On large trout streams many trout feed deeply during the winter and fishing a large streamer on a fast sinking head line will help you catch these fish.
Many of our best stocked trout streams in Virginia such as Big Stoney, Mill Creek and the Bullpasture have gotten very high from heavy rains in the past two weeks. This can actually help the flyfishing when the streams drop back to normal levels because the trout become distrubuted throughout the streams.
Frequently the most productive sections of the streams for flyfishing will now be the deepest pools from a mile to five miles downstream of the areas that are normally stocked. Fish these thoroughly with the Murray’s Betsy Streamer and Pearl Marauder both in size 10.
On many occasions I’ve taken a friend fishing and have intentionally given him my favorite part of the stream while I fished another part of the stream well upstream or downstream from him. Frequently I’ve found some new water which was much more productive than I had expected it to be. From this I’ve learned I can frequently find outstanding fishing by exploring new waters.
The water temperature of mountain trout streams is very important to the feeding habits of the trout. Early in the spring and late in the fall the streams are cold and we seek areas with slightly warmer water. In the summer the streams get warm so we look for areas with cooler water. What I do to give me help here is to take the water temperature of all of the tiny feeders I come to as I’m walking up the trails and fishing up the streams. For example, it is not at all unusual to find a feeder ten degrees cooler than the main stream in the middle of August. Downstream of where this feeder enters the stream the fishing will be excellent.