Stocked Trout Streams - The water levels are back to normal on the local stocked trout streams and delayed harvest areas. Many customers have been seeing the dark stonefly along the streams. Use a Murray's Dark Stonefly Dry size 16 or Murray's Dark Stonefly Nymph size 14 when you see these naturals. To see the latest streams that have been stocked, visit the VA DWR website.
One thing I do want to mention, the Forest Service closes some roads during the winter months and re-opens them late March to early April. Sometimes a different route or a nice hike is in order to reach some of the access areas not just on the stocked trout streams but also on the native brook trout streams. Try to plan ahead if you can.
Mountain Trout Streams - By this time in February the Epeorus pleuralis mayflies are beginning to grow rapidly in the riffles. Fishing a Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 14 upstream dead drift into these riffles will help you catch trout. These extremely warm days for February are a great time to be on the native brook trout streams. Other nymphs that are working well are the Copper John (Zebra) size 15, Bead Head Squirrel Nymph size 14, Perdigon Nymph size 14, in addition to the stonefly nymphs mentioned above. I personally like to try a dry with a dropper. The Mr. Rapidan Parachute size 14 would be a great dry fly to use with a nymph as a dropper.
Now let's talk about the water conditions. I was trying to fish a stream in the lower boundaries of the Shenandoah National Park on Monday. The water levels were way too high for good fishing. The best way to get around this higher water is to come into the streams from the higher regions or off the Skyline Drive. For more information on stream access, see my book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park or consider attending my classroom discussion on Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park 101 on March 11 at 10a.m.