This past week the fishing on the Shenandoah River has been exceptionally good. The Shenk's White Streamer size 6, Murray's Olive Marauder size 6, and Murray's Olive Crayfish size 6 have been productive in our schools and our own personal fishing. Fish all of these on a 2X Bright Butt Leader. Early morning and the last couple of hours before dark have been the best.
The North Fork and South Fork of the Shenandoah River are clear and fishable. If you need help on access, stop by the fly shop in Edinburg or see my book Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams.
Some anglers prefer this time of year to do some night fishing. So here is a couple of tips if you plan to night fish for smallmouth bass.
- Choose a safe area that you are very familiar with to get in and out of the river.
- I recommend having a wading staff such as the Folstaf for extra stability when wading
- Carry a waterproof flashlight in your vest or pack
- Carry three extra 9ft 0X leaders with large loops on the butt end so you can easily replace the leader you are using if it becomes fouled.
- Surface bugs that create a loud racket when stripped and that send out strong vibrations brings many strikes.
- Large underwater flies that mimic the minnows which come out to feed at night attract many bass. Shenk's White Streamers, Magnum Hog Suckers and Magnum Darters in size 4 are examples.
- Wade downstream and cast down and across at a 45 degree angle to give yourself the best chance of detecting the strikes.