The best approach to the mountain trout streams is to forget about the flat pools and try to fish the higher gradient areas. This will allow you to hide your approach as the trout are very wary with the low water levels. Some customers are still seeing a few Little Yellow Stoneflies along the streams so a Murray's Little Stonefly Dry size 16 would work well. The Murray's Flying Beetle, Murray's Oakworm and Murray's Yellow Jacket Dry all in size 16 are working as well. Try to keep your fly size to a 16 or 18 fished on a 6X leader.
For better water levels, plan to come into the streams from the lower boundaries of the Shenandoah National Park. Plan accordingly as there are some streams that hold up better in the summer than others. If you aren't doing well there could be a few things causing it. 1) You have already spooked the trout, 2) You are unknowingly fishing behind someone that has already spooked the trout 3) The water temperature is too high (the trout won't feed if the water temperature is around 70 or above)
Keep in mind, prime time to fish these streams is in April to mid June when the water levels and hatches are ideal. If you need help on finding areas to go, stop by the fly shop or see my book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park. Don't be afraid to switch over to the smallmouth bass streams during the summer when the trout streams are low.
Fly Fishing Schools for Spring 2024 --We have already set the dates for the on the stream fly fishing schools held in the Shenandoah National Park. These meet at Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria VA for a classroom presentation then head to the stream for hands on fly fishing instruction. Rod/reel outfits are provided for the school. For more information and to register, visit our website.