Despite the lower water levels, we are still doing well on the native brook trout streams. The Sulphurs and Little Yellow Stoneflies are hatching around the streams and we are getting some good action on beetles and ant patterns as well. The trout are wary and easily spooked so be sure to stay low and sneak, sneak, sneak. Flies to have in your box this week: Murray's Sulphur Dry size 16, Murray's Little Yellow Stonefly Dry size 16, Murray's Flying Beetle size 16, and Mr. Rapidan Ant size 16. If you want to fish a dry and a dropper take the Murray's Flying Beetle with 18inch mono off the bend of the hook and attach a Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Nymph size 16. I have switched to a Mountain Leader in 6ft 6X.
The water levels are better by coming into the streams from the lower boundaries of the Shenandoah National Park. Try to fish streams that have several feeder streams to increase water volume and be sure to not get behind someone. What fish they didn't catch, they have already spooked.
If your schedule allows it, plan an overnight trip into the Park. This way you can hike into remote areas away from others, fish the evening hours, camp overnight, and then fish again in the morning. This way you are getting a chance to cover all hatches throughout the day. Important tip: Anytime you are planning on hiking or camping into the Park, be sure to let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back. Accidents can easily happen and cell service is not always available on many of these streams.
If you need help with access to the streams, stop by the fly shop or see my book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park. I already have customers asking about the 2024 Spring Trout Schools. We are currently working on the dates. If you would like to be one of the first notified about the 2024 dates, send us an email or call 540-984-4212 us to be put on the list for early notification.