Stocked Trout Streams -- Over the last two days I have rode around the local stocked trout streams just to check the conditions. There is still ice along the streams edges and over the rocks in the areas that the sun doesn't shine. On some parts of Passage Creek and Big Stoney Creek there is a skim layer of ice completely across the stream. The water levels are back to normal and clear. So just be careful as you are walking to the stream--bring your wading or walking stick with you for stability. Since the water levels were up last week the trout have moved to different areas throughout the streams. Streamers are the way to go for these conditions. The Murray's Tungsten Bead Marauder in size 10 is perfect for fast running water or deeper pools. If these are too heavy, then try a Betsy Streamer size 10, Murray's Strymph size 10, or a regular Murray's Marauder in size 10. Cast these across stream in the deepest pools and use a slow hand-twist retrieve to swim them right along the stream bottom. I prefer a using a Classic 9ft 4X leader for these streams. To see the latest streams stocked, see the VA DWR website. BTW--if you need a good pair of fishing gloves, I would recommend the Simms Freestone half finger gloves.
Native Brook Trout Streams -- I have been tempted to fish these streams, just to get out of the house for a little. After seeing pictures of White Oak Canyon frozen over (on a Facebook post from Graves Mountain Lodge) and seeing how the ice is still hanging around our local streams, I think I will wait a few more weeks. Even though the temperatures are going to be higher in the next few days, the mountains are usually 10 degrees colder than in the valley. The Skyline Drive has been closed for anything beyond milepost 5 and they are recommending not to be hiking at this time. The best way to track Skyline Drive status is to opt-in for future alerts by texting SHENALERTS to 888777.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the native brook trout fishing (April and May is prime time) then:
- Read my book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park
- Attend my classroom discussion on the Shenandoah National Park streams on January 7, 2023 at 10a.m. at the fly shop in Edinburg, VA (not on the stream)
- Or sign up for an On The Stream Mountain Trout School for Spring 2023. These schools are filling up, so if you are interested don't wait until the last minute to register.