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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report North Fork of the Shenandoah River and South Fork of the Shenandoah River in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report June 30, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: In addition to the Hellgrammite tactics I covered last week I often fish the Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite upstream dead drift when there are pockets three to four feet deep in the riffles. Using twenty foot casts straight upstream I use long line hand strips at the rate the Hellgrammite drifts back downstream. Using my Bright Butt Leader with two Scientific Angler Indicators I can quickly see these strikes. I use all colors of the Hellgrammites, black, olive, and brown. The riffles just downstream from Chapman’s Landing on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and upstream from Foster’s Landing on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River have this type water. The North Fork of the Shenandoah River is in excellent condition. The South Fork is too high for good fishing now but it should be good by July 3rd.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report June 16, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: One of my smallmouth bass school students, who later became a very good friend, said “harry, in this school I want you to teach me every possible way to fish surface bugs.” I started by showing him how to fish the Shenandoah Gray Chugger below the riffles like a struggling minnow. Next we went to the shallow river banks where he took many bass by teasing with a Shenandoah Chartreuse Slider by  teasing it along the banks. We ended by fishing the Shenandoah Chartreuse Poppers beside some downfalls and grassbeds. These are many areas on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River from Edinburg to Toms Brook and on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River from Luray to Foster’s where you can get wonderful surface fishing.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report June 9, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: Many large bass are taking surface bugs well now. I carefully choose my bugs to produce the type action I need in each type of water. In deep or fast water I choose the Shenandoah Chugger to produce racket to bring the bass up. In shallow slow water I use the Shenandoah Slider to produce a teasing action. Along grassbeds and along the banks I use the Shenandoah Popper.  The new Murray’s Bass Bug Knotted Looped 2X 9 foot leaders are ideal for casting these large bugs. The South Fork of the Shenandoah River upstream from Foster’s is fishing great.

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Trout Fly Fishing Report June 1, 2015

Mountain Trout: The sulphur hatch this year is one of the best I have ever seen. Even though the duns and spinners are heaviest late in the day, I am catching many trout on the Murray’s Sulphur Dry size 16, Shenk’s Sulphur Dry size 16 and Murray’s Yellow Drake Dry size 16 throughout the day. The streams are dropping so go to a 6X Murray’s Classic 9 foot leader and do not false cast over the pools. There is still plenty of water in the mountains to fish the remote feeders. Delayed Harvest and Stocked Streams: There are many large rainbows that are feeding on the Sulphur Mayflies below the riffles at dusk on these large streams. Watch for rising trout but if you do not see any, go with a two fly rig with a Murray’s Sulphur Dry size 16 or a Murray’s Yellow Drake Dry size 16 on top with a Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Brown Nymph size 16 on a 3 foot 5X dropper below it. The Smith River at Bassett and the Hidden Valley of the Jackson are excellent.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report, May 26, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: You owe it to yourself to be on a smallmouth river at dusk this time of year when the Brown Drake Mayfly spinner fall is taking place. Recently on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River just downstream from Edinburg I had over a dozen bass rising to feed on the naturals within casting distance. The new Murray’s Brown Brown Dry Fly size 14 and Murray’s Purple Dun Dry Fly size 14 will catch these bass. Prior to the hatch, fishing the Murray’s Road Kill Olive Nymph size 8 will give you many bass along the sides of the riffles. The North Fork of the Shenandoah River downstream from Edinburg and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River upstream of Fosters Landing are great.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report May 19, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: Recently on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River the egg-laying caddisflies were so thick that my waders had a one eighth inch thick layer of eggs coating them below the water line when I left the stream. I returned to the stream and washed them to the stream. A dry and dropper combination twitched across the stream surface caught many large bass.  A Mr. Rapidan Olive Delta Wing Caddis size 10 with a Murray’s Olive Caddis Pupa size 12 or a Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 10 on a 2 foot does the job. Chapman’s Landing on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and Foster’s Landing on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River are great fishing spots.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report May 12, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: There are some great caddis hatches on many of the smallmouth rivers now and the fishing is great. Fish right below the riffles with a Mr. Rapidan Olive Delta Wing Dry Caddis size 10 on a 9 foot 2X Bright Butt leader and attach a 2 foot 2X mono dropper to this with a Murray’s Olive Caddis Pupa size 12 or a Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle size 10 to this as a dropper. The North Fork of the Shenandoah River from Edinburg downstream and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River from Luray downstream are both producing well.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report May 5, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: The rains have raised the river levels lightly so I am using a Scientific Anglers Sink Tip III fly line with a Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot 2X Sinking Leader to fish my streamers deeply. The South Fork of the Shenandoah River to too high for good fishing. Productive areas on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River are from Mount Jackson down to Woodstock. The Magnum Hog Sucker, Magnum Bluegill and Magnum Darter all in size 4 are producing when fished deeply.

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