When you are designing a new streamer to match a specific minnow it is great to tie one that looks so much like the real minnow that it impresses your friends. However, when you are on the river fishing the fish appear to take the streamers which ACT like the real minnow they are accustomed to feeding on in that area. It is great when your new streamer looks like that specific minnow but for consistent success it is a must that your new fly ACT like the real minnow in the way it swims through the currents and darts for cover when it is chased by a fish. After a great deal of experimenting with materials and tying techniques, the Murray’s Madtom Sculpin Streamer evolved into a streamer which acts like a real minnow and the fish take quickly. Check the prevalent minnows in your streams and see if you can developed an effective streamer.
When you are fishing the Hexagenia hatch if you see splashy rises when the duns start coming off the fish may be taking the emerging insect rather than the dry dun. When I see this I put a Mr. Rapidan Emerger size 10 on a 36 inch mono dropper off the bend of a Mr. Rapidan Skater size 8 and fish this down and across stream to the rising fish. Some of the fish take the dry while some take the emerger.
For those of you interested in Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing in Virginia, check out the Smallmouth Bass River Report from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. There are quite a few interesting numbers like a 14 inch Smallmouth Bass in the South Fork of the Shenandoah is typically over 10 years old.