Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On Mossy Creek In
Mossy Creek is a small limestone spring creek that
begins near the village of Mt. Solon. It's a beautiful,
slow to moderate flowing spring creek with great
water quality for growing trout, and an abundance of
aquatic insects. It flows through farmland in the
Shenandoah Valley and in addition to a huge
population of aquatic insects, it has plenty of
terrestrial insects for the trout to feed on.
The stream is stocked with small fingerling brown
trout that soon become very shy and wise. Fly
fishing Mossy Creek isn't for the novice. It's large
brown trout are not easy to catch, but the rewards
are equal to the challenge. It has a large growth of
aquatic vegetation that compounds the problem for
most anglers. Watercress and elodea represent the
main aquatic plants.
The streams length is about eight miles and roughly
half of that is privately held. The other four miles is
open to the public for fishing thanks to an
arrangement set up by the Virginia Department of
Game and Inland Fisheries, Trout Unlimited and the
owners of the property included. For access, you
need a free permit issued for one year by the
Virginia DGIF located in Verona.
A one-mile section of the privately owned section
called "the Lodge", is located on the lower end of the
creek near its confluence with the North River.
Another one mile-long section that's privately owned
is called the "Miracle Mile".
The regulations state that fly fishing only is allowed
and only one trout over twenty inches can be kept.
To sum it up, let's just say that Mossy Creek is one
of the best trout streams in Virginia.
Mossy Creek Virginia
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Photo Courtesy of Stephen Lamb
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Trout can be caught year-round
The water comes from the ground and stays
warm enough for year-round fishing
Springtime is considered the best time for fly
fishing Mossy Creek because of the hatches.
Mossy Creek Fly Fishing Guide
Mossy Creek is named Mossy Creek for a good
reason. The aquatic vegetation in the stream is thick
as it could possible get. Because of this and the fact
it is a clear, smooth flowing spring creek, fly fishing
Mossy Creek can be a challenge even for even the
most experienced anglers.
Since no wading is allowed, anglers have to fish from
steep banks. The higher your profile, the easier it is
for the trout to see you through their "window of
vision". If you don't understand that, you certainly
need to study how trout see object above the
surface of the water before attempting to fish Mossy
Creek. In essence, you will have to stay as low as
possible, make longer than normal cast, and at the
same time, make excellent presentations. Doing
things right can result in catching some big brown
trout. There isn't anything wrong with crawling up to
the banks of the stream on your knees to stay low.
Mossy Creek is stocked each fall with fingerling
brown trout. Due to an abundance of food, they grow
quickly. In a very short time, as compared to fish
stocked of larger sizes, the trout became can
become as wary as any wild trout. Dry fly fishing can
be good only is you fish slowly, stay low along the
banks, wear clothing that matches the background
and surroundings, and make prefect, drag-free
presentations using flies that closely imitate the
behavior and appearance of the naturals. Our
Perfect Flies perform better than anything on the
market on this stream as well as any other spring
creek where the trout can get a good look at your fly.
The biggest browns stay well hidden under undercut
banks and down in holes on the bottom. They move
in the shallow beds of moss usually only under low
light situations such as very early or late in the day
and when the water is stained from heavy rain.
Mossy Creek Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and nymphs,
not guess work. We base fly suggestions on
imitating the most plentiful and most available
insects and other foods at the particular time
you are fishing. Unlike the generic fly shop
trout flies, we have specific imitations of all the
insects in Mossy Creek and in all stages of life
that are applicable to fishing. If you want to
fish better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with selections,
you will learn why, after trying Perfect Flies,
92% of the thousands of our customers will
use nothing else.
Mossy Creek comes from limestone springs
that produce water with a very high pH. This
provides the nutrients that creates the large
amount of food for the trout to grow fast and
large. There are about a dozen different
species of mayflies anglers usually call
Blue-winged Olives in Mossy Creek. Our
samples indicate the grown ones range from
hook sizes 20 up to 16. Most of them are on
the smaller size. A few of them are species of
the Baetis genera but there are at least five
others. These hatch all winter and on into the
spring months. In June, one of the larger
species will hatch. We have even seen tiny
ones hatch in July but the warmer summer
weather has fewer hatches than the cooler
months of the year. The largest hatches often
occur in the Fall but they will hatch throughout
Sulphurs begin to hatch in the middle of April
and continue through June. This hatch is
usually heavy for only a short time but can be
sporadic throughout that period of time.
