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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 August 31, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: The North Fork of the Shenandoah River is fishing well from Edinburg to Toms Brook. The South Fork of the Shenandoah River is doing well from Luray down to Fosters. The new Smallmouth Bass Skater Streamers which I designed to fish with a Riffle Hitch are giving us great fishing. The Riffle Hitch is easily formed by tying two half hitch knots at the head of the fly just behind the hook eye. This enables you to swim it across the current so it looks like a wounded minnow. Check out Murray’s Fly Shop Video on Tying the Riffle Hitch, vimeo.com/115660393

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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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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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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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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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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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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report July 21, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: The Damselflies are hatching in large numbers in our smallmouth rivers now and the bass are feeding heavily on both the nymphs and the adults. If you see bass jumping to feed on the adults in the middle of the river go one on one with these fish. A good tactic is to fish the Shenandoah Damsel Black Scaled Popper size 6 on a 9 foot 2X Bright Butt Leader and an Olive Damselfly Nymph size 10 or an Olive Strymph size 10 on a 3 foot 2X dropper below it. If there are no risers, fish this same fly rig beside the aquatic grassbeds. Good areas are access points #3 (Burnshire Bridge) and #4 (Near Dr. Truban’s Clinic) on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and access points #11 (Seakford) and #12 (Good’s Landing) on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report July 14, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: Recent rains have raised the lower sections of both the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River but you can get good fishing by going upstream beyond many of the feeder streams. Be sure to fish the aquatic grassbeds with the following shiner minnow streamers: Murray’s Dying Minnow Shiner size 6, Shenandoah Simple Streamer Silver Ghost size 6, and Silver Outcast Streamer size 4. The North Fork of the Shenandoah River is good at access point 18 and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River is good at access point 15.

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Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report July 6, 2015

Smallmouth Bass: The bass are presently feeding heavily on the natural silver minnows who make their homes on the shallow gravel bars on the sides of the rivers. A very productive tactic is to wade down into the deep water in the main part of the river and cast a shiner streamer forty to fifty feet out across the drop off. Strip it slowly back. Expect the strike at the edge of the drop off. My favorite flies are the Shenandoah Simple Streamer Silver Ghost size 6, Murray’s Dying Shiner Minnow size 6, and Silver Outcast Streamer size 4. These are on many of these areas on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River around Woodstock, Virginia and on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River above Seekford.

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