Watch the flat pools closely because many trout are feeding heavily on the natural midges. Use a Murray's Classic 9ft 7X leader and go one on one with the rising trout with a Mr. Rapidan Midge Dry size 18 when you spot delicate dimple rise forms. If you spot a splashy riseform, use the Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle, Olive size 16 with a gentle emerging action. Mr. Rapidan Ant size 16 and Murray's Flying Beetle have been working well also.
Please note that the trout start spawning this month.
A Message from the Park
Shenandoah National Park will temporarily close the Whiteoak Canyon parking area on Route 600 in Madison County beginning September 16, 2019. The closure will remain in effect for approximately four weeks while a new bridge is being constructed. During this temporary closure there will be NO ACCESS to the Whiteoak Canyon and Cedar Run trails from the park boundary. There will also be no emergency phone available at the trailhead. The only access will be from parking areas on Skyline Drive: the Whiteoak Canyon Trail parking area at mile 42.6 or the Hawksbill Gap parking area at mile 45.5.
The bridge across Cedar Run was severely damaged during heavy rains in 2018. The new bridge is being constructed as a collaborative effort between the Piedmont Environmental Council, Trout Unlimited and the landowner, Jimmy Graves of Graves Mountain Lodge. The new bridge will have the capability for fish to pass underneath which will improve the stream habitat and provide excellent visitor access to the Whiteoak Canyon and Cedar Run trails.
During this time of limited access to the Whiteoak and Cedar Run trails, we invite visitors to explore other waterfall options. More information about Shenandoah’s waterfalls can be found at https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/waterfalls.htm
Boundary parking for Whiteoak Canyon will be closed for about 4 weeks beginning September 16 for bridge replacement. The bridge was damaged by flooding in 2018. There will be no boundary access during that time. For more information, visit our website:https://www.nps.gov/shen/learn/news/newsreleases.htm
Stream Conditions: Although we received some rain this week, these streams are still low and clear. If you need help on deciding which streams to fish, call or email me and I will be glad to help. Use a cautious approach so you are not spooking the fish. You will have better water levels by accessing the streams from the bottom and hiking up about 30 minutes. Use the stream gradient to hide from the fish and to hide your approach. For more information on the Shenandoah National Park Streams, refer to my book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park or stop by the fly shop and take a look at our marked maps for the Park.
Recommended Gear: I am using a 6ft or 7 1/2ft 6X Leader on a 2 to 4 weight fly rod--preferably 8ft or shorter.