Update for February 13, 2024. All of the local stocked trout streams and mountain trout streams are high and muddy. Currently the Skyline Drive is closed due to snow/icy conditions. We will post updates as the conditions change.
Posted February 8, 2024 A good friend of mine takes great pride on the number of large rainbows he catches on his 3-fly tandem streamer rig. He uses a Betsy Streamer size 8, Mr. Rapidan Streamer size 8, and Shenandoah Sunrise Streamer size 10. Each separated by 12 inches of 3X mono. His back cast is a simple in-low with a presentation cast and out-high to prevent twisting the leader. An across stream presentation which sweeps these flies below the fast riffles is very effective. If you are not comfortable fishing a 3-fly rig then don't hesitate to use any of the streamers mentioned above by themselves. I often do well on streamers on the stocked trout streams.
Passage Creek in Fort Valley was stocked last week and Mill Creek in Mount Jackson was just stocked yesterday. To see the stocking schedule, visit the VA DWR website.
Now let's move onto the small native brook trout streams. Early this week, I visited a few different streams and the water temperature was running around 38 degrees. This is still a little cold for the brook trout so don't expect much. I just enjoy being in the mountains and exploring different areas. It's too early for dry fly action so I am using all nymphs such as the Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 14, Copper John (zebra) size 14, and Hare's Ear Nymph size 14. You will have better water levels by coming into the streams from the upper reaches off the Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.
My book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park is a good resource. It not only covers reading the water, hatch charts, but also has the streams listed in alphabetical order with access.