Tag Archives: mountain trout streams

My Five Favorite Flies for High Water on Mountain Trout Streams

My Five Favorite Flies for High Water on Mountain Trout Streams

To find good trout fishing in the mountain streams  after a week of rain, I go into the heads of the streams from the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. I hike down a mile, then fish my way back up the mountain. Nymphs are very effective now. I use the Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 12, Murray’s Professor Nymph size 14, Murray’s Dark Miracle Stonefly Nymph size 12, Murray’s Magic Tan Caddis Pupa size 12 and Mr. Rapidan Brown Soft Hackle Nymph size 12. I fish these all flies on Murray’s Trout Nymph 9 foot Leader. I rely strongly on these built in indicators to detect my strikes.

Music in the Mountains

Music in the Mountains Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

The next time you hike into a mountain trout stream from a ridge high up on the mountain, pause before descending far down the trail.  Listen to see if you can hear the stream far below. Possibly you will discern a subtle low rumble that may remind you of the low notes of a tuba.  Descend further and you may detect more of the flowing of the stream resembling a French Horn picking up the tune. Another thousand feet down the trail, as you approach the stream, the gurgling melody of the stream resembles a clarinet picking up the lead.
This music of the trout stream accompanied by the beautiful melodies of the songbirds is a wonderful reward nature provides in the mountains.

Check out our Mountain Trout On-The-Stream Fly Fishing Schools.

Murray’s Fly Shop
Harry Murray
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com

Casts

Many beginning anglers make much longer casts on mountain trout streams than is required. This robs them of accuracy and delicacy. Most of all it robs them of their chance of getting a drag-free fly drift.
I recently showed a group of beginning anglers how to preform my “Flip Cast”. In a few minutes they were all making perfect presentation casts.
Holding the fly in my line-hand I have ten feet of slack line hanging between the rod tip and the fly.  I bend over and move in low and slowly to the spot I plan to make my presentation cast. The fly rod is help perpendicular while still holding the fly tightly in my line hand and retaining the ten feet of slack. I snap the fly rod forward and release the fly as the fly line rolls forward and presents the fly accurately to the target. You will be well pleased with the accuracy and delicacy you can achieve with my Flip Cast. Do not confuse this with a bow and arrow cast which lacks this accuracy.

Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences

Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences Blog Murray's Fly Shop
Camping in the remote sections of the mountain trout streams provides wonderful fishing and experiences you will never forget.

Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences Blog Murray’s Fly Shop

One of the most rewarding outdoor-experiences is to hike into the remote sections of the mountain trout streams in order to camp and fish for several days. I like to set up my tent where two of the main feeder streams enter the streams.  This enables me to fish the main stream one day and each of the feeders the next two days. By choosing the location carefully and heading into the mountains in the middle of the week, you will often heave the whole stream to yourself and find outstanding trout fishing.

Check out our Mountain Trout On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools.

Chest High Waders or Hippers?

I find hippers ideal for fishing small mountain trout streams and go to chest high waters on large streams.
I find hippers ideal for fishing small mountain trout streams and go to chest high waters on large streams.

I use Chest High Waders when I am fishing large trout streams and smallmouth bass rivers.  I wear hippers when I am fishing mountain trout streams. If I walk into a mountain trout streams for two miles or less I wear my hippers to walk in. If I plan to walk in more than two miles, I hang my hippers over my shoulder and wear hiking shoes to walk in, then stick my shoes up on the bank and put my hippers on to fish.  After I finish fishing, I put my hiking shoes back on and carry my hippers to walk back out of the mountain.

Maps

The mountain trout streams are excellent this time of year in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Be sure to have your map with you when you leave the trail head to go into the stream.
The mountain trout streams are excellent this time of year in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Be sure to have your map with you when you leave the trail head to go into the stream.