Tricos, or the White Winged Curse, start
to hatch about the middle of June. The
largest hatches are usually during
August and September, but hatches can
last up until the first of November. This is
a frustrating hatch for many because the
mayflies are small, hook size 20, and also
because the male duns and spinners are
different colors. The trout can key in on
both the dun and spinners but imitations
of the emerging duns can outperform
both the duns and spinners. Normally,
the highlight is the spinnerfall. By the
way, we have imitations of this insect in
all stages of life for the males and
Most of the public section of Mossy
Creek runs through open meadows. In
late June, terrestrial insects become a
part of the diet of the trout. Beetles and
ants are followed by hoppers and
crickets. Windy days are best for this.
Contrary to what many anglers think,
bright clear days can be as good or
better than cloudy, overcast days for
fishing imitations of terrestrials.
Streamers can produce the largest
browns in Mossy Creek. They work best
under low light conditions, but stained
water conditions are even better. Anytime
the area get a good dose of heavy rain is
a great time to have a shot at a large
brown. These conditions eliminate having
to use delicate presentations and having
to slip up on the trout.
Another food that is plentiful year-round
for the trout are scuds. There's also
plenty of damselflies and dragon flies.
Summertime is terrestrial time on Mossy
Creek and the fishing can be good
Fall is many anglers favorite time to fish
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Headlines: There has been
some recent rain and that has
helped. The weather is turning a
little colder but it won't affect the
water temperature but very little.
Midges, creams and reds, are
hatching very good. Fish the
larva and pupa imitations in
tandem with the larva the bottom
fly. The Sculpin streamers are still
working good. Keep up with the
latest information on the fishing
report linked above.
Map of Mossy Creek
10/19/15 Good conditions exist on the creek right now. Much cooler weather and no rain in the
forecast is also a big plus. There are lots of two different sizes of Blue-winged Olives hatching
right now. The hatch is bigger on cloudy days but it will be mostly clear this coming week.
Brown trout are in the pre-spawn mode and very aggressive and territorial. It is a good time to
catch a trophy. It is still terrestrial insect season and in addition to scuds and sowbugs, you will
find lots of ants, beetles and hoppers along the banks.
10/26/15 Excellent Conditions are awaiting those that fly fish Mossy Creek this coming week.
There is some rain in the forecast, but no heavy amounts are anticipated. The brown trout are
getting ready to spawn and very territorial and aggressive. Some have been taken recently on
our Brown Sculpin fly. Two species of Blue-winged Olives are hatching and you can probably
catch some on the surface this coming week.
11/02/15 We didn't receive any reports from anyone this past week but it should have been a
good one. Most of our local customers are reluctant to announce their good catches, thinking
it will draw a crowd. Brown trout should be taking streamers like the Brown Sculpin very well.
The don't like other fish near their spawning grounds. Most of the actual spawning probably
takes place the first of this month. Please leave the spawners alone.
11/09/15 We received fewer reports this past week than normal. There has been some rain
and it probably kelp anglers away. Stained water and higher levels should actually help you
catch the easy to spook trout. Sculpin streamers like our Brown Sculpin and olive Matuka
sculpin have been top flies. Blue-winged olive are hatching better, especially when it is cloudy
and overcast. Midges will become more and more important as the water gets colder.
11/16/15 One loyal customers reported that he has caught several nice size brown trout lately
on the Brown Sculpin streamer fly. Some of the brown trout are in the post-spawn stage and
feeding good. Blue-winged olive hatches have been good thanks to a lot of cloud cover.
Stream levels have been high a lot lately but in good shape now. Scuds are always an option
but few anglers use them.
11/23/15 The creek is in excellent shape. Water temperatures are normal and yes, there are
some hatches - midges and Blue-winged olives, size 20 and 18. Most of the hatches are on
cloudy days but there will be few of them this coming week. Fish the Brown sculpin streamer
early and late. There's some hungry post-spawn brown trout and that fly will fool them.
11/30/15 It is raining heavily as I write this and should continue through Wednesday. That may
make the water level high and stained for a few days but that isn't a bad thing. The added
color helps make the trout less spooky and also puts a lot of terrestrial worms and insects in
the water. We think streamers will be the best option for a few days, then back to the little
BWO nymphs and midges.
12/07/15 The weather looks great for the coming week. There is no rain forecast and the
temperature is going to be fairly warm for this time of the season. The water is cleared up from
all the heavy rain and the brown trout should be feeding as normal. Little BWO nymphs and
midges will always work but the Brown or White Belly Sculpin streamer should get you some of
the larger brown trout.
12/14/15 The weather is absolutely great for the middle of December. There is a little rain in
the forecast this week but that only helps by adding cloud cover to your advantage. Midges
and Blue-winged olives hatch much better with cloud cover. Cream and Red or blood midges
are the most plentiful ones. The Brown Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin have been catching
some nice size brown trout lately.
