Smallmouth Bass Streams Fly Fishing Report - May 31, 2023

Smallmouth Bass Streams Fly Fishing Report - May 31, 2023

The smallmouth bass fishing is really taking off.  I have several customers that are showing me pictures of nice smallmouth bass that they have caught on both the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River.  The water is somewhat low and clear so wade carefully so you are not spooking the fish. This week the Shenandoah Blue Popper in size 4 or 6 has been one of the best flies to use.  Customers come in and ask for recommendations and I suggest the Blue Popper only to hear, "isn't it too early for that season?"  Yes it is early, but in our personal fishing and guide trips the Shenandoah Blue Popper has been working.  Other flies that are working include the Murray's Crayfish, size 6 and Murray's Marauder size 6 in olive or pearl.  Fish the poppers along the shady banks.  Fish the crayfish along the cobblestone bottoms in water 3 to 4 feet.  Fish the Marauders in 3 to 5 feet water where you see natural minnows swimming along for the bass to feed upon. Use a Murray's Bright Butt 9ft 2X leader. 

The North Fork is fishable for wading and in some areas a kayak or canoe trip.  The water level is getting low so there will be some areas that you might get caught on the ledges that cross the river while kayaking.  The South Fork is fishable for either wading or floating.  If you need help on access, stop by the fly shop or see my book Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams. 


This summer we are offering Full Day Fly Fishing Schools and Half Day Fly Fishing Lessons.  Rod and Reel outfits are provided for the day.  Click on the links for more information and dates that have openings. These make great FATHERS DAY gifts.  Gift Certificates are available!


Last year I did a video on Minnow Matching Techniques for Smallmouth Bass.  I think this would be beneficial for anyone wanting to learn more on the natural foods, flies to match and how to fish them. 

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