Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
It is not bass season yet here in VA but it was in the Amazon last week! Congrats on an awesome fish Jim!
Our guides can hardly wait for smallmouth season! Just a few more months and we will be out floating again. Who is ready?
Smallmouth fishing is still on hold for us for another 60 days or so. Shane went out in search of musky last week and found one before the temps hit rock bottom. Rain Friday night now has water levels running high and stained and it may be a week or so until we have the ability to get out and fish again. Now would be a great time to go through your gear and reload for the upcoming season.
The booking calendar for 2020 is already filling up for prime bass fishing. Prespawn fishing really turns early to mid April. Peak spawn generally occurs late April through mid May. Spawn can be delayed by cool water temps or flooding. We have seen black fry and males guarding nests in early June many times. Peak fishing runs May-September. Weekends are already filling up as are prime fishing windows. Reserve your trip today!
Give us a call 540-434-2444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to book your float trip!
This is the time of year when you can find female musky at maximum density!
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
High mountain streams like North River have been running strong for a few weeks. Rain on Friday night into Saturday will ensure good water flows for the next month.
WOW! We finally received a legitimate shot of rain and all our western streams are running bank full. Fishing conditions should be excellent this week. Dry River, North River, Ramsey’s Draft, Skidmore Fork, Fridley’s Gap, St. Mary’s, and the Shenandoah National Park Streams are running big but clear. Even in the stained water on Saturday the brookies on Dry River were hungry. We anticipate at least 2 weeks of great water flow as a result of this rain. Temps will be in the low to mid 40’s this week with lows in the 20’s. This means cold water and chilly conditions in the mountains. Temps look to return to the upper 40’s by the weekend. Load heavy on size 12-14 nymphs with tungsten heads, size 8-12 streamers with coneheads, and have some large indicators and split shot with you or take your favorite Euro rigs. With high water and cold temperatures it will be imperative to get your flies down quickly. Strikes may be subtle when water temps are in the 30’s and low 40’s. If cold weather doesn’t bother you, go enjoy some solitude up in the mountains right now!
Brook trout have been reluctant to eat dries throughout this extreme cold snap but could not resist a kreelex fished downstream and dangled right in their face.
It has been bitterly cold lately but the spring creek fish never mind or notice the air temps.
It has been a fun few weeks fishing the spring creeks. December was technical at times but fishing was fairly consistent. Bright sunny days when the water was low made for tough conditions but gave us opportunities to target fish on small dry flies. BWO’s and midges continue to produce fish that are looking up. Recent spikes in water volume and decrease in clarity should provide for some excellent streamer fishing this week especially on the overcast and rainy days. Dirty water conditions allow for heavy leaders and big profile flies. Size 16-18 BWO comparaduns, parachutes, griffiths gnats, adams parachutes, and other small midge patterns have been taking fish that are sipping dries off the surface. 3 or 4 weights with long 5-6x leaders will work with any of those dries. Utilize these tactics on Mossy Creek, Beaver Creek, Spring Run, Susie Q Farm, and Buffalo Creek through the winter months. Susie Q Farm has recently been stocked again and and has excellent water flow. Management of this water is changing for 2020. Fees have gone up slightly but it is being stocked a lot more than in the past. Call or email to book your guided trip or private water experience today!
Most productive streamers- Complex Twist Buggers, Bunny Muddlers, Sculpinators, Conehead sculpins, Crystal Buggers, Tequeely’s, Kreelex, Triple Doubles, and Lead Eye Buggers.
Water levels have been excellent and clarity good enough for fish to spot BWO’s and midges in the 18-20 range on the surface. Nothing beats light line midge fishing to cure cabin fever.
Creeks have been running at bank full lately. This last shot of rain will really refresh things for the next month.
Crayfish don’t burrow all winter long on our spring creeks. They are EVERYWHERE right now along the muddy banks in the vegetation. Big trout love these crayfish.
Get your crittermite flies out! Giant hellgrammites are all over the bottom of the spring creeks.
Managed Trout Water
We finally have water we needed in all of our lakes and streams! Stay tuned for updated stocking information on the VDGIF site.
Water levels are running very high right now. There is no significant rainfall in the forecast this week so we anticipate water levels to drop on the larger streams to be fishable later this week. Many of the small streams are fishable today. North River just dropped below 90CFS. This means the river below Elkhorn is still VERY large but you can cross it in the slower water areas. Be careful anywhere you fish this week as there will be ice covering many rocks with temps in the 20’s at night. High water, ice, and cold conditions will require extra care. Back Creek, Bullpasture, Cowpasture, Spring Run, S Branch Potomac, Hawksbill Creek, and the Maury were all stocked last week. The Jackson, upper Passage, Hone Quarry Run, Tye River, and Irish Creek were stocked over the past 2 weeks. We have plenty of attractor patterns in nymphs and streamers that will work during the winter season and periods of high and low water. Stop in or give us a call for updates on our local streams.