12/21/15 It is a great time to fly fish Mossy Creek. There is going to be cloud cover all week
and the rain will only help by staining the water a little. The Brown Sculpin Streamer should be
the hot fly this coming week. Blue-winged Olives and Midges will hatch. It doesn't get any
better than this during the month of December.
12/28/15 Mossy Creek is as good of a fly fishing destination as you could select for this time of
the year and with all the rain that has fell lately. The stream is high, of course, but that makes
no difference in this little spring creek where you can't wade anyway. The stain to the water
just helps conceal the flies enough to fool the trout better.
01/03/16 The weather is finally getting a cold. The fall season was warmer than normal but the
weather affects the trout in this spring creek very little. The most important thing about the
weather is whether the skies are cloudy or clear. The White Belly sculpin streamer has been
the most consistent producing fly the past several days. Midges and small BWO nymphs will
01/11/16 The water is still a little high and stained slightly and that's good. The weather is cold
now but will warm back up this weekend. That makes no difference to the trout thanks to the
constant temperature of the spring water but it does to the anglers fishing. Midges, small BWO
nymphs and the White Sculpin Streamer are all the flies you need.
01/18/16 The weather is getting much colder and in this case, just increase the excuse to fish
Mossy Creek. The water coming out of the ground feeding this stream doesn't realize it is
winter. It is the same temperature is was last fall. Layer up and get of the couch and out on
the water and try to fool one of Mossy's big brown trout. It isn't as difficult as you might think.
01/25/16 The water has a little stain in places from snow melt, but otherwise, in very good
shape. The White Belly and Brown sculpin streamers are good flies to use during low light
situations. Midges, both cream and red (or blood, small BWO nymphs, and Winter stoneflies
and scuds are the other flies you should have with you.
02/01/06 It is turning warmer for a change but it won't last long. This weekend returns to
normal winter weather but remember, the spring water pays little attention to the weather and
stays almost the same temperature. Brown sculpin streamers fished near the bank have
produced some large trout the past two months.
02/08/16 The creek is a little high and has a little stain to it but that's good. It helps conceal
your presence and leader, etc. Scuds and Cream and Red midges are the main foods you
should be imitating. The White Belly and Brown sculpin streamers are good flies to use under
these conditions. There snow forecast from today through Wednesday.
02/15/16 There is a winter storm warning in effect as most of you reading this know. After the
bad weather ends, the conditions for catching trout on the creek should be good. The stained
water actually helps by concealing the fly enough to keep the trout from getting a good look at
it. If you use Perfect flies, it won't matter if they do see the fly well.
02/22/16 The stream is high and a little off color right not but that only helps the "catching", if
fished correctly. There is more rain the first of the week but clearing up before the weekend.
The water is slightly warmer. Midges, blue-winged olives, scuds and sowbugs are the main
foods you should be imitating.
02/29/16 The creek is in good shape although it is high and slightly stained. That just helps
you fool the not so easy to fool trout. There is a little more rain coming near the end of the
week, but it will be warm and Blue-winged olives and midges, will hatch, especially on cloudy,
03/07/16 The stream is in good condition and the weather forecast unreal. It is going to be
very warm and that will help anglers fishing, but have little effect on the water temperature.
The water may be stained in some sections. Blue-winged olives and Midges, both creams and
reds, are hatching. It is going to be a very good week for fly fishing Mossy.
03/14/16 The stream is down near a normal level and mostly clear. The weather forecast
shows rain about every day for the next week, so look for rising water and stain. Streamers like
the Brown and White Belly sculpin, will be a good fly to use under these conditions. Midges
and Blue-winged olives will continue to hatch good.
03/21/16 The creek is in good shape and should only get better every day for the coming
week. There is little chance of rain and there will be less hatches. Scuds and Blue-winged olive
nymphs would be a good choice most of the time. Midge larva and pupa fished in tandem
would be an alternate good fly choice. The Brown and White Belly sculpin should be good
early and late in the day.
03/28/16 It is raining as I write this and the creek is sure to be a little high and stained most of
this week. As I have written before, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is more difficult to fish it
when it is very clear. Use the Brown and White Belly Sculpin or the Black or Olive Matuka
Sculpin when the stream is high and you have a good chance of catching a big brown trout.
04/04/16 The creek is a little high and slightly stained right now. There is a little more rain in
the forecast this coming week along with some cooler weather than it has been. Midges and
Blue-winged olives are still the main insects to imitate. The Brown sculpin streamer fly always
works on Mossy under these conditions.
