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Spring Creek Terrestrials

Updated: Mar 19

Summer in the Shenandoah Valley offers a few fly fishing opportunities to target some big, greedy fish without much finesse. Up and down the valley we have several springs that collect into some very nice trout fisheries. Mossy Creek and Beaver Creek outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia are two that come to mind.

Normally these creeks require some high water and big streamers, or very technical fishing with very small flies and tippet. However, as the grass grows and summer heat creates some windy days, many surrounding bugs get blown into the water. These are big pieces of protein for fish that have been eating little bugs all day. Grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, and ants are all good options for these creeks and can result in some pretty explosive takes.

The best part is that using these flies actually require a bit of a splashy cast. A grasshopper doesn't gracefully land on top of the water, but more crashes down on top creating some racket. Go with the smallest tippet you can get away with though as the water is very clear. Take five minutes or so in the summer looking for Japanese beetles, June bugs, etc. Knowing what is actually around, size, and color still all apply to matching the hatch. Lastly, I prefer the foam tied flies as they don't need floatant and can take a bit of a beating.

Pick up the direction of the wind and try to find the trees and bushes that hang over the stream. Chances are there is a brown trout just waiting for a big bug to drop out of the air on that next gust.

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