There are probably more hellgrammites in our smallmouth rivers than all other nymphs combined. I usually tell my customers and the students in our schools to start with a Murray's Black Heavy Hellgrammite in size 4 or 6. Regardless of their casting skills, they usually catch a bass because there is no wrong way to fish the Hellgrammite. The Murray's Olive Strymph in size 4 & 8 when fished in the tail of the pools matches the dace minnows the bass are feeding on. If you fish the strymph in the beginning of grass beds or around brush piles, this matches the dragonfly nymphs they feed on.
We are picking up a few on top water using the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 6 and Murray's Frog Chugger size 6. Fish all of these on a Bright Butt 9ft 2X Leader. Fishing is best early in the morning or late in the evening or along the shady banks.
Update June 11, 2022 at 9:52a.m.. The North Fork of the Shenandoah River is slightly discolored in some areas but clear in other areas. You will do best by concentrating on the Edinburg, Woodstock, and Toms Brook areas.
Update June 11, 2022 at 10a.m. The South Fork of the Shenandoah River is fishable by floating. There is still some extra water so if you plan to wade, please wade carefully. There is still some slightly stained color in some areas and sometimes these can provide some excellent fishing. If you need help on access stop by the fly shop or see my book Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams.
Learn to Fly Fish in our Summer Fly Fishing Schools. Fly rod and reel outfits are provided for the schools.