This years young bluegills are approaching the size that make a good mouthful for the bass. When I was a youngster, the smallmouth bait fishermen all used young bluegills as one of their favorite live baits. After seeing numerous large smallmouths feed on young bluegills, I developed the Murray's Magnum Bluegill size 4 on a long shank hook. This has turned out to be one of my most productive flies. Fish these with a slow darting action along the banks where the water is two feet deep over pebble stream bottoms. Other productive flies that are working for our customers and in our personal fishing this week: Murray's Heavy Hellgrammite, Black size 6 and Shenk's White Streamer size 4. Fish all of these on a 9ft 2X Bright Butt Leader.
The North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River are clear and fishable. The streams will be busy this weekend with the July 4th holiday so be respectful and be safe while on the water. If you have the option, try to be on the water at daylight or fish the last two hours before dark to get your best fishing. If you need help on where to go, stop by the fly shop or see my book Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams. The fly shop will be open regular hours July 1 (9 to 4) and July 2 (9 to 3). We will be closed July 3-5 for the holiday.