The North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River is clear and fishable. If you have the option, try to be on the river either early in the morning or the last two hours of daylight. If that is not an option, then plan to fish along the shady banks, around big rocks or downed trees that provide protection for the smallmouth. If you want to wade on the North Fork, Chapman's Landing 2 miles north of Edinburg and Burnshire Bridge in Woodstock are easy to find. The South Fork holds 3 times more water than the North Fork so most people choose to float in kayaks and spend a full day on the river. There are many areas you can either wade or float on the South Fork. If you need help on access, stop by the fly shop or see my book Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams.
In our fly fishing schools and guided trips, the crayfish patterns are very productive. There are many natural crayfish along the cobblestone bottoms in the creeks and streams throughout the Shenandoah Valley. The Murray's Crayfish and Clouser Crayfish (Olive) in size 6 are doing very well. The Murray's Hellgrammite size 6 and Shenk's White Streamer size 6 are productive by stripping them to act like a natural minnow in water 3 to 5 feet. The Shenandoah Blue Popper and Shenandoah Chartreuse Chugger size 6 are landing the bass feeding on top water bugs. Fish all of these on a Bright Butt 9ft 2X leader.
Want to learn more about the smallmouth bass fly fishing? We have a few openings in our Half Day Fly Fishing Lesson on Wed. July 26 and Wed. August 9. These start at 9a.m. at the fly shop in Edinburg for a meet and greet with the guide, then continue on the river with hands on instruction until about 1:30. Fly Rod and Reel Outfits are provided for the lesson.