Smallmouth Bass Streams Fly Fishing Report - July 9, 2024

Smallmouth Bass Streams Fly Fishing Report - July 9, 2024

Before the bass move into the tails of the pools at dusk, many of them select feeding stations below the heavily shaded banks where the water is 3-5 feet deep over cobblestone stream bottoms. In some cases the bass hold on these feeding stations, in other cases they cruise along the banks. Often I wade down the river 50 feet out from these banks and cast a Shenandoah Blue Popper size 6 in tight to the bank and impart a steady pop-pause-pop action to my bug. In most cases the strike comes within the first ten seconds. There are many natural damselflies and dragonflies along the streams. I like to experiment with patterns such as the Murray's Bass Damselfly Dry size 6 and Murray's Bass Dragonfly Dry size 6 the last two hours of daylight on a Bright Butt 9ft 2X leader.

The water temperature has been around 84 degrees and the most productive times to be on the river are early morning and late evening. The smallmouth do not like bright sunny days, therefore they look for deep pockets along river banks and downed trees.  The water levels are very low so wade carefully so that you are not spooking the fish. 

Both the North Fork and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River are clear and fishable. On the North Fork you can find some deeper water by wading downstream from Chapman's Landing and downstream from the Seven Bends State Park. The South Fork of the Shenandoah River would be more suitable for kayaks for a float/wade trip. Downstream from Bixler bridge for the next 9 miles holds several access places that are worthwhile to explore. If you need help on access, stop by the fly shop or give us a call.

We have a few openings in our Full Day Fly Fishing School on August 3, 2024. These meet at the fly shop in Edinburg at 9a.m. for a short classroom presentation then off to the river for hands on fly fishing instruction until about 5p.m.  Fly Rod/Reel outfits are provided.  Click for more information and to register. 

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