The smallmouth are slowly starting to feed as the river gets warmer. They are looking for slow currents to hold in and many minnows to feed on. The back eddies which form on the slow sides of the river opposite the riffles are excellent feeding stations. They may range from 10-60 in diameter and from 3-6 feet deep. They are simply large Lazy Susans. Swimming a Murray's Tungsten Cone Head Marauder or Murray's Heavy Hellgrammite size 4 very slowly along the stream bottom is my favorite tactic to catch these bass. With the water flows we currently have, I would recommend using a sink tip III fly line with a Fluorocarbon sinking leader.
The North Fork of the Shenandoah River is currently clear and fishable. Bring your chest high waders if you want to wade. There are a few areas you can float the North Fork in a kayak or canoe. Be aware of the dams that are on the North Fork as these are not safe nor legal to go around.
The South Fork of the Shenandoah is currently holding some extra water but it is clear. It is too high for safe wading but there are many areas you can float. By floating it will allow you to get to some of the deeper areas that the bass are holding.
I will be happy to show you the access areas. Stop by the fly shop and I'll cover the maps with you or check out my book Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams.
#LearnToFlyFish in our Summer 2023 Fly Fishing Schools. We supply the rod and reel outfits for the school.