Shenandoah Valley Virginia Fly Fishing Report and News From Mossy Creek Fly Shop.
The James and Shenandoah Rivers
Clawdad puts another giant in the boat. Hands down the BEST fly for big smallmouth bass.
It has been a week since we were out enjoying some excellent smallmouth fishing. The rain and high water last week crushed our holiday weekend adventures. It is also looking like the spawn on the New and James River won’t fair well this year. We had a LOT of active nests with eggs and fry last week and with waters exceeding flood stage recruitment for this year is looking grim. Some bass will continue to spawn as there were still some smaller females still holding eggs prior to the high water. The Shenandoah ran high over the weekend but it wasn’t a complete blow out. We are hopeful a majority of the nesting sites are in decent shape and the eggs and fry well protected. As the crew gets out later this week we will be able to provide updates on the spawn activity. Also keep an eye out for sick fish or fish with sores. This is the time of year we find issues on the Shenandoah, Potomac, and upper James River. Please report all findings of issues immediately to the Riverkeeper and VDGIF!
The current weather ahead is looking beautiful. The high water kept fishing pressure to 0 over the holiday weekend giving fish quite the vacation from getting hooked. Weekend traffic is still at an all time high at every boat launch we have been visiting. We are focusing our efforts during the week when traffic is a bit more light. Monitoring the gauges and clarity it is looking like we can fish the South Fork mid week and hopefully the James by the weekend or early next week if we can dodge thunderstorms and rain later this week. High water volume means heavy flies. Load up on Clouser minnows, Half and Halfs, Clawdads, and Crittermites. The topwater action will resume as soon as water levels drop.
Want to take your smallmouth game to the next level? Colby has completed a facebook live session with Tom Rosenbauer discussing smallmouth bass fishing and focused on fishing this time of year and the appropriate flies to have in your stash. See the entire interview by clicking this link- https://www.facebook.com/orvisflyfishing/videos/252577742558343/ ! The most crucial flies for this time of year are the Clawdad, CK Baitfish, Crittermite, Clouser, Half and Half, Dragon Tail, Wiggler, Nutcracker, and Swinging D.
WE ARE OPEN AND CURRENTLY BOOKING TRIPS FOR THE 2020 SUMMER SEASON! Please call 540-434-2444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your day. We apologize if it has been difficult to get through on the phone during normal store hours. Our phone has been ringing non-stop lately with the surge of anglers, orders, and deliveries.
Doubles are more than twice the fun! We posted some massive numbers on a few floats last week.
The largemouth were paired up last week in a lot of areas. There will likely be some residual spawning later this week as a few finish up!
19″ of Shenandoah River excitement.
Nick was hot on the trail of some monster fish last week.
We can’t wait to get back on the James River once Mother nature allows.
Mountain Brook Trout Streams
It’s little yellow stonefly season! Tons of these little bugs are hatching and the fish are keying into anything yellow!
Virginia’s Dry River. One of the largest and the most densely populated wild brook trout fishery in the mid-Atlantic! Come check out this amazing fishery while we have perfect water flows.
The Shenandoah National Park is open along Skyline Drive. You need to read the details on the SNP website for updates, trail closures, and access information. There was a lot of traffic up there over the holiday weekend. Fishing was great from all reports and while camping traffic was intense fishing traffic was manageable on most streams. Water levels are perfect all over the mountains here in the northern and central valley. Typically the green drakes are beginning to emerge but we haven’t seen much of that action yet. Many of our hatches have been late by about a week. There should be some big bugs sighted here soon in the late evening hours. Peak season brook trout fishing has a few more weeks to go! Load up on your favorite attractor dry flies and nymphs and enjoy!
Humpies, Royal Wulffs, Stimulators, Cahills, Headlight Sally, Clown Shoe Sally, Elk Hair Caddis, and Mr. Rapidans are great choices. These are easy for you to see and will also float a nymph fished as a dropper. Jig nymphs in size 12-14 like Jigged Hare’s Ears, Prince, and Pheasant Tails are great choices to get your fly deep without snagging bottom. Attractor nymphs like Nitro’s, Psycho Prince, Copper Johns, and CK nymphs are a must in everyones boxes right now. We have 10’s of thousands of flies showing up now every 2 weeks to meet demand of peak season. We are delivering and arranging pickup all day every day. We are happy to create assortments as well. Just give us a budget and we will shop our favorites for you. Enjoy the peak season up in the mountains! It doesn’t get much better than it has been.
The big fish reports continue out on the spring creeks! Mossy, Beaver, Smith, and Spring Run have been fishing well this season.
The recent stretch of rainy and overcast weather was quite remarkable leading to more monstrous spring creek fish being caught. Aggressively fished streamers continue to move fish along with large terrestrial dry flies and mouse patterns. Want to find some big fish? Go plop some mouse flies down along the over hanging vegetation and along the undercut banks. Damselflies are emerging now and the drakes are starting to show up. Sulphur action continues to heat up and we believe we will see our first trico clouds here over the next few weeks. The creeks have been running very clean and clear most days and the fish are tuning into the bug activity. This is the time of year when prospecting with dry flies becomes more effective. Take larger seeking patterns like drakes and beetles and plop them along the weedlines and undercuts and fish will come to eat or investigate. Try a nymph dropper like a fox squirrel or pats rubber legs if fish are reluctant to eat off the surface. Beaver Creek continues to be popular with permits going early most days. Fishing is solid out there as usual and recent rainfall ensures good water flow for the next few weeks. Mossy is producing large fish over 20″ every day right now. Anglers fishing early and late during the sunny days are seeing the most activity from the big fish. Overcast and rainy days are the best for streamer action. Susie Q Farm is fishing great and is booked solid for the next few weeks. June is an excellent month to fish Susie Q. Call or email us to reserve your day before we fill up for the season.
The hot flies have been- Complex Twist Buggers, Bunny Muddlers, Sculpinators, Conehead sculpins, Crystal Buggers, Kreelex, Baby Gongas, Triple Doubles, and Lead Eye Buggers. Traffic has been busy at Mossy Creek lately. Please respect the landowners and parking areas. If the lots are full, please find another area to fish. We would hate for these areas to close down from overcrowding. Beaver Creek is still open to fishing. Susie Q is fishing amazingly well. There are some open days left in May as schedules continue to change daily.
We are still guiding wade trips on our local spring creeks. We are meeting clients at the water and maintaining a ‘rods length’ distance minimum all day. If you have questions on how we are hosting our guided trips we would be happy to discuss. Reserve your time on the spring creeks by giving us a call 540-434-2444 or email email@example.com
Buttery goodness on a rainy afternoon.
Another brute in the net over the holiday weekend.
Denise enjoyed the streamer bite Saturday.
Once we get some big drakes flying around conditions won’t be possible to get any better!
The PMX attractor dry fly. Is it a drake or a hopper? The fish don’t seem to care as they love this pattern!
Managed Trout Water
West VA streams fished amazingly well for Andy last week. Big fish on dry flies all day long.
Water levels are back down to fishable levels all over the commonwealth but still running at or above average flow. You can fish larger attractor dries, nymphs, and streamers this week with the bigger water flows. Load up on split shot and big indicators as well. VDGIF is no longer posting stocking reports. We can tell you that North River, South River, Bullpasture, Jackson Tailwater, and Back Creek DH are all fishing well right now. Many reservoirs are also loaded and fishing well.