Both the North Fork and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River are low and clear. Which means the fish are very wary and easily spooked.
- Access the river before entering. Ask yourself where are the bass likely to be in the river? Where should I be standing? Where should I be fishing?
- Wade carefully so you are not sending out signals to your presence.
- Try to fish early morning or late evening hours or if during the day--fish the shady banks.
With the lower water levels we are using flies that are quite as heavy as we were using earlier in the spring. The Crayfish patterns have been doing well this last week: Murray's Crayfish size 6 or Clouser Crayfish Olive size 6. The great abundance of hellgrammites in the river provide easy meals for the bass. The Murray's Hellgrammite (regular style without lead eyes) is perfect for these conditions in a size 6 or 8. The Shenk's White Streamer size 6 is working well this week too! Now let's talk about the topwater fishing. We are picking up a few on the Shenandoah Blue Popper and Murray's Chugger. If you are willing to fish a dry and a dropper then use either the Blue Popper or Chugger with a Murray's Hellgrammite (regular weight) in a size 8 as a dropper.
We still have some openings in our Half Day Fly Fishing Lessons on July 8, 12, and 26. These are conducted from 9a.m. to 1p.m. and rod and reels are provided. Click on the link for more information.
If you need help on access for either the North Fork or South Fork then stop by the fly shop or see my book Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams.