I have had quite a few customers calling about planning trips into the Shenandoah National Park for this time of year. Many people come to Virginia to hike and look at the leaves changing colors in the fall when the weather is cooler. Although this makes for good views, it is not the best time of year to be planning a fishing trip on the native brook trout streams. Why? 1) Right now the stream levels are very low, 2) all of the aquatic hatches are over, and 3) the brook trout will start spawning in October.
I thoroughly enjoy fishing in the Shenandoah National Park and try to go at least once a week before the trout start spawning. The conditions are tough and challenging but I still enjoy the solitude I can find on the streams. I was in the Park earlier this week and the water temperature was in the mid 50's which is great for these streams. To get around the low water conditions, try to fish a stream that has high gradient areas to help hide your approach and most importantly--come into the stream from the lower access--NOT off the Skyline Drive.
Productive flies this week: Spirit of Pittsford Mill size 16, Murray's Flying Beetle size 16, Mr. Rapidan Ant size 18 and Mr. Rapidan Dry size 18 on a 6X or 7X leader.
We are already booking customers into our On the Stream Mountain Trout Schools for Spring 2023. We conduct these schools in the spring when the water levels and hatches are ideal. Click here for more info..