Mountain Trout Streams: The trout are very wary in the low trout streams at this time. Go one on one with these fish using a Mr. Rapidan Ant size 16 or a Murray’s Moth Dry size 16 or a Murray’s Oakworm Dry size 16 on a Murray’s Classic 9 foot 6X Leader. Use care not to false cast directly over the pool since this will scare the trout. I use my “Flip Cast” in order to deliver the fly accurately above the trout’s feeding station on the presentation cast. This usually brings a solid take on the first drift. Large Trout Streams: In the fast runs and the day after a heavy rain I use the Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink Tip III Fly Line with a Murray’s Sinking 6 foot 3X Fluorocarbon Leader to swim my flies deeply. I attach a Murray’s Betsy Streamer size 10 to the leader and a Murray’s Dark Miracle Stonefly Nymph size 14 or a Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 16 to a two foot 5X dropper below it. This method is very effective on the Smith River at Bassett and on Big Stoney Creek West of Edinburg.
Smallmouth Bass Streams: There is very good smallmouth bass fishing at access point #3 (Burnshire Bridge) on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and access point #14 (Bealer’s Ferry) on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Good flies are the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 6 and Shenandoah Chartreuse Chugger size 6. During the middle of the day I am getting great action along the shaded banks. At dawn and dusk the tails of the pools are producing many smallmouth bass.
Mountain Trout Streams: These trout streams are very low so use a very cautious approach. My most effective flies now are the Murray’s Moth Dry size 16, Murray’s Oakworm Dry size 16 and Mr. Rapidan Ant size 16. Be sure to fish the moths in the back eddies at dusk. I am using slack line puddle cast to get drag free drifts and “pop strikes” in order to release the trout gently. Large Trout Streams: The Bullpasture and Jackson River are both producing good fishing especially at dusk. There is a broad variety of minnows and nymphs in these streams so an excellent technique is to fish a Murray’s Betsy Streamer size 10 on a Murray’s Classic 9 foot 4X Leader with a fly such as a Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 16 or a Murray’s Miracle Dark Stonefly Nymph size 14 on a twenty four inch 5X dropper coming off the bend of the streamer hook with an improved clinch knot. Fish this rig across stream by stripping it six inches every ten seconds.
Smallmouth Bass Streams: I am getting outstanding smallmouth bass fishing at dusk by fishing the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 6 and Shenandoah Chartreuse Chugger size 6 along the banks, grassbeds and river crossing ledges. Be sure to wade slowly so you do not scare the bass. If I am floating the river, I beach the canoe and do my serious fishing by wading. Access points #1 (Route 661 off Route 11) on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and Access Point #13 (Foster’s Landing) on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River are both fishing well.
Smallmouth Bass Streams: I am finding nice bass feeding on natural Hexagenia mayflies in the shallows below the tails of the islands. They are wary in this three foot deep water so I am doing best by wading slowly upstream and making long casts. Fish the Mr. Rapidan Bass Skater Dry size 8 with a Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 8 on a three foot 2X dropper is very effective. The stretch from Mount Jackson to Toms Brooks on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River is producing well.
Smallmouth Bass Streams: We are getting good hatches of Hexagenia mayflies on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and fishing the Mr. Rapidan Skater Dry Fly size 8 with a Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 8 on a three foot 2X dropper below it will catch many large bass. A slow twitching action with a down and across stream presentation is effective.
Mountain Trout Streams: The mountain trout streams are very low and clear and the trout are very wary. The fishing is slow. Large Trout Streams: There is good action on Big Stoney Creek below the springs West of Edinburg and on the Bullpasture by fishing streamers such as the Shenandoah Skunk Simple Streamer size 10, Shenandoah Silver Ghost Simple Streamer size 10 and Shenandoah Nine Three Simple Streamer size 10. Fish these streamers deeply and slowly below the springs.
Smallmouth Bass Streams: The cooling stream temperatures seem to be prompting many of the large bass to feed on the surface. The James and the North Fork of the Shenandoah River are both blessed with many large smallmouths this year. We are catching many of these fish on deer hair surface bugs fished along the shaded banks where the water is three to six feet deep over cobblestone streambottoms. My favorite deer hair surface bugs for these conditions are the Shenandoah Yellow Deer Hair Popper size 6, Tapply Bug Black Yellow size 6 and Murray’s Deer Hair Blue Dragon size 4. I fish all of these on our Murray’s Bass Bug 9 foot 2X Leader.