Mossy Creek is probably the most famous trout fishery in our area, but it is not an easy place to catch fish. There are 5 foot tall thorny thistles to catch your backcast, thick aquatic vegetation and debris to catch your fly, and if you do manage to hook a fish, he might be on the other side of a silt shoal where you can't land him. You might catch a 22" brown of a lifetime, but you are more likely to get skunked.
Mossy is a small spring creek that rolls through the meadows in northern Augusta County. The fishery was established by SVTU member Urbie Nash with the cooperation of landowners and stocking by VDGIF. To fish Mossy, you'll need a free permit available from VDGIF at https://www3.dgif.virginia.gov/troutpermits/. This is a "trophy trout fishery". You may keep one trout a day over 20", if you can withstand the angry stares of fellow anglers.
You can't wade mossy, so leave your chest waders at home. But you might want hip boots to keep the cow crap off you-- seriously. Oh, and those wires along the banks are electrified. Ask me how I know. They keep the cows- mostly- out of the crick.
The best time to fish Mossy is after heavy rains when the high cloudy water makes the big browns confident enough to leave the undercut banks and hit big streamers. Early mornings and late afternoons are also great in the summers, especially during the morning trico hatch or the japanese beetle "hatch" in July. If all else fails, try letting out 30 feet of line and walk your fly downstream right along the deeper water on the banks. I've had the best luck with golden retrievers, black zonkers, parachute ants, beetle patterns, and Shroeder's hopper.
Kevin caught 13 last week on #20 Baetis and soft hackles, not including a long distance release on a pig of a fish.
Streamer fishing above the bridge produced 2 fish in 5 hours, but water levels are perfect. The fish I took were on a golden retriever fished nymph-style in the runs. A black zonker moved quite a few fish, but they always struck short. Sulphurs were coming off in the late afternoon.
I fished above the bridge today. They promised 50 degrees and sunny. I got 38 and windy. I caught a 12" rainbow fishing a small streamer nymph-style about 300 yards above the bridge. Then things were slow until I got all the way up to the second crossing about 1 1/2 miles above the bridge. The state put in a ton of 10" browns on either side of the crossing. A poor substitute for a citation brown, but better than nothing and the herons got to eat too. There were small fish taking something small in the Jungle, but with that wind I was too cold to fish small.
Last year fishing on Mossy was... slow. So it looks like VDGIF put in a bunch of 8-10" brownies recently. I caught 11 fish today on #12 Shroeder's hopper and missed the set on probably another 10. All were caught below the bridge. So, things are looking up on Mossy at least till the herons get these fish. It's nice to be able to catch some fish in between watching the trophies zoom away from my clumsy casts.
- Take I-81 to Exit 240 (Mt. Crawford/Bridgewater Exit).
- Take Rt. 257 West(3.3 Miles) to the town of Bridgewater.
- Turn left at the T intersection onto Rt. 42 South.
- Take 42 South(3.7 miles) and go straight over the bridge where 42 takes a 90 degree left turn. (The parking area on the right is 1 of 2 public parking areas.)
- Continue straight over the bridge follow Mossy Creek Road 1.2 miles and take a left onto Kyles Mill Road.
- Continue for .5 miles until you see the public parking area on the left next to the iron bridge.
The "Meadow" section of Mossy, upstream of the bridge. It's open here, because cattle graze. Another mile upstream is what I call "The Jungle" where you have to struggle through a maze of weeds. Watch out for ticks!
Note the amazing aquatic vegetation that makes Mossy such a productive spring creek-
and which makes it almost impossible to nymph.
Article on Mossy in Chesapeake Angler by Beau Beasley: