large brook trout that came from the Dry River system this year.
Get Geared Up
A classic Mossy Creek fall brown trout from a very happy angler this past week.
Water levels are great and big brown trout are on the move. Spawn is underway so anglers need to pay close attention not to fish paired up fish around the shallow gravel areas. Many of the big browns that have already spawned will be found in their old haunts below undercuts, log jams, and deep trenches in the weeds. Anglers fishing large streamers right now are having success moving the big fish. Drunk and Disorderly’s, Zuddlers, Complex Twist Buggers, Rascals, CH Sculpins, Woolhead Sculpins, and Kreelex have all been great patterns. Retrievers, crystal buggers, jigged nymphs, and squirmies have been working well below a strike indicator. Fish short heavy leaders in 0-2X with your big streamers and fluorocarbon tippet in 4-5X with your nymphs and small streamers. Cover water and target the overcast/rainy days if you can. We anticipate midge and blue wing olive hatches to become a significant part of our fishing here in a few weeks as things continue to cool down.
Beaver Creek has been stocked recently and is on a heavy stocking program this fall as we have better than average water flow out there. Kreelex, Retrievers, Crystal Buggers, Zuddlers, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Frenchies, Psycho Prince, Eggs, San Juans, and Squirmies have all been producing fish. Wake up early if you want to fish Beaver Creek as the permits have been under extremely high demand lately.
Susie Q Farm is open and has been fishing very well. We look forward to great dry fly fishing this winter once our midge and BWO hatches fire up. Until then we are focusing on our nymph and streamer game out there. Slump busters, Near Nuff Sculpin, Thin Mints, and Orange Blossom Specials have been working well along with a series of attractor nymphs in size 10-14. The farm is almost completely booked for November, so get on the books fast!
Susie Q Farm is open and has been fishing great!
Denise with a monster Beaver Creek rainbow.
Beaver Creek has been fishing very well this fall.
Susie Q Farm has been great for anglers of all abilities lately.
Managed Trout Water
The Fall fishing season is officially here! Get out in the woods and enjoy some amazing fishing right now.
VDGIF is out stocking in full force now. Rivers, streams, and lakes are at excellent levels for this time of year and the fishing has been great. North River Delayed Harvest, Elkhorn, South River, Braley Pond, and Sherando in Augusta County have been stocked. Hone Quarry, Briery Branch, and the North Fork Shenandoah in Rockingham, and the Jackson River, Back Creek Delayed Harvest, Spring Run, Bullpasture, and Cowpasture in Highland and Bath Counties have been stocked. Check out Robinson, Hughes, Tye, Hawksbill, and Passage Creek as well. Load heavy on your attractor patterns and don’t forget your split shot and indicators for the high water on many of these streams right now.