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Fly Fishing on Spring Creek Trout Streams in Augusta County, Virginia

Updated: Feb 3

Woman Fly Fishing for Brown Trout
Mossy Creek

Spring creeks are enchanting water bodies that provide an ideal setting for fly fishing enthusiasts seeking a challenge. The Shenandoah Valley is blessed with several picturesque spring creeks, each offering a unique fly fishing experience. In this blog, we'll delve into the world of fly fishing on spring creeks and explore tactics for catching trout. Specifically, we'll spotlight Mossy Creek, Beaver Creek, and Spring Run in Augusta County, sharing tips and insights to help you make the most of your angling adventures.

Understanding Spring Creeks:

Spring creeks are characterized by their crystal-clear, cold waters, which flow year-round. These creeks are often teeming with aquatic life, making them a haven for trout and other fish species. This crystal clear water bubbles up from surrounding limestone springs and starts flowing through rolling farmland of Augusta County. Many skilled fishermen have honed their fly fishing skills on a good limestone spring creek, but these streams can be especially challenging to beginning fly anglers with picky fish. Food-rich waters and stable flow make casting, fly selection, and presentation paramount to success.

Spotlight on Mossy Creek:

Mossy Creek is one of the most renowned spring creeks in the region, and perhaps Virginia's most famous fly fishing destination. Its limestone-rich waters are home to an abundance of brown and rainbow trout. Special regulations say that you can keep one fish over 20", and many large browns have been caught in it's waters. The result is a popular destination to this classic limestone creek that features tough-to-catch brown trout. Since no wading is allowed, the stream is filled with vegetation just waiting to mess up your presentation. Persistence, patience, and technique are key to landing a fish here.  The stream can be accessed at the parking area just off of junction of Route 42 and Route 747 or next to Mossy Creek Presbyterian Church. Anglers must carry a signed permit card along with a valid Virginia fishing license from VDGIF.

Exploring Spring Run: A Hidden Gem:

Spring Run is another charming spring creek nestled in western Augusta County. While it may not be as famous as Mossy Creek, it still offers a delightful fly fishing experience. Spring Run is located near the Coursey Springs Fish Hatchery and is the least frequented of our spring creeks. Created by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries this stretch is thick with aquatic vegetation and offers trout waters in the dead of winter. If you choose to fish this stream know that it is remotely located with no cell signal. The fish and wildlife in this area is amazing, and if you are up for a drive, it's a great place to wet a line.

Beaver Creek: Buggies and Buggers

Beaver Creek, located near Ottobine, Virginia, is a well-known spring creek that offers a rewarding fly fishing experience. Four passes are sold daily to the lucky anglers who happen to get up early enough. Landowners along the stream partnered with the local TU chapter to create this world-class fishery in the middle of Mennonite Country. This water is stocked with trophy rainbow trout, though I have caught native brook trout in the headwaters. Four anglers a day leads to lower pressured fish and the proceeds go to the local TU chapter and to restock and improve the stream.

Spring Creek Tactics

  • Tippet and Fly Sizes- match the hatch but go as small and light as possible. The crystal clear water allows for extra scrutiny of your fly.

  • Approach is everything- watch your shadow, false casting, and target. You are likely to get one shot, maybe two, so make you cast count.

  • Take advantage of bad weather- high water means aggressive fish. Hungry browns will chase big streamers and sculpins when the water is up. Look for undercut banks and ambush points where water collects.

  • Wind matters- terrestrials surround these streams and are unexpected protein. Have a supply of ants, beetles, and grasshoppers.

  • Fish with the Sun in mind- consistent water flow and temperature are great for aquatic life, but the sun makes it work. Fish when there are hatches occurring. In the Summer that is dawn and dusk, in the winter, mid-afternoon. 

  • Patience and Persistence- if you spend enough time on a spring creek you will learn it's schedule. It may seem that beneath the smooth surface not much is going on. Search for the micro-currents, little drop-offs, wherever food might collect. You'll see the fish soon enough. 

Fly fishing on spring creeks in Augusta County, Virginia, is a sublime experience for those willing to embrace the challenge. Whether you choose to explore the well-known Mossy Creek or venture off the beaten path to Beaver Creek and Spring Run, these waters offer a rich tapestry of angling opportunities. By employing the right tactics, showing respect for the environment, and savoring the moments on these pristine creeks, you can create lasting memories and hone your fly fishing skills in this idyllic corner of the world. Happy angling!




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