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Mossy Creek, VA.


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#1 jmh8098

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 04:09 AM

Hey guys,

My first post of the year. I am taking a trip down to visit my brother in Virginia April 8-15th and we are planning on fishing Mossy Creek near Harrisonburg. Anyone ever fish this stream. From what I have read it is spring creek like in nature with good flows throughout most the year and lots of wild trout. It was listed in TU's 100 best trout streams so it can't be all that bad. Just wondering what to expect, I dont want to get my hopes up. This will be my first trout fishing experience below the Mason Dixie line. I know there are some good streams that come out the the Blue Ridges, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much.

Jason

#2 kflies

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 03:07 PM

Great but technical stream- You'll need a permit to fish it. Harry Murray's shop used to issue them but I'm not sure if he still does.

#3 JB

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 12:56 AM

Pete13, please check your private mail!


JB

#4 jmh8098

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 01:10 AM

Kflies,

Thanks for the reply. I am aware of the permit, my brother has already taken care of that. I am also aware that you can not wade in the stream. I guess what I want to know is what I should bring as far as rods go. I have 3, 4, 5, and 6 weights which are all great rods, but dont want to have to get each set up ready as my budget is a little tight right now. I would really only like to get one set up ready for this trip. All of my lines need replacing, going on 3 or 4 years with most of them, and I'm pretty short on leader and tippet materials. I'm thinking my 7" 6' St. Croix 4 weight would be best, but my custom 3 weight (my brookie rod for the adks) that I built is only 6"5' and being you have to fish from shore I am thinking that might be the way to go. or I could use my 9 ft 5 weight and just dap away. See my delima?

Jason

Jason

#5 kflies

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 02:16 PM

Jason,
I'd go with a longer rod- Lots of weird cross currents on this stream.
Ken

#6 Chub

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 07:55 PM

Why isn't wading allowed?

#7 jmh8098

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 06:39 AM

Well, lets just say I had a most frustrating day last Monday. I just got back from my trip, one day of trout fishing per 7 days of vacation isn't my idea of a vacation, but it was all I was allowed. My brother and I got out to the Shenendoah Valley bright and early on Monday and rigged up on the bank of Mossy Creek. It was unlike any stream I have ever fished. Slow, weedy, cloudy water, cows all around with the smells that go with them. The upwelling from the springs was amazing every 100 yards or so you come across a pocket surrounded by watercress and water just boiling up out of a hole in the ground, little artisian wells everywhere. We were not expecting much early in the day as far as hatches went so we went sub surface. We didn't have the problems with the grass and scum off the bottom like we were warned about and I was throwing a sink tip for a while with some shot as well. Morning water temp was 45 degrees. Around 1:00 I finally started seeing some bugs come off. March Browns, BWO's, and some caddis. Expecting to see some risers I climbed up to a high bank to watch for risers while I changed spools to my floating line. Not a one, so I check the water temp and its 52 degrees, I'm completley stumped, we never even saw a fish let alone get a rise. It made for a most dissapointing day. When I saw those bugs come off I was sure it was only a matter of time and then nothing. So much for being one of the best spring creeks in the country. Water at 52 degrees, a decent hatch and no risers? I tried wets emergers, nymphs you name it. The other thing that bugged me was all this stuff TU was touting about how they did all this work to keep the cows out of the creek, you could see their tracks all over the banks and in the water, I'm pretty certain I'm writing that one off. my brother is going to check it out in June, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

#8 S_Repass

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 02:19 PM

Kind of a harsh evaluation after just one trip don't you think?

#9 dshort

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 03:35 PM

Mossy has been fishing well lately. The Mossy Creek Flyshop guys fish it regularly and have landed several fish over 20 inches very recently. You can look up their website to see pics of Mossy and the fish. The reports have been so favorable that I just mailed away for the permit last week. I haven't bothered with that for a few years.

#10 jmh8098

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 10:34 PM

I suppose it is a harsh evaluation. However, with a decent hatch, and favorable water temps, and overcast sky, I dont see how the conditions could have been better, yet no risers, and no notable action. Maybe I wasn't in one of the better sections, I just dont know. I do not doubt there are some quality trout in there, the stream has everything it needs to produce nice fish. Maybe they are really spread out, highly educated and beyond my skill level to catch.

Jason

#11 dshort

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 11:34 PM

A few years ago, when I had the permit, I fished Mossy about 5 times. I never had a lot of luck there either and wasn't overly imressed with the scenery and the cows and all the stuff that you mentioned. Maybe those trout are beyond my skill level as well, but I'm gonna try them again this year. There aren't many places in VA where you have a legitimate shot at a 20 incher.

#12 BrooklynFlyGuy

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 03:22 AM

Sorry you had a bad experience.It's always tough when you travel to fish a new body of water and things don't work out.Too bad you only had 1 day to fish.Perhaps one more would have been what the doctor ordered.Mayhaps you might have stuck with the dry fly too much,next time throw a streamer at the bank.You never know what you'll pull up off the bottom with something big.
And if it makes you feel any better,at least you didn't fly thousands of miles like I once did on a trip to Ireland to fish the Moy river for salmon.It turned out to be the dryest spring on record at that time and the fish wouldn't run up the river.Talk about frustrating, but thats the chances you get on a fish related trip.Hit or miss goes with the territory.

#13 kflies

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 03:12 PM

It's a bedeviling stream at times- I've done best with hoppers and beetles during the summer.
Smith creek is also an option in that area- One of the local shops rents it out per day for 60 bucks. Fished it a couple times early season last year and had a ball.

#14 seanFLA

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 05:39 PM

Just curious, did you try any small midge patterns? I had similar frustrations on the Davidson River in NC last summer, but found out the answer I needed. Many of these "Top 100" rivers in the south are fished pretty well to the point where these fish have seen EVERYTHING thrown at them. The wild fish can be very picky to the point of frustration. A few of the local guides suggested small (painfully small) midge patterns and that did the trick. I started hooking into the larger wild 20" fish (no stocking allowed on this part). Worse part was these were on really light tippets. Remember the southern waters have a longer feeding season so the fish can be much more selective. Something I had to adjust to moving south from NY. A beadhead just isn't going to do it for a nymph on these rivers like it does back on the Willowmoc for example. Hence these water become technical. Many of these streams are open year round too which also increases pressure. They also suggested trying to go the opposite way on a pattern and tie on a stonefly the size of a small chicken to entice a strike. That also worked for me.

#15 dshort

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Posted 28 April 2007 - 10:48 PM

I fished Mossy Creek today from about 10:00 to 3:30. All of the reports I've read recently say the fish still aren't looking up and streamers are the best bet, so I rigged up with a black sculpin pattern and a split shot right at the hook eye and took off upstream from the bridge at the parking lot. I started picking up fish almost immediately. I lost count of how many I landed. They were all browns between 12 and 14 inches and they were slamming that sculpin. My ego started to get inflated as I was nailing these wily browns in this heavily fished stream one after the other. I started to think "this sport is easy if you know what you're doing, like I obviously do". Then I met another fisherman on the stream who told me they had stocked the stream with a bunch of mid-size fish last week and they were still dumb enough to eat anything. He had been catching them all morning too on a wooly bugger. They usually only stock Mossy with fingerlings but apparently they wanted to infuse the population with some mide size trout. So much for my over inflated sense of ego! I just shrugged my shoulders and went ahead catching the new dumb fish all afternoon. I guess it's called being in the right place at the right time. It won't be long before they smarten-up and I can't catch them anymore!




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