04/11/16 Lots of Blue-winged olives and midges, both red and creams, are hatching. The
Brown Sculpin streamer is getting some big browns for one of our customers. Fish the midge
larva and pupa in tandem and the adult imitations only when you see midges on the surface.
04/18/16 The stream is flowing clear and at a good level. It is getting a little warmer. There is a
good week of weather ahead with a chance of rain Thursday and Friday only. Midges and
Blue-winged olive are still the main insects to imitate. Sculpin and scuds are also worth
04/25/16 We didn't change last week's date on this report, so it was probably confusing. The
creek is low, but otherwise okay. You should stay as low as possible on the horizon or
otherwise, you will spook the trout. Blue-winged olives are still the most important hatch taking
place and this week, with all the rain forecast, should continue to be.
05/02/16 The creek is in good shape with good stream levels. More rain is on the way this
week. Our customers caught some very large brown trout the past few days on the White Belly
sculpin streamer fly. Sulphurs are starting to hatch and the dry fly fishing should be good this
05/09/16 The stream is a little high and slightly stained but that is an advantage as long as it
isn't too dingy. There is a chance of rain everyday for the next week. It is likely to remain high
and stained. Our customers have been catching some good trout on Sculpin streamers and
Blue-winged olive nymphs and duns.
05/16/16 The creek is a little high and a little stained but otherwise, in great shape. Hatches
are taking place and trout are responding. The weather is going to be a little cooler for a
couple of day but that should have little effect on the action. The water stays a relatively
constant temperature in the upper section.
05/23/16 The creek is in very good shape. The clear water is causing some anglers problems.
You can't just walk up to the edge of the creek and start casting. You have to stay hidden from
the trout and that means, keep a low profile. The higher you are above the water, the easier it
is for the trout to see you.
05/30/16 The creek is in good shape. There is a chance of rain every day and the stream
levels are likely to come up some but in the case of Mossy Creek, that is often a plus rather
than a problem. The stained water makes it easier to approach the trout. The hatches
continue with higher stained water, so just keep in mind, this is very different from the
freestone streams you are probably use to.
06/06/16 The little spring creek produced some big trout this past week. While many of the
streams in Virginia were high, Mossy Creek produced some nice trout. It was high as well, but
that only help if the stream is fished using the right strategies and techniques. There are
several hatches taking place and some trout were taken on the surface as well as streamers.
06/13/16 We didn't receive any reports from the past week but the conditions should have
been good. Sulphurs were hatching and a few were taken on the surface the week before.
06/20/16 The creek is in good condition level wise with lots of hatches taking place. I think too
many are overfishing the dry fly. Of course, it is more fun to catch them on top but they only
feed there when hatches are taking place, late afternoon egg laying is taking place or spinners
falling. You need to fish late in the day, the later, the better.
06/27/16 The creek is currently in good shape but ther is a flash flood warning for today and
rain chances through Thursday. The levels may get high and the water stained. Often, higher,
stained water isn't all that bad, and in some cases, even helps you catch trout. We will have to
wait and see. The conditions have been very good with some trout being taken on the surface
07/04/16 There is some rain in the forecast for this coming week, but remember, stained water
often helps you catch trout on Mossy Creek. This past few days has been good to those who
have fished very late in the day. The egg laying caddisflies are getting the trout's attention but
you need to fish the last hour or two of daylight for the best action. Sculpin streamers will work
good if the water gets stained.
07/11/16 At times the water has been stained some this past week. It clears up and then stains
up seemly with each passing shower or thunderstorm. Remember, a good lightning rod is a
graphite fly rod. Don't test one of them. Also, after each heavy rain you will find more
terrestrials in the water - ants and beetles, especially.
07/18/16 The creek is in good shape and providing its normal challenges to anglers. As
always, staying hidden from the trout is the big key to being able to catch them. Terrestrial
insects are beginning to be important. Few hatches are taking place but there is still a few.
The forecast for the coming week looks good.
07/25/16 In spite of the heat, the creek is doing good. Lots of tricos are hatching. Fish the
spinner fall in the mornings and the hatch during the afternoon. There is a chance of rain
every day for the coming week and the fresh water and stain will make it easier for you to
08/01/16 The creek is in good shape. There is rain forecast about every day for the next week
and that will keep a little stain in the water and make it a little easier for you to catch trout. The
Tricos are hatching good along with a lot of Cinnamon Caddis. Fish as early and as late as
you can. The low light conditions will help. So will the cloudy skies.
08/07/16 We think you can look forward to this coming week being a good one. It is still very
hot, but the spring water stays cool. The cloudy skies are a big benefit and so is the rain that
is in the forecast every day this coming week. It stains the water and makes it easier to fool the
trout. Fish early mornings with streamers like our Brown Sculpin.
