Smallmouth Bass Streams Fly Fishing Report - July 6, 2023

Smallmouth Bass Streams Fly Fishing Report - July 6, 2023

Once the sun is high and bright the large bass are reluctant to feed on the shallow gravel bars. However, they do feed heavily on the shiner minnows in the water which is 4-6 feet deep where the gravel bars taper off into the main part of the river. I fish this area with Murray's Heavy Shiner Streamers and Shenk's White Streamers size 6 by casting it out into the deep water and stripping it back in toward the gravel bar. Going by reports that I am getting from customers in the last week the Murray's Hellgrammite, Bass Caddis Nymph and Bass Stonefly Nymph are working as well. 

Now let's discuss the topwater action.  We have been picking up a few by using poppers such as the Shenandoah Blue Popper and Shenandoah Chartreuse Chugger.  My recommendation, if you are willing to try something different, is to tie a Murray's Regular Hellgrammite size 8 on a 18-24 inch 2X dropper below the popper.  Often if they won't take the popper then they will take the hellgrammite. Experiment and see what happens.

Both the North Fork and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River are clear and fishable. The bass do not like the bright sunlight so fish early morning, late in the evening or the shady banks in the afternoons. Wade as carefully as you can because the bass are easily spooked. 

If you need help on access, stop by the fly shop or see my book Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams. 

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