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Trout Fly Fishing Report August 24, 2015

Mountain Trout: Last week I explained the advantage of getting to these streams early in the mornings to take advantage of the cool water. However, you can still catch many nice trout by concentrating on the special feeding stations they select as the sun gets high in the sky. Now they will feed in the heavily shaded areas provided by the boulders in the streams. One of the largest rout I have ever caught came from the deeply undercut edge of a basketball size boulder to take my Shenk’s Cricket Dry size 16.  Murray’s Mountain Wasp Dry size 16 is also excellent now. Stocked Trout Streams: Afternoon thunderstorms at this time of the year often produce strong winds which blow grasshoppers into the trout streams in great numbers.  I have seen streams which appeared empty an hour earlier  come alive with splashy rise forms as the trout feed heavily on the abundance of hoppers. Fish Shenk’s Letort Hopper size 12 and 14 with a slow kicking action to these rising trout and to cover the water.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report August 24, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: Often on our guide trips beginning anglers have trouble detecting the strike on underwater flies. We help them master this quickly by having them fish a Murray’s Pearl Marauder size 10 on a 2X 3 foot dropper below a Shenandoah Gray Chugger size 4. When a bass strikes the Marauder, the Chugger jerks quickly and the angler sees this to set the hook and lands the bass. The North Fork of the Shenandoah River below Burnshire’s Dam is excellent now. The South Fork of the Shenandoah River is good upstream from Seekford’s.

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Trout Fly Fishing Report August 17, 2015

Mountain Trout: Take advantage of the cooler water temperatures in these streams in the mornings by getting on the water shortly after daylight. At this time of the day there are many mountain wasp and crickets along the streams. I like to fish Shenk’s Cricket Dry size 16 and Murray’s Mountain Wasp Dry size 16 along the banks and on the sides of the incoming riffles in the heads of the pools. Stocked Trout Streams: The natural grasshoppers are thick along these trout streams now and you can catch many nice rainbows and browns on Ed Shenk’s Letort Hopper size 12 and 14. One effective method is to fish these upstream along the banks in a dead drift. The Smith River at Bassett and Big Cedar Creek are excellent.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report August 17, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: A very effective tactic now is fishing a hard surface bug such as the Shenandoah Gray Chugger size 4 with a Murray’s Pearl Marauder size 10 on a three foot 2X dropper below it. Fish this rig along the shaded banks with a slow teasing action and below the riffles with a loud chugging action. This is very productive on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River downstream from Chapman’s Landing. On the South Fork of the Shenandoah River this works well downstream from Foster’s Landing.

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Trout Fly Fishing Report August 11, 2015

Mountain Trout: The master angler Ed Hewitt speculated that the trout feed on ants so heavily because they “taste good”.  This could be, but for whatever the reason they are feeding heavily on them now. Almost every pool that passes below low-hanging tree limbs you will spot trout rising to natural black ants. By carefully drifting a Mr. Rapidan Dry Ant size 16 or 18 below these limbs will produce many solid takes. Stocked Trout Streams: The trout in these streams are feeding heavily on nymphs in the riffles so in addition to the technique I discussed last week here is another good way to catch these trout.  Start one hundred feet below the riffles and fish nymphs upstream dead drift so they ride back downstream right along the stream bottom. Fish all the way up to the riffle while fanning your casts all across the stream.The new Murray’s Trout Nymph Leader 9 foot 5X is a great help ion casting these nymphs and detecting the strikes. Good nymphs now are the Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph size 14, Murray’s Yellow Stonefly Nymph size 16 and Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle size 14. Productive streams now are the South Fork of Piney, Lower Pedlar and North Creek East of Buchanan.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report August 11, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: Both the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River are fishing well. The North Fork of the Shenandoah River is especially good at access point #1. The South Fork of the Shenandoah River is good at access point #13. I am doing well with deer hair surface bugs now. The shaded banks where the river is three to four feet deep over cobblestone stream bottoms is producing great action. In the flat pools I am wading and fishing upstream to prevent scaring the bass. Productive deer hair bugs are the Tapply Bug Yellow/Black size 6, Tapply Bug Green/White size 4 and Shenandoah Hair Popper Yellow size 6.

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Trout Fly Fishing Report August 4, 2015

                       Mountain Trout: The trout in the mountain trout streams are now feeding heavily on natural ants. Since the streams are clear the trout want our flies to float drag free. The Mr. Rapidan Ant in size 16 and 18 with its bright wings helps us see if we are getting a natural drift. Go to 6X leaders, approach each pool carefully in order to cover each rising trout and each feeding station. The recent rains helped the water level in these streams so you can get great fishing by coming into the upper reaches from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. Delayed Harvest and Stocked Trout: The oxygenated riffles in these streams hold large populations of natural stonefly nymphs and the trout feed heavily on them. Start right where these riffles empty into the main pools and fish your nymphs deeply by casting them across stream and swinging them into the pools below. Productive flies are Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph size 14, Murray’s Yellow Stonefly Nymph size 16, and Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle size 14. Good streams now are the Bullpasture, Back Creek and Big Stoney at Edinburg.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report August 4, 2015

                  Smallmouth Bass: As the smallmouth rivers drop at this time of the year the bass become wary and can be easily scared with our approach and presentation. In order to compensate for this I often wade upstream and fish upstream with deer hair bass bugs because these are easy to cast long distances, land more gently than poppers and the bass hold onto them longer when they take them, enabling us to hook a high percentage of the strikes. Three of my favorites are the Tapply Bug Yellow/Black size 6, Tapply Bug Green/White size 4, and Shenandoah Hair Popper Yellow size 6. My new Murray’s Bass Bug Leader 9 foot 2X leader helps cast these smoothly. Good areas are access point #4 on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and access point #12 on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

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Trout Fly Fishing Report July 28, 2015

Mountain Trout: Recently I saw some trout rising tight against the bank where an old rotting log rested beside the water. I took seven large trout here then a poor cast stuck my Murray’s Oakworm Dry in the log. When I went over to retrieve my fly dozens of real oakworms fell into the stream when I picked up a chuck of bark It may be better to be lucky than to be wise. The Murray’s Horseflies Dry and Murray’s Yellow Jackets Dry are also very productive in these streams. Delayed Harvest and Stocked trout Streams: There is some excellent fishing with Cress Bugs and Shrimp downstream of the springs on Big Stoney Creek West of Edinburg, the Bullpasture and Passage Creek. I like to fish these upstream dead drift below the springs but you can work downstream if you wade carefully.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report July 28, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: At dusk you can catch many large bass in the water two to three feet deep right beside the aquatic grassbeds along the banks. These bass are very wary so I wade upstream to fish them. A very effective tactic is to attach a Shenandoah Damsel Black Scaled Popper to a 9 foot 2X leader. Come off the bend of the popper hook with three feet of 2X tippet material. To this attach a Damselfly Nymph Olive size 10 or an Olive Strymph size 10. As this rig drifts back downstream to you impart a slow twitching action with your line hand. There is excellent water for this type of fishing on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River at access spots #1 (Near taxidermy shop) and #2 (Pugh’s Run). The South Fork of the Shenandoah River is good at access points #10 (Burner’s Bottom) and #11 (Seakford).

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