Last summer a friend took two of his fishing buddies into a small remote mountain trout stream.  He had fished the stream before and felt confident in taking them to the best part of the stream. Unfortunately, he forgot to take his map with him. There were many small trails leading off the main trail that he had forgotten.  They hiked for three hours and never did find the stream and finally climbed back up to the top of the mountain and came home.
I have been lost twice in the mountains when I was trying to take shortcuts to the streams.  Once you are on the stream you should be okay in finding your way.  However, some find mountain trout streams have no trails in or out and there may be private land at the lower end of the stream where trespassing is not allowed.
I always have the map in my vest for the stream I am fishing in the back country.

Maps

Shenandoah National Park North District Map 9 Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop VA
Shenandoah National Park North District Map 9

 

Shenandoah National Park Central District Map 10 Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop VA
Shenandoah National Park Central District Map 10

Maps – When hiking into remote mountain trout streams it is wise to have the topographic map for that area in your vest, pack or pouch. There are many trails throughout the mountains and it is easy to get lost. A friend tried to fine one recently without the map. It should have taken him forty five minutes to get to the trout stream, however he hiked three hours and never did find the trout stream.

Find the Good Water

Mountain Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains
Mountain Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop VA
I have often gotten excellent fishing on the mountain streams in the Rockies by hoking into the remote headwaters.

Late last summer I drove a long distance to fish a mountain trout stream.  When I arrived at the lower end of the stream, I was surprised to find it was very discolored as a result of recent rains. Checking my topographic maps I noticed that two substantial feeder streams entered my stream just a mile upstream. By hiking up the trail beside the main stream until I got upstream of the two feeder streams, I found clear water and had outstanding fishing.
On a different trip to a different stream the high stream level forced me to hike several miles upstream to where a nice little feeder brook entered the main stream. I had never fished this little feeder brook before, but that day I had one of the finest days of dry fly fishing I have ever experienced.  Often you are rewarded with outstanding fishing after a short hike.

Fly Fishing Report Podcast – Trout & Smallmouth Bass- March 2015

William Downey (102 years old) has enjoyed the native brook trout fishing in the Shenandoah National Park, since "before the war" in his words. (That would be WWII)
William Downey (102 years old) has enjoyed the native brook trout fishing in the Shenandoah National Park, since “before the war” in his words. (That would be WWII)

In the first part of this fly fishing report podcast Harry Murray discusses the effective flies and tactics for fishing streamers below the riffles on our stocked trout streams.  (Hot Fly–Murray’s Marauder in Black or Pearl size 10)

The second part of this fly fishing report podcast covers the sections of the streams and locations along with the best flies and tactics to use when fishing the mountain trout streams in the Shenandoah National Park. (Hot Fly–Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14, Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Olive size 12)  For more information on the Shenandoah National Park Streams check out the book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park.

The last segment of this fly fishing report podcast covers the locations in the rivers where the bass feed under the present conditions along with the best flies and effective tactics.  (Hot Fly–Magnum Creek Chub size 4 and Magnum HogSucker size 4)

Short Casts

Fly Fishing Virginia Murray's Fly Shop
Jeff Murray fights a nice trout he caught in a full trout stream by using a short accurate cast.

When the mountain trout streams are carrying a high water level I always catch more fish by using short casts to precise feeding stations. Under these conditions long casts which place extra line and leader on the water can easily produce drag on the fly even when using your best effort to bridge the fast currents with your fly rod. These fast dragging drifts will almost always be refused by the trout.
Another good reason to use short casts in high streams is because the feeding stations are much more compressed than they are in a normal stream level.  Dinner-plate accuracy in fly placement is often a must in high streams. The positive side of this is that the trout has less time to evaluate our flies so an accurate cast to a precise feeding station usually brings a strike.

Rod Pointer

Being able to see trout on their feeding stations in the stream and fishing to each one individully is one of the most exciting forms of angling. In order to scan the whole pool thoroughly I use my fly rod as a pointer as I sight out over its tip as I sweep it slowly from side to side and up and across the pool.