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Trout Fly Fishing Report April 25, 2016

Mountain Trout Streams: There are presently very heavy caddis fly hatches on these streams and the trout are feeding heavily upon them. When you spot a swirl from an exceptionally large trout he may be taking a natural dry on the surface or an emerging caddis pupa just below the surface. These emerging caddisflies often drift several feet just below the surface before turning into the adults. A good way to fish this hatch is to fish a Mr. Rapidan Olive Delta Wing Caddis size 14 or a Mr. Rapidan Tan Delta Wing Caddis Dry size 14 on a Murray’s Classic 7 1/2 foot 5X Leader with a Murray’s Olive Caddis Pupa size 14 on a twenty four 5X dropper below it. Delayed Harvest and Large Stocked Trout Streams: The browns and rainbows in these streams are feeding heavily on the natural caddis pupa and caddis larva. A very effective  way to catch these trout is to use a Murray’s Caddis Larva size 14 or a Murray’s Olive Caddis Pupa on a twenty four inch 4X dropper below a Murray’s Pearl Marauder size 10 fished across stream with a slow twitching action. This is very effective on Big Stoney Creek West of Edinburg, on the lower section of North Creek and on the Smith River.

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report April 25, 2016

Smallmouth Bass Streams: The smallmouth bass fishing is good now by fishing deeply in the back eddies on the slow sides of the rivers below the riffles. Many of these eddies are five feet deep so I use the Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Warm 200 grain Sinking Head Line with the Murray’s Sinking Fluorocarbon 6 foot 2X Leader to fish deeply. Three of my most effective streamers for these eddies are the Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4, Murray’s Magnum Creek Chub Streamer size 4 and Murray’s Magnum Darter Streamer size 4. I fish these along the streambottom by stripping them six inches every ten seconds. Good access points on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River are #18 (Meem’s Bottom) and #19 (Covered Bridge).  Good access points on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River are #11 (Seekford Landing) and #12 (Good’s Landing).

Trout Fly Fishing Report April 19, 2016

Mountain Trout Streams: Many anglers are getting excellent trout fishing in the very small feeder brooks in the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. These streams receive very little angling pressure  because they get very low in the summer and few anglers realize how great they are now. Even now you will need to use a very cautious approach because these wild trout are very wary. A Murray’s Brown Drake Dry size 14, Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14 and a Mr. Rapidan Brown Soft Hackle Nymph size 14 will give you wonderful action. Delayed Harvest and Large Stocked Trout Streams: These stream levels are now perfect to catch the large browns and rainbows that are feeding heavily on natural sculpin minnows. My favorite patterns are the Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin Streamer size 8, Murray’s Olive Madtom Sculpin Streamer size 8 and Spuddler Streamer size 8. Often I use the new Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink Tip III Fly Line with a Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot 3X Sinking Leader to help me swim these flies along the streambottom where the large trout are feeding now. There is good fishing now on the Bullpasture, Back Creek and Passage Creek.

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report April 19, 2016

Smallmouth Bass Streams: Many smallmouth bass are feeding in the “bank bays” which early spring floods cut back into the river banks. Some of the cuts reach from five to ten feet back into the banks and may reach five feet deep. These are ideal protected feeding areas and the “back bays” which extend ten to twenty feet down the river may hold several large bass.  Effective flies now are the Murray’s Black Marauder size 6 and Murray’s Pearl Marauder size 6. Both of these flies are very effective in the Banks Bays. Good access spots on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River are #5 (Chapman’s Landing) and #18 (Meem’s Bottom). Good access spots on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River are #13 (Foster’s Landing) and #14 (Bealer’s Ferry).  

Trout Fly Fishing Report April 12, 2016

Mountain Trout Streams: The fishing is excellent in the upper sections of our mountain trout streams. Park on the National Forest roads, Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive at the trail heads I show in my book, Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams. Hike down the trail about an hour and fish your way back upstream and you will get great action. The March Browns are just starting to hatch and many of these nymphs are moving to the shallow to emerge. You can catch many of these trout by fishing a Murray’s Brown Drake size 14 on a Murray’s 7 1/2 foot 5X Classic Leader with a Mr. Rapidan Brown Soft Hackle Nymph size 14 on a twenty four inch 5X dropper below it.  There are many Eperous mayflies hatching and these are well matched with a Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14. Delayed Harvest and Large Stocked Trout Streams: There are many large browns and rainbows in these streams which are feeding heavily on Natural Sculpin Minnows. My three most productive streamers for these large trout are Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin Streamer size 8, Murray’s Olive Madtom Sculpin Streamer size 8 and Spuddler Streamer size 8. Fish these along the streambottom in the deep pools with slow line hand stripping action. Good streams now are the Smith River at Bassett, Big Cedar Creek below the falls and Big Stoney Creek West of Edinburg.

