The smallmouth bass fishing has been good despite the low water levels. If you have been on the river within the last several weeks you have probably seen hellgrammite eggs (pictured above) on the leaves along the stream banks. The hellgrammites are plentiful and the smallmouth feed heavily upon them. My recommendation for this week. Take a Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4 or Shenandoah Chugger size 4 and tie on a 2ft dropper with a Murray's Heavy Hellgrammite size 8. I think you will find that the bass will take one or the other and this way you are covering several areas of the river at once. If you are not comfortable fishing a popper with a dropper, then fish them individually. Fish these along the shaded banks where the water is 3-4 feet deep over a cobblestone bottom. A slow strip-pause-strip bug action is very effective.
Other fly recommendations for this week: Blue Damsel Dry size 10, Bass Hopper Dry size 8, Murray's Crayfish size 6 Fish all of the flies mentioned on a Bright Butt or Bass Bug 9ft 2X or 3X leader.
Both the North Fork and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River are clear and fishable. The South Fork is fishing better simply because it does hold 3 times more water than the North Fork. For wading on the North Fork, plan to fish in the Mount Jackson to Woodstock area. For wading on the South Fork, plan to fish in the area of Luray downstream to Foster's Landing. If you want to float in a kayak or canoe, then definitely plan to go to the South Fork. Wade carefully and sneak, sneak, sneak. If you need help on access, stop by the fly shop.
We only have a few openings left in our schools for Summer 2023. Full Day Fly Fishing Schools on August 19 and August 25. These start at the fly shop with a classroom presentation and then off to the river for hands on instruction. Rod and Reel outfits are provided for the day. Reserve your spot today!
Looking for a new Fly Rod for Bass? We have a few St. Croix Mojo 906.4 (9ft 6wt 4pc) and 907.4 (9ft 7wt 4pc) fly rods on sale for $150. They come with 5 year warranty and cloth rod sack.