Where are the best places to Fly Fish in Virginia?
The Best Places to Fly Fish in Virginia
Virginia is a vast state that has provided fly-fishermen with many rivers and streams to explore, as well as several different locations suitable for those looking to try their hand at fly fishing. Virginia has the perfect venue, whether you're searching for white water rapids or clear blue lakes. The following are some of the top fly fishing Virginia places:
1. JAMES RIVER
The James River offers a wide variety of scenery and habitats for anglers wishing to fish from its banks. The river is home to wild brown trout, smallmouth bass, rock bass, and other warm-water species but heads upstream from Richmond into Amherst County, where the Chesdin Reservoir provides excellent year-round fishing opportunities. Even if you don't catch a fish, the James River is one of the most beautiful places in Virginia to spend a day outdoors.
2. SHENANDOAH RIVER
The Shenandoah River has been aptly nicknamed "The Queen of the Virginia Streams." This long and meandering river that flows through the Blue Ridge Mountains is home to various trout, including wild rainbow, brown, and brook trout. The upper sections of the river are especially trout-rich and provide some of the best fly fishing opportunities in the state.
3. NEW RIVER
The New River is known as one of the best fly fishing rivers east of the Mississippi. It originates in North Carolina and flows south into Virginia for over 300 miles, perfect for anglers who don't mind a bit of travel. The river is well known for its excellent smallmouth bass fishing, containing healthy trout, catfish, and other species
4. SMITH RIVER
The Smith River is a beautiful and remote mountain stream that offers some of the best fly fishing in Virginia. It's home to wild rainbows, browns, and brook trout and can be fished with various methods, including dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. With its tight curves and challenging rapids, the Smith River is sure to excite even the most experienced angler.
5. ROANOKE RIVER
The Roanoke River is one of the longest rivers in Virginia, stretching for over 220 miles from the Appalachian Mountains to the Albemarle Sound. It flows through some of Virginia's most picturesque scenery, is home to various fish species, and offers fly fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. The river can be divided into three sections: above Roanoke Rapids Lake, below the lake, and itself.
6. ELKHORN CREEK
A tributary of the James River near Lynchburg, this small stream is full of beautiful wild rainbow trout, average around 10 inches long. It's perfect for beginners or those just looking to relax with friends or family while trying out their new fly rods for the first time.
7. MAURY RIVER
The Maury River runs for over 60 miles through the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. It is known for its large brown trout and provides some of the best fly fishing opportunities in the state. The river can be accessed from various locations, including Buena Vista, Lexington, and Rockbridge Baths.
8. COWPASTURE RIVER
The Cowpasture River is a small mountain stream that offers excellent fly fishing for wild rainbow and brown trout. It's home to wild rainbows, browns, and brook trout and can be accessed from several different locations, including Goshen and Augusta County.
9. HARDWARE RIVER
The Hardware River is a small but beautiful stream that flows through Nelson County and Amherst County. It's home to wild brown trout and smallmouth bass, but it has become one of the best places to catch wild brook trout in Virginia during the hot summer months. It can be accessed from several locations, but the most popular put-in is located near Scottsville in Albemarle County.
10. NORTH FORK OF THE SHENANDOAH RIVER
The North Fork of the Shenandoah is a tributary of the famous Shenandoah River located near Woodstock. This beautiful river has spectacular scenery, including steep rocky cliffs, dramatic waterfalls, and deep pools. It's home to wild brown trout, average around 12 inches long, making it an ideal place for novice anglers or those looking for some fun fishing with friends on vacation.
11. SOUTH RIVER
The South River is another James River tributary that offers excellent fly fishing opportunities for warm water species like smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and catfish. It can be accessed from various locations, but the most popular put-in is located south of Farmville in Cumberland County.
12. JACKSON RIVER
The Jackson River is a popular destination for fly fishing enthusiasts from all over the country. It's well known for its large brown trout and offers excellent fishing opportunities from its headwaters near Covington to its mouth near Lynchburg. This level 2 river provides ample opportunity for fly fishing, but its size is most popular with boaters, canoeists, and kayakers.
13. NEW RIVER
The New River is one of the oldest rivers globally, and its waters run over 200 miles before reaching the ocean. It's home to healthy populations of striped bass, walleye, muskellunge, and a variety of trout species. During the winter months, it becomes a popular destination for ice fishing.
14. CHICKAHOMINY RIVER
The Chickahominy River is another James River tributary that can usually be fished year-round. It produces large smallmouth bass and wild brown trout during the spring and fall months. This diverse river contains many habitats, including riffles, runs, and pools, which makes it an excellent choice for fly enthusiasts of all skill levels.
15. UPPER RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER
The Upper Rappahannock River is a beautiful Class I trout stream that offers excellent fly fishing opportunities for novice and experienced anglers. It's well known for its large rainbow trout and can be accessed from various locations along its length. With nearly 30 miles of accessible water, the Upper Rappahannock is one of Virginia's best places to fly fish.
Fly fishing is a fantastic sport that anyone of any age can enjoy. It requires patience, skill, and knowledge of the many different types of flies used to catch fish. Whether you are new to fly fishing or have been doing it for years, there are plenty of rivers and streams in Virginia with the best fly-fishing spots around waiting to be explored.