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report April 12, 2016

Smallmouth Bass Streams: The back eddies are still the most productive areas for catching large bass. Some of these areas are over five feet deep and I do best by using Scientific Anglers Sink Tip III lines with Murray’s Sinking Fluorocarbon 6 foot 2X Leaders. These bass strikes are often very gentle so I set the hook quickly at the first hint of a strike. Good flies that are effective now are Murray’s Magnum Creek Chub Streamer size 4, Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4 and Murray’s Magnum Darter Streamer size 4. Good access spots now are the North Fork of the Shenandoah River #2 (Pugh’s Run) and #3 (Burnshire’s Bridge). Access spots on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River #15 (Bixler Bridge) and #14 (Bealer’s Ferry).

Trout Fly Fishing Report April 4, 2016

Mountain Trout Streams: Try to adjust your schedule so you can be on the mountain trout streams for the last two hours of the day. A great spinner fall of both the Eperous and the Dark Blue Quills mayflies is something you will never forget. Some of the memories that come to my mind’s eye are clouds of mayfly dances back lighted by the setting sun, the stream surface covered with spent spinners and eleven brook trout in one pool coming up to feed on the naturals. Just tie on a Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14 or a Spirit of Pittsford Mills Dry size 14 or Blue Quill Dry size 16 and you will get excellent fishing. Delayed Harvest and Large Stocked Trout Streams: Give yourself an edge when fishing for the large rainbows and brown trout in these streams by showing them the three natural foods they are feeding on now. There are many natural caddis larva, mayfly nymphs and minnows here which are well matched with the Murray’s Caddis Larva size 12, Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 12 and Murray’s Pearl Marauder size 10. You can fish these as singles, or as a two-fly rig or as a three fly-rig. Just fish them deeply and slowly below the riffles and in the deep pools. Good streams with this tactic are the Bull Pasture, the lower section of North Creek and The Lower Pedlar River.

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report April 4, 2016

Smallmouth Bass Streams: The cool nights have slowed down the smallmouth’s feeding except in the protected area such as in the back eddies.  These are located below  the riffles on the slow sides of the rivers. Best fishing on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River is upstream from Edinburg. These are Access Spot number 18 (Meems Bottom) and Access Spot 19 (Covered Bridge). Best fishing on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River is Access Spot 11 (Seakford Landing) and Access Spot 12 (Goods Landing). Good flies here are the Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker size 4, Murray’s Magnum Darter Streamer size 4 and Shenk’s White Streamer size 6.

Trout Fly Fishing Report March 28, 2016

Mountain Trout Streams: The water temperatures and stream levels are ideal for good fishing in the head waters and the small feeders of the mountain trout streams. This is a great time to hike in several miles and camp to fish for a long weekend.  If you like to fish dry flies you can get great action now because in addition to the Eperous I mentioned last week we now have good hatches of Dark Blue Quill mayflies. Excellent drys now are the Blue Quill Dry size 16, Spirit of Pittsford Mills size 14 and Mr. Rapidan Parachute size 14. Delayed Harvest and Large Stocked Trout Streams: The large trout in these large streams now have a broad variety of minnows, mayfly nymphs and caddis larva on which to feed upon. I often do well by fishing a two fly rig with a minnow pattern such as the Murray’s Pearl Marauder size 10 on a Bright Butt 9 foot 4X Leader with a Murray’s Caddis Larva size 14 or a Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 12 on a 24 inch 4X dropper, coming off the bend of the Marauder with an improved clinch knot. Fish this deeply across stream with a slow twitching action. There is good fishing now on Big Stoney Creek West of Edinburg, Passage Creek and the Hidden Valley of the Jackson.

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report March 28, 2016

Smallmouth Bass Streams: The smallmouth bass streams are gradually getting warmer. The North Fork of the Shenandoah River is best at Access Spots #18 (Meems Bottom) and #19 (Covered Bridge). The South Fork of the Shenandoah River is best at Access Spots #11 (Seakford) and #12 (Good’s Landing). Good flies now are the Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4 and Murray’s Heavy Brown Hellgrammite size 4.