Updated May 20, 2022
Let's talk about the many confusing terms that are used for hard floating bass bugs that most anglers call "poppers". Chuggers, Sliders, Dancers, Darters, Mice, Rats and Frogs are what I consider topwater or surface bugs--even though most people call them poppers. To me a true popper has a smooth straight body which is tapered in the rear and it has a slightly cupped up-sloping face. I'm am starting to get some good bass fishing on the Shenandoah Blue Popper in the 3-4 foot deep water along the shaded banks where there are cobblestone stream bottoms. A slow strip-pause-strip action is very effective.
If you are not getting topwater action then go to a Shenk's White Streamer size 4 or Murray's Olive or Black Marauder size 6 on a Bright Butt 9ft 2X Leader and fish slowly and close to the stream bottom.
The water temperature on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River was around 65 yesterday so I am still using my chest high waders. The North Fork has perfect water levels, is clear and fishable. The Mount Jackson area starting at Meem's downstream to Woodstock at the Seven Bends State Park (Lupton access) are all doing well. If you need help on the public access, stop by the fly shop or see my book Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams.
Updated condition for May 20, 2022 The South Fork of the Shenandoah River is clear and okay to fish by floating. There is still some extra water so I wouldn't advise trying to wade it yet.
We still have some openings in our Fly Fishing Schools for this Summer. #LearnToFlyFish Rod and Reel outfits are provided for the schools. Space is limited so register today.