08/14/16 The stream is in very good condition for the middle of August. There is a chance of
rain everyday for the next week and the cloud cover associated with that is a big help. Tricos
are hatching good. There's some little size 20 BWOs as well that are difficult to tell from the
Tricos. Fish early morning and the last three hours of the day for the best results.
08/21/16 Some anglers are using Tricos with a hook size 16 to 18. These insects have to
stretch the truth to be a size 20. Also, spinners fall in the late mornings and hatches take place
in the early afternoon, sometimes over lapping with the spinner fall. It is going to be cooler this
coming week and you should be able to catch trout all day long.
08/28/16 Most anglers are fishing terrestrial imitations or the Trico and Caddisfly hatches, but
there are other options few are considering. Scuds work good. Damselfly and Dragon fly
nymphs work good. In the early morning, Sculpin pattern steamers like or Brown or White Belly
Sculpin will catch the larger trout. My point is, don't get caught up with a one track strategy or
09/05/16 We didn't receive any reports this past week from the creek. That may be because
today is a holiday and they are still traveling. There is going to be a lot of bright clear days and
you should stay low and hidden as best you can. Fishing Sculpin streamers is always a good
early morning option. The wing-winged curse spinner fall isn't for everyone but you can catch
trout fishing it.
09/12/16 In spite of the continued hot weather and lack of rain, Mossy keeps flowing along in
good shape. As always, it isn't a push over. You have to stay hidden from the trout to catch
them. Some larger Blue-winged olives should begin to hatch very soon and add some to the
action. There are still plenty of caddisflies and some Tricos. Terrestrials are also working.
09/19/16 There are still some Tricos hatching along with some little BWOs. The larger baetis
should start emerging soon but not yet. There are a few Mahogany duns. Damselfly and
Dragon fly nymphs are working and so are scuds. Sculpin streamers are working but not easy
to fish around the grass.
09/26/16 More Mahogany duns are hatching and some of the larger baetis species of
Blue-winged olives. Our customers are doing well on Damselfly and Dragon Fly nymphs.
Scuds are also working. The weather is cooler and that should help the lower sections of the
10/03/16 There is no rain in the forecast but the stream is flowing at a good level. Two
customers reported catching some nice size brown trout this past week. The were using the
Brown sandwich hoppers and Japanese Beetles. Terrestrials are still working good. Sculpin
streamers did it the week before that. Good conditions exist and now is a good time to fish the
10/10/16 The weather is going to be a little cooler, with frost warning this morning. Right now,
terrestrials are still working good but that will be short lived. Blue-winged olives are hatching
good. Streamers like our Brown Sculpin and White Belly sculpin will get you some brown trout
10/17/16 This is about as good of a place as you could choose to fish in the state of Virginia.
The weather is unseasonably warm and the rainfall almost non-existent but that has little effect
on the stream. The little BWOs, Mahogany duns and midges continue to hatch. The brown
trout are nearing pre-spawn conditions and very aggressive.
10/24/16 This is a good choice stream with all the low water levels that exist in most freestone
and tailwater streams. The weather is turning much cooler but that won't affect the water
temperature near the spring much. It will the stream further downstream. Brown trout are in the
10/31/16 Considering that the weather is back warm again and there is little to no rain in the
forecast, Mossy Creek gets an A plus. There are some Blue-winged olive hatches and lots of
midges hatching daily. We didn't receive any reports from this past week, but conditions
remain good as it gets for this time of the season.
11/07/16 Conditions are about the same as last week. The weather is still warm and the water
cool as it should be. Hatches consist mostly of little Blue-winged olives. Damsel fly and Dragon
fly nymphs should work good. Scuds should work good. Brown sculpin streamers are working
11/14/16 As mentioned in the report, all the freestone streams in the state are very low. Mossy
Creek continues to be one of the best options for fly fishing. Fish can still be taken from the
surface during hatches of Blue-winged olives or midges. Brown sculpin streamers have been
catching some large trout for our customers.
11/21/16 The creek is still in good condition. The weather is getting colder but it is going to
have little effect on the upper part of the creek. The water temperature stays near the same. It
can affect the middle and lower sections some. Small Blue-winged olives, midges, scuds and
sculpin are the main foods you should imitate.
12/28/16 The creek is in good shape. The weather is getting a little warmer this coming week
and some rain is on the way. The rain and cloud cover should help. A little stain in the water
helps. Sculpin streamers will catch the larger trout. Midges and Blue-winged olives are the only
insects hatching. Scuds will work as well.